Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 1, 2014

Dress code may come to West Goshen

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL sherry.vanarsdall@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — GOSHEN — Students at West Goshen Elementary School may dress similarly for the upcoming school year.

A dress code committee has been formed and sought input from parents and staff members for the creation of a uniform policy or a standardized dress code for students.

“The pros and cons of both were discussed at a recent open meeting. The main concern expressed was the cost of uniforms, so we are proposing a standardized dress code instead of a uniform dress code. The goal is not to make a financial burden for parents,” said West Goshen Elementary Principal Alan Metcalfe. “The ultimate goal is that clothing (for a standardized dress code) should cost no more than what parents spend on their kids now.”

There was discussion on the feasibility of boys and girls collar shirts and the availability of such items, added Marvin Lane, a staff member at West Goshen Elementary.

“We do not want this to be a burden and we are trying to leave it open for parents in a standardized dress code,” Lane said. “They can be long-sleeve or short-sleeve but have to have a collar because individuality was another concern. That’s why we are giving them the choice of colors and styles. We’d start out with shirts and gradually work up to pants.”

The dress code policy could allow for free Fridays, where children could wear clothing of their choice, Lane added.

Last year, the school provided every child and staff member with a West Goshen shirt.

“We did it as a way to promote school pride,” the principal said.

Metcalfe said there was a positive feeling in the air as everyone knew they belonged at West Goshen.

“On the days we had everyone wear their shirts, I noticed a subtle change in the tone of the building. It was really a kind of a powerful reaction,” he said. “Overall, standardized dress codes can have a positive effect on the climate of a school. Our goal is to create a community and school is like the student’s job. We dress appropriately for our job and we want kids to know this is what they wear to school. It’s time for work. It will create a better environment here at school.”

He added the goal of the committee is present a standardized dress code policy to the Goshen Community Schools Board of Trustees by March 24 for approval.

“They have the final say,” Metcalfe said.