Dress codes today vary

Students from John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport show some of the dress code options that are allowed at the school. From left, are Gaby Moya, fifth grade; Noah Weiman, second grade; Julia Kirk, second grade; Luke Castro, fifth grade and Rachel Sigwarth, eighth grade.

By Anne Marie Amacher

Schools in the Diocese of Davenport have some sort of dress code. In addition, schools have guidelines or rules on hairstyles, piercings, shoes, belts and makeup among other items.

Several schools in the Diocese of Davenport shared their dress code policies with The Catholic Messenger. Here are some of the highlights:

The dress code at Assumption High School in Davenport “reinforces the teaching that all are equal in the eyes of God.”

Its general dress code calls for solid red, black or white collared, polo or oxford shirts or Assumption shirts. Pants, capris and shorts can be khaki or black colors and girls may wear the uniform plaid of which there is one for freshmen and sophomores and a separate plaid for juniors and seniors.


St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Davenport states the dress code exists “so that economical clothing can be purchased and so that competition between the students, regarding dress, can be minimized.”

All students can wear red, white or light blue collared shirts. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth wear navy shorts or slacks and in grades six through eight wear navy or khaki shorts or slacks. In addition, girls in kindergarten through fifth grade may wear uniform jumpers and girls in sixth through eighth grades can wear uniform skirts.

Students at Holy Trinity Catholic Schools in Fort Madison and West Point wear solid-color dress pants, capris, skirts, skorts, coulottes or shorts. Shirts are dress, polo or turtlenecks — all with collars and sleeves.

Bishop Hayes Catholic School in Muscatine states in its code, “School is the educational workplace of children. The dress code is based on that premise. A good self-image, respect, behavior, positive behavior patterns and a sense of school pride develop more quickly when students have specific guidelines to follow.”

Its code “is simple.” Any style of clothing from the J.C. Penney school uniform offerings is allowed. Shirts must be solid. Sweatshirts and T-shirts from the Home and School Association may be worn as well.

St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt says its dress code “provides some reasonable guidelines to assure well-groomed students and to instill pride in the appearance of those who attend St. Joseph Catholic School.”

Shirts many not advertise products or carry slogans or ideas inappropriate to a Christian school. No spaghetti straps or tank tops can be seen. They may be worn underneath other tops. Pants should be nice in appearance. Dresses, skirts and shorts can be worn.

John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport allows students to wear navy or khaki shorts, pants or capris. Tops must be solid white, navy blue or true red.

Girls in kindergarten through third grade may wear a plaid jumper and in fourth through eighth grade the optional plaid skirt or coulotte.

JFK parents Lynn Olds and Nicole Martinez like the options the students have in the current dress code.

Olds, who wore a uniform in Catholic school in Cedar Rapids as a student, said the choices today are more extensive than when she was a student. “My only option was a red or white shirt with my jumper.” But she likes the options for her daughters, Sara in eighth grade and Laura in sixth grade.

Martinez  said she is fine with dress code policy. There’s no competition to have name brand clothing like those who attend public schools. The variety of choices with the dress code appeals to her more than a strict uniform because it allows for some variety.

Her son Joey is in first grade. Her preschool son, Nathan, does not follow the dress code yet.

Teacher and parent Karen Youngerman has “no problems with the dress code. It’s easy. The kids don’t have to worry about what they are going to wear and they look nice.”

In general, all the schools allow sweaters in solid colors that follow the same color schemes as the tops.

Sweatshirt policies vary by school. Short and capris in general are allowed during warm-weather season.

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