On Monday, February 22, Milford School District Board of Education approved changes to the dress code policy in order to provide parents and students with some flexibility as well as to clarify language that teachers and administrators found confusing. The changes to the code took effect on Monday, February 29.
The board added grey to the approved colors for shirts and pants. Students may also now wear corduroy pants in the approved colors. Polo shirts may now have between two and five buttons or students may choose to wear long-sleeved Oxford style shirts rather than polo shirts. Over garments are now permitted as long as they do not have hoods and are approved colors. Over garments may have a zipper or may button. One addition drew questions from Nancy Carnavale, Principal at Milford Central Academy after it was approved.
“How strict are we supposed to be about the scarves and neckties?” Ms. Carnavale asked. “It is now required that scarves and neckties be solid. They also must be approved colors. I am not sure how easy it will be for students to find scarves and ties in solid colors.” School Board President Renate Wiley said that the administrators would be expected to follow the dress code as it had already been approved but that they would welcome suggestions for how to improve it. All dress code changes are available on the district website.
In addition to the dress code, Dr. Phyllis Kohel, Superintendent, said that the Delaware Senate and House of Representatives had approved Senate Bill 172 which would allow the board to reduce their number of board members from eight to seven. This means that when Pat Emory’s term on the board expires this year, it will not be filled and the board will drop to seven members.
“Mr. Emory’s seat is an at-large seat, which is why we can eliminate it,” Dr. Kohel explained. “We will still have representation for the four areas in the district and three at-large seats.”
Dr. Kelly Green, Principal of Milford High School and Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Assistant Superintendent of the Milford School District, presented changes that had been made at the school in an effort to improve student achievement. Dr. Green explained that there had been more focus on this year’s freshman class and that teachers were reporting better adjustment in those students due to that focus.
“Our AP Programs are doing exceptionally well,” Dr. Green said. “Nationally, the pass rate for AP examinations is 50 percent but ours is 64 percent. I think that speaks volumes to how well our AP program is going at MHS. We are also working hard to engage students in curriculum, which can be difficult at the high school level. One of the biggest complaints we are hearing this year is that the kids are working too hard. We actually feel that this is a good complaint to have because it means kids are taking it seriously and what we are doing is working.”
Dr. Dickerson also introduced two new pathways that would be offered in 2016-17 at Milford High School. An Advanced Placment computer course will be included as part of the new Computer Science pathway and Dr. Dickerson felt that the Allied Health pathway would be very beneficial with the new Bayhealth campus set to break ground in the next several months.
Harold Walters, Supervisor of Transportation, announced that the State of Delaware had approved new school bus replacements in the district. One of the buses would be a propane bus as part of a pilot program the state was developing for school districts.