Lafayette Parish high school students may lose options next year under proposed dress code changes that would limit uniforms to one color for shirts and outerwear, and khaki as the only allowed color for pants, shorts and skirts.
The board also will hear information on efforts to relocate students throughout the district.
Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig said the proposed school uniform changes are primarily about student safety.
“You can tell who belongs on your campus and who doesn’t,” Craig said, adding high school students sometimes seize opportunities to drive or catch the bus to other campuses.
“That’s generally not for anything productive,” Craig said.
If the changes are approved, students would be allowed to wear bottoms in khaki only instead of the choice of khaki, navy blue or black. Shirt and outerwear choices would be reduced from three colors per school to one.
Acadiana High School students would wear only hunter green tops, and Carencro and Comeaux High School students would wear only navy. Students would wear only royal blue tops at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, black tops at Lafayette High School and red tops at Northside High School.
The Lafayette Parish school system’s discipline committee met in December, January and February to discuss potential changes districtwide, according to the agenda item detailing the proposal.
The committee polled principals at the elementary, middle and high schools on their preferences for changing the uniform policy.
High school principals voted in favor of the changes. Middle school principals were split, with the discipline committee breaking a tie that ultimately resulted in no changes for that age group. Elementary school principals voted to keep their uniform policy intact.
The board could approve or reject the changes at its first April meeting.
Policy requires the Lafayette Parish school system to notify parents and guardians at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the changes.
Also on Wednesday, chief demographer Mike Hefner will discuss a timeline for the districtwide rezoning effort. Superintendent Don Aguillard has said although some rezoning may happen in the coming school year, the major effort likely will not happen until the 2017-18 school year.
A proposal also will be discussed on realigning school assignments next year for students zoned to attend fifth grade for only one year at Edgar Martin, Broussard and Alleman middle schools.
Craig said the assignments were administered that way because of a lack of facilities. The changes, he said, would streamline school assignments for 58 students.
“It gives the kids the opportunity to stay with their same group of friends and not be split off for one year,” Craig said.
The proposal recommends 38 gifted students at Woodvale Elementary remain at the school for fifth grade before moving onto Paul Breaux Middle School for grades sixth through eighth. Another eight Woodvale students zoned to attend Alleman Middle for fifth grade before moving onto Lafayette Middle for grades sixth through eighth will be recommended to stay at Alleman for grades fifth through eighth.
Students who live on Beadle Road in Lafayette are currently zoned to attend Katharine Drexel Elementary, Broussard Middle School for fifth grade and Paul Breaux for grades sixth through eighth. The change recommends the 12 students instead attend Broussard Middle for grades fifth through eighth.
The administration also is recommending relocating Exiting Pathways students taking high school equivalency exam classes next year from the W.D. and Mary Baker Career Center to the LeRosen campus.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or contact her by phone at (337) 534-0825.