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Nyack Schools Report

Drafting a Dress Code and Compromising on a Calendar (Notes: Jan. 24 Meeting)

A group shot from the meet and greet with new Nyack Schools Superintendent Susan Yom (middle, wearing glasses and a blazer) on Wednesday, January 25. (Credit: Nyack School Instagram account)

The Board of Education meeting on January 24 included two key focus areas – the draft calendar for next school year and a revision of the dress code.

Dress Code Recommendations

The revision of the dress code has been long awaited by some who objected to the gendered language, calling out specific female body parts. The code is currently spelled out in two overlapping policies and was revised by a group including administration, staff, parents and students.

The two policies were recommended to be replaced with one simplified policy that removes any gendered or overly specific language. A complete new policy will be voted on in a future meeting. The policy is required by law as part of the SAVE act, which mandates both a code of conduct and a dress code.

Key points of the recommendation:

  • Be unlikely to injure people or damage property, according to this code and not substantially disrupt or materially interfere with the educational process.  
  • Private areas must remain covered with outer clothing.  
  • Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.  
  • Not include headgear or sunglasses, except for religious or documented medical reasons.  
  • Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or that denigrate, harass or discriminate against others on account of race, color, weight, religion, religious practice, disability, creed, national origin, ethnic group, gender, sex, sexual orientation or disability.  
  • Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or controlled substances or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.

The new policy will also include language about preferred handling of dress code violations in a kind and humane way by a teacher known to the student and absent of shaming.

The challenge in figuring out next year’s calendar

The draft calendar for the 2023-2024 school year, posted below, was shared for any comments by the community and will be adopted at a future meeting.

Parents of elementary students often wonder why the end of the school year has to be lengthened by several half days. The reason is, essentially, that the Regents exams are dictated by the state to end on a particular day, referred to as the Regents rating day.

The number of days in class is further governed by the teacher contract (there is a maximum number of days) and New York State, which provides a minimum number of school days. At the bottom of the draft, you can see these days are calculated.

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Meeting Ms. Yom

On Wednesday, January 25, the new Superintendent of Schools Susan Yom had a well attended Meet & Greet event at the High School’s Global Learning Commons (formerly known as the library). The event brought together several dozen parents, students, teachers and administrators to meet Ms. Yom. Check out the action!

 Here’s the draft calendar:

And the slide for the key points of the dress code:

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