School Uniforms at Revere Public Schools

August 21, 2013
By
The McKinley Elementary School kicked off the school year on Tuesday morning – the first school in the district to start and one of the first in the state as well. Students arrived in uniforms and attendance was very high despite the earlier start. The McKinley works on an extending learning program that allows them to start the year one week before the rest of the district. Shown here are (left to right) teachers Valerie Paraiso, Annette Romero, Assistant Principal Nancy Martel and Principal Ed Moccia. In the front row are First Graders Lucas Jimenez and Kamyla Ortez.

The McKinley Elementary School kicked off the school year on Tuesday morning – the first school in the district to start and one of the first in the state as well. Students arrived in uniforms and attendance was very high despite the earlier start. The McKinley works on an extending learning program that allows them to start the year one week before the rest of the district. Shown here are (left to right) teachers Valerie Paraiso, Annette Romero, Assistant Principal Nancy Martel and Principal Ed Moccia. In the front row are First Graders Lucas Jimenez and Kamyla Ortez.

All three middle schools and two elementary schools will join the school uniform parade this year, making every school in the district (aside from Revere High School) adhering to a strict school uniform code.

“Every student in the district up to grade 8 will be in a uniform this year,” said Superintendent Paul Dakin. “It will be a big change, but one that the parent groups at each of the schools has endorsed. I honestly think it saves parents a lot of stress in the morning about what their child will wear and I know it definitely saves money. Parents have told us that. There has been talk of it at the high school, but I think we all agree that at some point you have to let kids cut their teeth on deciding their own identity. If they have to wait to grade 9 to do that, I’m fine with it.”

The Paul Revere School was the first to debut uniforms two years ago, and they did so with tremendous success.

That led to the McKinley Elementary, the Garfield Elementary and the Whelan Elementary making the change last year. By all accounts, things went quite well.

“I had no complaints last year about school uniforms,” said McKinley Principal Ed Moccia. “Most parents praised it.”

This year, the Lincoln Elementary and the Beachmont Elementary joined the crowd to make every elementary school – um – uniform.

While that will be a change for those school, the biggest changes are expected to come at the middle school level.

All three schools have adopted the school uniform this year, and that only came after several years of parents rejecting the idea. At the end of last year, they seemed to reconsider.

“My School Improvement Council discussed it last year and they voted it down for our school,” said Principal Cindy Evans of the Rumney Marsh Academy. “The Council’s makeup didn’t change much, but they decided to revisit it at the end of the school year and approved it.

The same story played out at the Garfield Middle and the Susan B. Anthony Middle, said Principals Danielle Mokaba and Joanne Willett.

All three middle school principals said they are excited to have their students in uniforms because they anticipate fewer problems.

“I think we all felt it was going to really solve some problems we constantly deal with,” said Willett.

Added Evans, “I think we’ll spend less time on enforcing the dress code and at the middle school level kids push the envelope. Addressing those issues takes  time that could be better spent on other issues as opposed to figuring out who has on flip flops and which girl has a low-cut shirt on. “

Mokaba said her school had already seen the uniforms in their building with the Garfield Elementary, and she also said that most other middle schools in the area that she has visited already use uniforms.

Willett said it also is an issue of leveling the playing field for students.

“The uniforms are very cost effective,” she said. “It helps level the playing field for the diversity of the socio-economic piece in our schools. People can buy the $5 polo shirt from Old Navy and not the $50 Abercrombie shirt.”

Evans added  that for her school it is a point of pride and school spirit.

“It really does promote school pride for the kids,” she said.

Evans added that she will also be wearing a uniform come next Tuesday, Aug. 27th. However, the uniform is optional for staff and administration.

“I love the uniform,” she said. “In my life I have had the opportunity to work in positions that required uniforms and it’s a relief. It’s one less stresser in the morning so I’m looking forward to it.”

Uniforms are available at most stores in the area, though each school will have specific information about where to get the uniforms. Also, each uniform is different for each school.

For the middle schools, it shakes out like this:

•SBA – Navy, white or red polo shirts with khaki or navy pants or knee-length dresses.

•GMA and RMA – dark green, black or white polo shirts with khaki pants or khaki knee-length dresses.

Needless to say, all three principals said they would be taking a hard line on the uniforms starting day one, and anyone showing up without the uniform will get a call home and a parent or guardian will have to bring the uniform to school. “We’re kind of taking the hard line approach,” said Evans. “We’ve all made calls to the homes and it’s been publicized and parents have been informed about this since the end of last year. So, on the first offense, they will get a call home and the parent or guardian will have to bring a change of clothing to them.”

  • Robin

    I love the school uniforms. All the children look very well put together and no one gets bullied about the clothes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bandit41073 Tim Brown

    Hitler was for school uniforms too.

  • ripoff

    I think its funny we are suppose to believe other schools just revisited the idea after shooting it down for years. $5 polo shirt, they dont tell you how you have to buy $25 sweatpants through school pto when they cost $5 at walmart

  • Italod

    Why don’t the schools and city set up a system where the clothes could be centrally purchased through the school system, e.g., a centered location at one of the school system buildings where these can be housed and purchased, or smaller such outlets at each of the affected schools? Then school system-purchasing, branding, and students’/guardians’ buying of the clothing could perhaps be done more cost-effectively and in bulk (?).

  • teach

    irrelevant

  • uniforms

    I don’t believe the sweatpants are that expensive with the school name

  • Sean

    Are you normal?

  • Should have home schooled

    I think they are terrible! I am new to the district and to be honest, would have looked at homes elsewhere had I known about them! The whole argument that it equalizes children is simply untrue. With allowable variations in color (navy and khaki) and styles, children with higher family incomes will have all the allowable options and the less affluent will still have less! AND now I have to buy my child clothes for week ends and days off AND ugly clothes we both hate to wear to school and falsely foster some sense of uniformity that breeds not unity but assimilation! North Korea has some great uniforms too! I will take individuality every time!
    vive la différence

  • Freedom of Expression Rules

    I think he has a point!

  • teach

    no one cares

  • what’s wrong with you

    ya good luck with home schooling

  • Joe DeSantis

    I like the Idea, I just think if the student’s have to wear uniforms so should the Teachers and Administrator’s

  • Should have home schooled

    Well, I certainly would have better luck teaching correct spelling and punctuation than your teachers did! “ya” feel me? Trashy!

  • Freedom of Expression Rules

    Clearly I do! Your comment negates itself in reply! Silly! For one named “teach”, you certainly have a lot to learn!

  • Freedom of Expression Rules

    BUT they would clearly balk at this violation of THEIR freedom of expression!

  • ripoff2

    He’s right teachers and principals would have to wear it too.

  • ripoff2

    But what about the high prices of the uniforms? Have you thought of that?

  • Paul Revere
  • Paul Revere

    Correct !

  • Stupid idea

    I love it how he interviewed the teachers (who are most likely NOT going to wear the uniforms) instead of interviewing the students who HAVE to wear them.

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