PREMIER DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – STUDENT DRESS CODE 1. What are the changes to the student dress code? In addition to previous expectations, students are asked not to wear flip‐flops; bedroom shoes; between‐the‐toe shoes without heels; clothing/jewelry that restrict movement or create a safety hazard for other students, staff or visitors; and/or revealing cleavage. Furthermore, students who violate these expectations may be charged with new Offense #25 – Student Dress Code Violation. Students will be asked to correct their dress on the first violation. Subsequent violations will result in referral to in‐ school suspension and a local formal hearing. Chronic violators may be referred to a student evidentiary hearing that may result in a transfer to an alternative setting. 2. Am I required to wear a uniform and what colors should I wear? Except for some of our alternative settings, charter schools and theme schools, students are not required to wear uniforms. However, elementary school parents/guardians may work with school officials and locally elect to have students wear uniforms at their school. The new student dress code only requires that students wear what they have appropriately. There is not a district requirement to wear suggested colors and/or styles. 3. Because of the new student dress code will I have to buy specific clothes for school? No, you do not. Although many parents and students buy school clothes each year, the new student dress code does not require new clothes. The code only requires that you wear what you have appropriately, based on the written expectations. If new school clothes are purchased, it is expected that consideration be given to whether or not they are in compliance with the dress code. On the other hand, if you are enrolled in a theme school, alternative setting or elementary school that has voted to wear uniforms, you may be required to purchase designated outfits. That school will provide you more information. 4. Can my local school add other expectations for student dress? Yes, your local school has the authority to collaborate with parents, staff, students and the community to develop additional expectations beyond the written student dress code. These additional requirements would be based on a belief that there are needs particular to that school community that must be addressed. However, any additional expectations generated by the local school must not be in conflict with the district’s dress standards. Please refer to the local school handbook or speak with the school principal for further information. 5. Why is there a need for a district student dress code? Student achievement is the primary focus of the Premier DeKalb County School System. To accomplish this goal, the district must do everything possible to ensure that local school environments are safe, free from distractions and conducive for learning. Students must come to school each day “dressed” for the learning environment and not for play. Furthermore, schools are partners of the “village” that seeks to teach children to become successful adults and positive contributors to the global society. We must
help students understand how to present themselves for interviews, being aware of the culture of dress in the workforce, clothing required for safety, and other expectations. 6. What about teachers, and other school employees? Are they also expected to dress appropriately? If they are going to instruct us, they should also show us how to dress. Yes, teachers, administrators, and other school employees are expected to model appropriate dress. In fact, a couple of years ago, a new school employee dress policy was adopted. Teachers and other staff members cannot effectively direct students to follow a standard that they are not also following. Everyone is required to dress for school/work.
PREMIER DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – CELL PHONES/ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES 1. This new expectation focuses on electronic communication devices. What do these include? First of all, this is not a new expectation. The revision of the requirement clarifies what has always been expected of students. Electronic communication devices include cell phones, pagers, Blackberries, personal digital assistants (PDAs), texting devices and/or any other devices designed to communicate with others vocally or in writing. MP3 players and other similar devices that do not communicate with others are not included. However, their use may be restricted by local school rules. Please refer to the local school handbook or the school principal. 2. What is the expectation? During instructional time, which begins at the official start of the school day to the official end of the school day, students may not use these devices. During instructional time, these devices must be turned off (not placed on silent or vibrate mode). It would also be prudent to put the device away. Use of the device includes making calls, texting, sending emails, taking pictures/video and other similar actions. Furthermore, parents and other persons are urged not to call/text/email their child during instructional time. In the event of an emergency they may contact their child via the school’s phone system. 3. What are the consequences if I chose to use my cell phone or similar device during instructional time? The device will be confiscated and returned only to the parent. Repeated violations will result in further disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, being placed in In‐school Suspension and/or having a local formal hearing. 4. I believe I have a unique circumstance that requires me to use my device. Is there an exception? Yes, there is. Students who have significant medical conditions or other circumstances that require the emergency use of one of these devices may have their parent discuss the matter with the local school principal. The principal, at his/her discretion, may allow use of the device in designated emergency conditions. 5. Using cell phones and other similar devices is a way of life these days. Everyone has one. Why is it important to have a rule prohibiting their use during instructional time? The goal of the Premier DeKalb County School System is to promote high student achievement by providing a learning environment that is safe, orderly, free from distraction and conducive for learning. These devices have been used during the instructional time to disrupt the environment, bully/threaten other students, spread rumors, signal/video fights and inappropriate behaviors in the restrooms and other similar activities. Some activities have even been uploaded to Internet sites. Moreover, these devices have been used to take pictures of tests, transmit answers to other students and other forms of academic dishonesty. Schools are places of education and certainly these behaviors distract from that function.
6. I have seen teachers and other school employees using their cell phones during school, even during class. Are they also expected to follow this rule? Yes, teachers and other school employees (even district‐level administrators) are expected to model appropriate behavior relative to using these devices. Everyone should work together to promote student success and positive learning environments.