Staff surprise students with dress codes

Teachers, administration come together to welcome in the new semester


Adam Gips

Alexander Polk teaches his fifth-hour chemistry class while wearing the Park Pride teacher dress code. Throughout the week, many teachers took part in various dress codes though up by staff.

Claire Bargman and Gabriel Kaplan

Using her time working in Arizona as inspiration, assistant principal Jessica Busse said she wanted to create staff dress codes to have some fun and energize students for the second semester.

“We needed something to do that was fun,” Busse said. “It was actually something that a group of teachers came up with at the school that I worked at in Arizona, and we did it and it was really fun because we got to do silly stuff and be kids and so I wanted to bring it here.”

According to administrative assistant to the assistant principals Kiki Christensen, outfits over the course of the week were decided over email and text by the staff and included popular student dress codes such as blackout and dress up.

We wanted to be like the students we work with. If you guys get to have secrets, then we get to have secrets.”

— Jessica Busse

“It was sent out in an email saying we should show our support as a community and let’s welcome to the second semester so the students are on board and hyped up,” Christensen said. “It was more community-building than anything else.”

Busse said she was not concerned with offending anyone with the outfits considering each day’s theme aligns with dress codes used for a variety of school dances and sports.

“Dress codes have evolved over time and have been done for a really long time. There’s always been controversy around dress codes and it depends on how someone interprets the dress code,” Busse said. “There could be controversy over the fact that I have slippers on today, but it just is about how you look at it. It’s just fun, and as long as it’s done in good fun, we will continue to have them.”

According to health teacher Allison Luskey, the dress codes were initially meant to be a secret in order to surprise students, though students quickly picked up on teachers’ odd outfits.

“We aren’t supposed to tell students this. It’s top secret. You’ll find out about the rest of the dress code throughout the week,” Luskey said. “It’s just supposed to be a surprise. It wasn’t my idea, but the administrative team that planned it just wanted to surprise students and make it fun.”

Busse said teachers and administration thought the mystery surrounding the staff’s outfits would peak students’ interests, just as students dress codes often catch staff off guard.

“You guys don’t tell us when you have dress codes, so why should we be any different than you guys are,” Busse said. “We wanted to be like the students we work with. If you guys get to have secrets, then we get to have secrets.”

Luskey said she feels energized about the new semester and thinks the staff dress codes are a creative way to kick it off.

“Administration came up with the idea to start the semester off with something fun,” Luskey said. “There’s something that feels really good about being halfway through the year for a lot of people. To be on a semester system, it’s like a new start and it feels really good overall.”