HAMLET — Students’ attire will no longer be limited to khakis and polo shirts starting next school year.
The Richmond County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to approve a new dress code policy, replacing the uniform policy that has been in place for nearly two decades.
School Board member Jerry Ethridge was the lone dissenter.
The change comes a year after a student gathered signatures for a petition to hang up the uniform policy.
Melvin Ingram, executive director of Auxiliary Services, presented the policy to the board, thanking those who helped to shape it.
“Since our last board meeting, we took the policy on a test drive and we presented it to teachers of the year and to administration to ensure that the policy could be implemented consistently and with fidelity,” Ingram said. “We also consulted with legal counsel in terms of language of the policy.
Ingram added that principals and teachers were asked to share the proposed policy with stakeholders “to offer any suggestions they may have.”
According to the policy, students must be covered from the shoulders to no less than 6 inches above the knee in non-see-through fabric and clothing must cover all undergarments.
Students will also have to wear shoes with backs or heel straps at all times. Bedroom shoes are prohibited.
Jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies will be allowed, although hoods must be down while indoors. However tank tops and tops with spaghetti straps are taboo. Tops don’t have to be tucked in but must cover the waist and not extend past mid-thigh.
See the full policy below.
It should be noted that the provision regarding graphics is pending until it can be reviewed by legal council and will be taken up at a meeting on June 27.
Architect Steven King gave an update on, as well as a proposed timeline for, the completions of all projects for the remodeling of Richmond Senior, Fairview Heights and Mineral Springs.
The timeline for completion of the projects is as follows:
- Mineral Springs Aug. 9, 2024,
- Fairview Heights and Richmond Senior by Nov. 12, 2024.
Retired Maj. Darryl A. Kelly, head of the Army JROTC program at RSHS, recognized the Raider Battalion archery team and specifically Cadet Jonathan Norris who stood out during the national competition held in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We competed in two events against 34 JROTC programs from across the nation,” said Kelly. “There were 200 programs from middle school and high school that were competing in the event as well.”
Norris, who is a rising senior, was grateful for the leadership of his superiors.
“I’d like to say thank you … (for) pushing us to be the best we can, and making sure we are on top of everything we are supposed to be,” said Norris.
Norris was also recently awarded a medal by the Sandhills Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Career Development Director Jason Perakis recognized two students from the SkillsUSA student organization at RSHS and their successes in the state competition in the early spring at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
“SkillsUSA is built around the framework of technical, personal and workspace skills,” said Perakis.
Bethzaira Lopez Zapata entered advanced manufacturing and machining about a year ago and she presented the job skills demo which placed first in the state and she will be attending the national championship in Atlanta.
Naaman Perakis placed first in the drone competition, however, due to other scholastic commitments, he will not be able to attend the national championship.
From the www.skillsusa.org website: “SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce…SkillsUSA serves middle school, high school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.”
Blair Small and Lashuna Shubert, teachers at Cordova Middle and West Rockingham Elementary, respectively, were recognized as successful participants in the Aspiring Leaders program.
“(This initiative) assists teachers in growing leadership skills and knowledge throughout our own schools and in the school community,” said Dr. Kate Smith, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “We scheduled monthly meetings which focused on topics like managing conflict, being an agent of change, school finance and a variety of topics specifically related to administration and leadership.”
Shubert said that she felt honored to have been able to participate in the program.
“This program was a phenomenal experience,” said Shubert. “To be able to participate with educators throughout the district who I normally don’t have conversations with about leadership topics was amazing.”
Small said that the human element in leadership is something she never realized was so important.
“We looked at what it takes to be a good leader…an effective leader…and a leader someone would want to work with and work for,” Small said.
Earlier in the meeting, Gerard Morrison approached the School Board to request additional funding for music and arts in the schools.
Morrison, founder of the John Coltrane Edutainment Festival, held each October to honor the jazz legend who was born in Hamlet, also encouraged school leaders to attend the event “(so) so “we can cultivate and polish these talents that exist in the community.”
“You’re our leaders and we follow your lead.”
William R. Toler contributed to this story.