Providence Academy seeks to establish a culture of godly living and rigorous study. School uniforms play a significant role in helping us achieve this goal. However, to keep our community from growing legalistic and stale (which are the very things opposed to godly living and rigorous study), we ask families to examine our multifaceted rationale for a dress code policy.
School uniforms help to remind the student of his or her role in an academic setting, the role of a student. Providence Academy is not a student-centered school but a Christ-centered school. Thus allowing students to express their individuality in the way they dress is not seen as a high priority. Instead, our desire is for students to submit themselves first and foremost to the Lordship of Christ and secondarily to their instructors. Uniforms help to remind each student that our lives are not primarily about expressing ourselves but proclaiming the glory of Christ.
School uniforms help to promote order in the academic setting. Even secular scholarship admits that school uniforms decrease negative behaviors in the school environment and promote concentration in the classroom (see rationale for uniforms from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District). School uniforms create a visually neat and organized environment. Just as an organized work space increases labor productivity, so an organized school environment increases academic productivity.
School uniforms help to create a sense of belonging and unity in the school building. Every sports team has a particular uniform identifying the players who play for that team. There is of course a functional reason for identifying the players of your team as opposed to the players of another team, but there is also a social reason. Players who put on their team’s uniform are proclaiming an allegiance to that team. That is why a team’s fans will also put on the uniform, to show solidarity. School uniforms function in a similar way, students who put on the uniform show allegiance to the school they belong to.
School uniforms help to create an environment of modesty in the school setting. Teachers at Providence Academy should not take on the role of policing modest attire. It is becoming increasingly difficult in our culture to find modest standards of attire when you open a magazine or turn on the television. Children (and unfortunately adults) will often want to fit in with the culture and emulate inappropriate dress standards. School uniforms takes this battle out of the school and places it where it should be, with the family.
School uniforms have many functional benefits for the school and the family. For the school, uniforms minimize economic differences between children and make students easily identifiable. For families, uniforms are cost-effective and expedite the process of choosing what to wear every morning.