Hats Off to a new Kaneland Dress Code


  Kaneland High School has been transitioning to personalized learning, proficiency based progress and 1:1 capabilities for the past several years, but not all of the school’s advances deal with academics. The dress code this year involves a change that will be noticed immediately, as more students may be walking the halls – without fear of reprimand – while wearing hats.

     This is not the first major dress code change in recent years. At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, the dress code was changed to allow students to wear shirts that exposed their shoulders. Such major changes are determined by the school’s Handbook Committee. 

     “The Handbook Committee, made up of students and staff, discussed [the hat issue] and agreed with the change. It was then taken to the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), who also supported the change,” Principal Jill Maras said. 

     Although some teachers permitted students to wear hats in their classrooms in the past, there are also some teachers who agree with a more traditional dress code. 

     “I think it’s a sign of respect to take your hat off in a building. I don’t see why any girl or boy needs to wear a hat at school,” Family and Consumer Science teacher Judy Fabrizius said. 

     Concerns regarding the new policy have also been voiced by students.

     “Hats may allow students to express themselves, but overall they are more disruptive than beneficial to the school day. There are plenty of other ways that students are allowed to express themselves,” senior Robert Pettry said. 

     Just like anything new, this rule will take time to get used to. The administrative team asks that students are respectful and consider other students when choosing to wear a hat in the building. 

     “We would ask that there not be any inappropriate messages on the hat, that it does not obstruct the view for others in a class and that we are still able to easily see a student’s face with the hat on,” Maras said.

     Kaneland administrators are consistently looking at neighboring districts to see how we compare in a variety of ways. That was part of the motivation to make this particular change in the dress code, and administrators are ready to work with teachers as the new policy is implemented. 

     “We looked at some surrounding districts and took a look at some of our students and realized it was a change we were okay making. Administratively, we can have a conversation with the teacher to reinforce dress code,” Dean of Students Joshua West said. 

     Some students have already heard about the change and are excited to make use of the modified dress code. It has the potential to help Kaneland develop more personality in that it will allow students to express themselves in more unique ways. 

     “I think being able to wear hats is just another way to express myself, which in turn makes me feel more comfortable having to sit in desks for hours during the school day. I think it could change the atmosphere to be more easygoing, in a good way,” junior Emma Feltes said.