The Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees had a tense conversation about the enforcement of the standardized dress code during their Monday meeting.
After social media posts on Facebook stirred conversations of appropriate attire for Red Oak students, Red Oak ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Goddard affirmed the dress code already in place will be more strictly enforced by staff and administration.
The dress code committee made a few revisions, such as not allowing headphones to be worn inside the building, other than inside a classroom and only at the teacher’s discretion. Ripped and torn clothing is also not allowed, including holes in jeans. In addition, hoods are not permitted “due to safety and security," which led to a conversation to clarify the definition of spirit wear. Spirit wear includes a maroon, white or gray shirt with Red Oak ISD logos or artwork and intended to promote school spirit or endorse official school groups and organization.
A video will be published at the end of the week that discusses the standardized dress code and why the system in place helps set the district apart. Trustee Melanie Peterson voiced the new policies presented at the July meeting do not give stricter guidelines. She relayed an individual previously had a unicorn shirt approved by an individual of the district.
“The stricter guidelines that I thought we had discussed — this says the exact same things as last year,” Peterson affirmed. Peterson asked for clarification for the parents that have already done back-to-school shopping.
Trustee Dr. Joy Shaw piggybacked off Peterson, saying the standardized dress code is deteriorating. “We are not going to see this garbage anymore. When you walk onto a Red Oak campus, you will see a sea of maroon and white. Period,” Shaw advocated.
Goddard agreed with both trustees. He clarified the dress code committee did not increase the standards, but, instead, the commitment to enforce the dress code has to be essential.
“We are going to do a much better job this year,” Goddard assured.
Trustee Eric Thompson said, “We need to hold our campus administrators accountable to carry on with the policy we have. I think we need to hold our teachers and staff accountable and assure they do their job enforcing the policy.
"[…] Our purpose is to create a safe opportunity for students to learn," he continued. "I don’t want to put too much focus on what we are wearing, but we need to remember we have pride in our district and are professional so what they tell me is that people don’t know the purpose of the dress code.”
TACKLING PROOF OF RESIDENCY
Kevin Freels, ROISD Assistant Superintendent of District Operations, discussed admission and residency requirements, as Red Oak ISD is not an open district, but does enroll students from outside of the city limits.
FD Legal, a policy set by the State of Texas, lists nine standard instances that the state says a district must enroll students. There is then FD local, a local ROISD policy, established by the trustees.
Goddard pointed out that people can apply to the district if an individual uses proof of a contracted home located in district boundaries. Goddard suggested it might be in the district’s best interest to change the policy to read the enrollment application is not approved until the individual has closed on a home.
“It becomes an issue when you start accelerating growth. We are at a steady pace of growth and significant growth within our district. My recommendation is to look at the policy because it’s a very gray area,” Goddard suggested.
Along with that, Goddard wants the district to practice analyzing proof of residency. Every time a student enrolls they are required to show a valid proof of residency. Goddard wants proof of residency on an annual basis.
“We have caught fake water bills, so we need to make sure to verify and catch every bit of it,” Goddard affirmed.
The meeting adjourned at 8:34 p.m.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450