Created on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 20:31
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 20:31
Parents, teachers and students were asked to
complete a survey in January regarding uniforms at the Waitsfield
Elementary School. The topic was raised by a number of parents at a PTA
meeting in December. The administration worked with a parent to develop
a survey to find out the pulse of the community on this issue. The
following are the results of the survey.
There were 112 respondents to the survey. Of the respondents, 77.5
percent were parents, 5.4 percent were students, and 16.2 percent were
staff. The distribution of respondents across the grades (Pre-K-6) was
fairly even with the greatest number of respondents being associated
with the second and sixth grades. In general, 65 percent of those who
filled out the survey felt there was no need for uniforms at the WES.
Nineteen percent supported the idea and 15 percent were undecided.
In public schools that have required uniforms, many report they have
done so for reasons related to safety, economic, and social/cultural
reasons. Respondents at WES indicated that they did not feel there was
a behavioral concern to be addressed and that uniforms would not
improve student behavior (67 percent). With regard to the impact
uniforms would have on "making the teachers' job easier/harder" the
majority of respondents did not feel uniforms would have an impact one
way or the other (70 percent). Regarding how uniforms help address
safety issues, 94 percent of those filling out the survey did not feel
there was an issue to be addressed in this area.
While research on the topic may indicate that uniforms are in fact cost
effective for families when compared to other clothing options, of
those responding to this question a small percentage felt uniforms
would be more expensive for families while others (45 percent) agreed
that it would be cost effective.
In summary, the majority of respondents do not support uniforms for WES
students despite the fact that they feel clothing can interfere with
social relationships and may have the benefit of "leveling the social
playing field." A majority of respondents believe that clothing is an
important way to express individuality and at the same time can create
"It is interesting to note that comments both for and against uniforms
were often strong and emotionally expressed. This is obviously a
controversial issue that many feel is worth talking about. While this
conversation is sure to continue as we concern ourselves with issues of
media literacy, consumer habits and socially responsible civic
behavior, those interested are encouraged to explore web-based
resources. These resources represent a range of perspectives.
Links will be posted on the school website for your convenience," said
school Principal Richard Schattman, who with Krissy Bisbee compiled the
results of the survey.