DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan City Schools has changed the student wardrobe policy for the upcoming school year.
For the last 10 years, the system has implemented a school uniform code for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The uniform code mandated students wear solid-colored, collared button-down shirts and khaki, black, or blue pants or shorts.
Starting in the fall, kindergarten through eighth-grade students will remain on the uniform code and ninth through twelfth graders will adhere to a dress code.
Dress Code, as defined by Dothan City Schools, means students must wear shirts with collars, but they don't have to be a solid color. Students may also wear jeans to school, but they can't have holes or rips.
Scott Faulk, Director of Safety, Security, and Attendance for Dothan City Schools, says the decision to make the change stemmed from discussions with high school administration.
"High School administration felt like there were some students who were well dressed and well behaved while they were dressed, but unfortunately what they had on did not fit the uniform policy," Faulk said.
Those concerns were brought before the Code of Conduct Committee and after meetings with parents and students about the dress code, it was decided to make changes.
Faulk says the decision to roll back the uniform policy for high school students and not younger students was to make sure this is something that would work for the system, "We wanted to start small. See how it goes and if it works possibly expand it."
He says he hopes it addresses a major issue the school system is hoping to fix - attendance, "Some students have informed me there have been some days - 'I was just tired of wearing the uniform and I just didn't come to school'," said Faulk, "We're hoping this will bring stronger attendance to the classroom. After speaking with the majority of students it brings a sense of independence and being one's self and being comfortable."
Dothan City Schools is hosting an information session on June 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Dothan High School's Auditorium to discuss the changes. They're encouraging parents to attend to ask questions.