The idea drew groans from the under-20 crowd in the audience at a recent Proviso High School District 209 board meeting, but it looks like students at the three Proviso high schools may be wearing school uniforms, starting with the 2014-15 school year.

Wearing uniforms can cut down “distractions that can interfere with the learning process,” said D209 Board President Dan Adams in a press release from the district.

“We are confident students wearing uniforms will help produce a better environment for learning and teaching,” Adams said.

Under the proposed dress code, students would wear a long-sleeved or short-sleeved black, white, or school-colored (royal blue, red or purple) knit polo shirt (without logos) with plain khaki shorts or trousers (with black or brown belt) when school is in session.

For males, shirts must be worn tucked into the pants or shorts. Undergarments, if visible through the polo shirt, must be white in color. Khaki trousers with extra pockets (cargo pants) are not allowed. Shorts must be worn at the waist and sagging pants are not allowed.

Female students also have the option of wearing skirts if they are not too short (hem below the length of fingertips extended held at the side). Socks or plain tights may be worn though patterned stockings would not be acceptable. Leggings would not be acceptable under skirts. Shoes of the same color must be worn. House shoes, flip flops, shower shoes or cleats would be prohibited.

Students may also wear a hoodless white, black or school-colored cardigan or sweater, over the uniform polo. No logos on sweaters.

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) students would be allowed to wear specialized uniforms, and athletes would be permitted to wear jerseys or participate in “dress up days,” according to the district. Administrators and teachers would be allowed to suspend the dress code for specific student “spirit days” or special occasions like Homecoming Week.

The board will make a final determination at its January meeting. Until then, the district seeks student, parent and community opinions about the dress code change in an online survey.

Participate in the survey

This story has been updated to correct the survey link.

Former board president’s brother’s custodian position filled for half the salary

Billy Welch, former Proviso West High School night custodian and brother of former D209 board president Emanuel “Chris” Welch, got a $9,200 raise and a job transfer in June from night custodian to maintenance department receiving clerk. That brought his salary to $65,973.

The D209 school board planned to vote to fill Welch’s former post Tuesday after press time. Michael Keaton was hired to fill Billy Welch’s position as night custodian. His salary: $30,000.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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