Kingman school uniform discussion still under way

KINGMAN - Kingman Unified School District Governing Board member Laurie Voss Barthlow put a new wrinkle in the district's student dress code discussion Tuesday when she suggested adding long- and short-sleeved button-down shirts as options for students.

Barthlow showed off a white, long-sleeved button-down shirt she had embroidered with the district's logo at the governing board's meeting.

The board was considering moving to a full school uniform including dress pants, shirts, skirts and jumpers, but a number of parents objected to the added cost.

Barthlow said the shirts wouldn't be mandatory attire, but would give students the option to dress things up a bit if they liked, she said.

"If it takes off, maybe we could add some colors, like the blue Mr. Jacks is wearing," Barthlow said. "I think we've had enough feedback from students that they like the idea of the shirts, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to give up the ghost on the pants."

At around $20 each, the shirts were more expensive than the T-shirts the students currently wear, Barthlow admitted.

Board President Charles Lucero didn't like the idea.

"What about the students that can't afford to buy them? It's not fair to them," he said. He also pointed out that each school in the district currently has a stock of T-shirts for students who forget to wear one or don't have the funds to purchase one.

"I doubt the district is going to be stocking these shirts in the school," Lucero said.

Board member Jeri Brock recommended tabling the idea until the district could determine how much it would cost students to purchase the shirts from the school's official vendors.

The board unanimously approved tabling a decision on the shirts until its January meeting.

The board also heard an update from Superintendent Roger Jacks on possible future uses of Palo Christi Elementary School. The exploratory committee assigned to study the issue found that most people surveyed by the district wanted the building to remain a school, but the district needed to get a professional assessment of the work needed to repair the building.

The district might be able to get some help from a $10,000 pass through grant from the city of Kingman. The city still uses the school's gym and some of its classrooms for after-school activities. The district would have to come up with about $4,000 in matching funds.

There was also the possibility of getting funds from the Arizona School Facilities Board, Jacks said.

Some other options for the historic school included: making it a special charter school for the district or making it a parent center.

"But most people would really like to see it as an elementary school," Jacks said.

No decision on the future of the school was made at the meeting.

The board also set a meeting for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 10 at Chicago Title, 2699 E. Andy Devine Ave., to discuss changes to the language in school's student disciplinary policy in the parent's handbook.