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Mandatory school uniform programs are on rise, Survey says
Jul '11
Classroom School Uniforms, a division of Strategic Partners Inc, released its annual School Uniform Survey in an ongoing effort to provide topical data to the education and retail community. Bullying continues to be a concern nationwide, and school uniform/standardized dress code programs are helping combat the issue.

125 active members of the National School Board Association (NSBA) from across the nation completed the survey on school uniforms/ standardized dress code polices. This survey is conducted strictly for informational purposes, and the NSBA is not associated with this survey or its findings in any way.

"Our survey findings reinforce the importance of school uniform or dress code programs as a tool for school improvement." says Andy Beattie, General Manager of Classroom School Uniforms. "It helps us and our retailer partners understand the many challenges NSBA members are tackling and how school uniforms may assist schools in meeting them. As an industry leader, we feel a responsibility to provide timely information so school leaders can make informed decisions," adds Beattie.

This year's survey highlighted many new and existing trends:

• School uniforms are still relevant. School uniforms programs remain important, increasingly so with suburban area school districts who generated more opinions this year than those in urban and rural areas.
• What a student wears to school affects their educational experience. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of the respondents agreed that what a student wears to school affects their educational experience.
• Bullying is the most prevalent issue all districts are facing. Respondents with standardized dress programs are focusing their efforts to counter bullying (85%), encourage parent involvement (80%), and improve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) scores (75%). Respondents in districts not with school uniforms agreed that countering bullying (76%), improving AYP Target Achievement scores (70%), and parent involvement (64%) were the top issues they were addressing.
• Mandatory school uniform programs are on the rise. More districts are considering uniform programs. And the responses in schools with uniforms show more districts have mandatory policies than voluntary ones. A majority of respondents have had programs for more than five years.
• More middle school and high school students are wearing uniforms. There are more school uniform programs in secondary schools than ever before. In past surveys, responses were focused on elementary level programs.
• Schools are seeing quantitative data improvements. Respondents with school uniform programs cite quantitative improvements in their attendance rates, AYP scores, and gang influence data.
• School uniforms remain more cost effective than general apparel. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of respondents felt parents consider school uniforms more cost effective, an increase from fifty-four percent (54%) in our 2010 survey.
• The basics still matter. Price, availability, and fit are seen as key uniform attributes. Price (65%), availability in local stores (64%), and comfort and fit (48%) are the most important factors for successful programs.

Strategic Partners, Inc. is a recognized leader in the design and manufacturing of school, medical, and footwear uniform categories. The company manufactures Classroom School Uniforms which are sold to specialty retailers across the nation.

Strategic Partners Inc

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