Schools not so uniform after all

SANDUSKY Uniforms? Most local school districts say great job, Sandusky, but no thanks. "Congratulatio
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Uniforms? Most local school districts say great job, Sandusky, but no thanks.

"Congratulations to Sandusky and the great turnaround they have had by switching to uniforms," Bellevue parent Nicole Geddy said. "But, we are a smaller area and clothing doesn't seem to be a big issue around here. If we were a few sizes larger, than maybe the board and parents would consider it to keep students in line."

Uniforms were instituted at Sandusky High School and junior high schools this school year as a way to increase attendance, graduation rates and 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.

In a survey of 100 people, administrators learned teachers and parents overwhelmingly approved of the uniforms while students overwhelmingly preferred the previous dress code policy.

Because of the success at the junior and senior high schools, Sandusky recently announced a K-6 uniform policy will be instituted for the 2008-09 school year. Huron school officials are also considering instituting a uniform policy.

Though area parents are on the fence about the issue, many are wondering if they should start stocking up on navy and khaki.

"If uniforms are going to come into play in the next few years, I'd love to know so I can start bargain shopping," Geddy said.

Bellevue superintendent Stephen Schumm said the district knows of the positive effect uniforms have had for Sandusky, but Bellevue's near future does not consist of polos and khakis.

"I think everybody in Bellevue, whether they're board members or parents, have read newspapers and are familiar with the uniform issue," Schumm said. "But, no one's mentioned taking it any further than that."

Pat Adkins, superintendent of Port Clinton City Schools said uniforms are also off the radar for his district.

"We haven't had any discussion," he said. "This is not something in the immediate future."

"I think those Sandusky students look sharp," Port Clinton resident Shane Handen said. "I would love to see my kids and their peers wearing appropriate clothing. Then more emphasis can be put elsewhere. The more on the school work, the better."

Perkins school board member Steve Schuster said that although uniforms are part of the district's strategic plan, the idea has not been discussed seriously.

"We as a board have not had any formal discussions on it," he said. "I don't know if there's a timeline attached to it."

Vermilion, Berlin-Milan, Clyde-Green Springs, Danbury and Monroeville superintendents did not return calls seeking comment.