CISD revamps 2021-22 dress code
The Colorado Independent School District school board took the distractions of the dress code on Monday in an effort to put the focus on education.
School board members voted to approve an amended dress code on August 2 for the 2021-22 school year with the aim of preventing distractions from the classroom. Under its new policy, the board dictated that students would be allowed to wear long hair as long as it is neat, clean and properly combed, and that no unnatural hair color could be used in classes.
Colorado City Superintendent Reggy Spencer said the board worked hard to ensure the policy was as gender neutral as possibly when it comes to hair length, piercings and clothing. The only deviation from the policy being that all male students will have to be clean shaven. Students participating in extracurricular activities, however, will have to abide by team rules per their respective sports.
Also under the plan, male and female students will be allowed to have earrings and wear finger nail polish. Gauges, whether they are in the ears, nose, face or other parts, are not allowed as they could pose a distraction to other students.
Also, fashionable jeans with tears will be allowed as long as tights or athletic leggings are worn underneath to cover any exposed areas. All tights and leggings must also meet the district’s “fingertip rule,” which states the tights must show through any tears above the point of a student’s fingertips when held naturally at their side.
The board’s new policy also ruled out any clothing that displays alcohol, cigarette or vulgar advertising, and dictates that students will not be allowed to wear the hoods from their jackets, shirts or other apparel on their head while inside the school buildings.
In other business, the board appointed Ty Wood to fill the vacant position on the board. Wood, a local attorney, replaces Rick Hargrave who resigned shortly after running unopposed in the May election. Hargrave was forced to step down after only a month on the board when his was transferred due to his job.
Wood joins Jamie Alvarez as the newest members of the board. Alvarez was appointed to the board to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Sally Neff.
During a lengthy budget workshop, Spencer informed board members that CISD, unlike many of the school districts in Texas, would enter the 2021-22 school year with a balanced.
“We are in a unique position to present you (the board) with a balanced budget,” said Spencer. “Most schools can’t offer balanced budgets anymore.”
Part of the reason for the district’s success has been increased property valuations.
“People are asking why are taxes higher,” he said. “Actually, CISD has reduced its tax rate for Maintenance and Operations to $1.04 from $1.17 per $100 (taxable valuation) in the last couple of years. We also reduced the tax rate on the Interest and Sinking in those years. Property values are increasing and that is why taxes may appear higher.”
“Taxing entities (such as the school district) have no control over property assessments and values,” he added.
In other matters, the board approved the hiring of two positions and the reassignment of two administrators. Colorado Middle School principal Robby Russell will become the DAEP principal and Lorianne Toombs will be the third through eighth grade principal in the upcoming school year. The two new employees hired are Krysten Marr as a softball coach and teacher at the high school and Rhea Lynn Landford was brought in as a kindergarten teacher.
Board members also voted to move forward with a plan to implement the Sylvan Learning System into the district curriculum by budgeting $60,000 to create a tutoring program for as many as 20 students. In the new system, Sylvan will train the CISD teachers to work with students in need of additional help. The new program will start in September, after the first six weeks. As part of the process, teachers will nominate students for the programs in reading and math. From there, applications will be filled out by the student’s parents to participate.
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