DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The ripped jeans look may be in with teenagers, but it is definitely out as appropriate attire for RSU 68 students. The school board banned clothing last June that has a “distressed look” consisting of rips, tears and holes in the pants.
The board reissued its edict at the beginning of the school year, warning both parents and students that any violations would result in students needing to change their clothes or be sent home. The new dress requirement has not resulted in many violations, according to Superintendent Alan Smith, but it has caused concern for at least two parents.
The board received two complaints during its Oct. 2 meeting about the new dress code. The parents believed the new policy was an overreaction to how students wanted to express themselves through their fashion.
School officials declined to make any changes to the dress code but indicated they would review the policy in the future.
“The board decided that this year the ‘distressed look’ wasn’t going to be allowed,” said Smith. “We will review the policy later in the school year, but so far it has gone very well.”
In other action, the board nominated Chairman Rick Johnston of Charleston to serve as its voting delegate on Oct. 25 and 26 during the Maine School Management Association fall convention in Augusta.
Johnston will be voting on four proposals the association has put forward to its membership.
The RSU 68 board indicated it favors the MSBA’s positions on proposals on professional development, teacher preparation programs, superintendents’ agreements and virtual schools.
The board favored an MSBA proposal to urge the Maine Department of Education, in consultation with the major educational organizations — colleges and universities — to develop a plan of state financial assistance to support professional development for teachers and principals on both a local and regional basis.
RSU 68 directors are also in favor of the association’s proposal to create a special commission to examine the current state of approved teacher preparation programs to determine if they appropriately prepare teachers to help all students master the Common Core Standards.
The directors are also supportive of the MSBA’s position that the state should not approve any future requests for virtual schools.
Smith indicated that the educational data resulting from these new schools have not been in the best interests of a majority of Maine students.
The district also has sided with the MSBA’s desire to urge the commissioner of education to cease overturning local superintendents’ decisions about requests for students to attend school outside of their home district.
The MSBA believes Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen has overturned too many
superintendents’ decision in an effort to expand school choice within the state.
The RSU 68 directors will meet next at 6:30 Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Monson Community Center.