At Monday’s Cleburne ISD meeting, trustees reviewed responses from Cleburne High Schools students, teachers, parents and community members about their thoughts on various aspects of the high school dress code.
About 700 people responded to the dress code survey, some of who said CHS’ dress code is too lax compared with the middle school dress codes that require students to wear polo shirts tucked in, with jeans and a belt.
CHS’ dress code mirrors that of many high schools in that students have freedom to wear more of what they want, so long as midriffs are covered, pants are pulled up, there are no profane or vulgar images printed on T-shirts and hair color is natural, among other things.
But even with the dress code in place, there are far too many problems with students not abiding by the rules, trustees said.
“Pretty much everybody [in the workforce] has a uniform,” newly elected board President Brent Easdon said. “I do find it embarrassing to ask kids to pull their pants up.”
Trustee Jay Wilson agreed, adding that he sees far too many students in the parking lot out of dress code.
When it comes to the number of students actually disobeying the dress code, however, there are maybe 50 on any given day, noted trustee Wendell Dempsey.
Principal Jennifer Baadsgaard said sometimes teachers say they sent a student to the office, but that student never shows up.
Baadsgaard argued that, yes, administrators and teachers need to tighten the dress code requirements and there needs to be a more simplified way to ensure students do not return to class still out of dress code.
Superintendent Tim Miller argued that a few dress code changes might be necessary, but nothing drastic.
“We need to prepare them for the workplace,” he said. “There will be no drastic changes because I feel that would once again put CISD at a disadvantage to other schools in the area. We need to make sure Jennifer and her staff are clear [on the requirements].”
He said the main goal would be enforcing the dress code policy, to which Baadsgaard agreed. She said office staff have already been briefed on the new rules about students signing in and out when they come to the office for discipline or dress code violations.
An official vote on the dress code is expected at the July 16 meeting.
Immediately after the dress code discussion, trustees discussed changes in student discipline.
More students were in the disciplinary alternative education program, or DAEP, this spring than in year’s past because of tightening up of discipline across the board, Miller said. Those in DAEP likely included students who failed to comply with dress code too many times.
“I don’t want to worry about some kid having frayed pants,” Trustee Teddy Martyniuk said. “Look at the real problem and deal with it is the bottom line. If the kids don’t abide, they get discipline and that’s it. I hear about good kids getting in trouble all the time and kids who are doing very bad things don’t get any discipline. Be consistent.”
Baadsgaard said the stricter discipline terms would help with the “5 percent of kids who take up 95 percent of our time.”
CISD officials are looking at bringing back discretionary DAEP placement, which would make it easier to place misbehaving students in DAEP.
“We’re not going to give them so many chances to mess up,” Miller said, adding that if a student fails to behave, there will be immediate consequences instead of “steps” to disciplinary action.
Local policy changes
Trustees voted to change local policy that required administrators to live in school district boundaries. Policy used to state that administrators have a year to move to the school district, but Miller said that could be a turnoff to those who own property in surrounding areas but are seeking employment in CISD.
Miller argued that many school districts have phased out such policies and it was time that CISD do the same. He said he would encourage administrators to live in Cleburne but that it would not be a requirement.
“I would still have expectations that they are highly involved,” Miller said, “But [current policy] would make current employees that we might promote forced to leave property that has been in their family for years.”
Later in the meeting, trustees approved the hiring of new Cooke Elementary School Principal Airemy Caudle, who lives in Grandview.
In other business, trustees:
zx Accepted a $10,500 donation to build a track at Adams Elementary School from the Parent Teacher Organization.
zx Accepted a bid and purchase in the amount of $49,794 to build a greenhouse at CHS.
zx Accepted a bid and purchase in the amount of $101,027 to resurface the track at Smith Middle School.
zx Accepted a bid from Carson’s Pest Control for 2012-13 for a cost of $1,054 per month and $3,751 over the summer.
zx Accepted a bid and purchase for UIL student insurance from The Baker Agency for $30,725.
zx Accepted bids and chose to continue use of Petroleum Traders and Lambert Oil for fuel and oil in 2012-13.
zx Accepted a bid and purchase of property, liability and auto insurance from Key & Piskuran in the amount of $233,371.
zx Accepted a copy paper bid from Flatt Sationers in the amount of $62,289.
zx Accepted bids from Electrostatic Painting to paint CHS athletic lockers for $28,265 and from Tarrant Paint and Stain to paint parts of CHS for $97,999.
zx Approved the hiring of Paige Hartley, assistant band director at Wheat Middle School; Otto Keubler, math teacher at CHS; Wesley Lynch, licensed specialist in school psychology for CISD; Mark McClure, assistant principal at Cleburne High School; Sarah McClure, assistant principal at Coleman Elementary School; Shay Moczygemba, educational diagnostician for CISD; Sam Odicio, fifth-grade teacher at Santa Fe Elementary School; Kailah Ramsey, biology teacher and swim coach at CHS; Holly Royster, assistant band director at Smith; Andy Smith, academic dean at CHS; Jennifer Young, librarian at Wheat; Dennis Grier, PE teacher and coach at Wheat; Jeaneen Harris, director of career and technical education at CISD; Keri Little, science teacher and coach at Wheat and Jenny McCoy, special education inclusion teacher at Wheat.
zx Miller approved the retirements of Eddie Baca, assistant principal at CHS, effective June 30; and Debbie McClure, secretary at Phoenix School, effective June 30.
zx Miller approved the resignations of Cynthia Luce, math teacher at CHS, effective June 2; Charles Perry, social studies teacher and coach at CHS, effective June 2; Meredith Perry, assistant principal at Cooke, effective June 30; and Brittany Ortiz, math teacher at CHS, effective June 2.