Younger Streaks just want to be like the big kids. And they're already starting to dress like them, even though the Sandusky Schools' elementary uniform policy doesn't go into effect until August.
"We already went through this with the older children," said Ruth Turner, parent of a high school and elementary student. "My youngest has been wanting to dress like her older sister since the school year started. She's already got a few sets of clothes because we've known (the policy) was going to happen sooner or later."
Uniforms were instituted at the high school and junior high schools this school year as a way to increase attendance and graduation rates and to improve discipline. Two months into the school year, high school officials reported 40 percent fewer truancies, 59 percent fewer class removals and 37 percent fewer cases of inappropriate conduct.
The elementary uniform policy is similar to the policy adopted in grades 7-12.
"Modifications have been made for our younger students," said superintendent Bill Pahl.
"Younger children, K-3 may wear elastic waist pants and are not required to wear belts. The younger children, again K-3 may also wear jumpers."
School board vice president Faith Denslow said many of the elementary students have already adopted the look.
"Many of the younger children are already copying the uniforms their siblings are wearing," she said. "They want to look like their older heroes."
The Campus Wear Policy was adopted to "provide a professional dress environment aligning to the District's goals to assure high achievement for all learners, promote a safe and orderly learning environment, support the character development of each student to become a responsible citizen, and develop a high performing organization that is efficient."
Elementary principals, staff and parents have seen many students come in sporadically sporting the uniforms, and many of the buildings have "spirit days," when wearing uniforms is encouraged.
"The kids are already wearing what next year's policy requires," said parent volunteer Mary Sloane. "By next year, many will already be familiarized with it, and it won't be like jumping into cold water. It won't be a shock because they're slowly getting used to it and seeing it rather than the high school students who went cold turkey."
Not every parent is in favor of the uniform policy, however.
"How the heck is this professional or going to cease bad attitudes?" asked parent Tom Davie. "Some kids just plain have bad attitudes, and switching up their school clothes isn't going to eliminate that. We've got the overweight children having to wear belts and tuck in their shirt, which furthers the scrutiny on them. There's still brand name uniforms and expensive shoes. We can limit what they wear, but there will still be a multitude of ways to show who has money and who doesn't."
Many parents say that in time, uniforms will be a non-issue. Students will come into kindergarten wearing uniforms, so it will be the norm for them.
"Our world is totally different than it was 10, 20 or even 30 years ago," said Nancy Kindel, mother of four. "These days, kids are judged by what they wear, what they say and what they do. It sucks, but it's the truth. People don't like change, so we'll always have the complainers, but gradually we're helping our kids by offering one less thing to be judged on.
"Plus, they look great!"
Sandusky City Schools K-6 Campus Wear Policy
Pants: Colors: Tan or Navy Blue
Fabric: Cotton or Twill; No Jeans, Denim, Corduroy, Sweat or Wind Pants. No side zippers; No leg (cargo) pockets; standard front pockets sewn inside the pants;
MUST have belt-loops, and belt MUST be worn in Grades 4-6.
* Elastic waist (with or without belt-loops) in Grades K-3.
Length: Cannot drag on floor and cannot be higher than the top of heel. Must be worn at waist and may not be more than one size too large or small. No banding or tucking pants into footwear
Shorts/Capris: Colors: Tan or Navy Blue
Fabric: Cotton or Twill; No Jeans, Denim, Corduroy, or Athletic Shorts No side zippers; No leg (cargo) pockets; Standard front pockets sewn inside the pants; MUST have belt-loops and belt MUST be worn
Length: At or below the knee. Must be worn at waist and may not be more than one size too large or small. In addition, all pants, shorts will be fitted and hemmed, properly fitted at the waist and may not be altered in any way except to fit properly.
Jumpers: (K-3 ONLY) Colors: Tan or Navy Blue
Fabric: Cotton or Twill
Length: At or below the knee. Appropriate shirt/sweater to be worn underneath jumpers.
Shirts: Colors: White or Navy Blue collared shirts. Short or Long Sleeved Polos (no layering of shirts). Short or long-sleeved oxfords. Shirts must be tucked in. No more than top two buttons unbuttoned. All shirts must have buttons. If an undershirt is worn, it must be PLAIN white (no colors). Athletic or school 0rganization sponsored shirts are permitted if within the guidelines.
Sweaters: Colors: White or Navy Blue
Sweater vests: V-Neck, Crew Neck and Cardigan (no hoods)- Campus Wear shirts (listed above) must be worn under all sweaters. Shirts must be tucked in.
Sweatshirts: Colors: White or Navy Blue. Crew Neck ONLY (no hoods). Solid colors only. No logos. Campus Wear shirts (listed above) must be worn under all sweatshirts. Shirts must be tucked in.
Shoes: No open-toed shoes -- no flip-flops -- no slippers. Shoe with closures must be worn as intended. Tied shoes must be tied, buckled shoes must be buckled.
Socks: Must wear solid color socks, tights, or hosiery. (No leggings)
Belts: Standard dress belt in black/brown, or solid color belt in same color as pants, must be worn with clothing with belt loops. Belts must fit (no excessive length) and have a standard buckle. * Grades 4-6
Ties: Neckties/Bowties- optional; must be school appropriate.
Head Gear: No Head Gear is to be worn inside the school building during school hours.
Jewelry: No heavy metal or heavy chains allowed. (No spiked accessories, dog collars, or hardware not considered apparel).
Blue Streak T-Shirts/Sweatshirts: Special days (limited), as designated by school or district. Sweatshirts may not be hooded. No Pocket or logos
School Groups & Organizations: School curricular and extracurricular organizations may wear their designated SCS (Sandusky City Schools) apparel on meeting or performance days.
*No embellishments may be added to clothing (i.e. paint, embroidery, pins, buttons, tags). Sales tags must be removed from all clothing.
Physical Education Attire Only:
Shorts/ Colors: Navy Blue or Gray
Sweatpants: Fabric: Cotton or Mesh material. Shorts must be the proper size (no more than one size too large or small) and worn at the waist.
Shirts/ Color: Navy Blue, White, or Gray
Sweatshirts: Fabric: Cotton T-shirts/sweatshirts. Shirts must be the proper size (no more than one size too large or small). No hoods on shirts
For all clothing, excluding shoes, no logos permitted. No oversized, tattered, dirty, torn clothing permitted. Solid colors only. Undergarments (excluding T-shirt collars) shall not be exposed or be seen through clothing. No see-through clothing permitted. No outerwear shall be worn inside. Campus Wear uniform applies to all students in the building (including those in Behavioral Intervention Assistance). Any religious or special needs variations to the Campus Wear requirements must be approved by administration, medical or IEP authorization. Variations may include skirts for religious reasons but skirts must be floor length and must fit the color, fabric, and size requirements of all other apparel.
(Failure to Comply with Campus Wear Dress Code)
Failure to comply with Campus Wear policy will result in a call home immediately. Parents will have the option of bringing the appropriate clothes to school; or students will be sent home to change. Failure to return with proper attire will result in unauthorized/unexcused absences from classes.
*Any missed class time because of uniform issues will result in UA consequences will follow attendance policy. Refer to attendance policy.