BROOKSVILLE — There's a new look coming next fall in the Hernando County schools. Call it the year of the polo shirt.
On Tuesday, the School Board approved a new, standard dress code for its elementary and middle schools. Even one high school, Springstead, got into the act.
"We're looking for them to dress like they're coming to work," said Sue Stoops, principal at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics. "School is their job."
At all of the 15 schools covered under the new code, polo shirts and solid-colored pants, shorts and skirts will be the standard.
Officials said that still leaves plenty of discretion for local schools to determine acceptable styles and colors. At some buildings, any color goes and button-down collars are fine; at others, the color scheme is limited to a few school tones.
The district has had a basic code for years, and some schools have developed their own versions. But school officials said they were tired of the daily battle over plunging necklines and drooping waistlines.
A few board members said they'd gotten complaints from parents. Some said their opinions were never sought, or they didn't want to spend extra money to outfit their children for new schools this fall.
Dianne Bonfield asked whether families could choose any color polo shirt because some will change schools this fall due to the district rezoning.
But Dominick Ferello, principal of the new Explorer K-8, said a color scheme can help teachers tell their students from outsiders. The board agreed to leave such questions up to schools.