The Lakeland School System (LSS) will begin the new school year with a dress code, but no uniforms.
So said Lakeland School Board (LSB) members when they met for their July business meeting tonight (7.10.17).
Up for discussion and action was approval of a standardized dress for LSS. Dr. Ted Horrell, LSS superintendent, revealed the results of a June survey which queried parents and others about switching to some type of uniform attire.
Dr. Horrell said 639 people responded to the survey with the following results:
- Uniforms only at Lakeland Elementary School (LES) – 5 votes or less than one percent.
- Uniforms only at Lakeland Middle Preparatory School (LMPS) – 49 votes or eight percent.
- Uniforms for both schools – 214 votes or thirty-three percent.
- No uniforms at either school – 371 votes or fifty-eight percent.
The concept of standardized dress, or uniforms, was introduced by Board member Geoff Hicks. Dr. Horrell was asked to create a survey which he posted online and ended June 23.
The matter of standardized dress was tabled and may be reintroduced at another time. Laura Harrison, LSB vice chair, said parents had a lot of questions about the concept. She suggested a new survey or study provide more detailed information.
Mr. Hicks said, “I’d like to see us investigate this further, providing options, costs and where to purchase the clothing.”
Another item on the agenda was an update to the current dress code policy. The proposed changes to the polity were withdrawn by LSB members. Dress code at both schools, LES and LMPS, will be at the principals’ discretion.
Kevin Floyd, LSB chair, announced the LEF (Lakeland Education Foundation) is having a fundraiser for LMPS: Engraved brick pavers to be placed near the flag at LMPS. He commented the effort is a “neat opportunity” for the school.
Chair Floyd and Supt. Horrell noted that the next time the School Board meets, it will be the first day of school (Aug. 7).
Dr. Horrell updated Board members on progress at LMPS saying there is a lot of finishing going on. “It’s exciting and looking good,” he said.
He reaffirmed that the ribbon-cutting and dedication for LMPS will start at 4:30 p.m. July 30 on the soon-to-be-opened campus. “There will be 20 to 25 minutes of ceremony and then the school will be open to the public for tours.”
Regarding recently announced Title I money for LSS, he said it is an unusual situation, but the System will receive a considerable increase in funds for the next four years — $52,239 this year versus $426,882 yearly for the next four years. “We welcome the opportunity to help our kids,” he said. “We plan to apply for a waiver for flexibility in spending those funds.” This will involve a letter to the State Department of Education asking to use the money for all students and not just targeted students.
For details on the funding, see https://lakelandcurrents.com/lss-to-receive-much-more-in-federal-title-i-funding/
The LES PTA has funded a projection screen and projector for the cafetorium, Dr. Horrell announced.
There was a lengthy discussion on amended school fees, particularly the part dealing with costs of optional field trips and disclosing the amount to parents. This language was removed from the amendment before being approved.
The Board gave approval for architects of LMPS to enter the TSBA (Tennessee School Board Association) school of the year award. Dr. Horrell said this competition is for newly constructed or remodeled schools.
Fiscal Year 17-18 budget amendments were approved including salary increases to LES custodians and a salary increase to Jessie Rosales who becomes finance director and human resources coordinator.
LSB member Teresa Henry said the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend is July 28-30.