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Research indicates that there is a direct relationship between dress and student behavior. Simply stated, students who take pride in their appearance are more apt to take pride in their schoolwork and studies.

At Ottumwa High School, we want our students to get the most benefit from their studies. We, in turn, expect more from our students. The following attire and personal appearance guidelines are designed to encourage good grooming habits as well as a more serious scholastic attitude. It is the responsibility of our students and their parents to see to it that students dress appropriately for school. THE BEST POLICY TO FOLLOW IS, "If you have a doubt as to whether an article of clothing is appropriate, do not wear it."

While the primary responsibility for appearance rests with the students and with their parents, the ADMINISTRATION HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE WHAT IS PROPER AND WHAT IS NOT. Regulations for appearance/dress apply equally to male and female students.

The following will NOT be considered appropriate school attire:

  1. Head covering – hats, hoodies or anything worn that covers the head. Separate head coverings needs to be put in locker or book bag upon entering school. No head coverings can be worn from 8:10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. while anywhere in the building.

  2. Headwear - Sunglasses, bandanas, visors, any novelty headwear. Separate headwear needs to be put in locker or book bag upon entering school. No headwear can be worn from 8:10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. while anywhere in the building.

  3. Shirts:

  • Must not expose midsection or cleavage.
  • Shirts with large, open armholes will not be permitted.
  • Tops that expose undergarments (bra straps) will not be permitted including: strapless, halter, one-shoulder, spaghetti strap, racer-back, or narrow strap shirts unless worn under a jacket or over a shirt or sweater.
  1. Other Clothing & Apparel:

  • With alcohol, tobacco, or drug advertising.
  • With inappropriate words or phrases including words, phrases, or symbols that are gang related.
  • Apparel that carries images, slogans, pictures, diagrams or that espouses in any fashion negative or degrading ethnic, racial, sexual or gender messages, or can be construed in a reasonable fashion to do so.
  • Clothing to be a form of expression that promotes violence, bigotry, hate or abuse.
  1.  Pants:

  • Must be worn at the waist line
  • No holes exposing undergarments or that are higher than the inseam, or which are otherwise deemed to be inappropriate.
  1.  Skirts, shorts, shoes, dresses & rompers:

  • Must be appropriate in length.
  • Skirts and shorts must be at a length that allows students to sit and bend with modesty. 
  • The measurement standard used for skirts and shorts is that when your arms are held relaxed at your side, the tips of your fingers should not touch your leg skin.
  • Shoes must have some sort of sole (no barefoot).
  1. Pajamas, Slippers, Blankets & Costumes

  2. Sports Equipment: No sporting equipment will be allowed in the building during the school day (basketballs, etc.)

Students will be required to change their attire before being allowed to go back to class.