A Dress Code for East Haven Schools?

The school board's PTO/PTA subcommittee will hold a special meeting Thursday, which will introduce their dress code proposal and allow for public comment on the draft policy.

UPDATE at 11:15 a.m.

Although Thursday's meeting has yet to take place, it appears that a move to strict dress code for East Haven students already has their parents' seal of approval.

Earlier this school year, each school sent out a survey questioning parents and staff about the possibility of uniforms or a dress code in the district's K-8 schools, according the minutes of the PTA/PTO Advisory Subcommittee's Jan. 24 and April 10 meetings.

And once the voting was tabulated, more than two out of three parents support the switch. The results of those in favor of a dress code were:

  • Yes - 69%
  • No - 29%
  • Undecided - 2%

In addition to parents, more than 125 school staff members were also surveyed. And they, too, voted in favor of a dress code. The results were:

  • Yes - 75%
  • No - 21%
  • Undecided - 4%

The survey also took into account respondants' "pros and cons" for making the switch.

"Most concern was expense of uniforms/outfits and discussion surfaced on the cost effectiveness of working around costly uniform vendors," the committee's Jan. 24 minutes report. "Stores such as Kohl's, K-mart, and Wal-Mart will stock uniform school colors and a complete outfit can be purchased for less than $25."

The minutes for the subcommittee's April 10 and Jan. 24 are posted in the gallery that accompanies this article.


It may soon become a lot easier for East Haven students, and their parents, to pick out what the young learners will wear to school each morning.

The s PTO/PTA Subcommittee has proposed implementing a dress code throughout the school district.

The advisory committee — which is made up of the heads of each of the district's individual parent/teacher organizations — will hold special meeting on the proposed new policy this Thursday.

The meeting will be held at , in Room S106, beginning at 6 p.m. Informational flyers, one in English and one in Spanish, are posted in the gallery that accompanies this article.

Principal Laura Amato, who serves as the school administration's representative on the committee, told East Haven Patch that the first half of Thursday's meeting will focus on introducing the proposed policy.

The second half would then feature a public comment period, allowing parents, students and other members of the school community to provide feedback on the proposed change.

Amato said the committee will then take into account those public comments as it finalizes its draft new policy.


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Once that policy is finalized, it will then be presented to the Board of Education for its future consideration, she said.

Dress Code Statement

As part of the process of drafting the proposed new policy, the subcommittee developed a "Dress Code Statement," which serves a kind of mission statement for the advisory board.

That statement follows in full below and it is also posted as a document in the gallery.

The East Haven Public Schools believe that student academic and social success will thrive in a safe and positive-learning environment. A standard of dress is a positive strategy to meet our District’s goal.

The EHPS Dress Code is based on the following principles:

  • creating a safe environment
  • developing self-confidence
  • reducing negative competition
  • cost-effective
  • concentration on teaching and learning
  • develop and preserve community of learners
  • generate and sustain a school spirit that
  • makes everything possible

Policy Development

Discussion surrounding a dress code and/or uniforms policy for East Haven schools has been around for years. Amato, however, said it began in — and on the subcommittee — earlier this school year.

"We talked about it and decided that there was more than enough interest," she said.

The committee then began to research other area school district's policies on student clothing. And from there, they developed their own proposed dress code statement, draft policy and guidelines.

(Editor's Note: The Dress Code Statement was added to this article at 7:45 a.m.)

Melissa Potts May 23, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I am an East Haven resident and my daughter will be heading to kindergarten in the fall...I personally think this is an AWFUL idea!!! What ever happened to allowing children to be individuals?! As a parent I make sure to monitor what my kid wears and never allows her to dress inappropriately! I'm not sure what the point is of making them all look like little white and khaki soldiers....YUCK!!!
Melissa Potts May 23, 2012 at 05:27 PM
As for the poster that said it will help with bullying in schools...REALLY?!?! PARENTS are the ones that teach their child not be a bully....just as PARENTS are the ones that should be teaching their children what IS and what is NOT appropriate attire for them to wear to school!!! As for working professionals having to adhere to a dress code...while that may be true, most work dress codes still allow for a degree of individual style and preference! I NEVER is all the years I worked in the corporate world had to dress exactly like my fellow co-workers!!! SMH!
Melissa Potts May 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
OH and BTW....Becki Pastor...AMEN GIRL!!! AMEN!!!
Lou May 23, 2012 at 05:31 PM
The point is to get them to concentrate on learning and not having fashion shows!
Doreen Boudreau Hausler May 23, 2012 at 05:32 PM
You're correct, Melissa. And, uniforms will not keep bullies from bullying. Those types of people just find something else to make fun of. Hairstyle, glasses...whatever. There is a difference between a "dress code" and a "uniform". East Haven has had a dress code that has not been enforced, for as long as I can remember. I'm trying to figure out how we, as parents, are supposed to think that this new policy will be worth the effort. Good kids, from good families have always followed the rules. If families don't comply, I'm not sure how this new policy won't simply be punishing the good kids who follow rules already. There are bigger issues at hand here.


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