GRANDVIEW - After nearly two years of discussion, Grandview Middle School students will be sporting school uniforms in the form of school colored polo shirts in the next school year.
Despite having voted to delay the implementation of a middle school uniform policy in January, the Grandview School Board voted to adopt the uniform policy unanimously during its Monday night meeting.
Board director Tim Grow, who has long sought more than anecdotal data on the benefits of school uniforms, said he wants to see definite data that supports the move to school uniforms.
The current thought regarding the implementation of school uniforms suggests that a uniform will reduce dress code violations, improve the climate and culture of the school student body as well as improve student academic achievement. School Director Alfonso Contreras agreed, saying he wants to see regular reviews of the uniform policy. Both Grow and Contreras want the academic achievement and behavior incidents tracked to provide the district will real data.
Superintendent Kevin Chase said that since the implementation of a school uniform policy at Compass High School, behavior issues have decreased and academic achievement has improved.
Speaking against the implementation of the school uniform policy, school patron Sharon Fisher said she still feels the cost of uniforms will be a burden to the parents in the district. Reading from a written statement, Fisher said "...you say it's cheaper for the parents.
"Having seen it first hand with my grandson at Compass High School, it is not. We live in a low income area with many kids on free lunches, and you are not only asking the parents to buy one set of clothing for school, but they will want other clothes for after-school and weekends. Some parents have two or three kids in middle school. That won't save much."
The board instructed Grandview Middle School Principal Paul Voorhees to distribute letters to the parents of the middle school students in keeping with the board promise to give parents adequate time to plan their children's wardrobe for the coming school year. Voorhees said the middle school is making every effort to help parents with the cost of the new uniforms by seeking a supplier that will give the best price for the new shirts.
"We will buy in bulk and hope to be able to offer them to the student at the cost of $5 each," he said.
The new uniform policy will not go into effect until the 2013-2014 school year.