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Richmond Public Schools clarify dress code policy after confusion




RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) When Oak Grove-Bellmeade Elementary School appeared to suddenly announce a brand new dress code policy Monday morning, parents were concerned. However, all was not as it seemed.

Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School released what appeared to be a new dress code policy for the 2022-2023 school year and made an announcement on its website.

The school provided a rationale for the new policy which included:

  • Dress codes encourage students to express their individuality through personality and academic achievements, not outward appearances.
  • Dress codes emphasize learning, not fashion.
  • Schools with dress codes have fewer discipline problems because students are not distracted by other students’ clothes.
  • Dress codes can be cheaper.
  • Dress codes create a sense of school pride and belonging.
  • Dress codes allow for outdoor play.

However, Richmond Public Schools said the announcement of these new policies was sent in error.

Something was published that shouldn’t have been published, said Sarah Abubaker, associate director of advocacy and outreach for Richmond Public Schools.

She explains that the desire for change in their current dress code policy comes from the community and staff at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School. One of the goals they hope to achieve by changing the dress code would be to give students fewer options, which would provide them with a safer learning environment.

The school district said school uniforms are not mandatory in Richmond Public Schools, and before implementing anything like this, the district would go through a community engagement process where the opinions of the community, teachers and staff would be taken into account.

Richmond Public Schools would like all parents to stay up to date with more information by visiting itswebsite. More information can also be found on the websites of your respective schools.

Potential uniform policy information has now been removed from the school’s website, but specific dress requirements for students can be read below:

Down :

  • Must be long pants, short pants, skirt, skort or sweater in beige/khaki or navy blue.
  • The hem of shorts, skirts, skorts or sweaters should not be higher than two inches above the knee.
  • Stockings can be twill, corduroy, wool, cotton/polyester blend or cotton.
  • Stockings should be worn snugly at the waist.
  • A solid black or brown belt is required if a garment has belt loops and the shirt is tucked in. Kindergarten and Grade 1 students do not have to wear seat belts.
  • Leggings or shorts should be worn under skirts.


  • Must be plain white long or short sleeve collared shirts.
  • All shirts must have a collar. Shirts can be knit polo shirts, oxford or woven shirts.
  • Only OGBES logos are authorized on jerseys.
  • All tailed shirts must be tucked in.
  • Belts are needed when shirts are tucked in and bottoms have belt loops. This applies to students in grades two through five.


  • Must be solid navy blue.
  • Can be worn in cold weather.
  • A plain white or navy blue collared shirt should be worn under sweaters.

OGBES t-shirts:

  • Spirit wear t-shirts, House shirts and other OGBES shirts can be worn on Fridays.


  • No hoodies will be allowed inside.
  • Hoodies can be worn outside during recess, morning arrival and afternoon departure.


  • Footwear should be primarily black, navy, or brown closed-toe rubber-soled closed-toe shoes or plain white or black sneakers.
  • Footwear must be appropriate for physical education classes and outdoor activities, including recess and outings to Bellemeade Park. No platforms, boots or high heels are allowed.
  • Socks must be plain white, black or navy blue.
  • Plain white, black or navy tights are authorized with skirts, skorts or sweaters.




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