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The Dress Code Process

The dress code at Marlborough is a major part of everyday life for students in all grades. The hair color policy, sweatshirt policy, sock color policy and the argument that sweatpants should be in the dress are discussed everyday. But who decides the policies of the dress code? The answer is: the All Dean’s Group which includes all of the grade level deans, Brett Quimby, the Dean of Student Life and English Instructor, Rosi Mitchell, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Assistant Division Director, Dr. Laura Hotchkiss, Associate Head of School and Director of Upper School, Sean Fitts, Director of Middle School, Dr. Marisa Crandall, Director of Educational and Counseling Services and Morgan Duggan, Middle School Psychologist. This group meets once a month and one of the things they talk about is the dress code policy.  

Four years ago, this group decided on a new system for how students could propose and introduce new ideas regarding the dress code. This system focuses on how to engage students in the process, promote entrepreneurial thinking and to include all voices to be part of the change. 

“We want students to learn the process and learn how to best advocate their ideas,” Rosi Mitchell said. This process places an emphasis on useful life skills such as taking data, writing a proposal, and presenting one’s ideas in front of others. 

Hotchkiss supports student participation in dress code policy. 

“I think it’s important to hear from students and adults on any new changes and I think it’s generally over the last four years that our practice to really engage students in this, so it’s not just whoever comes to us that gets heard but its an opportunity for all voices to be a part of it,” Hotchkiss said. 

According to the student handbook, the current hair color policy says that that hair color should be natural, not artificial (e.g., purple, green, pink, etc.). Some argue that this policy limits self expression, but the student handbook states that these policies are in place to “enhance the academic atmosphere and limits dress competition.” 

 Some argue that the current hair color policy limits self expression. 

“It doesn’t affect me personally, but I think that other people would want to dye their hair because they want to express themselves and individualize themselves” Peyton Reeder ‘23 said. 

The consequence for dying your hair an unnatural color is currently a conduct infraction, a conversation with your dean, and changing your hair back to a normal color. The harshness of the consequences depend and are decided on a case by case basis, as the deans acknowledge some unintentional mistakes are made. All policies regarding the dress code can be found on page one of the Marlborough planner. 

This group includes all of the grade level deans, which are currently Ms. Kendall Beeman, History & Social Sciences Instructor, 7th Grade Dean, Khanichi Charles, Science Instructor and 8th Grade Dean, Anna Robinson, History and Social Sciences Instructor, Sandra Battiata, World Languages Instructor, and 10th Grade Dean, Ms. Jenna Corliss, History & Social Sciences Instructor and 11th Grade Dean, and Ms. Alison Moser, Mathematics Instructor and 12th Grade Dean, Mr. Brett Quimby, the Dean of Student Life and English Instructor, Ms. Rosi Mitchell, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Assistant Division Director, Dr. Laura Hotchkiss, Associate Head of Academics and Director of Upper School, Mr. Sean Fitts, Director of Middle School, Dr. Marisa Crandall, Director of Educational and Counseling Services and Ms. Morgan Duggan, Middle School Psychologist are also in the group. This group meets once a month and one of the things they talk about is the dress code and any problems with it.

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