With the start of school just around the corner, students in the Palmerton Area School District are reminded to take heed to the dress code policy.

Effective immediately, the dress code will be implemented districtwide when the 2011-12 school year kicks off on Monday, Aug. 29, said Superintendent Carol Boyce.

Boyce said the changes implemented are geared to foster a more concentrated effort on the learning process.

"We're looking forward to having the dress becoming less of a distraction to the learning process here in school, and also preparing youngsters better for the workforce," Boyce said. "They will most likely not be able to wear some of the types of things they've been wearing for leisure and for school up to this point."

Boyce said the district has fielded various inquiries in relation to the dress code.

"We've had several phone calls regarding the wearing of the skinny jeans, and asking us if they are permitted under the new dress code; no, they are not permitted," she said. "Hoodies certainly have been in the past a concern; for us that is a safety concern because they are so easily grabbed by the back, and also, with the hoods up, we have difficulty identifying students on short notice, so I think that may be some of a culture shift for some of the youngsters."

Further, Boyce said the district believes the dress code will teach students about "professionalism and appropriate ware for the job market."

"We've had reports of youngsters who were told to change their clothes at various work sites for not appropriately being dressed," she said. "This is a professional place, and a business, and here, education is their business."

Boyce said the district has taken every precaution necessary to ensure the matter isn't an issue.

"They were told at the end of school, there have been at least two phone calls home for AlertNow, it's on the [district] web site, and students will receive their student handbooks the first day of school," she said. "It will be verbally addressed one more time on the first day of school, and from that day forward, it will be absolutely enforced."

Above all else, Boyce said it's imperative that the community collaborates with the district.

"We're looking forward to cooperation from the students and parents," she said. "They've certainly received adequate information."

The dress code policy may be viewed on the district's web site, www.palmerton.org [1].