DANVILLE — A draft of Danville District 118’s student uniform standard of dress code will be presented Wednesday to school board members for their review.
Superintendent Mark Denman said Friday the proposed standard of dress is being “checked by our attorney” but will be ready for board review on Wednesday. Board members will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, the proposal will be on public display for 30 days, with board members possibly voting on it at their April 9 meeting, Denman said.
“This would allow the maximum time for transition (for the parents and students) and to talk to the vendors,” he said.
“Every vendor we’ve spoken to said they can meet the need,” he added, referring to Danville retailers.
The idea of a uniform standard of dress resurfaced in January after parents rejected a similar plan in August 2011. Several local ministers appeared at school board meetings this fall and winter to speak out in favor of school uniforms, saying they would prevent the display of gang colors, make visitors more visible at the schools and minimize economic class difference and bullying. Opponents, however, believe uniforms will not curb bullying nor improve learning. Some parents with multiple children in the district claim buying uniform clothes in addition to their children’s everyday clothes would create a financial hardship for them.
At a Jan. 22 school board meeting, the board voted 6-1 to implement a uniform standard of dress districtwide next school year, with board member Dr. Randal Ashton casting the dissenting vote.
Since the January vote, Associate Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said she has involved more than 200 people, including parents, students and faculty members, to collect input on uniform dress suggestions.
“We’ve held 22 separate meetings since January,” she said.
For the draft proposal, the district used suggestions gathered in 2011 — when parents were last surveyed about possibly implementing uniforms — as the framework for the new policy.