Friday, April 13, 2001

Wildwood, Rosedale elementaries consider uniforms

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — Parents at Wildwood and Rosedale elementary schools are being polled to see whether they want their children to wear uniforms to school next fall.

        Parent representatives from each school's Parent Teacher Organization have begun the six-month process required by the school board that allows each school to decide whether to implement a voluntary uniform code. Parental approval also is required.

        Taft Elementary, Central Academy and Vail Middle School went through that process last winter and spring, and students began wearing uniforms in August. If parents at Wildwood and Rosedale approve, the uniform policy in those buildings would begin by Labor Day.

        “We want school spirit, school pride; and uniforms are one way to encourage that,” said parent Julie Crossley, who is on the PTO committee studying uniforms.

        Rosedale committee members are considering khaki, navy or black pants and red, navy or white tops for uniforms. Tops would have the school's name and possibly a logo embroidered on them. Girls could also wear straight skirts in the same colors as the pants. If adopted, the PTO would give each of the students a T-shirt with the school's name.

        “When we asked the kids, the input we got was they don't want to look like a Catholic school — with navy pants and white tops,” Mrs. Crossley said. “I think we have enough variety.”

        At Wildwood, the committee is waiting for parents' input before deciding what the uniforms would look like. They will also study the three schools that adopted uniforms this year before making a final decision.

        “We'll probably go with something similar to the other schools but tailored to Rosedale,” said Joyce Nocton, Wildwood PTO treasurer. “As a parent, I think it's economical. I won't have to hassle with what (the kids will) wear in the morning and the kids can focus on just school.”

        Parents say other reasons for reconsidering students' dress are studies that show uniforms reduce peer pressure to dress in name-brand clothing and that they improve classroom behavior.

        “This is a parent-driven process,” Mrs. Nocton said.

        Both PTOs will schedule votes on adopting uniform policies sometime next month. Rosedale will also schedule a fashion show before the vote to display the suggested uniform. Parents are looking for suppliers and estimating costs. The school board's policy requires uniforms be provided to those who can't afford them.


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