As the plan for West Seattle’s new public school K-5 STEM at Boren continues to take shape, its Design Team is meeting to discuss details big and small. One potentially big item came up at the May 29th meeting: Principal Dr. Shannon McKinney‘s suggestion that the school should require uniforms, or have a uniform-like dress code. (Our coverage of that meeting reports the rationale, as well as the opinions voiced that night.) Though no decision was made at that meeting, as planned, the discussion continued at the most recent meeting this week – and Design Team member Robin Graham tells us the team decided to support the recommendation:
With understanding and appreciation of the community’s thoughts on both sides, the design team supports Dr. McKinney with our vision that STEM is a place kids should know they are doing something very important – this is their uniform for learning.
The uniform will go far to increase safety, reduce distractions; communicate to the students, staff, and the community that we are serious about learning at K-5 STEM; increase equality between sexes; reduce teasing between boys and girls; enable teachers to truly “see” the student as a student; encourage students to see beyond external attributes and get to know his/her classmates on the basis of who they are; along with many other reasons.
The uniform to be decided upon will not be something akin to “ties for the boys and only skirts for the girls.” On the contrary, students will be able to wear khaki-colored pants, shorts and/or skirts of appropriate length, along with initially, perhaps a navy blue polo shirt. After the student body and staff have together chosen school colors, a mascot and a name, then more choices will be added to the uniform. All the logistics and the support to families are details that will be addressed.
The Design Team, which includes community, school, and district representatives, is scheduled to meet again at 6:15 pm June 21st at Madison Middle School‘s library. The school’s PTA is in formation, too, and its charter membership meeting is set for 6:30 pm June 27th at the West Seattle (Admiral) branch of the Seattle Public Library (2306 42nd SW). Meantime, the Yahoo! discussion group for enrolled and interested families continues going strong – find it here.