Manor ISD getting 'innovative' with uniforms

Manor ISD is testing out a new dress code for some of its students. Three schools will require uniforms at the start of next school year.

Manor Independent School District is testing out a new dress code for some of its students.

Three schools will require uniforms at the start of next school year.

"One of the things that we’re trying to do in Manor is innovate our schools, give an opportunity for principals and students to kind of innovate their environmental space within their campuses," said Superintendent Royce Avery.

The district will open two new schools in the fall, Lagos Elementary School and New Tech Middle School.

With those new innovative learning spaces, Avery said they want to test out this innovative dress code.

"All the kids going to those schools are new to building -- so we can kind of incorporate that into the process of what we’re doing to kind of innovate our schools," said Avery.

They’ll try the new "standard mode of dress" at the two new schools, as well as Manor Middle School, which is getting a new principal.

"We're going to pilot the couple of schools, and really to see if it makes a difference in the campus climate, what kids are concentrating their time and efforts for in our schools," said Avery.

Each campus will determine the details for the uniform.

For the middle schools, students will be allowed to wear a different color polo-style shirt based on their grade level. Student must always have their shirts tucked in. They can wear khaki or black pants or shorts, and a black or brown belt. On Fridays, students can wear a spirit shirt with jeans. They will be allowed to wear hooded sweatshirts.

At Lagos Elementary, students can wear a polo style shirt in royal blue, baby blue, black or grey, and shirts must be tucked in. They can wear khaki or black pants or shorts, with a black or brown belt. Sweatshirts are not allowed.

"With less distractions, that really helps kids to stay on target,” said Avery. "To me it’s a great opportunity for us to explore, get the research, bring it back to our families and say hey this is a great opportunity, look at the difference at these schools compared to others.”

He also hopes it will help parents with the cost of clothes.

"It's easier on the pocketbook," said Avery.

"Money wise it will help, at least that's the plan,” said Edina Herrera. "It will make things easier as far as back to school shopping.”

Herrera works at the district, and will have two students in uniforms with the start of school.

At first, she said her daughter wasn’t thrilled.

“For my daughter it wasn’t something pleasant that she heard at first, and now she’s very accepting of it,” said Herrera. "Her comment was, well we're all going to be the same.”

And for some, that may be a good thing.

"I think it will just help overall, just the pride, the unity, just everyone is equal,” said Herrera.

"It gives kids the opportunity to not be judged by the clothing that they wear,” said Avery.

Avery said he knows there are some people who don’t like the idea.

“You’re going to have some parents that well, we’re limiting choice and freedom of expression, and that kind of thing, but along with that you also have to look at the balance,” said Avery.

"I feel like there's always going to be distractions, even if they're wearing the same clothing, it’s going to be 'oh the shoes, oh the hair,' there's always going to be distractions, it just one thing less, and you have to take baby steps," said Herrera.

"You still have many, many distractions that you have to deal with, but this is one less one,” said Avery.

This is one of the first districts in Central Texas to implement this type of policy.

Several other districts tell KVUE they’ve either considered a policy and didn’t decide to go through with it, or they’ve never even thought about it.

In Austin ISD, there are a few schools who have uniforms – Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy, Bertha Sadler Means Young Women's Academy, Ann Richards School for Young Women, and Campbell Elementary School, which is a media and performing arts institute.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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