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School Update (09-16-2018)

Good evening Centurions! This is a call out to both our parents and our students.  Please have a family conversation regarding what I share.  Last Thursday we held our annual assembly for each grade level to go over our school rules.  These rules can be found on the school website under the student or parent tab.  At the assemblies in the gym we discussed attendance regulations, how to report incidents of bullying, who to see to get help, dress code expectations, and a host of other school rules.  As students entered the foyer doors to the gym, administrators and counselors gave out a pink slips to certain students that were wearing clothing that violated the school’s dress code policy.  On the small pink piece of paper the note said congratulations.  Many students felt they had won something as the word congratulations was printed on the small pink slip.  As the administrators discussed the do’s and don’ts with regards to the school rules, the dress code slide finally came up. It was explained by the administrators that students holding a pink slip were given them as a warning notice because they were wearing something that violated the school’s dress code.  I heard after the assemblies that some students were upset because they felt the notifications were given to only the girls and not the boys.


Just to clarify the reality of the pink slip warnings given out: four were given out to the 500 9th graders; seven were given out to the 490 10th graders; fifteen were given out the 465 11th graders; and twenty-six were given out to our 435 12th graders.  And while it is true that the vast majority of seen dress code violations were our female students, pink slips were also given out to boys.


I am not sure if you all heard about the principal from South Bay this year but on the first day of school he made all students enter through one gate.  He did this to check and make each students were dressed appropriately.  Students not abiding by the proper dress code were sent home to change. This crack down caused a major backup for parents wanting to drop off their students.  While this gesture caused a bit of a stir, it also caused everyone to take a look at the school dress policy and to make sure students were arriving ready to learn in school approved attire.   


At UCHS, the School Site Governance Team (SSGT) decides what the dress code policy will be for students.  And if you don’t know, the SSGT elections are this week for students, parents and staff.  Please make sure you go online and cast your vote. 


Please know that we know what is sold at stores for students makes is really hard to sometimes find appropriate school apparel.  At this point, however, we have dress code rules and it’s all of our responsibility is to adhere the stated policy.  Enforcing the policy can be perceived as being unfair.  One student can get called in because they have something on that violates the school policy, but their friend or another person can go all day without being stopped. We get and understand this perception.  But here is the reality, there are only so many of us and at any given time we focus on what’s most important at the time. Our top priorities are student safety as well as making sure we are supporting the highest level of teaching and learning.  So depending on what may be happening on any given day or class period, we may decide or not decide to call in a student to deal with a dress code violator.  Parents helping us before students arrive at school can help tremendously. 


Last, if the pink slip experience has caused everyone to stop and take notice of the school’s dress code policy, then the intent was realized. The intent was not to embarrass students.  If you have any questions please email an administrator or send a phone number and we will give you a call. The dress code policy can be found on page 32/33 of the student/parent handbook.  Please review this with your student and come to an agreement over what to wear to school that is appropriate.  


Have a great Sunday night. Please remember, we have Back-to-School Night this coming Thursday night.   Mr. O.