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As the school year approaches, questions arise regarding standardized dress

By ALLISON MILES
Aug. 8, 2010 at 3:08 a.m.

KENDALYNN VALDEZ

DRESS CODE INFORMATIONFor more information on the Victoria school district's dress code for the 2010-11 school year, visit www.visd.com/visdNews/BTS/studentDress.asp.

Alexandra Gutierrez entered Victoria West High School for registration in full school gear. She was surprised, however, to notice classmates' shirts weren't tucked in - and that no one seemed to mind.

With the Victoria school district's updated dress codes, Alexandra is one of many people with questions about what the district will and won't allow.

The school district has fielded dozens of calls from parents with questions regarding standardized dress, said Diane Boyett, communications specialist with the district.

New dress codes apply only to secondary students, not those in elementary school, she said, explaining rumors have circulated that all students are affected.

The district mailed out copies of the new dress code in April but many people have likely misplaced or thrown away the papers by now, Boyett said. The staff refers parents to the district website for guidelines.

Questions are natural any time such change comes, Boyett said.

"People don't want to invest in something and then have their child not be able to wear it to school," she said.

Victoria's Target store has dress code-appropriate items available but the staff doesn't expect to see many people purchase clothing until after school begins, said Mike Yokum, the store's manager. He attributed the wait to uncertainty about the rules.

Children's Place inside the Victoria Mall has been busy with back-to-school shoppers for a week or so, said Erica Salinas, the store's assistant manager. The store offers clothing for children up to age 14 or so, she said, and uniform-style clothing is in high demand.

Alexandra's mother, Angella Salas, said she's glad to see the updated dress code. Polos are a cleaner look, she explained, and will save the family money.

"I like it," she said. "For the kids, though, it's a different story."

Salas' daughter Samantha Valdez, who is entering eighth-grade at Cade Middle School, said although she doesn't mind wearing polos, she doesn't want to tuck them in.

Another daughter, Kendalynn Valdez, is entering sixth-grade at the same school and said she's frustrated with the change.

"We have closets full of clothes and now we have to buy more," she said. "And it's hideous."

But Salas said all of her children will dress according to the rules.

"I told them we're going to do it properly in the beginning," she said. "After school starts up, we'll be able to tell what they allow and what they don't."

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