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Dress code at Pleasant Valley still an issue for some parents

Published October 23. 2009 05:00PM

The dress code at Pleasant Valley School District apparently still has a lot of wrinkles to iron out.

Several parents of PV students voiced their opinion at Thursday night's school board meeting of how the dress code is being handled .

Lisa Wieczerzak of Chestnuthill told the board that she has no problem with the dress code. What she does have a problem with is her kids spending school time in In School Suspension (ISS) for four hours for some kind of infraction of the dress code when one day what her child wore was okay and the next time, it's not.

"It's like there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I don't understand how my child can wear a pair of shoes for two weeks and it's okay and then suddenly it's not okay. If you're going to have a dress code, stick to it. Don't keep changing the rules," she said.

She added that the kids are confused because announcements are made over the PA system about changes in the dress code.

Another mother said she thought the dress code should be one color and one style. That way there would never be any questions of what was right and what was wrong.

Michael Facella of Ross Township said, "I'm right along with these other parents. I work in Jersey. I can't leave my job to go home and bring my kids a change of clothing and it's not right they have to sit in ISS and miss out on school work."

One mom said that she also believes the dress code should be a uniform.

"This isn't working. My daughter has been in study hall two days for wearing a skirt that was all right for six weeks and then in the seventh week it's not."

President of the school board, MiChelle Palmer asked, "How many of you parents here who have had issues with the dress code have contacted your school's administration to determine what is wrong?"

There were many hands raised.

School board director John Sabia addressed the parents with "Give us a chance to get this straightened out. The administrators have been working on this," saying he was under the impression all the administrators were calling parents to inform them of the student's infraction.

One mother said that when her daughter was in ISS for a dress code violation she was not called so that she could bring her a change of clothes.

Anthony Fadule, Assistant Superintendent/Personnel, sitting in for Dr. Douglas Arnold, superintendent, said that he knew administrators were making calls.

Addressing the mother he said, "Mr. Gress is here. Please speak to him after the meeting."

After the meeting was adjourned, Carole Geary, Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum spoke to the TIMES NEWS and said that in regards to announcements being made over the PA system about rules changing, she said that's not what the kids are hearing.

"What they're hearing are reminders of what the dress code is, not changes in policy."

She also addressed the issue of students being placed in ISS.

"The first time there is an infraction of the dress code policy, the student receives a warning. If they're in ISS it's because it's not the first time they are in violation of the policy."

Chrystyna Janak of Chestnuthill addressed the school board by asking, "Why are there not enough 5th grade science books?" Her child had not received one. When she got in touch with the teacher and Mr. Storm, principal at PVI, she was told that textbooks will be available in a few weeks. The teacher will be making photo copies of it or a CD Rom will be made available to the students.

"I understand that a copy of the book will be available but I think you could save yourself and the teacher a lot of trouble if you just ordered enough books."

She also said she tried to get a copy of the school budget.

"There is a 'right to know' law that says I may see it. I was told I could download a form on the website that I would have to fill out and submit to receive a copy. Which I did. I brought it into the office on Oct. 8 and was told I would have to wait until it could be made available. I asked for my request to be stamped with the date and that it was received. I made several calls to Mr. Fisher and was told he was not in each time. I still don't have a copy of the budget. I feel like a child who a secret is being kept from."

Chris Fisher, Assistant to the Superintendent for Professional and Support Services told Janak that he was there every day but never received any messages that she called. When he spoke to Janak after the meeting, he immediately emailed her the budget to her email address.

Mr. Fadule told Janak that Ms. Geary was looking into the textbook issue.

Tina Moto of Eldred Township asked the board if the bus drivers could please stop honking their horns at 6:30 a.m. in front of their home.

"My husband and my neighbor are retired. I work a second shift and don't get home until after 1 a.m. in the morning. We all would like to be able to sleep. When I called First Student, I was told the law is that the students must be at the transportation site five minutes before pick-up. But these kids wait until they hear them blow the horn."

She was told to meet with Chris Fisher after the meeting to look into the issue.

In other school board business:

*Approval was given for the purchase of Annual Software/Services and Subscription Renewal for Performance Tracer and Assessment Builder of 2009-10 school year in the amount of $10,589.30

*Community Halloween Night will be held at PVHS on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 5-7 p.m.

*The PVHS marching band earned many Superior ratings at a competition held in Bangor

*Oct. 26-30 is Spirit Week with a bonfire on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m., Pep Rally Friday, Oct. 30, and the Homecoming Game for the Old Oaken Bucket will be played Friday, Oct. 30 at home at 7 p.m. against Pocono Mountain East. Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at the game. Homecoming Dance will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 7-10 p.m. in the gym

*PV will host a band competition on Saturday, Oct. 24 in the stadium, (in the school if weather conditions are bad)

*Veterans Day activities will be held in the high school gym on Nov. 11 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

*PVHS Soccer, Field Hockey and Volleyball teams have qualified for district play. Soccer and Field Hockey has qualified for the MVC league playoffs

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