On Friday, a new era begins in McCormick County schools.
Students will return to class a month earlier than their peers in neighboring counties. They will be clad in semi-formal attire — khakis, polo shirts, knee-length skirts — in the district’s red and black.
The year-round calendar and uniform dress code were adopted by the district’s board of trustees this spring at the suggestion of interim Superintendent Betty Bagley, who said a tighter dress code would improve morale and a shorter summer break would benefit students who tend to forget much of what they learned during the school year during their two months outside the classroom.
The moves were not without controversy. At community meetings organized by Bagley, some parents chafed at the requirement they buy their children new clothes and change summer plans they had made before the board voted on the year-round calendar.
And yet both policies were approved with overwhelming majorities.
Although students’ and teachers’ summer break was halved, their school-year recesses are more frequent and longer. Students will be out for two weeks at the beginning of October, the end of December and mid-March.
Boys will be required to wear polo shirts, button-down shirts, sweaters or cardigans. Girls will be allowed the same, as well as collared blouses. All tops will have to be red, black or white.
Boys will be allowed slacks, shorts and cargo shorts. Girls will be allowed skirts, dresses, jumpers capri pants slacks and shorts. All will have to be black, grey or khaki. Denim is not allowed.
Elementary, middle and high school supply lists for the 2019-20 school year can be found on the district’s Facebook page.