AllentownSchool District

School Uniforms / Dress Code

As the new school year approaches, we are excited to share a significant change that will take effect on the first day of school. After thoughtful consideration of student, family and staff feedback, the Allentown School District Board of Directors eliminated Policy 222 (Uniforms) and approved Policy 221 (Dress and Grooming). 

This means, the Allentown School District will no longer require uniforms and will follow a dress code. Uniforms will be optional. 

As you may recall, this past spring the Allentown School District asked our community to complete a survey on the uniform policy that had been in place since 2013. The district also organized several focus groups with students, families, and staff to help administrators and the Board of School Directors gauge the school community’s feelings about a potential change to the policy.

The Dress & Grooming Guidelines reflect your collective feedback and input. The Guidelines are designed to support students in their ability to express themselves and their identity through their clothing choices, support the development of students as they prepare for a thriving future and create an environment conducive to learning.

We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all students and families. Our school staff is dedicated to providing the necessary support and guidance during this transition. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s school if you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes. 

The updated Dress & Grooming guidelines can be found below: 

Policy 221: Dress & Grooming was established to ensure that students are able to attend school in a manner that is equitable and supports their dignity and individual value. The policy applies to all schools in the Allentown School District, grades PK-12. The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and his or her parent(s)/family.  The dress and grooming guidelines are intended to ensure that no student is marginalized or discriminated against based on their racial or cultural identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or body type.  

Section 1: Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent.
- Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides.
- Clothing must cover undergarments and waistbands.
- Fabric covering all private parts cannot be see-through or transparent.
- Religious headwear is permitted.
- Hooded sweatshirts.
- Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
- Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.
- Shoes must contain a hard sole, for example sneakers, dress shoes, or boots. 

Section 2: Non-Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Attire that includes the use or depiction of hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other protected groups.
- Attire or grooming that threatens the health or safety of any other person.
- Attire that has violent images or language.
- Attire that includes images or language depicting or suggesting drugs, alcohol, 
vaping, or other controlled substances or related paraphernalia.
- Attire that includes images or language depicting or promoting illegal activity, including profanity and implied words or symbols.
- Attire that is deemed to be a representation of gang affiliation.
- Any clothing that reveals undergarments.
- Accessories that could be used as a weapon or considered dangerous.
- Any item that obscures the face or ears (with the exception of religious observance or personal protective equipment [PPE] when appropriate).
- Footwear with a soft bottom (for example, slippers or flip flops).

Section 3: Dress Code Enforcement
The Allentown School District is first and foremost an educational institution.  As such, interactions between school personnel and students believed to be in violation of the Dress & Grooming Guidelines should be conducted in a manner to educate the student, not in an attempt to demean or shame them.  School personnel should address potential dress and grooming guideline violations in accordance with the guidance below.

- Students should always be treated with respect and dignity.  No student should be affected by dress code enforcement due to racial or cultural identity, sexual identity, sexual orientation, religion, or body size/type.
- Students will be given the opportunity to change their clothing, or call a parent/guardian for alternate clothing.  However, students will not be required to change their clothing unless the dress and grooming violation is deemed egregious or dangerous by administration.   

**  Students with repeated violations will be treated with progressive discipline and will be required to change.
Repeated incidences of dress and grooming violations will follow a progressive discipline model.

- These Dress and Grooming Guidelines are considered to be in effect during all school days, summer school days, and school activities.  Athletic uniforms will be determined by the safety and competitive standards of the individual sport, but may not be appropriate to wear during the school day.