Back to School 2022

First Day of School is Aug. 10!

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WELCOME BACK!

We are so excited to welcome students and families back for the start of the 2022-23 school year. With the first day of school only one week away, our teachers and staff are working hard to make sure schools are ready to open their doors and ensure that this school year is the best one yet.


Included in this message you will find some important information regarding safety protocols, bus transportation, as well as recent updates made to the TCS Dress Code, as found in the 2022-23 Student Code of Conduct book.


We can't wait to see you back on Wednesday, August 10!

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Dress Code for 2022-23

The Tuscaloosa City School Board of Education recently approved a new dress code for the Tuscaloosa City Schools as part of its 2022-23 Code of Conduct.


The new dress code was written after TCS gathered input from parents, students and school administrators. In addition to student and parent surveys, a parent committee helped draft the new dress code, and input was given by an advisory group of students from each high school.


From the information gathered, there was an overall feeling that the previous dress code was outdated and was unfair to certain groups, especially girls. It is our hope that this updated code is fair and easier to follow.


DRESS CODE


The primary responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and parents or guardians. The following rules concerning dress and grooming are mandatory for all students attending Tuscaloosa City Schools. Students who fail to follow these rules will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in Code of Conduct 1.13, “Non-conformity to Dress Code.”

Section 1: Students MUST Wear:

• Shirts: Must be opaque fabric. Must cover midriff and not be low cut in front or back.

• Bottoms: Pants, sweatpants, joggers, shorts, skirt, dress, leggings. Must be opaque fabric. Dresses and skirts must be fingertip length. Shorts, including athletic shorts, are allowed, but may not be less than a 3” inseam. Genitals and buttocks must be covered at all times.

• Shoes: Activity-specific shoes are permitted (for example for sports or TCTA classes.) Shoes that are secured to the foot and do not easily fall off are highly encouraged for safety reasons.

Section 2: Students May Wear:

• Hoodie sweatshirts, although hood cannot be worn over head.

• Fitted pants, including leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans” are allowed as long as it meets requirements in section 1.

• Ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed, and rips are not above fingertip length.

• Tank tops, as long as underwear or midriff is not exposed.

• Athletic attire, as long as it meets requirements in Sections 1 and 3.

• Clothing with commercial or athletic logos provided they do not violate Section 3 below.

Section 3: Student May NOT Wear

• Garments that reflect violent language or images.

• Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of same.

• Hate speech, profanity, pornography.

• Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class.

• Clothing where underwear is exposed. Undershirts/camisoles cannot be worn alone as shirts.

• Spaghetti straps, or strapless tops, unless otherwise covered.

• Bathing suits.

• Hats or head coverings except as a religious observance or as allowed on special days or for certain athletic or class requirements.

• Pajamas, except when allowed on special days.

• House slippers or shoes intended for indoors only.

• Sunglasses (indoors.)

• Metal-spikes on shoes or metal-toed shoes, except for when needed for a class such as at TCTA.

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School Safety

School safety is a top priority for the Tuscaloosa City Schools and we are constantly re-evaluating our plans and procedures, in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa Police Department, to make sure they are as up to date and that our facilities are as secure as possible. Unfortunately, national tragedies like what happened in Uvalde, Texas, are a reminder that we must continue our work to strengthen school safety for the sake of our students, employees, and everyone within our schools.


In June, the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education unanimously approved a pay increase for part-time contracted officers who provide a vital service by working in our schools. Previously they were paid $36 an hour, but are now paid $50 an hour. The last time the officers received a pay raise was in 2018.


Many of the officers who work in the Tuscaloosa City Schools are senior officers at the Tuscaloosa Police Department who have devoted years of service to the Tuscaloosa City School mission. They serve in the schools as part of a partnership with the Tuscaloosa Police Department. The City of Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa City Schools and the TPD are all committed to having officers assigned to all our schools.


In addition to this change, the Tuscaloosa City Schools is in the process of hiring a full-time School Safety Specialist, a newly created position. The specialist who will work with all school resource officers, work with TCS administrators as well as the Tuscaloosa Police Department to ensure our schools are as safe and secure as possible.


We regularly conduct safety audits of our facilities, have regular safety meetings, and examine new technology that we might utilize to ensure our plans are the best possible in terms of keeping our schools safe.


Your child's school also has a set of prevention and response plans for school safety. Listed below are some of the school system actions that are in place in all of our schools. We ask that you discuss these safety processes with your child (ren) and send any specific questions to your principal. Communication is essential in our school safety efforts.

Safety Processes and Procedures

It is the goal of Tuscaloosa City Schools to create a safe teaching and learning environment for students and staff. For this reason, we have processes and procedures in place:


Drills - TCS conducts a variety of drills (lockdown, fire, weather) and searches with students and staff, which allows them to practice the steps they should take in emergency situations.


Searches - To try to alleviate students from bringing prohibited items to schools, TCS conducts searches in one or a combination of the following ways: mixed method approach, including searches of backpacks, hallways, classrooms, and use of metal detectors.


Visitor Management System - The TCS School Visitor Management System "Raptor" enhances school security by reading a visitor's drivers’ license (or other approved government issued ID), comparing information against a sex offender database to alert school administrators and district personnel if a match is found. Once cleared through the system, a visitor badge is produced that includes a photo, name of the visitor, date/time, and destination.


Employee ID Badges - ID badges for TCS employees provide a quick visual way to determine if a person belongs on our campuses. They are scanned at entry access points, which allows TCS to track who is in the building.


Cameras - School security cameras help us keep our campuses safe. There are cameras in all TCS schools and can be accessed from the Incident Command Center, located at the Central Office and the Tuscaloosa Police Department.


See Something, Say Something

See Something, Say Something is designed to empower our students and staff to protect our schools. Tuscaloosa City Schools has established three ways in which students can share concerns about school safety and the well-being of fellow students.


  • SPEAK UP: Parents and students can share concerns about classmates and or school. One can easily report students in crisis, planned fights, weapons in school, threats or violence and/or other urgent situations.




HALT - TCS’s HALT Program was created to help combat bullying in the school district. If your child is experiencing bullying, submit an online form or complete the age-appropriate bullying/harassment form and return it to your child's counselor. You can also report bullying in person to a TCS employee at your child’s school.


Student Code of Conduct - TCS provides an atmosphere in which high performance can be achieved within a framework of high expectations. Parents and students are urged to be supportive of this Student/Parent Resource Guide, Code of Student Conduct and Drug Screening Policy and committed to the concept of the “right to learn.”


Gaggle - Gaggle is a technology utility that runs in the background of all student TCS Google accounts. This service reveals potentially harmful content in email, documents, shared files, images, photos, and more which allows school leaders to be proactive in addressing student and school safety concerns.


Bus Safety - Our first and highest priority is the safe transporting of students to and from school. The safety of every student depends on the judgment and skill of the school bus driver. Drivers are required to obtain their CDL license with their passenger and school bus endorsements. Bus drivers attend a minimum of 40 hours of local training as well as a 3-day class taught by the State of Alabama Department of Education personnel.


For more information about the safety protocols in the Tuscaloosa City Schools, go to:

School Safety / School Safety (tuscaloosacityschools.com)

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Bus Transportation

For students who have requested bus transportation this school year, a postcard will arrive in the mail soon that lists your assigned school bus number, bus stop location and pickup/drop off times. If you do not receive a postcard regarding bus assignment by Monday, and you have requested bus transportation, please contact your child's school for transportation information.


During the first few days of school, we ask for your patience. We will do our best to be on schedule, but it may take a few days to adjust and get to the optimal route times.