The Bay-Waveland School District Board of Trustees on Monday approved revisions to the district's dress code policy.
During public comments, parent Mickey Lagasse of Waveland asked the board to consider moving the uniform policy item off the consent agenda and gather parent input before making a decision.
Lagasse said that all three of his children play sports. He added that he spends "quite a bit of money" on shirts.
"We don't mind that," he said. "Typically, in the past, those shirts tend to last better than our uniform shirts that we buy."
The board agreed to move the item, "dress code changes" to the action agenda for discussion.
Lagasse said the "pride of the school shirts" make a "huge difference, as a parent, to what our district is about."
"Financially, it makes a huge difference when we have to buy a jumpsuit for dancing, a jumpsuit for cheer, a jumpsuit for soccer, and then softball," Lagasse said. "And then to turn around and buy another coat for school."
Trustee Mark Kidd asked why the gold color was being taken out of the uniform policy, considering it is one of the school's colors.
Deputy Superintendent Monty Noblitt said that he "rarely" see kids in gold school shirts.
"But when they do, you've got every color under the sun," he said. "It doesn't really present itself the way we want to present ourselves. We're trying to build an academic and athletic and arts dynasty. We want our school, we want our students to achieve at a level they haven't achieved at so far. And one of the things that we think will lead to that is the dress code. The fact is, if you walk in our schools right now, you can't tell what our dress code is."
According to the new dress code, students who participate in athletics or the arts "shall not be exempt from the student dress code except during pep rallies and/or performance."
Noblitt said that if the district is going to have a uniform policy, "we need to have a uniform, a true uniform."
Superintendent Sandra Reed added that the district needs to decide if its going to have a uniform policy or not.
In regards to T-shirts, such as club or athletic shirts, the current rule is that they are allowed after approval from principals, Noblitt said.
"Everybody's got a different T-shirt they can wear to school," he said. "They don't have to wear a collared shirt, ever. If they don't want to, a kid don't ever have to wear a collared shirt to school. They can wear a T-shirt to school every day of the week."
Lagasse said if you're going to the extent of doing it for "pride, then you go all the way, in my opinion." Lagasse also referenced the dress code enforced at St. Stanislaus.
"I believe in being consistent," he said. "If you're going to do that and going to consider a T-shirt, I would buy the T-shirts from y'all. The problem we have is that, I've spent $8 on a collared shirt and I've spent $35 per kid on a collared shirt, and they just don't hold up to the day-to-day beating. We do laundry 100 times a week and the T-shirts just seem to fare better than the other ones. If we're going to be a Stanislaus or an OLA, that's fine. We will buy the shirts that y'all tell us to buy, we'll show up."
Noblitt said that "it doesn't matter to me or all of us in general if we have a uniform policy. I'm not in favor or against. It doesn't matter to me, one way or the other."
Noblitt said he's worked in districts that did not and those that did have uniform policies.
"I'm not going to say one's better than the other," he said. "But the districts I worked in with a uniform policy, that had a rigid uniform policy, that made for a much more orderly school. It makes it easier on the teacher to know whether or not a kid is in dress code or not."
Noblitt said the last thing he wants teachers worrying about is whether or not a student's shirt is allowed.
Nicole Menotti, director of curriculum and instruction, said that she "really believes in a uniform policy and that it makes a huge educational difference."
The board approved the updated uniform policy 3-to 2. Trustees Casey Favre, Vicki Arnold, and Ann Lathrop voted ''yes.'' Trustees Kidd and Mike Bell voted ''no.''
A copy of the dress code can be found at the end of the story.
In other action:
• Reed recognized Bay High School Special Education teacher Liz Bosarge, a recipient of this year's Hancock-Whitney Leo Seal Innovative Teacher award. Reed said Bosarge was selected for her project that was centered around having a coffee shop run by her students for faculty and staff at the high school.
• Reed also recognized North Bay Elementary fourth-grader Mason Bosarge. Mason competed in NBE's National Geography Bee and won, Reed said. He then competed in the state's National Geographic GeoBee held in Oxford. He competed against 40 other students, ranging in age from fourth-to-eighth-grade.
Reed said that while Mason didn't place, he was only two questions away from the final round. He was one of two fourth-graders competing at the state level, she added.
• Reed said that the district received the preliminary third-grade reading gate results.
"The date is extremely dirty," she said. "It's not officially embargoed, but it's unofficially embargoed. The results are not where we would like to be. However, we are, across-the-board, about 10 points ahead of where we were last year. We're definitely not going to be the lowest score on the coast as we were last year."
Reed said that a number of students will have to retest next week.
• Reed said the district plans to implement a summer school program for those students who did not pass and a grant-funded summer reading program at Waveland Elementary.
• Reed announced that next school year, the district will be able to fund meals for high school students.
• The board approved a motion to solicit bids for the multi-purpose sport training facility.
The following dress code revisions were provided courtesy of the BWSD:
All schools within the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District shall abide by a mandatory student dress code for all students. All due process procedures provided in Section 37-7-335 of the Mississippi Code shall be followed in the administration of this policy.
UNIFORM DRESS CODE
• This dress code outlines the only acceptable form of attire approved to be worn by students in this district. Any deviations, however slight, are disallowed.
• Every component of the student dress code should be appropriate in length and size.
• Appropriate is defined as that which properly covers the body and which is in good taste.
• The administration shall have the final decision about the appropriateness of the length/size of clothing.
• Shorts, skorts, or jumpers may not exceed three (3) inches above the top of the kneecap.
• All teachers shall monitor student dress and send those students who, in their opinion, are dressed inappropriately to the principal.
• Undergarments should never be visible.
• NO COMPONENT OF THE STUDENT DRESS CODE MAY BE OF DENIM MATERIAL.
Must be solid color: Royal Blue or White (As a transition year, students may wear navy blue tops during the 2019-2020 school year)
Must have a collar
May NOT be sleeveless
May NOT have ruffles, pleats, lace, or trim.
May NOT expose the midriff
May not have a logo greater in size the 2” x 2”
• Sweatshirts, Sweaters, Vest,
May NOT have hoods
Must be of solid color: Royal Blue or Navy Blue
May NOT be carried/worn around the waist, neck, shoulders, etc…
May NOT have a logo greater in size than 2”x 2”
Allowable sweatshirts, sweaters, and vests DO NOT take the place of a school shirt as described above.
• Jackets and Coats
Must be of a solid color: Royal Blue or Navy Blue (Exception: Bay High School Letterman Jackets)
May NOT have hoods
May NOT be worn inside the school building
May NOT be worn around the waist, neck, shoulders, etc …
May NOT have a logo greater in size than 2”x2”
Long “Trench” style coats/jackets are strictly prohibited
Pants, Shorts, Skirts/Skorts and Jumpers
Must be of a solid color: Khaki
Must be properly hemmed
May not be denim, stretch fabric, bell bottoms, nylon (windsuit), or overalls
• Length of shorts/skirts/skorts/jumpers must be no more than three (3) inches above the top of the knee cap.
Leggings/tights may ONLY be worn underneath shorts/skirts/skorts/jumpers that meet the standards set forth above. All leggings must be navy blue in color.
Athletic shoes are allowed (no lights and/or skates)
Platform shoes, flip-flops, stiletto heels, and any other shoes deemed inappropriate by the administration are prohibited All shoes must be fastened properly
STUDENT DRESS CODE VENDORS
The student dress code policy is a “generic” one in that the dress code allows parents the convenience of purchasing the basics from any store or catalog of their choice.
Each student has the responsibility to dress appropriately for the school environment. Wearing apparel, hair, and general appearance shall not disrupt the school environment, shall not be unusually provocative, or shall not violate health and safety rules of the school. These guidelines for dress and grooming are provided to assist parents and shall apply to all students in the public schools of Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Student dress and grooming shall be neat, clean and follow the general guidelines below.
1.Students are prohibited from wearing additional “patches”, pins, tattoos, earrings, jewelry, or any other item that may be considered lewd, profane, obscene, suggestive, vulgar, or distracting which may harass, threaten, intimidate, or demean other students; or which display illegal merchandise or contraband; or which may distract from the educational process. Any chains used to attach wallets or as decoration are prohibited. All tattoos must be covered.
2. Head coverings, including but not limited to bandannas, “doo” rags, hair curlers, or any “gang” paraphernalia, is prohibited. Exceptions to any head covering may include a hair net or cap required where long hair poses a health or safety threat near open flames, moving machines, or in food preparation classes where or when recommended by a physician. Appropriate head coverings may be worn outside during approved extra-curricular activities.
3. Oversized clothing is prohibited. All belts, suspenders, or straps shall be worn in place and fastened. “Sagging” and/or “low-riding” is prohibited.
4. Designer/theatrical contact lens may not be worn, whether prescription or not; sunglasses or shades may not be worn.
5.No large distracting facial jewelry is allowed. Earrings in ears, small piercings in the nose or eyebrow are permissible. Any articles of clothing or jewelry that may cause injury to oneself or other students are not allowed.
6.Clothing promoting other schools may not be worn.
7.Unnatural hair color is not allowed.
8.The above mentioned restrictions numbered 1-7 are always in force, even on designated “free dress” days.
OPTIONAL ARTICLES OF ATTIRE
1. Students enrolled in the AFJROTC program shall be exempt from the mandatory student dress code on the day(s) they are required to wear their military uniform.
Instructors must notify the high school administration prior to the day military uniforms are to be worn.
2.Members of school sponsored cheerleading or athletic teams, dance or drill teams, choral groups, band, or any other group sanctioned by the school, shall NOT be exempt from the student dress code except during pep rallys and/or performances.
Members of the above mentioned groups may wear pregame/pre-performance attire after school hours when representing the Bay-Waveland School District.
3. T-shirts may NOT be worn during the school day with the following exceptions:
a.North Bay and Waveland Elementary students may wear t-shirts approved by their respective school principal and purchased through each school’s PTO. Elementary t-shirts must be a solid color (royal blue, gold or white) with a principal approved logo/screen print. T-shirts may be long or short sleeve and must be CREW NECK ONLY. Approved elementary t-shirts may ONLY be worn on Fridays or other approved free dress days.
b.Bay High School and Bay Waveland Middle School students may wear t-shirts approved by their respective school principal and purchased through a school sanctioned athletics/activities/academics booster club. All t-shirts must be a solid color (royal, gold or white) with a principal approved logo/screen print. T-shirts may be long or short sleeve and must be CREW NECK ONLY. Approved T-shirts may ONLY be worn on the 2ND FRIDAY OF THE MONTH or other approved free dress days.
In an effort to provide incentives to encourage various positive student behaviors each school will have the option of allowing students to EARN a “free dress” day on the last Monday of every month. The following guidelines will apply to such “free dress” days:
• All bottoms must adhere to the normal uniform policy;
• All sweaters, sweatshirts, vests and jackets/coats must conform to the normal uniform policy;
• All shoes must conform to the normal uniform policy; and
• All tops are allowed with the following restrictions:
• Crop tops, midriff shirts or sleeveless,
•Frayed, cut, holey, see through and/or torn material, and/or
•Exposed/open back tops.