At a special in camera meeting of the Board of Trustees last night, the London District Catholic School Board will implement a new dress code the will results in increased physical activity, and eventually test scores, for both students and staff at all schools and locations this September.
The new, comprehensive dress code is in response to the alarming statistics regarding health and physical activity. According to the Government of Canada's Healthy Living website, "children who aren't active enough are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular illnesses."
"This is a major cause for concern for us," said Linda Staudt, Director of Education and former long distance runner. "Studies have shown a direct correlation between increased physical activity and standardized test scores. In addition, dress codes say a lot about workplace culture. We want to show our students that we want to promote an active lifestyle by adopting the same dress code."
Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the LDCSB will strictly enforce the new dress code, highlights of which are below. Board administration anticipates initial pushback that will dissipate once everyone sees the resulting increases in engagement and activity.
The dress code will consist of a layered, flexible style in order to maximize increased activity, freedom of motion and comfort:
Tops: all tops must be sleeveless, although the standard two-finger rule for straps applies
Sweaters: all sweaters must have hoods (with drawstrings) as well as pockets for cell phones and headphones
Pants: convertible pants (that turn into shorts) and leggings are acceptable
Footwear: athletic shoes only (no ballet flats, heels or dress shoes)
In a switch from the traditional Dress Down Days, the board will institute Dress Up Days to allow students and staff to wear traditional clothing such as jeans, dresses, suits, etc.
Additional information will be distributed at a later date. Please contact us for additional information…and have a happy April Fool's Day!
In all seriousness, however, we all should do whatever we can to increase physical activity with our students and in our own lives. Children and youth aged 5 to 17 should get 60 minutes a day of medium to intense physical activity. Currently only 9% of this target group meets the recommendation, according to the Healthy Living website. Additional information is available here: