Uniforms to roll out for Proviso high schools

Khaki pants and polos to make appearance August 18

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Jean Lotus


Khaki pants will replace droopy boxer-displaying trousers, and polo shirts will take the place of spaghetti-strap tops next year at Proviso Township's three high schools come the first day of school, August 18.

Students at Proviso East and West and Proviso Math and Science Academy will be required to wear uniforms, the board decided, changing the district dress code to enforce the policy.

The change was crafted by District 209's Student Uniform Ad-Hoc Committee after an OK back at the Nov. 12 board meeting. The committee conducted focus groups at all three high schools, and more than 500 students participated. More than 2,400 "stakeholders" responded to the district's online survey about the uniform issue.

Members of the advisory committee included Supt. Nettie Collins-Hart, administrator Daniel Johnson, Curriculum Director Kim Echols, Publicity Director Roberto Daniel, assistant principals from all three high schools, teachers and deans. Three students each from Proviso East and West served on the committee, as well as two students from PMSA.

Starting in August, students will wear uniforms on all school days, with certain exceptions. Monthly out-of-uniform days, spirit days, and cohort days out of uniform (for example, Juniors Out of Uniform Day, etc.) will break up the monotony.

The uniform will consist of a long- or short-sleeve knit polo shirt without logo. Acceptable polo colors are black, white or the school colors (blue for East, orange for West and purple for PMSA).

Girls may wear a plain khaki skirt, the hem of which, when worn from the waist, reaches to the knees. 

Girls or boys may wear khaki shorts with flat fronts. Cargo shorts are not permitted. Shorts must be worn at the waist — no sagging, no more than four pockets permitted. A black or brown belt is required. The hem of the students' shorts must extend lower than the student's fingertips when held at the waist and extended.

Male and female students may wear plain khaki trousers with flat or pleated fronts. Cargo pants, skinny jeans, and skinny pants are not permitted. A brown or black belt is required. Leggings and jeggings are not allowed to be worn as pants. The policy would also ban hats, caps, bandanas, jackets and hoodies during the school day. These items must be kept in students' lockers during school.

Proviso students don't have to look far to find other public high school districts with uniforms. Students at Morton High School District 201 in Berwyn and Cicero have worn white polos and khaki pants since 2009. The district made the change to combat perceptions of gang-affiliated clothing and colors, and students have adapted. 

The students are free to wear shoes of their choice, as stipulated in the dress code; house slippers and flip-flops are not allowed. 

Students who already wear an NJROTC uniform to school are exempt from the new rules, as are athletes on dress-up or jersey days. 

At principals' discretion, out-of-uniform days may be used as an incentive the first school day of each month. If targets for academics, attendance and other performance goals are met, principals may declare on "out of uniform" day. Building principals may also grant out-of-uniform days on "spirit days." If appropriate gear is worn, out-of-uniform may take place every Friday and during Homecoming week, according to the principals' choice. 

Students who disregard the uniform policy will be cited for "dress code violations" which increase progressively with recurring violations.

Email: jlotus@forestparkreview.com Twitter: @FP_Review

Reader Comments

17 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 9:59 PM

Your comments show your total lack of knowledge about PMSA, as well as your prejudice. There is no earthly point in arguing with you, but again--it's important to let readers know that people like you don't represent Forest Park. And to not let ignorance go unchallenged.


Posted: July 28th, 2014 9:29 PM

PMSA is in no way, shape or form a ghetto school!

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 8:11 PM

Dan D.-- Actually, my son is going to be able to go to any college he wants, Dan And he thrived in a diverse , multi-ethnic environment where everyone pretty much got along. You are not even worth addressing, but I want readers to see that the loathsome racism you espouse is not representative of the community.

Who Cares  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 3:28 PM

@Brian, true, but left to their own choices, many of the kids attending Proviso schools don't have someone at home to teach them how to behave. So many appear to be left to fend for themselves and do whatever.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 2:08 PM

This isn't a huge issue for me either way--uniforms have some benefits as "for uniforms" has outlined. But I think that teaching kids both self-expression and the responsibilities self-expression entails has more educational value than teaching"you need to look and behave a certain way". You can't teach responsible choices if you don't give kids a choice. Teaching is about growing the ability to think critically, not the ability to conform.

Giving a thumbs up from Forest Park, IL  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 12:42 PM

This is a positive step. Research has proven that children behave and perform better when dressed appropriately. This will take the focus off of who is wearing what and who has what, and teach respect and that you need to look and behave a certain way-preparation for the rest of life.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 10:09 AM

@Who Cares-- Actually, PMSA, where my kid goes, is a good school. It is grossly, scandalously underfunded, but thanks to some great teachers and great kids, it is a good school. It could be a lot better. But the first step to making it--and the other Proviso schools--better, is having more parents and taxpayers care. Schools don't get better by people wishing they were better.


Posted: July 27th, 2014 11:10 AM

@ Brian ...not looking to argue with you, however, I disagree, the dress code is a teaching method..it helps create an atmosphere of purpose & respect. I'm not talking about military boot camp, just a personal sense of self-worth..(hey I'm in school, I have a uniform and I'm proud to wear it) I'm not saying it's a defining factor, just another way to teach some personal discipline and promote unity. No competing with your classmates on who has the most expensive jeans or hipster shirt.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 27th, 2014 10:24 AM

Who Cares-- My kid goes to a proviso school, so when you say they are ghetto schools you are insulting my kid. As Proviso parents we have a stake in the education of all our children, whether one of our kids goes there or not! If more Proviso parents cared, we'd have better Proviso schools.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 27th, 2014 10:19 AM

You teach kids to make responsible choices by letting them make choices, not imposing them. There is obviously a place for basic dress codes to prevent inappropriate attire; uniforms may be necessary at some schools to prevent kids wearing gang colors. But uniforms don't teach a single thing. IMHO.


Posted: July 27th, 2014 10:00 AM

I'm pro school administered dress codes, it's actually a way to teach students about personal accountability, self respect, a discipline that also coveys mutual respect. The implication being, that proper attire and behavior go hand in hand. Discussions relating to appropriate apparel and acceptable behavior for going to school, attending a rock concert, or visiting grandparents, for example, might go a long way in helping our future adults make better personal choices in their lives.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2014 5:39 PM

(If I read the article a little more carefully I'd have realized that girls CAN wear khakis and polo shirts--so that's a good thing, anyway)

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2014 5:34 PM

It seems to me that girls should have the option of dressing in khakis and polo shirts too, if they want. Skirts for girls/khakis for boys seems outmoded. But I'm just not keen on the idea of uniforms in the first place.

For Uniforms/Mother of a girl (!) from Forest Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2014 5:04 PM

For boys, this is not so much of an issue. They all wear the same and are not likely to need new stuff every week to keep up like girls. Or the girls mothers want for them sometimes. We found uniforms liberating. Not only is it soo much cheaper than a wardrobe (two skirts, two blouses, two sweaters) but they don't care if the stuff is worn out or ink stained. The uniform is like the backpack. School stuff. Also created a nice "dressed for work" not lounging mindset. Just our take though .

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2014 4:14 PM

The uniforms are truly not necessary at PMSA where there is no gang activity that I know of and no particularly egregious fashion violations; as a parent, I voted against them, partly at the behest of my son, who has to deal with this. Not a huge issue either way--most kids there already dress in khakis and polo shirts. But honestly--an unnecessary nuisance/expense for PMSA kids.


Posted: July 24th, 2014 4:01 PM

Great idea

A. Maldrick Fennister from Forest Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2014 3:56 PM

Good to see this. Uniforms take the focus off the competitive fashion show. Teenagers in high school should care about grades and sports, not some brand logo on their shirts.

Facebook Connect

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Forest Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad