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Newark Charter: Students must wear uniforms even in remote classes

'Having students in uniform better allows them to be in a focused, learning mindset,' said school director Franklin A. Newton.

Newark Charter School has made many changes to accommodate remote learning when school begins Sept. 8, but not its policy on uniforms.

They’re required.

“Since our founding in 2001, Newark Charter School has a uniform policy for students,” said school director Franklin A. Newton. “This is true when the students are in school either for face to face, in person instruction and when they are on line for synchronous instruction.

“Much like when people get up and get dressed for work, even when working remotely, having students in uniform better allows them to be in a focused, learning mindset. Additionally, it gives the online classroom experience the thoughtful academic environment they see when they are physically together in class.”

Global School Wear, the Tommy Hilfiger website for school uniforms, shows multiple colors and styles for Newark Charter uniforms.

For instance, a high school senior boy can wear two colors of pinpoint Oxford shirts and two colors of flat-front twill pants, plus a blazer, a V-neck sweater or a V-neck sweater vest.

A girl in kindergarten can wear Polo shirts in five colors, jumpers in two colors or plaid, pants in two colors, shorts and skorts in two colors and a cardigan in two colors.

Newark Charter requires uniforms even in remote learning
These are some of the uniform choices that Newark Charter girls have to choose from.

What schoolchildren wear for synchronous Zoom classes or similar tech is an issue nationwide.

Schools in Springfield, Illinois, told “students who choose remote learning will have to follow the dress code at home – meaning no pajamas,” Education Week reported. “The district also said students couldn’t sit in bed while participating in a video class. The backlash was swift: Parents and educators from across the country said controlling what students wore in their own home was out of line.”

The district later clarified its policy, saying it will be flexible and “doesn’t plan on punishing students who don’t abide by the wardrobe guidelines,” according to NBC Chicago.

About 50% of public schools have a dress code, the National Center for Education Statistics figured in its most recent survey, while about 20% require uniforms. A roundup by Teen Vogue found many schools planning to enforce dress codes for remote learning this fall and also found many complaints.

In Washington, D.C., Statesmen College Preparatory Academy earned praise for its virtual reopening.

“In uniform, they go from Zoom room to Zoom room for different classes, and they still have one-on-one mindfulness sessions to stay focused,” WUSA reported.

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