To The School Board and Administration of John Adams Academy,
We, the parents of John Adams Academy, in order to support academic excellence, instill unity among the student body, promote modesty and professionalism, and foster a sense of school pride, fully embrace the idea of a school uniform and dress code. We, are, however, concerned about the rigidness of the 2012-2013 uniform policy. In particular, we would like to address the issue of winter wear.
The current policy states "Winter wear (coats, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.) should be solid red, navy, black or khaki in color, no pictures, logos, designs, or fashions (no lettering on outwear, except for the John Adams Academy logo will be allowed). John Adams Academy logo beanie hats are acceptable. No other headwear will be allowed. . . . (Examples of shoes that may NOT be worn are: boots slippers, clogs, Heelies, cowboy boots or any other inappropriate shoe)."The administration is interpreting "solid" to mean one color without any detail or contrast, even in approved colors, ie. a solid red and blue jacket. This policy as written and implemented is very challenging for parents to comply with, particularly when it comes to coats. It seems to us, as parents, unnecessarily strict for coats, which are only worn outside. Regarding hats, the JAA beanies are prohibitively expensive for many of us, thus ruling out hats entirely for our scholars. Additionally, the administration has interpreted the above phrase about inappropriate shoes to mean that boots of any kind are not allowed. This is completely impractical on a rainy day, and will lead to the scholars ruining their regular school uniform shoes, or at least soaking them. This is a big concern for many of us both because it is not good for our scholars to spend the day in cold, wet shoes and because it will be a financial burden to replace shoes more often.
We appeal to you to take action to modify this IMMEDIATELY, at the beginning of the winter season, so that our children can attend school wearing clothing that is warm and dry enough without overburdening parents. Many of us already had acquired winter wear for our scholars before the new policy was put into place. Others made purchases based on their understanding of the policy which turns out to be very different from the administration's understanding. Still others are combing through second-hand stores trying to find coats that will suit their family's budget and meet the school's requirements. This cannot wait.
We would recommend a policy that allows coats in school and other conservative colors without pictures, logos, patterns, etc to be worn outside the classroom only. It is much easier for our scholars (and their parents) to find layering pieces like sweaters and sweatshirts in solid school colors to be worn in the classroom if needed. We would also like hats that are in school colors to be allowed outside the classroom. Boots should be allowed, at least on rainy days. Perhaps they should be all black, in keeping with the current shoe guidelines. It still seems reasonable to disallow slipper boots if you deem them inappropriate.
We feel that these accommodations will not affect the goals mentioned above, nor the mission and ideals of John Adams Academy. As this is a free public charter school, the dress code should not represent a significant financial burden to scholars and their families, or a health threat. We trust that you feel the same.
Sincerely and respectfully,
John Adams Academy Parents
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