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Lewes, Delaware
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November 27, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 27, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, November 27 - December 3, 1998 - 19 School uniform proposal for Cape grade schools catches board's eye By Jim Cresson Local veterinarian Dr. Andrea Pedigo has devoted a lot of time and energy this fall to her pet pro- ject of promoting school uniforms for the youngsters of Shields Ele- mentary School in Lewes. And when she delivered a report of her findings to the Cape Henlopen School District Board of Educa- tion, Nov. 19, Pedigo was encour- aged by the response from board members, who unanitnously en- dorsed the plan. Pedigo, the mother of two chil- dren attending Shields Elemen- tary, explained that she and many other elementary school parents she has surveyed feel school uni- forms would have many benefits to both parents and school admin- istrators. Some of those benefits, she not- ed, would be a decrease in socioe- conomic differences among stu- dents, an increased enthusiasm for school spirit and a feeling of to- getherness among students, and an increase in school security, as anyone not wearing the proposed khaki and blue iants, skirts, sweaters and shirts would be easi- ly identified by school staffers as an outsider. Earlier this fall, Pedigo was au- thorized by Cape District superin- tendent Dr. Suellen Skeen to pur- sue her project by sending survey questionnaires to parents of Shields Elementary School stu- dents. Pedigo explained to the school board that she sent the surveys to the parents of the 534 children en- rolled at Shields. She received an impressively favorable response to the idea; 211 of the 274 parents who returned the survey. Thirty- one parents opposed the idea, and 32 were undecided. "That's an outstanding response to any survey sent home to par- ents," said board member Allen Redden. "And as a student from the 1960s, I can't believe it, but I'm favoring the idea." In fact, all five board members present for the school board meet- ing said they liked the plan. Board member Anthony Streett favored it, and asked if the stu- dents at Rehoboth Elementary School and H.O'. Brittingham Ele- mentary School could also be giv- en a chance to wear the khaki and blue uniforms. "We don't want the othe students to feel as if they've been left out," said Streett. Board member June Turansky agreed that all elementary school children should be given the op- portunity to wear the uniforms. "I can see where this idea would make for some good moments. El- ementary schools are definitely the place to start," said Turansky. "Let's broaden our focus to in- clude them all." Pedigo said her research into school uniform policies of other districts in Delaware and nation- wide indicates that once Students of one school begin wearing them, students of other schools in the district voluntarily join in. "The cost of these ensembles of,. say, skirts, shorts, jumpers, sweaters and shirts for girls or pants, shorts, polo shirts and sweaters for the boys runs about $250 in a pricey, name-brand clothes catalogue," said Pedigo. "But KMart and Wal-Mart also offer these uniforms at a lower price, and they even have finan- cial programs which are used to help needy families purchase J YOUR GM STORE AT THE SHORE . B Offering our traditional quality pans and sereice and factory trained technicians Comliti UpFrom Pricing Courtesy Transportation A Lifetime Guarantee on Parts and Labor See  for limited lifetime guaramee detail& $21.95 LUBE. OIL & FILTER CHANGE Plus free 25 point inspection. Topping off all fluids included. 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Skeen said she would ask the three elementary school principals to start fact-finding, to talk with teachers about the idea' and send letters to parents and members of the different PTAs. "Actually, state law allows a school district to mandate uni- forms in one school and not oth- ers," said Skeen. "But we want to be as compre- hensive as possible and invite all the elementary schools to partici- pate if they want." Power In Tune With Nature Grady White powered by We rmnd you read the owner's manual and always wear a personal flotation device while boag. Who Goes to Delaware Tech? Sgt. Beth Shepherd, Human Services Sgt. Shepherd is a full-time member of the Delaware National Guard and mother of four. She is taking advantage of House Bill 312 - granting 100% ttfltimt to all National Guard members who attend state-supported institutions. Sgt. Shepherd's career goal is to work with teens and help them overcome obstacles and become seN-sufficient. 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