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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Dress Code in TCDSB Schools

 
All Elementary schools within the jurisdiction of the Board shall adopt an Appropriate Dress Code or Uniform Dress Code.

All Secondary schools within the jurisdiction of the Board shall adopt a Uniform Dress Code.
 
Parents are encouraged to review the local dress code at their child’s school and to direct their questions to the principal of the school.
 

TCDSB Policy Register

SAFE SCHOOLS:
DRESS CODE FOR PUPILS POLICY S.S.07

 

Date Approved:

 

Dates of Amendment:

June 23, 2011 - Board

May 15, 2003 - Board

October 16, 2002 - Board

 

 

 

Cross Reference:

·         TCDSB Dress Code for Pupils Policy S.S.07

·         TCDSB Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Policy F.P.04

·         TCDSB Safe Schools: Code of Conduct S.S. 09

·         TCDSB Safe Schools, Progressive Discipline Policy S.S.10

·         TCDSB Purchasing Policy F.P.01

·         Education Act, S.301(6)

·         Education Act, S.302(5)

·         Education Act, Reg. 298 Operations of Schools (Requirements for Pupils) 5.23 (1)(f)

·         PPM 119 Religious Accommodation

  • PPM 145 Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour

POLICY

A. INTRODUCTION

To foster, through the implementation of a Local Dress Code, a positive and safe Catholic learning environment consistent with the mission and governing values of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (the “Board”). This policy applies to all students under the jurisdiction of the Board.

B. PRINCIPLES

The Dress Code for Pupils Policy (the “Policy”) of the Board:

• reflects the mission of the Board, which includes providing a safe and welcoming learning environment that is an example of Catholic community and sense of belonging in all our schools

• endorses and supports our commitment as visible role models of Gospel values and Catholic doctrines, teachings, and integration of Catholic beliefs into the total learning experience

• contributes to providing a learning and working environment that is respectful of the needs and well-being of all individuals

C. POLICY DEFINITIONS

All student attire must be in keeping with our Catholic teachings and beliefs, and reflect principles of modesty and shall not include the following:

• short shorts/skirts, bare midriffs, halter tops, tank tops etc.
• accessories such as spiked bracelets/necklaces or any externals not in keeping with the spirit of the dress code as determined by the local school
• language and/or representation on attire that indicates gang affiliation and/or depicts violence, profanity or discrimination of any kind whatsoever or that otherwise demeans an identifiable individual or group

In this policy, references are made to the terms Uniform Dress Code, Appropriate Dress Code, and Local Dress Code. Each of these terms is defined as follows:

i) Uniform Dress Code – prescriptive in nature, determined by the school, specifying clothing that must be purchased from a particular uniform supplier, often with guidelines as to when certain items can/must be worn. No variations from this uniform dress are permitted except as are provided in the Local Dress Code.

ii) Appropriate Dress Code (elementary schools only) – consists of any combination of navy blue and white garments (i.e., plain white top, navy blue bottom, navy blue top and bottom, no denim). Dress code options that may be decided locally may include: dress details (e.g., collar or no collared shirts), inclusion and colour of over-garments (e.g., vests), school crests, gym attire and accessories.

*The elementary schools that already had a uniform or colour dress code in place prior to June, 2009 were “grandfathered” (i.e. there was no expectation for these schools to change their Local Dress Code to navy blue and white).

iii) Local Dress Code: – refers to the dress code adopted by a school (i.e., details regarding the Uniform Dress Code or Appropriate Dress Code).


D. LOCAL DRESS CODE REQUIREMENTS

1. All Elementary students within the jurisdiction of the Board shall adopt an Appropriate Dress Code or Uniform Dress Code.

2. All Secondary students within the jurisdiction of the Board shall adopt a Uniform Dress Code.

3. The Local Dress Code shall comply with the “principles of modesty” referred to in Section C.

4. Local Dress Codes must be consistent with the following:

• TCDSB Dress Code for Pupils Policy S.S.07
• TCDSB Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Policy F.P.04
• TCDSB Safe Schools: Code of Conduct S.S. 09
• TCDSB Safe Schools, Progressive Discipline Policy S.S.10
• TCDSB Purchasing Policy F.P.01
• Safe Schools Act, 2007: Education Act, S.302(5)
• Education Act, Reg. 298 Operations of Schools (Requirements for Pupils) 5.23 (1)(f)
• PPM 119 Religious Accommodation

5. School dress codes must take into consideration:

• affordability
• student/family mobility
• consequences for non-compliance with the Local Dress Code
• safety conditions
• age of the students
• maintenance of proper decorum
• neatness and cleanliness
• students with special needs

6. The responsibility for meeting the expectations of the Local Dress Code is primarily that of the parents/guardians of the students.

7. The enforcement of the Local Dress Code is the responsibility of the principal and school staff are expect to support its consistent implementation.

8. Local Dress Codes must be flexible enough to permit the principal to exercise discretion to allow exceptions to the Local Dress Code (such as “Dress Down Days”) or exceptions regarding compliance and provide accommodation for religious dress.

9. Any action taken to implement the requirements of this policy, including the application of supports and consequences to students, must be consistent with the provincial requirements of Policy Program Memoranda (PPM) 145 “Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour”, and TCDSB Safe Schools, Progressive Discipline Policy S.S.10.

10. Uniforms shall be purchased from compliant vendors on the Board’s Materials Management (Purchasing Department) “School Apparel Supplier List”.

11. Local Dress Codes shall include a provision respecting periodic review and monitoring of the Local Dress Code once every five years. The periodic review shall include a process for consultation with students, teachers, and staff working in the schools, parents and guardians and school councils.

E. APPROVAL PROCESS FOR ESTABLISHING OR CHANGING THE LOCAL DRESS CODE

Should an elementary school wish to establish a Uniform Dress Code, or a secondary school wish to change their current Uniform Dress Code, the following approval process will apply:

• each school will develop and distribute an action plan, including a communication strategy and voting process (see below) to determine what the Local Dress Code should be for their own school (suggested by December of the school year preceding implementation)
• have a community meeting at least two weeks prior to voting
• Catholic School Advisory Councils (“CSAC”) must be involved in the development and implementation of this action plan

The approval process shall:

• provide for a vote every five years to be initiated by the principal in consultation with the CSAC
• clearly establish which parents or students are eligible to vote
• ensure that a minimum of 70% of the eligible respondents have cast a vote
• not include proxy voting
• ballots must include a description and costs associated with the proposed Dress Code and a line each for the name and grade of the student, and family surname
• not be considered valid unless the votes are signed
• be completed by February for successful implementation in the following school year and include all families registered at the school for September of next school year

Elementary:

• Entitle each family to one vote per student registered in the school (excluding the grade 8 students).
• At least 80% support of those eligible to vote is required to determine whether the Local Dress Code will change from:
§ an Appropriate Dress Code to a Uniform Dress Code
§ a Uniform Dress Code to an Appropriate Dress Code
§ a Uniform Dress Code to an alternate Uniform Dress Code
• Failing the 80% “YES” vote, the Appropriate Dress Code shall be adopted as the Local Dress Code for elementary schools.


Secondary:

• Entitle each family to one vote per student registered in the school (excluding the grade 12 students)
• At least 80% support of those eligible to vote is required to determine whether the Local Dress Code will change from the current Uniform Dress Code to an alternate Uniform Dress Code
• Failing the 80% “YES” vote, the original Uniform Dress Code shall be adopted as the Local Dress Code for secondary schools.
-5-

F. REGULATIONS

1. The Director of Education shall ensure that appropriate procedures are developed so that each school will establish a Local Dress Code for students.

2. All school principals shall seek input from the community through the CSAC in establishing or changing a Local Dress Code.

3. Based upon community consultation through the CSAC, principals shall:

• develop and implement the Local Dress Code as per the Local Dress Code Requirements (Section D)
• communicate the Local Dress Code to the school community
• encourage full compliance with the Local Dress Code as part of the school Code of Conduct
• develop measures to deal with issues of affordability and non-compliance
• develop incentives to promote compliance
• publish the school’s Local Dress Code annually
• inform the school superintendent of the school’s Local Dress Code or any proposed change to the Local Dress Code
• ensure that the voting results are available for review while protecting the confidentiality of respondents
• review the Local Dress Code every five years

G. COMPLIANCE (Elementary and Secondary)


1. The Local Dress Code is mandatory and shall be in effect on the first day of the school year unless otherwise determined by the school principal.

2. The principal of each school has the right to enforce the Dress Code for Pupils Policy S.S. 07 in both the Elementary and Secondary panels and any action taken to implement the requirements of this policy, including the application of consequences to students.

3. Students are expected to comply with the Local Dress Code for their school.

4. School staff is expected to support the consistent implementation of the Local Dress Code, according to the local school Code of Conduct.

5. Parental support of the Local Dress Code for their school is essential for upholding a positive and safe Catholic learning environment in our schools.

6. The principal of each school has the discretion to determine whether a student is in violation of the Local Dress Code and will consider mitigating circumstances that would prevent a student from complying.


7. Any action taken to implement the requirements of this policy, including the application of consequences to students, must be consistent with the requirements of Policy S.S.10, Safe Schools: Progressive Discipline (2008).

8. Consequences for students who do not comply with the policy shall be established by the principal in consultation with CSAC and shall be incorporated into the local school Code of Conduct.

9. Non-compliance with the Local Dress Code shall include but is not limited to sayings, pictures, and logos that address or display sexual content, substance abuse, violence, profanity, inappropriate references to nationality, race or gender, articles of clothing in serious disrepair.

10. Some examples of a progressive discipline approach for non-compliance include but are not limited to:

• verbal reminders of expectations
• consultation with parent/guardian
• written notification (notes, agendas) to parent/guardian by the principal or designate outlining consequences for further non-compliance
• loss of privileges
• detention
• age appropriate discipline assignment
• contacting parent/guardian to pick up student from school
• suspension of student

11. No student will be denied access to school as a result of inability to afford clothing required by a school’s Local Dress Code. Strategies shall be in place to address issues of affordability and may include: giving advance notice to parents, supplier incentives for parents, supplier discounts, swap days, donation of outgrown items etc.

12. The principal shall:

• develop procedures for monitoring the Local Dress Code for students in consultation with the Catholic School Advisory Council
• document (in the Progressive Discipline Form) the efforts made to have the student conform to the Local Dress Code.

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