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Student Dress


General Provisions

Guidelines for Prohibited Dress

Hats and Caps

Student Uniform Dress

Uniform Dress or Appearance for Musical Performing Group

Graduation Dress

General Provisions

Albuquerque Public Schools expects student dress and grooming to reflect high standards of personal conduct.  Student’s attire ought to promote a positive, safe and healthy atmosphere within the school.  Principals shall develop and implement written individual school dress codes that comply with the requirements of this procedural directive.  Principals may customize their individual school dress codes to address the needs and standards of their communities and neighborhoods through use of a process which ensures input from students, parents, faculty and staff of the school and other interested community members. Students and their parents/legal guardians shall be aware of the individual school dress code and shall conform to those requirements. Principals shall interpret and enforce the dress code of his/her school.

Individual school dress codes shall be reviewed periodically with parents, teachers, and student group representatives to enlist their support and encourage pride and good taste.

Guidelines for Prohibited Dress

Albuquerque Public Schools shall prohibit student dress that may present a health or safety hazard, violate municipal or state law or present a potential disruption to the instructional program. Albuquerque Public Schools shall prohibit attire or accessories which advertise, display or promote any drug, including alcohol or tobacco, sexual activity, violence, disrespect and/or show bigotry towards any group.

Prohibited clothing and accessories include, but are not limited to:

  • gang-related attire
  • excessively tight or revealing clothes
  • short shorts, skirts and dresses
  • bare midriff
  • low-cut and/or off the shoulder blouses
  • spiked jewelry
  • chains
  • belts with more than 2 inches excess.
  • "Sagging", or the wearing of pants below the waist and/or in a manner that allows underwear or bare skin to show, and "bagging", or the wearing of excessively baggy pants with low hanging crotches.

Hats and Caps  

Albuquerque Public Schools shall encourage students to wear hats and caps while participating in activities out-doors due to health concerns of prolonged or excessive exposure to direct ultraviolet radiation of sunlight. Out-door activities include, but are not limited to, recess, athletic and sports activities, music rehearsals and other extracurricular activities.

Hats or caps worn by students shall not present a health or safety hazard, violate municipal or state law or present a potential for disruption to the instructional program. Hats and caps shall not advertise, display or promote any drug, including alcohol or tobacco, sexual activity, violence, disrespect and/or show bigotry towards any group. Albuquerque Public Schools shall prohibit hats and caps that are deemed gang-related attire.

Hats or caps shall not to be worn while inside buildings unless there are specific instructional, safety, religious or medical reasons for the student doing so.  

Student Uniform Dress

Individual Albuquerque Public Schools may adopt student uniform dress policies in compliance with the minimum requirements set forth in this procedural directive.  If a school adopts a student uniform dress policy, it shall develop, implement and document processes utilized to ensure student, parent/legal guardian and school community input and involvement in the planning and adoption process.  The process shall include:

  • a distribution of the proposed policy to all parents/legal guardians and students
  • specific plans to accommodate those families who cannot afford to purchase the required clothing
  • advertised public meeting at the school to allow discussion and comment on the proposed policy

The school shall document a vote on the proposed policy with each student family having one vote. The school shall mail ballots with pre-paid return addressed envelopes to each family eligible to vote. At least sixty-five percent (65%) of the returned ballots must be in support of the proposal before the school may adopt a student uniform dress policy.

A school may request permission from the superintendent, or his/her designee, to use a polling process different from that outlined above. The school shall submit the proposed dress policy and the family involvement and polling plan to the appropriate associate superintendent for approval prior to holding any community vote. 

Uniform Dress or Appearance for Musical Performing Group

The district recognizes that some schools may desire uniform dress or appearance for performing musical groups for positive reasons. These positive aspects may include group identity, motivation, and appearance. The ability of all students to participate in district-sponsored activities shall be taken into consideration when uniforms are selected.  If a school permits the wearing of a simple uniform dress or appearance requirements by musical performing groups, the following guidelines shall be pursued:

  • Parents/legal guardians shall be notified in advance of any uniform dress for musical performing groups during a school year in the school's course description booklet which is sent home to families.
  • Each teacher shall have the approval of the principal, or his/her designee, before any discussion and/or decision takes place between teacher and his/her class.
  • As often as possible, uniforms shall incorporate clothing that can be worn at other times.
  • Total cost of the uniform shall not exceed minimum practical cost.
  • Individual schools and/or music departments involved shall be ready to help any student that cannot afford the minimum cost. Under no circumstances shall any student ever be excluded from the performing group for not having the group uniform.
  • Any exceptions to the above shall be presented, in writing, to the principal and shall not be approved without counter signature of the appropriate associate superintendent or his/her designee.
  • If a course or activity is required of all students, no fee may be charged nor may students be required to purchase a uniform.

Graduation Dress

Schools shall establish individual standards of appropriate dress, allowable accessories and regalia for honors assemblies taking place prior to the school’s official commencement ceremony.

Schools of choice shall establish individual standards of appropriate dress, allowable accessories and regalia and gap and gown requirements for graduation ceremonies.  School of choice graduating students shall be required to comply with the standards established by the school in order to participate in a district graduation ceremony.

All comprehensive high schools and their graduating seniors shall comply with the standards outlined by the district in order to participate in a district graduation ceremony.  Those standards are:

  • All graduating seniors shall be required to wear a graduation cap and gown to participate in a district graduation ceremony.
  • Regalia worn at the graduation ceremony shall be restricted to academic regalia approved on a district-wide basis.  District departments and/or schools may request from the associate superintendent of high schools and chief academic officer that its regalia be considered “academic” for graduation purposes.  The associate superintendent for high schools and chief academic officer shall implement a standardized process through which regalia may be evaluated.
  • Schools shall establish individual standards of appropriate attire to be worn under the graduation cap and gown.  Each school shall permit students to wear traditional, full-body encompassing cultural dress underneath the student’s cap and gown.


Administrative Position:                    Associate Superintendent for High Schools/Associate
                                                         Superintendent for Middle Schools/ Associate
                                                         Superintendents for Elementary Schools

Department Director:                        Director of Student, School and Community Service Center


Legal Cross Ref.:  
Board Policy Cross Ref.:                   JI1 –Student Dress    
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:    Student Fees, Fines and Charges

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JICA, IHAGA

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Approved: January 16, 2001
Revised: September 2009
Reviewed: September 24, 2010
Reviewed: October 11, 2010
Revised: October 15, 2010
Reviewed: September 10, 2014
Revised: September 26, 2014

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