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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/15/2013 11:06:00 AM
School uniforms at Cottonwood-Oak Creek? (with update)
Board wants superintendent to do more research
Superintendent Barbara U’Ren said she is interested in implementing uniforms at the three campuses. The three campuses serve the same families, and the requirement of uniforms would be consistent for those campuses for families for shopping and sharing uniforms within the family.
Superintendent Barbara U’Ren said she is interested in implementing uniforms at the three campuses. The three campuses serve the same families, and the requirement of uniforms would be consistent for those campuses for families for shopping and sharing uniforms within the family.


Philip Wright
Staff Reporter


UPDATE: No uniforms at Cottonwood-Oak Creek District schools

The idea of implementing uniforms at Dr. Daniel Bright, Cottonwood Elementary and Cottonwood Middle School has been abandoned.

On Friday morning, Superintendent Barbara U'Ren told The Verde Independent that the issue of uniforms on district campuses is dead.

"There was no compelling reason to move forward with uniforms," U'Ren said. "The three schools will review their dress code policies to assure that there is continuity between the campuses."

During the board's regular meeting Tuesday night, school uniforms was on the agenda for discussion. U'Ren presented the idea and covered some of the pros and cons of uniforms in schools.

Board President Jason Finger questioned U'Ren as to why the item had been put on the agenda.

"It didn't come from the board," he said. "I wonder if this is a good idea for this area."

U'Ren explained that it was based on research, and that she was not done researching the idea.

"I'd like to see more research," board member Jason Little said.

Board member JoAnne Cook also asked if the board could get more information before pursuing the idea further. Finger said he would like feedback from more parents.

The board took no action, but U'Ren indicated that she would continue to investigate and gather information.




Original Story

COTTONWOOD - During Tuesday night's regular meeting, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board and the administration discussed requiring school uniforms at Dr. Daniel Bright Cottonwood Elementary and Cottonwood Middle School.

Superintendent Barbara U'Ren said she is interested in implementing uniforms at the three campuses. The three campuses serve the same families, and the requirement of uniforms would be consistent for those campuses for families for shopping and sharing uniforms within the family.

Denise Kennedy, principal at CMS, said she thinks there would be some benefits to uniforms. Nancy Erickson, principal at DDB agreed. She said she could see some really good benefits. But the district would need for all three campuses to adopt uniforms.

The uniform proposed would be khaki pants with a couple different polo shirts. Mountain View Preparatory has a strict dress code that is close to a policy of requiring uniforms. The school requires students to wear solid colors. Stripes, patterns and logos are not allowed.

MVP Principal Stephanie Jones said that 80 percent of her staff was for the dress code.

Board President Jason Finger asked where this idea for uniforms came from.

"It didn't come from the board," he said.

U'Ren said it came from her, and was based on research.

"Why?" Finger asked. "I wonder if this is a good idea for this area."

He said he knows that uniforms would save him money in dressing his kids.

"I don't know that we have a problem," Finger added.

"It blurs the socio-economic lines," Erickson said.

U'Ren said that she is not done researching the idea.

Board member Janice Rollins said there must be something that schools have found that works with uniforms.

Board member JoAnne Cook said she is concerned about the possible effect on enrollment. She asked if some kind of alternative campus could be used for enrollment of students whose parents don't want uniforms.

"I'd like to see more research," said board member Jason Little.

"To me, this is a big money saver," Rollins said.

Finger said they need to keep in mind how many kids the district has who are on free or reduced lunch. He said some families couldn't afford uniforms.

Little asked if any of the districts with uniform policies subsidize the cost of uniforms.

U'Ren said that other districts do have programs for children who cannot afford a uniform.

"Most districts that implemented (uniforms) are low-income districts," U'Ren said.

Cook asked if the board could get more feedback on the idea.

Finger said he would like feedback from more parents.

The board took no action, but U'Ren indicated that she would continue to investigate and gather information.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Samantha Anderson

I think uniforms are a great idea. it allows for a more unified school. This way parents don't have to compete with other parents on who can or can not buy name brand things. Instead the parents can concentrate on making sure the children are excited about school.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

I don't like U'ren . . . she is not an inspiring educator like Tavasci, Kramer or Larson was. Not sure why most of you don't like her, she is the perfect authoritarian, dictator, conservative that you all vote into office . . . again and again.

But what BAD decisions are you talking about?

Starting an IB school that has a waiting list?

Trying to work within a budget that the POLITICIANS have cut to shreds?

Better watch out Mr. Babbitt, Desert Star is a German WALDORF school . . .

The neanderthals here think anything foreign is a commie, socialist, nazi idea.

Your daughter may actually learn to think for herself and THEN where would the world be?


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Gray Grammarian

To Ryan Jenson:

I agree. That's the problem with making a number of bad, personally-motivated decisions and forcing them on the community at large. At some point, every move that superintendent makes, no matter how innocuous, comes under attack.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

Barbara Uren did EXACTLY what a responsible superintendent is supposed to do…she saw information that indicated school uniforms are often coupled with improved testing scores and disciplinary matters, among other things. Seeing this valuable information, she chose to bring it to the school board for their review.

She did not advocate in favor of uniforms…she simply saw something she thought would be of interest to the board and brought it to their attention. The board chose not to pursue the issue.

I’d love to know how many of you armchair critics spend any amount of time at all actively supporting your local public schools.


Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Johnny Johnson

School uniforms are not a bad idea. But this sort of decision really needs to come from the bottom up. So... what do you say parents? Yes or no?

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Article comment by: GEORGIA JOBE

Retire Barb, the school district will be a better school.

Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Article comment by: Barb is getting Desperate

U'Ren is trying anything that will make her look good. She knows she is on a sinking ship with her career.

Thanks to the board for pursing the shared admin and shared services.


Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Karen Smith

My son goes to MVP. I love the "uniform" requirement. I do wish stripes were allowed-solids are harder to find, although Wal Mart accommodates us. Parents have to find clothes for their kids any way, so MVP's requirements are not more costly. AHA's requirement of putting their logo on the shirts, and limiting the colors IS more costly.

I find many of the T-shirts sold at Wal Mart to be offensive, so I am glad my son is not exposed to them all day long at school. As "Olivia" says, one can always accessorize to show individuality!


Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: High School Bound

I'm just glad my son moves up to the High school next year so he doesn't have to put up with Barb's misguided efforts for the Middle school, I believe each student is a seperate person with thier own tastes and should be treated as so or I would have sent my son to a private school, good luck with this Idea Barb

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: More bad ideas from Barb

Another doozie. Could Barb Uren be any more out of touch?

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

Desert Star Community School is a highly rated school with a multicultural education that is bar none. My daughter is learning violin and they even have a real wood-shop. I am not comfortable with public schools and resistive to change when I do become comfortable. After three years of having the parents, administrators and school board use the students in a game of political wiffleball (she often came home crying that her school was going to close) my wife had had enough. We had grown tired of all the new policies, new and useless pledges, cutbacks to the nurse, staff changes,and continual grammar mistakes in official school communications. My wife then transferred our daughter to Desert Star where the children are the main focus and respected as individuals, and we are all better off for it.



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