Charles County Public School Website

La Plata, MD- Charles County Public Schools have published their updated dress code and cell phone policy for the 2019-2020 school year. You can view the full Code of Student conduct here.

Charles County Public Schools allow students to possess and use cell phones and other personal electronic devices. However, it is the intent of the Superintendent and School board that it does not disrupt classes, after-school activities, and transportation. Students may use their cell phones and other devices while attending, but not participating in, general public events that occur after-hours and are open to the community. Below are the conditions for each grade level regarding usage during school hours.

Elementary School

  • Students may only bring their phone or device, with a written request from the parent or guardian for a specific (non-social) purpose, and upon receipt of written approval from the principal.
  • Once approved, the student must keep their phone or device powered completely off (not on vibrate or silent mode) and inside their book-bag, locker or cubby throughout the entirety of each school day, unless other storage arrangements are made with the teacher.
  • Once approved for school, students may use their phone or device on the bus or school-chartered vehicle, but use must not be disruptive or cause a distraction to the driver at any time; examples include phone conversations, loud music, videos or electronic games.

Middle School

  • •Students may bring their phone or device but once school begins must keep them powered completely off (not on vibrate or silent mode) and remain in a non-visible, secure location throughout the entirety of each school day.
  • •Students may use their phone or device on the bus or school-charted vehicle, but it must not be disruptive or cause a distraction to the driver at any time; such as phone conversations, loud music, videos or electronic games.

High School

  • Students may bring their phone or device but once school begins the device must be powered completely off (not on vibrate or silent mode) and must remain in a non-visible, secure location, with the exception of lunchtime or during an approved activity period.
  • Phones and devices may be used during approved times but must not be disruptive or serve any inappropriate purposes; such as loud/explicit music or videos, sending or posting inappropriate messages or images (via text or social media), or any type of cyberbullying.
  • At the end of the lunch or activity period, all phones and devices must be immediately powered back off and returned to a non-visible, secure location, until the end of the school day.
  • Students may use their phone or device at the end of the school day for the purpose of making transportation arrangements as it relates to after-school activities or events.

Please note the following additional guidelines governing all school levels:

  • Administrators and/or teachers may allow the use of cell phones or electronic devices during the school day for specific academic purposes; such opportunities will be communicated in advance.
  • Students attending schools participating in “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs shall comply with the rules specific to that program, as defined by the school.
  • Cell phones or electronic devices with camera and/or video functions must not be used to take or transmit any image or video at any time, even if the use of the phone or device is otherwise permitted.
  • Violations of these expectations will result in consequences as specified in the Levels of Response section of this document.

As for the dress code, not much has changed, but the additions of certain types of headwear, and clarifications on leggings. Also, adjustments were made to ripped jeans and pants.

Suggestive, provocative or excessively tight clothing is not allowed to be worn to school or to school-sponsored activities. CCPS does not allow clothing to be worn on school property or to school-sponsored activities, which displays messages, or images that are offensive, vulgar, harassing, or otherwise inappropriate for the school setting. Clothing that is judged by the school administration to be disruptive to the orderly school process either by virtue of the design or in the manner in which it is worn is also forbidden.

Members of the Charles County Association of Student Councils, in collaboration with parents, staff, and community members, developed the following system-wide dress code, as amended and approved by the Board of Education.

  • Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, woodshop, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
  • Shorts and skirts are permitted as long as they reach the middle of the thigh, defined as shoulders relaxed and arms straight down alongside the body where fingertips touch the thigh. Slits in the skirt may not rise more than two inches above fingertips.
  • Clothing must cover the chest area, cleavage, torso, and undergarments. Tops may not be lower than midback.
  • Spaghetti straps and garments that are both strapless and sleeveless are not permitted during the school day.
  • Undergarments must not be visible at any time.
  • Pants must be secured no lower than mid-hip.
  • Ripped pants are permitted as long as rips fall below the shorts length criteria, are limited to the front side of the leg, and do not exceed three inches in diameter above the knee. Skin exposed by all other rips must be covered by opaque clothing that is not underwear.
  • Leggings, biker-type/spandex shorts, or joggers must be opaque and worn with a top that meets the length expectations of shorts and skirts (see #2).
  • Backless and open-toed shoes with a hard sole are permitted as long as the shoes do not pose a safety hazard. Foam and similar soft-soled shoes, such as flip-flops or beach footwear, are prohibited.
  • Headwear is not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, hats, skull caps, visors, bandannas, sweatbands, shower caps, and hoods. Scarves may be worn as a headband only. (Exceptions may be granted based on religious and medical reasons with proper verification.) Sunglasses are not permitted except during outdoor activities.
  • Sleepwear and sleepwear-type clothing are only permitted for certain activities, such as overnight field trips and spirit days.
  • Clothing that displays or symbolizes any language or material that is inappropriate for school or offensive to any group is not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, material relating to drugs, alcohol, profanity, obscenity, racism, gang activity and violence.
  • Formal attire must not be disruptive or distracting. Spaghetti straps and strapless formal garments are acceptable as long as adequate coverage is maintained during the activity. Slits in skirts or other garments must meet the expectations for the same in rule #2. Transparent attire is prohibited. Necklines may not fall below mid-sternum. Backless garments are permitted at any formal affair.
  • The dress code is in effect for participating students at all school-sponsored events on and off-campus.

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David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...