MIDLOTHIAN — In a split decision, members of the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees approved changes to the district's dress code. Introducing the changes during the regular session held Monday evening was MISD Assistant Superintendent Kay Lynn Day.

According to Day, the recommended changes — which included addressing hair and shorts lengths, among other items — came out of a committee study.

Midlothian High Principal Dr. Al Hemmle addressed the proposed changes and dress code requirements by stating, “We want the students to be comfortable but within code. Overall, I think our kids look great.”

“As styles change, boys now are wearing their hair longer. It’s the fashion of the day," Hemmle added. "While we can be a little more tolerant, their hair still must be off the collar.”

Hemmle also stated that students who have questions with their attire after entering the building could check with an administrator in the office to see if they are dress code compliant.

“If they are not, they have until the 8:25 [a.m.] bell to get in compliance," Hemmle said. "The same is true for students sent to the office by teachers. If they are not in compliance by 8:25 [a.m.], they will be sent to ISS (In school suspension) for the remainder of the day. [...] We will be working for more uniform compliance with the staff."

The Midlothian Board of Trustees approved the change by a vote of 4-to-2, with Stewart Domke and Glen Hartson voting in opposition.

In opposing the recommendation, Hartson said, ”I guess I’m more old school. I can’t wrap my head around [long] hair on the boys."

IN OTHER BUSINESS

Midlothian school bus driver, Diana Pena, was recognized by MISD and Property and Casualty Alliance of Texas as the "School Bus Driver of the Year."

“She is loved by all the student she has on her bus. She even gets involved with their activities by dressing up in costumes to join in school activities,” MISD Transportation Coordinator Deanna Cannon said.

Pena was joined by many of the students that ride with her daily, along with their parents.

The upcoming 2017-18 school-year calendar was also approved by a split decision with both Hartson and Domke again voting in opposition.

The 2017 school year will begin Aug 21 and the final day of classes is set for May 31, 2018.

Members of the board questioned the early start as opposed to beginning classes at the end of the month.

Dr. Cindy Woody and MISD Deputy Superintendent Judy Walling then presented the proposed Texas Performance Assessment Collaboration (TPAC) program.

Labeled "M*Power 2020," the three-year program is to be rolled out in three stages beginning with laying the groundwork, then applying the creativity and the finally the transformation stage.

“This program will personalize the learning process for each student,” Woody said.

During each of the processes teachers and staff will be involved in training sessions.

“We are all going to work to get to most out of this program. We have a great detailed plan here,” MISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter said.

The MISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the program.