Dressed For Success

Dear St. Mary’s School Family,

For the past several years, the St. Mary’s School Board has discussed the possibility of implementing an organized dress code. When Fr. Trevor was in West Frankfort, their school successfully adopted an organized dress code. Therefore, Fr. Trevor and Mrs. Wirth, with input from the School Board, have decided to implement the new “Dress for Success” policy beginning with the 2013-14 school year. In discussing this issue, Fr. Trevor, Mrs. Wirth, and the School Board considered many factors before deciding this was an appropriate policy for our school. In the Belleville Diocese, St. Mary’s School is one of the only parochial schools not following an organized dress code. We believe that instituting this policy will have many benefits for our faculty, students, and parents.

Studies show an organized dress code allows students and teachers to focus on education. By maintaining an easy to follow, structured dress code, many of the daily distractions of whether or not students are in compliance with the dress code will be removed, allowing our faculty and students to focus on education. Schools that follow an organized dress code typically have students with better study habits and higher test scores. An organized dress code also enhances the sense of school spirit and pride. By providing an identity for the students, it promotes a sense of belonging and fraternity throughout the school day and during school outings. An organized dress code also promotes harmony between students and parents. By providing exact guidelines of what is expected, many arguments between students and parents over dress are eliminated. Typically, the amount of money spent for school clothes is also reduced for a family.

By shifting to the new “Dress for Success” policy, we believe St. Mary’s School is taking a step forward in its continuing mission to provide a quality educational experience. We believe this new policy will improve the environment of our school for faculty, students, and parents. We realize this is going to be a big change for our students and parents, but we believe it will be a very positive change for our school. As with any change, it will take time for everyone to become accustomed to the new policy. Fr. Trevor’s experience with the transition in West Frankfort was overwhelmingly positive, and we have no reason to expect it won’t be the same for our school.

Attached you will find the new “Dress for Success” policy. Please take this as an opportunity to look over the new policy in preparation for the transition. We hope this will allow any questions to be answered in plenty of time before the policy is implemented at the beginning of next year.


St. Mary’s School Board

September 11, 2013


Dear Parents,

After meeting with the School Board last Thursday night about the Dressed For Success Code, it was suggested that I meet with the students and clarify some dress code concerns.  I met with the students in grades K-8 this morning and hopefully answered the impending questions.  This is a “work in progress” as we iron out the details and clarify the existing dress code.  Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.  Working together  will truly make this a “Dressed for Success Code.”

Here are the highlights:

** The colors of the polo shirts to be worn are white, royal or navy blue, black, and yellow.  Light blue, florescent yellow, charcoal and other colors are not permissible.

** No logos on clothing, socks, headbands, etc.

** Shorts, skirts, skorts, jumpers must be knee length or no more than 2” above the knee.  Shorts must be worn under skirts, jumpers.

** Shoes must be worn with solid-colored socks, any shirt/pant colors.

** Now that cooler weather is around the corner, here are a few reminders.  A long sleeve shirt may be worn under a short sleeve shirt but must be of appropriate color.  Sweaters and fleece jackets may be worn following the designated colors along with SMS sweatshirts/hoodies in the classroom. We will be selling SMS sweatshirts/hoodies very soon.  There are no specific requirements for outside jackets, coats, hats, gloves except there is no camouflage.

** Please also review the “Dressed For Success” code at this link.

The students look so sharp in their “dress for success” and we have heard so many positive comments from our parents, grandparents, friends, and the community.  Let’s continue to work together for this “success.”

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Wirth


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