This story has been updated.

For the first time since 1997, San Antonio Independent School District students will no longer be required to wear school uniforms, with some campus exceptions.

After beginning the process last school year, the SAISD school board updated its dress code this month to eliminate the uniform requirement for students who do not attend any of its 16 speciality campuses. The school district eliminated uniforms for middle and high school students in the last school year, said Laura Short, district spokeswoman.

The list of campuses requiring uniforms may change. The district advises families to check with their campuses for dress code requirements.

After gathering feedback from more than 1,200 students through focus groups and more than 12,000 parent surveys, SAISD decided to stop requiring all students to wear uniforms, said Beth Jones, senior executive director of Social, Emotional and Academic Development & Restorative Practices. The district’s Parent Advisory Group also showed a preference for no uniforms or “free dress.”

“Our elementary and academy student groups demonstrated a substantial preference for free dress with limits on shorts/dress/skirt length and for tops that have sleeves or a wide band across the shoulder, which is reflected in the new dress code,” she said.

At the same time SAISD is moving to free dress, Southside ISD will require all students to follow a standardized dress code beginning with the 2022-23 school year. The school board approved the change in October.

All Southside ISD students will have to wear a solid red, black or white polo or T-shirt. A spirit shirt also will be allowed. The district will provide all students with three polos and three T-shirts in each color for free to help families with the dress code transition. Polos and T-shirts also are available for purchase from the district.

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Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.