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Lufkin ISD dropping uniform requirement for grades PreK-8 for next school year

Several suspects broke into a classroom at Lufkin High School early Tuesday morning and stole...
Several suspects broke into a classroom at Lufkin High School early Tuesday morning and stole 19 laptops and one camera. (Source: Lufkin ISD Facebook page)(Lufkin ISD Facebook page)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - With August around the corner, Lufkin ISD sent letters out to parents and guardians of LISD students that outlined the more-relaxed dress code that will be implemented for the 2020-2021 school year for grades PreK through 8 and detailed the district’s tentative plans for the start of school.

“School uniforms are not required this year to ease the burden of buying new clothes for students when access to shopping is limited,” Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres said in the dress code letter. “Students may wear uniforms they currently have. There is no need to purchase new clothes that are in compliance with the following dress code if you currently have them.”

The letter went on to say that the original dress code will be reinstated at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school yeat.

Dresses, skirts, all split garments, and shorts must be long enough that if the students hold their arms down at their sides, their fingertips cannot extend past the hem or the split. No excessively tight clothing is allowed either.

According to the letter, leggings and tights must be worn with a dress, skirt, or shorts over them. No holes are permitted in pants/shorts/jeans, and they must be fitting at the waist. “Sagging” is not allowed. Regarding shirts and pants, no see-through or provocative clothing is allowed either.

Any color tennis shoes (laced or Velcro) or boots with a rubber sole are allowed, the letter stated. However, if a student wears boots, he or she will need to bring tennis shoes for PE. Backless shoes, slippers or house shoes, Mary Janes, Crocs, Heelies (even with the wheels removed), and heeled boots are not allowed.

The following clothing items are not allowed, according to the letter:

  • hats, caps, rakes, picks, hoods, bandanas 
  • apparel promoting or relating to tobacco, alcohol, including beer and whiskey, or drugs 
  • apparel with any symbol, gang reference, emblem, picture, word or slogan, including suggestive or racially related items 
  • dark glasses/sunglasses unless medically prescribed with a note on file from a physician 
  • apparel designed as underwear may not be worn as an outer garment 
  • house shoes, pajamas, sleepwear - no blankets 
  • at Lufkin Middle School • extreme hairstyles, distracting makeup, or piercings/mouthpieces

“It is impractical to list every possibility of dress and grooming,” the letter stated. “It shall be the responsibility of the professional staff to determine the appropriateness of attire for all school occasions. If the principal determines that a student’s grooming or clothing violates the school’s dress code, the student will be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school.”

The letter went on to say that a parent or guardian may be required to bring an acceptable change of clothing to the school.

“Repeated offenses may result in more serious disciplinary actions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct,” the letter stated.

In the letter about the start of the 20201 school year, Torres said Lufkin ISD’s administrators and faculty are working hard to make decisions that will be beneficial to students, staff, parents, and the community. At the same time, they will be following the Centers for Disease Control regulations and Texas Education Agency guidelines for reopening school in the fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal is to provide rich educational experiences for all students while ensuring safety protocols,” Torres said in the letter. “These protocols will be explained in detail once details are made on the state level. We do recognize that school as we know it will look different in the fall.”

Torres said Lufkin ISD will make learning available in a variety of ways, which may include virtual or online classes and face-to-face instruction. 

“Extracurricular activities will look different as well as the Lufkin Panther football season,” the letter stated. “Once we receive guidelines from the UIL, we will notify the public of these changes.”

As it stands now, Lufkin ISD students are scheduled to start school on Thursday, August 13. Torres added that she does not expect that to change unless an executive order to that effect is issued by Gov. Greg Abbott.

“What that means is that we each need to do our part to stay safe and stay well to lessen the spread of the virus that we are experiencing in the state right now,” the letter stated. “If there is an outbreak during the school year, we will allow the last two weeks at the end of school through June 4 for this purpose. We will publish a calendar soon with those dates highlighted and hope that the days are not needed to make up time lost due to other outbreaks of the virus.”

Lufkin ISD’s Pre-K Roundup will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 28 at the Garrett Primary Gym. Parents are encouraged to pre-register their children on Skyward. If parents need their students’ IDs, they can call the Lufkin ISD Administration Building at (936) 634-6696.

Torres also said in the letter than in an effort to keep LISD’s students and staff safe, air filters have been installed on all the AC units throughout the district. The letter added that these filters are similar to ones now being used by airlines and hospitals.

“We are scheduled to receive a large shipment of PPE equipment and supplies from the state by August 1st,” Torres said in the letter. “TEA is sending disposable masks, reusable masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer to help each school have enough supplies on hand for the start of school. We have purchased sanitizing equipment to spray each area in every school to slow the spread of germs.”

Lufkin ISD’s custodial staff will follow cleaning protocols to ensure the cleanliness of the school district’s buildings.

“Decisions about students and staff wearing face coverings will be made when we have clearer guidelines from the state and can assess our threat level for the spread of the virus in our county closer to the actual start of school,” Torres said in the letter. “You as parents can opt to have your student wear face coverings if they are attending in-person school. Staff may opt to wear face coverings as well.”

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