NASD returns to uniform dress code for first time since pandemic

Published 2:07 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

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NATCHEZ — After two years of no uniforms in Natchez Adams School District schools, the school board approved a uniform dress code Tuesday that is still more relaxed than what students were once accustomed to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon students’ return from virtual learning because of COVID-19, the school district dropped its uniform dress code. Officials at the time said uniforms were not well stocked in stores and many families were going through economic hardships from the pandemic and couldn’t afford the uniforms.

To reintroduce uniforms, yet allow leniency for families still facing economic hardship, the board adopted a relaxed uniform policy that includes solid navy, royal blue, grey or white collared shirts — such as polo shirts — only and the option of either light or dark khaki, black or navy blue bottoms or denim jeans in shades of blue or black.

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The dress code prohibits students from wearing hoodies, sweat pants, zip-off pants, low riders, leggings, jeggings, tights, pajama pants or joggers and shoes must have closed toes and closed heals. Sandals, clogs, and steel-toe boots are not allowed.

Belts must also be worn in bottoms with belt loops and sunglasses, shades, hats, headbands, wave caps, bandanas, hair nets or combs in the hair are not allowed.

To view the complete uniform policy, click here.

“The Natchez Adams School District will reinstate the uniform dress code as we prepare for the 2023-24 school year. The dress code as presented is not as restrictive as it was in years past but it does promote appropriate dress for a school environment,” said NASD Public Engagement Coordinator Tony Fields. “The guidelines also address safety issues such as slips, trips and falls as well as head coverings that may hinder the identification of students.”

Board member Diane Bunch said she liked the new uniform policy.

“I like the relaxed aspect of it because it keeps them uniform yet comfortable,” she said.

Those who can’t afford uniforms, Fields said, would be pointed to area churches that have charitable programs in place to provide students with school uniforms.

The school board also adopted a flexible academic calendar for the 2023-24 school year similar to those used in the past two years with 180 instructional days with added fall and spring intersessions for select students.

The students’ first day of school is Aug. 1 and the last day is June 3, 2024. Only students participating in intersessions should report to school from Oct. 2 through Oct. 6, 2023, and March 18 through March 22, 2024.

To view the full academic calendar, click here.