Dress Code Review

Final Outcomes

We’re focused on creating a healthy and safe learning environment where ALL students can be their best in mind, body and spirit, and our dress code and its enforcement is a key ingredient to achieving our goal.

School leaders have spent the past few months in deep conversation with staff, students and families about our dress code, and on January 12, 2022, the Board took action on findings from this six-month process, which are effective January 13, 2022.  Updates to the dress code are designed to ensure that the District’s Dress Code (Board Policy No. 5132) fulfills its purpose to:
1)    Support Student Safety
2)    Promote Health & Hygiene
3)    Prepare Students for their Future, and
4)    Establish a Learning Environment Focused on Education

Ensuring that enforcement of the dress code promotes overall student well-being is also critically important. The 2021 Dress Code Review includes the creation of standard operating procedures for dress code enforcement.  Continue reading below for more about these best practices, changes to Board Policy 5132, and our months-long study of the dress code.

Updated Dress Code

Click to scroll through the updated dress code below, or download the full file below.

Dress Code Examples

Not certain about a particular fashion style? We’ve provided some examples for you of what is, and is not, in dress code under the updated policy.

Dress Code Enforcement

What can students, parents and staff expect when the dress code is enforced at school?  Best practices define how staff interacts with students who are out of dress code, and we’ve created a helpful resource outlining these practices for your reference.

Background

In May 2021 during their annual report, students with the district’s InterSchool Council asked for a review of the CUSD Dress Code, especially in terms of leggings and enforcement. Following their request, the Governing Board and administration made plans to conduct a thorough review of the dress code to be held this school year.

Purpose & Parameters

The 2021 Dress Code review had a clearly identified purpose as well as parameters within which any discussion or recommendations were considered.

Purpose of Dress Code Review:
  • Consider perceptions and facts related to consistency and manner of enforcement
  • Determine if the Dress Code in its current form fulfills its purpose and parameters
  • Determine if there are areas that warrant revision because of conflicts with purpose and parameters

Parameters:
The following parameters were in place to ensure Clovis Unified’s Dress and Grooming policy meets its purpose and intent to support student safety, student hygiene, prepare students for their future, and establish a learning environment focused on education.
  • Gender Neutral
  • Legally Compliant
  • Accessible to All Families
  • Consistently Enforced
  • Addresses Potential Safety Threats to Students

Timeline

dress code timeline downloadable below

FAQs (Click to expand)

Q. Why does the district have a dress code?
A. In Clovis Unified, the dress code is a regular part of student life for the purpose of establishing safety, a physically healthy environment through good hygiene, standards for behavior, and a focus on education. Safety is the key component and purpose for our dress code, as it both creates standards of dress and grooming that promote physical safety, as well as to promote a mutually respectful and safe environment on campus (excluding gang related, profane or hate-motivated attire or slogans, etc.). The dress code exists as part of the district's overall mission to prepare and equip students to be successful in life after high school, and in our annual parent survey, it is consistently strongly supported. 

Q. Why was the dress code reviewed this school year?
A. The district has regularly updated its dress code to ensure that it remains reflective of existing law and of its community’s expectations. In May 2021, the Governing Board heard a report from student members of our InterSchool Council (ISC) as part of an annual process that looks at data related to the District’s dress code. At that time, the Board asked the administration to conduct a review of the dress code this school year based on the ISC’s specific request to revisit the dress code requirements around leggings, along with consistent enforcement of the dress code, about which some in the community have expressed concern.

Q. Is the dress code different for males and females?
A. Our dress code is gender neutral.

Q. What if my student's culture or religion requires something that does not fit within the district's dress code guidelines?
A. There are cultural waivers available in our current dress code process that also allow us to be responsive to student needs based on an individual’s cultures or religious background.

Q. What’s changed in the dress code?
A. While many elements of the dress code remain the same, of note, the following items have been modified effective January 13, 2022:
  • Beards, as well as mustaches, are now allowed. Hair, beard, or mustache styles which disrupt the learning environment are not acceptable.
  • Camouflage patterned clothing will be allowed.
  • Garments are to be stitched evenly around, and if frayed, must be stitched to avoid further fraying. Distressing is allowable, holes in clothing must be patched from behind so that no undergarment or bare skin is exposed.
  • Leggings and jeggings are permitted but cannot be see-through or have mesh or ruching above the knee. Tops worn with leggings and jeggings must not expose midriffs at any time during school or school-sponsored activities or events.
  • Shorts should be evenly hemmed and have an inseam of at least five inches (5”). Spandex or Lycra shorts are not permissible.
  • The complete dress code can be found in Administrative Regulation No. 5132.

Q. When does the new dress code become effective?
A. The Governing Board approved changes to the dress code (Board Policy and Administrative Regulation No. 5132) on January 12, 2022. These updates became effective January 13, 2022.

Q. How will the dress code be enforced?
A. Enforcement of dress code (BP5132) standards is critical to fulfilling the purpose of having a dress code.  Students' responsibility is to be familiar with the dress code and follow it, just like other school rules. Parents are encouraged to support the dress code at home by ensuring your child is familiar with dress code requirements, and compliant with the dress code when arriving at school or school activities. Learn more about Clovis Unified’s best practices for staff enforcing the dress code on campus here.

Q. If I have a question about the dress code or want to verify whether or not certain attire is acceptable, who can I ask?
A. Staff at your child’s school office or at the secondary level the Student Resource Center are great resources for students or parents wanting to verify an item or style complies with the dress code.

Q. Can I wear leggings or tights under jeans with holes and meet the dress code requirement that “clothing must be patched from behind so that no undergarment or bare skin is exposed”?
A. No. Pants must not have holes that reveal leggings, skin, or any other garment worn underneath. Holes should be patched from either the inside or outside.

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