Dress for success

West Goshen Elementary partners with parents and teachers to launch new standardized dress code

 

 

 

West Goshen Elementary School students are raising their pride in the school and their focus on academics with a new standard of dress.

“Every morning, I love seeing our students coming into school, dressed for success!” said West Goshen’s new principal, Ryan Cinninger.

Following parent and community urging, West Goshen Elementary implemented a simple standardized dress code: solid colored button down or polo shirts.

The idea started when West Goshen provided students and staff with matching school shirts that they would all wear on special “spirit days” or on field trips.

“The first couple days we did that,” said former West Goshen Principal Alan Metcalfe, “the feeling in the building was different. It’s hard to put words to it, but everybody belonged. There was maybe a little pride in it.”

 

 

I love seeing our students coming into school, dressed for success!

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That got Alan thinking. He sent out a survey to parents in March 2013 asking if there was any interest in some sort of uniform or standardized dress for students.

The survey overwhelmingly said that the school should look into it.

The school hosted an informational meeting and then formed a committee of parents with a variety of opinions on the matter, some teachers and staff.

The group, with the backing of the school community, moved forward with the new dress, which started this fall.

“There is no real research out there that says that wearing uniforms will increase test scores or anything like that,” Alan said, “but what can happen is that the culture of the building might change.”

This past summer, Alan Metcalfe transitioned from his principal position at West Goshen to an assistant superintendent position at Goshen Community Schools’ central office. That is when Ryan Cinninger started as West Goshen’s principal.

He has heard several parents comment to him how grateful they are for the new dress code. It has saved parents money and makes those morning “what to wear to school” decisions easier.

“In preparing our students to be successful in school, later in life, and in their future professions, learning this skill, to dress for success, is an important skill that will help them in many different facets of their lives for years to come,” Ryan said.

Silverwood Mennonite Church and some other community members have helped establish a “loaner’s closet” for students who, for whatever reason, are unable to comply with the new standards of dress.

“I personally like how the standardized dress compliments our ‘West Goshen Way’ of doing things,” he said. “What is the West Goshen Way? It is having a positive attitude and acting in a respectful, responsible, and safe manner in everything you do, no matter what you face.”

“This West Goshen Way is at the essence of what makes West Goshen Elementary School and our community a great place to be, to learn, and to maximize one’s potential!”

“There is no real research out there that says that wearing uniforms will increase test scores or anything like that,” Alan said, “but what can happen is that the culture of the building might change.”

“In preparing our students to be successful in school, later in life, and in their future professions, learning this skill, to dress for success, is an important skill that will help them in many different facets of their lives for years to come.”

 

 

Good of Goshen Photography • Lynne Zehr
Good of Goshen Editor • Marlys Weaver-Stoesz

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