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NEW YORK For the first time, researchers have used the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep to create healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.

Since Dolly’s birth in 1996, scientists have cloned nearly two dozen kinds of mammals, including dogs, cats, pigs, cows and polo ponies, and have also created human embryos with this method. But until now, they have been unable to make babies this way in primates, the category that includes monkeys, apes and people.

In a paper released Wednesday by the journal Cell, he and his colleagues announced that they successfully created two macaques. The female baby monkeys, about 7 and 8 weeks old, are named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua.

“It’s been a long road,” said one scientist who tried and failed to make monkeys and was not involved in the new research, Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health Science University. “Finally, they did it.”

Poo said the feat shows that the cloning of humans is theoretically possible. But he said his team has no intention of doing that. Mainstream scientists generally oppose making human babies by cloning, and Poo said society would ban it for ethical reasons.

Instead, he said, the goal is to create lots of genetically identical monkeys for use in medical research, where they would be particularly valuable because they are more like humans than other lab animals such as mice or rats.

The process is still very inefficient it took 127 eggs to get the two babies and so far it has succeeded only by starting with a monkey fetus. The scientists failed to produce healthy babies from an adult monkey, though they are still trying and are awaiting the outcome of some pregnancies. Dolly caused a sensation because she was the first mammal cloned from an adult.

The procedure was technically challenging. Essentially, the Chinese scientists removed the DNA containing nucleus from monkey eggs and replaced it with DNA from the monkey fetus. These reconstituted eggs grew and divided, finally becoming an early embryo, which was then placed into female monkeys to grow to birth.

The scientists implanted 79 embryos to produce the two babies. Still, the approach succeeded where others had failed. Poo said that was because of improvements in lab techniques and because researchers added two substances that helped reprogram the DNA from the fetus. That let the DNA abandon its job in the fetus, which involves things like helping to make collagen, and take on the new task of creating an entire monkey.

The Chinese researchers said cloning of fetal cells could be combined with gene editing techniques to produce large numbers of monkeys with certain genetic defects that cause disease in people. The animals could then be used to study such diseases and test treatments. The researchers said their initial targets will be Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Mitalipov, noting the Chinese failed to produce healthy babies from adult cells, said he suspects attempts to clone babies from a human adult would also fail. “I don’t think it would be advisable to anyone to even think about it,” he said.

Jose Cibelli, a scientist at Michigan State University, said it might be technically possible someday, but “criminal” to try now because of the suffering caused by the many lost pregnancies the process entails.

If the procedure became efficient enough in monkeys, he said, society could face “a big ethical dilemma” over whether to adapt it for humans. The key step of transferring DNA might be combined with gene editing to correct genetic disorders in embryos, allowing healthy babies to be born, he said.

Of course, the familiar image of human cloning involves making a copy of someone already born. That might be possible someday, but “I don’t think it should be pursued,” said researcher Dieter Egli of Columbia University. “I can’t think of a strong benefit.”

Henry Greely, a Stanford University law professor who specializes in the implications of biomedical technologies, said the strongest argument he can think of would be the desire of grieving parents to produce a genetic duplicate of a dead child. But he doubts that’s a compelling enough reason to undertake the extensive and costly effort needed to get such a procedure approved, at least for “decades and decades.”

Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, California, called it unethical to subject that new child to “the psychological and emotional risks of living under the shadow of its genetic predecessor.” Human cloning could also require many women to donate eggs and to serve as surrogates, she said. would not allow making a human baby by cloning, and international scientific groups also oppose it, said biomedical ethics expert Insoo Hyun of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals condemned the monkey cloning experiments.

“Cloning is a horror show: a waste of lives, time and money and the suffering that such experiments cause is unimaginable,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement.

Associated Press reporter Dake Kang in Beijing contributed to this story.

This Associated Press series was produced in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
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He’s dedicating $350 million to school construction. The county executive earmarks $36 million to connect the county’s bike trails. Funding for two new boat ramps in the county is also included.

Schuh’s team went deep into the budgetary weeds to eliminate movie, athletic facility and mobile home taxes. He said his goal is to eliminate fees that place unnecessary burdens on families.

There’s money in the 2018 budget to plan for a tennis facility in Millersville and $50,000 to upgrade the pool at Woods Community Center in Severna Park.

Resting neatly on floating docks in Annapolis harbor, the easy slip on and slip offs await their owners’ return. There’s a strict a no shoes policy when touring a boat for sale.

The Anne Arundel County executive’s third budget includes $5 million for renovating Eisenhower Golf Course. That’s on top of the county paying the city of Annapolis $3.1 million for the Crownsville course in 2016.

Schuh called the Eisenhower course “dilapidated.” That’s because the county which was responsible for upkeep let it sink into disrepair.

But Schuh said, even in its current condition, it generates about $300,000 in annual profits. That, he said, will cover the bond to fund $5 million in renovations that will include a new clubhouse, cart barn,
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irrigation upgrades and the rebuilding of bunkers, greens and converting the tee boxes and fairways to Bermuda grass.

While Schuh said the county won’t face any additional burden by financing Eisenhower’s upgrades, the county is still hemorrhaging cash at Compass Pointe Golf Course. It loses about $200,000 annually.

The county took over the Pasadena course about 13 years ago after the public private corporation overseeing construction couldn’t finance the project that started with a $17 million price tag. The county still has more than a decade of bond payments remaining on Compass Pointe.

The questions is, what happens if another economic downturn occurs and residents cut golfing from their budgets? Taxpayers will shoulder those costs. Every dollar spent on golf is a dollar not spent on fighting the opioid epidemic, adding more firefighters, police officers or teachers.

Cutting fees for mobile homes won’t guarantee immediate relief for residents, but Schuh believes there will be long term market driven cost savings. The same goes for movie ticket prices.

To his credit, Schuh never considered selling Eisenhower. He’s committed to having public golf access for all county residents. Eisenhower will offer central and south county access to the same recreational opportunity Compass Pointe offers north county residents

The action came nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a new “modernized” air traffic management system. If the county remains in the golf game, that’s a good thing for those not in the highest income levels. A weekend round for residents with a discount card is $46 before noon. Eisenhower and Compass Pointe green fees are comparable with county owned courses in Baltimore County.

Golfing doesn’t fit into that category. It’s time to drive that obligation into the private sector.
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Dow: / NASDAQ: / S 500:HomeNewsSchools say uniforms lead to better behaviorTWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) Until a few years ago, Bridge Academy principal Jim Brown spent a large portion of his time dealing with students wearing inappropriate clothing.So, the Twin Falls alternative school made a big change in 2011 implementing school uniforms. Since then, disciplinary issues have been drastically reduced, Brown said, and student behavior has improved.students are in uniforms, it kind of like church, he said. regular schools, if you wear one thing wrong, they going to make fun of you. Academy students are required to wear jeans or black pants and a tucked in black polo shirt with the school logo, which costs $25.For families who struggle to pay for uniforms, they can receive assistance from South Central Community Action Partnership.School administrators may be thrilled about school uniforms, but what do students think?Bridge students sometimes express a disdain for school uniforms when they writing argumentative essays, said Kathy Hensley, a language arts teacher.Even so, she said students generally understand why the rule is in place.they all have the same uniform, that one less distraction in the classroom. Academy is the only school in Twin Falls to require uniforms. But last year, changes to the school district dress code spurred debate.Sixth through 12th graders may only wear shorts and skirts just above the knee, rather than at mid thigh. And leggings cannot be transparent.More than 250 students signed a petition in September 2013 to change the dress code, but it still remains in effect.Nationwide, 19 percent of public schools required students to wear uniforms during the 2011 12 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.A 2010 study by the University of Houston concluded school uniforms have a positive impact on students academic performance and behavior.North Valley Academy, a public charter school in Gooding, has required uniforms since opening in 2008.felt the uniforms would be an integral part of our character education, said Deby Infanger, school founder and board chairwoman.
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Think you can still spot a Catholic school girl by her rolled up skirt?

Many school administrators are giving up the fight over skirt lengths, either by issuing a traditional jumper or eliminating the argument with uniform pants, depending on what part of the country they’re in.

The stereotypical Catholic school uniform plaid skirts, stiff dress pants and ties is still the standard in the Northeast. But elsewhere in the country, it’s getting a little more comfortable. Hoodies, for example, have replaced sweaters in many schools.

Maintaining a uniform, even a relaxed one, helps keep discipline, administrators say. Students aren’t really complaining, since they always know what to wear.

“I feel so much more free when I wear my uniform,” says Caroline Swaller, a junior at Rosati Kain High School in St. Louis. “I come to school on equal terms with everyone else.”High school students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are wearing almost the same uniforms their parents wore to school and on national television.

“We were so enthralled with watching the ‘American Bandstand’ kids,” says Lorraine Rice, president of Conwell Egan Catholic High School in Bucks County, Pa., recalling the years when Dick Clark filmed the dance show in Philadelphia.

“They would show up in Peter Pan blouses and skirts, and we made our moms go out and buy them. Then I moved here, and I found out it was the West Catholic (High School) uniforms.”

Conwell Egan’s uniforms hark back to that more modest era. The school recently switched back from a skirt to a jumper for its girls uniform, and from a polo shirt to a button down shirt and tie for boys.

“We found the girls were rolling the skirts up, and it was not at all modest,” Rice says.

The length of the navy blue jumper has changed at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School in Philadelphia, but not much else. It’s still worn with a Peter Pan collar shirt, knee socks and saddle shoes. Louis sounds simple: a polo shirt with a khaki or plaid skirt or khaki pants. But the school’s 400 girls still have options. The shirt is available in five colors, with a sleeveless option for warm weather. The khaki skirt and pants can come from any store in any style, so long as they meet the color and length requirements.

The girls lobbied for a plaid skirt after the movie “The Princess Diaries” came out in 2001, principal Sister Joan Andert says. But even when they wanted a dressier skirt, they wanted more comfortable shoes, Andert says. The girls now have the option of wearing Birkenstocks and athletic shoes.

Most high schools in the St. Louis Archdiocese let students wear sneakers and other casual attire, archdiocese spokeswoman Sue Brown says.

“Parents don’t want to go buy their little ones something they’ll wear only to school. We try to be sensitive to price issues for parents,” Brown says.

Miami nice

Miami, Fla., students are not at the beach, but they’re not wearing skirts, either. Officials at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami began phasing out skirts four years ago in favor of pants or walking shorts paired with tucked in shirts and loafers.

“Our top priority is comfort,” says senior Alexa Lopez. “We like our pants a little bit baggy. Sometimes the administration complains that our pants drag.”

The flat front, navy blue pants may not be trendy, but at least they’re flattering, other girls say.

“They look a lot like Dickie work pants,” says senior Annie Sullivan. “The pockets are very flattering, in the front. They don’t protrude on the side of your body, not like they would on the hips.”

St. Brendan High School in Miami also did away with uniform skirts and gave up requiring boys and girls to tuck in their shirts.

“We did away with skirts, because the skirts would shrink as the year went on,” says Brother Felix Elardo, the principal who oversees St. Brendan’s 1,200 students. “We had a battle with keeping the shirts inside, so we got shirts to be designed to be worn inside or outside the slacks.”An Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., spokesman said “What uniforms?” when asked about the policy for its high schools. Its principals have focused on other aspects of school life, but the attitude isn’t exactly laid back.

The mantra at De La Salle North Catholic High School could be “dress for success.” Each of the school’s 250 students works one day a week at a corporate internship that requires business appropriate attire. Administrators demand business attire for regular class days, too. That means shirts and ties and shined shoes for boys, and collared blouses with a skirt or pants for girls.

“If you come to school, you will see a school full of these young people who look like they’re going to work in downtown Portland,” says Tim Hennessy, the school’s vice president of development.
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A sense of order and decorum prevails at Noble Street College Prep as students move quickly through a hallway adorned with banners from dozens of colleges. Everyone wears a school polo shirt neatly tucked into khaki trousers. There plenty of chatter but no jostling, no cellphones and no dawdling.

Noble Network of Charter Schools charges students at its 10 Chicago high schools $5 for detentions stemming from infractions that include chewing gum and having untied shoelaces. Last school year it collected almost $190,000 in discipline from detentions and behavior classes a policy drawing fire from some parents, advocacy groups and education experts.

Officials at the rapidly expanding network, heralded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a model for the city, say the fees offset the cost of running the detention program and help keep small problems from becoming big ones. Critics say Noble is nickel and diming its mostly low income students over insignificant, made up infractions that force out kids administrators don want.

think this just goes over the line . fining someone for having their shoelaces untied (or) a button unbuttoned goes to harassment, not discipline, said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of the Chicago advocacy group Parents United for Responsible Education, which staged protests last week over the policy after Woestehoff said she was approached by an upset parent

Students at Noble schools receive demerits for various infractions four for having a cellphone or one for untied shoelaces. Four demerits within a two week period earn them a detention and $5 fine. Students who get 12 detentions in a year must attend a summer behavior class that costs $140.

Superintendent Michael Milkie said the policy teaches the kids overwhelmingly poor, minority and often hoping to be the first in their families to attend college to follow rules and procedures in a structured learning environment. He points to the network average ACT score of 20.3, which is higher than at the city other non selective public schools, and says more than 90 percent of Noble graduates enroll in college.

While fights can be an almost daily occurrence in some urban high schools, Milkie says there only about one a year on each Noble campus.

By the small stuff . we don have issues with the big stuff, he said.

Milkie said the fines also help defray the cost of administering after school detention and the salary of the network dean of discipline, which otherwise would divert money intended for education.

But Donna Moore said the district is manufacturing problems that lead to unproductive badgering of students, including her 16 year old son, who had to repeat ninth grade at Noble Gary Comer College Prep after racking up 33 detentions and several suspensions.

was nothing egregious, but just that the little things added up: a shirt unbuttoned, shoes not tied, not tracking the teacher with his eyes, said Moore, adding that her son has an attention disorder. not normal to treat a young adult as a 2 year old . kids internalize that. and Moore said some families have removed their children from Noble schools because they couldn keep paying the fees, though Moore said her biggest complaint is the infractions. Milkie said Noble sets up payment plans and on rare occasions waives the fees, and students never would be held back a grade solely because they couldn pay.

Even so, Matthew Mayer, a professor in the graduate school of education at Rutgers University, said a monetary fine is inappropriate because it likely has no bearing on students academic performance and disproportionately hurts poor families.

almost medieval in nature. It a form a financial torture, for lack of a better term, Mayer said.

Emanuel defended the school, saying it gets results and parents don have to send their children there.
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3 boxes of eight regular Crayola crayons (small size, not jumbo)1 pack Crayola markers (basic colors)1 bank bag or zippered bag2 8 oz. bottles of white Elmer’s glue1 pair of Fiskars scissors1 large beach towel3 boxes of Kleenex1 pack of 24 No. 2 pencils1 packs of copy paper1 bottle of hand sanitizer1 roll of paper towels1 Kindermat$20 supply fee for art supplies and incentivesKindergarten3 boxes of eight regular Crayola crayons (small size, not jumbo)1 pack Crayola markers (basic colors)1 bank bag or zippered bag2 8 oz. bottles of white Elmer’s glue1 pair of Fiskars scissors1 large beach towel3 boxes of Kleenex1 pack of 24 No. 2 pencils2 packs of copy paper1 bottle of hand sanitizer1 roll of paper towels$20 supply fee for art supplies and incentivesFirst grade2 packs of 24 pencils2 packs of 16 crayons1 pair of rounded scissors (will be kept by the teacher)2 bottles of glue (not paste or glue sticks)1 pack of dry erase markers for student use1 zipper bag2 plastic folders with prongs1 one inch binder2 marble composition notebooks2 pack of loose leaf paper1 pack of construction paper1 box of Ziploc bags (boys, quart size; girls, snack or sandwich size)2 packs of copy paper1 bottle of hand sanitizer1 roll of paper towels2 boxes of KleenexSecond grade2 marble composition tablets1 2 inch binder3 packs wide rule loose leaf paper2 packs 5×7 index cards2 boxes of 24 crayons3 highlighters (any color)1 box/pack red checking pens2 packs of 24 pencils3 packs pencil top erasers1 pair school scissors3 glue sticks2 boxes Kleenex2 packs copy paper1 pack sticky notes (3×3)1 box of Ziploc bags1 bottle of hand sanitizer1 box zipper bag (boys, quart size; girls, snack or sandwich size)Third grade1 pair of pointed scissors1 bottle of glue2 large packs of No. 2 pencils3 marble composition notebooks2 boxes of crayons2 packs of erasers1 protractor1 pack/box red ink pens5 plastic folders with prongs; do not label (red, yellow, blue, green, purple)2 large packs of wide ruled filler paper1 zippered pouch for storing pencils, pens and erasers2 boxes of Kleenex1 pack of assorted construction paper2 packs of copy paper3 highlighters any color1 box of Ziploc bags (girls, quart size; boys, gallon size)1 bottle hand sanitizer$10 supply fee for art supplies and incentivesFourth and fifth grades1 pencil bag (for colors, glue, pencils and scissors)2 packs of 24 pencils (2)1 pack of pencil top erasers4 highlighters4 composition notebooks (reading)1 four subject composition tablet (social studies)1 pair of scissors1 large bottle of white glue4 manila folders1 pack of loose leaf paper (wide ruled)3 pocket/plastic folders with prongs1 large sturdy book sack2 boxes of Kleenex2 packs of copy paper2 packs of index cards (one large and one small)1 one inch binder (data)1 bottle hand sanitizer1 protractor$10 supply fee for art supplies and incentivesFirst day for students is Thursday, Aug. 6. Aug. 5 in the cafeteria. Uniforms are to be solid navy blue collared polo/golf shirts and khaki bottoms including skirts, walking shorts, jumpers, capris or pants/trousers, sized appropriately. Shoes allowed are tennis shoes or sneakers, black, brown or navy oxford or loafers; closed toes/closed heels; heels must be 1 inch or less.
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Nadia Guevara, director of Owasso Community Resources, said her staff expects to hand out about 650 backpacks full of school supplies later this month.

That’s about the same number as last year, she said not because the need hasn’t increased, but because that was all her nonprofit agency could provide.

Families started registering for the program in June, and the staff will spend Aug. 12 distributing the supplies, she said.

“A lot of people bring their kids with them,” she said. “They’re walking out of the facility ready for school. They have their backpack on and looking through the supplies. It does get them excited about going back to school.”

The Partnership for the Availability of School Supplies program provides school supplies to students in 54 schools in the Tulsa and Union school districts.

Schools that have at least 75 percent of their students qualifying for the free or reduced price lunch program receive the supplies from PASS, a Tulsa Community Foundation program.

“It allows our parents to focus on other back to school items like uniforms or even health care,” PASS’ coordinator Andrew Morris said.

PASS provides enough supplies for every child at the start of school and midway through the school year, and the schools decide whether to distribute them to individuals or to classrooms, Morris said.

Because of the sheer volume of supplies ordered, the program starts fundraising in December.

“Over 24,000 students that’s a lot of pencils,” Morris said.

Where: Restore Hope Ministries, 2960 Charles Page Blvd. weekdays until Aug. Monday through Thursday, Aug. 16 26.

Bring: Social Security cards for parent/guardian and child, photo identification for parent, name of school and grade of student
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MANHATTAN Each year, Stan Ward, coordinator of federal and state programs and grants at Manhattan Ogden Unified School District 383, reports the number of homeless students and their families in the district.

The count is required by the federal McKinney Vento Act of 1987, which protects the rights of students who are homeless to attend school and ensures them equal access to quality education.

Ward said factors contributing to the increase include a growing disparity between the wealthy and poor in Manhattan; lack of affordable rental housing; an increase in migrants who come to the area to work in construction and other jobs; and low paying jobs.

“It an invisible problem in the school district,” he said, adding the number of homeless students at USD 383 is proportional to that found in Wichita and Kansas City.

Last spring, however, a local newspaper article about the growing number of homeless individuals in the Manhattan Ogden area caught the attention of citizens, Ward said. Since then, the community has become more aware of the needs of the homeless, and some residents have turned their concern into action.

With the help of more than a dozen local churches, numerous community organizations and hundreds of donors, the Families in Transition Closet was established during the 2013 14 school year in a detached classroom at Lee Elementary School. The FIT Closet provides food, clothing and other essentials to homeless students and their families.

“It in its second year now and support hasn diminished,” Ward said. “If anything, it growing.”

In early March, the FIT Closet moved into a small house owned by College Avenue United Methodist Church because the school district anticipates needing the detached classroom space in 2015 16 due to increased enrollment.

Barbara Harnett, coordinator of the FIT Closet, said a large supply of donated school clothing, shoes, school supplies, hygiene items, food and other items are maintained at the site. Six volunteers help out on a regular basis.

The FIT Closet isn open to the public. Recipients are vetted by a social worker and principal and brought to the site to pick up items.

Ward said the FIT Closet helps extend the limited McKinney Vento/Title I funds awarded to USD 383 to provide the range of basic services to homeless students and their families required by the law.

USD 383 is one of nine Kansas school districts to receive supplemental grant funding through McKinney Vento, he said. This school year, the district was awarded a $20,495 grant and set aside $12,000 in Title I funds to pay for the required services.

“We seeing this kind of progression (in homeless numbers), but the money has remained stable,” he said.

Patrick McLaughlin, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, said several activities have helped promote awareness of homelessness in the community, including Everybody Counts events that include clothing and school supply giveaways, free eye exams, hot meals, food distributions and overnight shelter.

Efforts also are being made to create “transformational experiences” so community members see homeless individuals as their neighbors rather than recipients of their donations, McLaughlin said. For example, a Manhattan church is training volunteers to have affirming conversations with those coming to the church for free meals.

“We want to draw attention to the issue (of homelessness) and seek more justice and dig deep into the causes, so that we don need to have a FIT Closet,” he said.
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As the homeless and disadvantaged children served by Beatitude House, 238 Tod Lane, prepare for the upcoming school year, they need the help of the community to supply clothing and classroom materials.

A mock store is being set up at the Beatitude House administrative office where students can shop for needed supplies.

The public can help by dropping off items for the children to select. Items needed include new or gently used school uniforms (blue or tan pants/shorts and white, red or light blue polo shirts), shoes, new socks and new underwear.

Beatitude House has children in preschool through high school, so all sizes will be appreciated. The children also need classroom supplies such as pencils, pens,
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McALLEN The McAllen school board held off on a decision Thursday morning on whether to implement uniforms.

Instead, it opted to adopt a stricter dress code for the 2007 08 school year.

But the Pharr San Juan Alamo school board decided Wednesday night to require school issued shirts for Austin and San Juan middle schools, and Buckner and Napper elementary schools, as well as a new unnamed elementary campus going up on the north side of Dicker Road in Pharr, starting in August. The district has been phasing in uniforms at its elementary and middle schools.

We are firm believers that uniforms help in all areas, both academically and in discipline and showing pride for your schools, outgoing PSJA schools Superintendent Arturo Guajardo said.

So we definitely feel that what our board did is a blessing for us.

Uniforms are not a new concept in area schools. Some districts that require students to dress alike include Edinburg, Hidalgo and Valley View, while Mission and Weslaco only require uniforms in their alternative programs.

Jo Murphy, a Field Experience Program coordinator in the University of North Texas Department of Teacher Education and Administration in Denton, said uniforms are good to use in areas where there are gang affiliations and dramatic differences in family income levels.

She said school districts must research uniform policies and educate residents about them or face the likelihood of public opposition to the use of uniforms.

I think the shock value idea has moved away from this subject, Murphy said.

When it was first brought to the public school arena about 20 to 25 years ago, most of us were aghast. That was something private schools did.

The McAllen school board did not want to require uniforms this fall because it felt area businesses would not have enough time to get the required polo style shirts and khaki pants for parents to buy.

Schools Superintendent Yolanda Chapa said she wanted to bring the matter back to the board in the fall with the hope of getting approval for the 2008 09 school year.

Chapa said she did not want uniforms to go into use mid year because it would mean hardship for parents forced to purchase regular clothes as well as uniforms for their children.

Travis Middle School eighth grader Glenda Torres, 15, said having uniforms would eliminate matching shoes to earrings and, for some, ruin fashion reputations.

You want to look nicely dressed, she said.

The board members present at Thursdays meeting unanimously voted to require an updated dress code starting in the fall. Board member Ricardo Chapa was absent and did not vote on the matter.

Under the decision, the district will ban shorts and skorts in high schools, and all campuses will prohibit flip flops, beach sandals, hats, halters and spaghetti strapped shirts, ripped clothing, attire advertising sex, alcohol and gangs, baggy clothing, tongue rings and other items.

The girls want to look a little more mature than they should, Garza Elementary School Principal Katie Shults said.

Grace Grazier, 13, a Travis Middle School eighth grader, said some of the banned items can distract from learning. She said she does not like midriff bearing shirts and too short shorts.

Expressing individuality should come from personality and not clothing, Grazier said.

Flip flops sparked some discussion among board members who said they have children who wear the comfortable footwear as much as possible.

John Wilde, the McAllen districts coordinator for student support services, said there were safety concerns with flip flops and banning them would prepare students more for what to wear when looking for jobs.

Cathey Middle School Principal Jose Jay A. Gonzalez said flip flops would hinder students during evacuations and lockdowns.

We want it to be an efficient process, he said.

Students also are required under the new policy to wear appropriate undergarments and belts and must have their shirts tucked in at all times.

If anything, the parents will have to buy the perfect clothing, board member Mark Kent said about the new dress demands.

Board member Conrado Alvarado said he wanted the board to remember young elementary students who might have difficulty learning how to keep their shirts tucked in.

And he said there could be concerns with staff helping students arrange their clothing.

Chapa said requiring students to tuck in their shirts would teach them and parents early on about proper attire.
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