Uniform policy approved for theme schools

COVINGTON - The parent involvement theme schools, scheduled to open for the 2009-10 school year in the current Fairview Elementary and Clements Middle school buildings, now have some more rules.

During Tuesday's work session, the Newton County Board of Education approved a recommendation from Superintendent Steven Whatley for a uniform policy and parental contract for the theme schools.

According to the uniform requirements presented at the meeting, students attending the theme schools must wear short- or long-sleeved polo shirts or long-sleeved turtlenecks that are solid navy, red or white in color. Sweaters and sweatshirts must be solid navy.

Their pants, shorts, skirts, skorts or jumpers must be solid tan khaki with a pleated or flat front. No cargo style, denim or spandex is allowed, and all bottoms must fit at the waist and be no shorter than fingertip length.

Only solid navy or white socks and tights are allowed, and shoes must be clean white, black or brown athletic type or black or brown closed-toe type. No sandals, open-toed shoes, open-backed shoes, flip-flop sandals, skate shoes, combat boots, Uggs, work boots, above-the-calf boots or boots with a greater than one-inch heel are permitted.

Belts must be black or brown and must be worn if a bottom has belt loops for students in fourth through eighth grades, and no headwear such as headscarves, hats, bandannas or head wraps are allowed except for religious or medical reasons with approval from the school administration.

The theme schools would be the sixth and seventh schools in NCSS to adopt a uniform policy. In the past, Ficquett, Heard-Mixon, Middle Ridge and Porterdale elementary schools and Sharp Learning Center have adopted uniform policies for their students.

In addition to the uniform policy, the school board also approved the theme schools' parental commitment contract for the 2009-10 school year.

The contract that parents or guardians must sign requires them to commit to 10 volunteer hours per semester per household and attend a minimum of one in-school parent/teacher conference, as well as any other required parent meetings, each semester to discuss the student's progress, according to the contract that was presented at the board meeting.

It also requires parents to make sure their students read a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes each day at home. Parents also must support the school council, strictly enforce the uniform policy and the school's conduct codes and policies, ensure their student's timeliness and attendance at school and support daily classwork, homework and project requirements. Parents also must monitor and enforce the use of the student agenda by the student, parent and teacher.

According to the contract, failure to follow it would terminate a student's right to attend the theme school.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.