Thursday, July 10, 2003

Fairfield schools target loopholes in dress code

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FAIRFIELD - Educators here are fine-tuning their year-old dress code to leave less room for interpretation.

The dress code went into effect at the start of the last school year with the understanding it would be reviewed if revisions were needed.

Board of Education President Anne Crone said the code also needs to be better enforced.

"Children need to come to school appropriately dressed to learn," Crone said. "It needs to be enforced from the administrators right down to the children and the parents."

Fairfield Intermediate School teacher Valerie Isaac said there seemed to be two major issues at her building.

"Parents want it to be more enforced. Some people would (strictly) enforce it. Some people were more lax," Isaac said.

"At school, we saw more bellies. Another big concern was girls wearing flip-flops, even when I think the code said no backless shoes for K-6. It's a safety issue, especially if they're going up or down stairs and lose a shoe, or ... during recess."

Assistant Superintendent Lynn Kitchen is going through the document looking for vague language or description, particularly words such as "excessive" or "distracting."

"This is always an issue that has a lot of passion. Parents are passionate about it. Kids are passionate about it," Kitchen said. "Wherever we find something that could have been interpreted in many ways, we want to give it more standardized language."

Overall, though, Crone and others are pleased with the revisions. Parents, students and staff had an opportunity to respond to an unscientific survey about the dress code.

About 15 percent - 1,621 - of Fairfield parents returned the surveys with a majority (46 percent) saying they wanted to maintain the current policy, said Jeff Kursman, a district spokesman who compiled results.

A third of the parents wanted to require uniforms; 18 percent wanted standardized dress and less than 3 percent favored relaxing the policy.

Among the 3,823 responding students in grades 5-11, a slight majority, 42 percent, favored relaxing the policy, while 40 percent favored keeping the current policy.

Census verifies city is shrinking
Americans try to find their place in the sun
Fresh storms renew Butler residents' fear of flooding
Weather change won't be quiet
Skateboarders' new roles: park advisers
Batesville soldier was eager to serve
Potpies fill late-night niche

Photo of the day: "What, girl? Timmy's locked in the shed? Here, take this!"
W. Nile back, tests confirm
Earlier care of hearts studied
Parents haggle over Justin's visitation
Wyoming lures home fire chief
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: Norwood's growth swirls around reluctant couple
PULFER: A little fairy dust sprinkled on Over-the-Rhine
HOWARD: Some good news

Teen pleads guilty to rape charge
Vive la France at Montgomery party
Fairfield schools target loopholes in dress code
Warren Co. may take back tax break
Parks levy facing voters
Hooded sweat shirts OK at all Middletown schools
Grant to help youth stay clean
Tax opponent accuses official of intimidation
Monroe facing cuts even with tax increase

Ervin Stadler reveled in being accountant

Flight festival stuck on taxiway
Pension council pushes audit
Ohio Moments

Two winners in $260 million Powerball
Fort Wright getting its park
Killing suspect ordered tested
Patton's ex-mistress indicted in U.S. court
Attack on show horses upsets tight-knit saddlebred industry
Kentucky obituaries
Kentucky News Briefs