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Principal wants Ory students to dress alike

By Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / June 3, 1998

LAPLACE – John L. Ory Elementary Principal Teri Noel will ask schoolboard members something Thursday night that Garyville/Mt. Airy Math andScience Magnet School administrators recently requested.

She wants her students to wear uniforms to school.

Noel will make her request for mandatory school uniforms for the 1998- 99 school year with a presentation before the board Thursday at 6 p.m. inthe Godchaux Grammar Cafeteria in Reserve.

“What I’m asking the board to do is to just listen to my presentation. I’mnot asking for a vote,” Noel said, referring to the recent policy change in board operations which gives board members more time to think before voting rashly.

The board approved Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet School’s request foruniforms a few meetings ago. John L. Ory, which will be converted to acommunication arts magnet school in the fall, has done many of the same things Garyville/Mt. Airy did in the line of polling parents, faculty and PTOmembers.

“We placed a statement on the application asking if they would be in favor of their children wearing a uniform next year, and we got an overwhelming response saying they would be in favor,” Noel said.

She added only 4 percent of parents said they wouldn’t like uniforms and that percentage only represented three families because they have more than one child.

In addition to surveying parents on entrance applications, Noel said that faculty and staff and the PTO were also polled on the idea. Both groupsunanimously agreed that uniforms are a good idea for the soon-to-be magnet school.

In fact, Noel said John L. Ory teachers like the idea so much they also wanttheir own uniforms, which would be similar to the students’.

The students’ uniforms would be khaki pants or shorts and maroon golf shirts with the school’s new logo on them. Noel said a plaid jumper andskirt would also be available for girls.

But the easiest thing about the uniforms, Noel said, will be acquiring them.

“The best thing about our uniform policy is that parents have a wide variety of places to shop,” she said. “All of the local businesses areparticipating. Even Wal-Mart.”If the plan is approved, students can even wear khaki pants or shorts and plain maroon golf shirts they may already have. Noel said the logos will beavailable to purchase from PTO members, and parents can iron them on themselves if their children already have some of the clothes.

Noel said students can wear any shoe they want with the uniforms. “Wetalked about having a shoe and decided that that would be the most expensive part of the uniform, and we wanted to make it affordable,” she said, “especially with them growing out of their shoes at midterm.”There are many reasons Noel feels uniforms would be good for the school.

“I think it’s going to improve our sense of unity,” she said. “It’s a goodtime to make this change in policy since we are converting to magnet status. It will change our overall image and help the children to focus lesson clothing and more on academics. Also, it is a security benefit becauseyou can easily identify all of the children that belong on your campus.”

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