Friday, January 06, 2012

School Uniforms

In the past, I'd never been too keen on school uniforms but when I founded the charter school where my children currently attend, I agreed with the other founding members and parents that it was the right choice. My children did their fair share of complaining, of course, but now, a year later, I must admit that I LOVE school uniforms.

To be fair, our school's uniform policy is pretty relaxed compared to other local charter schools. There are specified colors to enforce uniformity and dress pants and collared shirts are required but there are no nit picky restrictions on style details. Some schools around here have weird rules about pleats, pockets, belts, specific collar styles on girl's blouses, only certain styles of jumpers allowed, no mock turtlenecks, no jackets, ties required, dark blazers with logos every Monday, just black socks, dress shoes only, jewelry restrictions for boys, haircuts for boys must leave the ears showing, limited sleeve styles, which days you can wear which styles and colors, etc.

Basically at Quail Run, you just have to show up in the right color of clothes, they have to be clean and mended and you can't wearing anything that draws attention to yourself (like wearing a green mowhawk or red tennis shoes). No jeans and T-shirts, though. It is also nice that we can choose any uniform vendor we want. This means that I can embroider or screen print them myself.

Our mornings are so smooth because there is no fighting over what to wear to school. My second grader just grabs a shirt from the closet and a pair of pants from the drawer. He pretty much chooses navy blue pants, a navy polo shirt and his blue zipper hoodie every day. (We did start the year with a slew of white polos and khaki pants but my second grader does his own laundry and one trip through the dryer with an orange crayon put all of those clothing items out of commission.)

I now officially take back anything negative I may have previously said about school uniforms possibly limiting children's creativity and freedom of expression. As a mom, I absolutely love them and they are worth the trade off. I'm glad I changed my mind. My kids can express themselves on Saturdays.

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