Lisbon School Committee Receptive to Proposed Dress Code Changes

LISBON — Members of the school committee congratulated two Lisbon high school students who presented a revised dress code proposal at their meeting on Monday. The proposed change would loosen restrictions on shirt lengths and hats.

Committee members also discussed offering four high school diplomas with honors and requiring all high school students to take a world history course, but did not vote on any proposals during the course. of the workshop.

Seniors Maia Tebbets and Morgan Washburn, members of the school’s Student Voice committee, told committee members that many people feel the current dress code is too restrictive and unfair for some students.

Their proposal would allow students to wear shirts that expose up to two to three belly fingers and hats inside, unless a teacher requests otherwise in their class.

“Most of the shirts sold in stores are no longer long tops,” Tebbets said. “(It) is really hard to find shirts that when you move around don’t show any belly.”

Two to three exposed belly fingers “fit much more into modern styles and are much easier to find in stores,” she added.

Both students agreed that the dress code can be particularly difficult for taller students. Clothes fit bodies differently, they said.

They believe that relaxing the dress code would benefit both students and teachers.

School committee members were receptive to the proposal, with one agreeing that shirts in stores have become shorter. However, a few members said they weren’t convinced about allowing hats at school.

Under the students’ proposal, balaclavas would still be banned.

“I think if it causes fewer distractions during the day, then I think there is a need” to update the dress code, said committee member Margaret Galligan-Schmoll.

Lynne Gervais, an English teacher at Lisbon High School, presented the committee with a plan to offer four honors degrees to recognize students who excel in their studies.

A diploma with honors would be awarded to students who achieve the minimum grade point average in their target honors and who have earned at least 28 credits upon graduation, six credits more than the standard high school diploma.

If approved, students would have the option of pursuing a catch-all Liberal Arts Honors, Humanities Honors, Math and Science Honors, or Fine Arts Honors, which includes both coursework of art and music.

To earn distinction in the humanities, for example, a student would need to earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in all English, social studies, and world language courses, and pursue six additional credits in those materials. The cumulative grade point average requirement is the same for all four honors degrees.

Currently, students have the option of taking up to 32 credits over four years.

Gervais said honors degrees are meant to encourage students to take more courses and better prepare them for college.

According to one document, the 22-credit requirement means that “many students spend up to a third of their high school career in study halls or outside (of school) with (privileges).”

“It would certainly solve the size of our study halls, which is a big concern,” Superintendent Richard Green said.

Committee members heard a third proposal from high school social studies teacher Ryan Bernard, who requested that the district again require all students to take a world history course.

Bernard argued that most nearby schools need the class, adding that Lisbon students who graduate without it are at a disadvantage. No other course lends itself to discussing topics of global importance, like the war in Ukraine, he said.

Committee members spoke in favor of Bernard’s proposal, noting that requiring sophomores to study world history would also reduce the size of study halls.

World history was previously a required course at Lisbon High School, according to Bernard, but was dropped due to budget cuts. If approved, the requirement would only apply to freshmen and lower grades.

The committee will vote on each of the three proposals at its next meeting on October 10 at the municipal office.

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