Two Elkhart County public schools are making the move to a standardized dress code next fall and their principals say it’s all about “dressing for success.”
West Goshen Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School in Elkhart finalized the plans within the last few days.
“Our standardized dress policy is more that we want to promote a more professional atmosphere in the school,” said West Goshen Principal Alan Metcalfe.
After an approval Monday by the Goshen Community School’s board, West Goshen students will be required to wear a solid-colored, collared shirt with sleeves when they return to school next year.
The school’s dress code proposal, which has been in the works for more than a year, was originally met with concerns from parents over pricing.
“People feel like were forcing them to buy something that they don’t want or might be more expensive,” he said. “But I think what we're finding is from some of our patrons is what we’re asking to do is no more or even less expensive than what they were already doing.”
A team completed a pricing survey of local stores like Walmart, Target and Meijer and found that dress code shirts could be found for prices ranging anywhere from $3-15.
They’re also working directly with a company that can get them for $5.75.
Principal Jeff Komins of Roosevelt Elementary School says his school did a similar study and saw the same results.
“We want our students to dress for success,” Komins said. “I think it’s really going to help our parents out cost-wise when they go out to shop at the beginning of the year.”
Roosevelt is looking to use the guideline of a particular color scheme, which would include the school’s spirit colors.
“We want our students to come to school with a sense of unity with a sense of pride,” he said. “And we're hoping through them dressing alike with similar colors and similar pants styles that you know they'll start to feel that way.”
Both schools are also looking into the idea of an on-site “kid’s closet” where students can take the dress clothes they’ve outgrown and pass them on to younger children.
West Goshen has discussed the possibility of a gently used clothing store.
Roosevelt will be holding a meeting to discuss the new dress code with parents on Thursday, May 15. It will take place at the school at 5pm.