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Westchester School District Expands Uniform Policy

The Mount Vernon School District is expanding its uniform policy at the behest of local parents.
The Mount Vernon School District is expanding its uniform policy at the behest of local parents. Photo Credit: Contributed

Mount Vernon students will be sporting a new look districtwide come September following a parent’s push to adopt a new policy on school uniforms.

Following a districtwide survey that was disseminated to district families and the PTA last year, the Board of Education unanimously approved a new policy, which will “allow schools in the district to mandate students wear uniforms if they present certification to the Board.”

During the next academic year, the uniform policy will be expanded and implemented in the District’s reconfigured Pre K-7 and Pre K-8 buildings, as well as the new AB Davis STEAM High School.

The school uniform mandate was initially adopted by the district’s Board of Trustees in 2016. The policy allows schools in the district to “mandate students wear uniforms if they present certification to the Board. Proper certification will include agreements from a minimum of 80 percent of families at the school.”

Uniforms were worn in Mount Vernon elementary schools during the current school year. According to the policy, “the intent is not to inhibit or prohibit any student who is not in uniform from receiving the education to which he or she is entitled. Therefore, no student will be subjected to disciplinary actions for not complying with the policy.”

Students will have input on potential uniform selection and there will be uniform waivers for health or religious reasons. Due to the expected potential cost of the uniforms, the district has vowed to offer assistance in purchasing them to benefit families struggling financially.

Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Hamilton said he “is pleased by the support this initiative has garnered.”

“District parents initiated this Uniform Policy adoption; and across the City of Mount Vernon, they are very supportive of this effort, citing the cost-effectiveness of the program and improvement in the school culture and pride,” Hamilton said in a letter to parents. “We look forward to building on this positive trend.”

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