Dear East Middle School Students, Families, and Community,

I hope you had restful summer full of opportunities to spend time with family and friends. It is hard to believe that we are already welcoming students back for a new school year when we were just finishing our previous one.

This year, East Middle School has some very exciting changes happening! One such change is the school dress code called Dress for Success. After talking with parents, staff, and students, we made the decision to return to a more structured dress code. There are multiple reasons why we chose to do this.

  1. In an effort to promote school pride, we have asked students to either wear colors aligned to East Middle School colors or tops that represent East Middle School. We want to promote a school where our students are proud to be here and regularly represent where they attend.
  2. Dress codes help to equalize issues for students that do not have a lot of money. Students no longer have to worry about not having the newest or latest attire. They are wearing what everyone else is wearing which minimizes students being targeted for bullying or mean treatment.
  3. Dress codes help to reduce distractions that clothes can bring to the school setting. This way, students can focus on being students 1st and can avoid the social distractions that come with clothing.

We recognize that this may create a challenge for some parents are we are working diligently to help families that need assistance. Also, we recognize that students like to have an opportunity to have individuality and expression in their dress. There will be multiple opportunities for students to have and earn free dress days throughout the year.

Also this year, we are emphasizing a Restorative Practices approach to how we deal with students when they do not make the best decisions. Rather than jumping to suspending students and punishing them, we recognize the importance of teaching our students how to make better decisions. We have four new Restorative Liaisons, formerly known as deans, that will be working with your students. They are:

  • Kaaryn McLeod – Team A
  • Yvette Bess – Team B
  • Rosalind Gullatt – Team C
  • Maria Burdine – Team D

We are very excited about all of the knowledge and expertise this group brings to the work we are doing. We know that this team will make an incredible difference in changing our school culture and making East the best school it can be.

Lastly, I ask that you please consider volunteering at the school. We openly welcome parents in to help us. Our students love to see parents and the community in our building and we would love to have you. If you are interested, please contact Veronica Rizo for more information.

I look forward to a fantastic year with you and your students!

Dr. Biaze Houston, Principal