San Antonio Magazine for Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Lincoln Heights, Terrell Heights, Northwood and Oak Park


School Girl with Notebooks


When students arrive on The Junior School campus on August 12, 2024, a new dress code will be in place. The code, which runs only 134 words, is a result of months of discussions between school administrators and parents.


The last step in adopting the code involved a survey sent to all Alamo Heights Junior School (AHJS) parents and guardians last April.


In a follow-up email to parents, Dr. Stuart Guthrie, AHJS principal, wrote, “I want to start this email with a big THANK YOU to the 338 parents and guardians who took the time to provide feedback on our dress code for the 2024-2025 school year. We started working on dress code changes almost a year ago with the purpose of defining what we believe a Junior School student should dress for in a learning environment. We believe that through this process, we can teach our students a lifelong skill on the importance of dressing for specific occasions.”


I spoke with Dr. Guthrie about the code. He said, “When I got here two years ago, there was a litany of things all sorts of people got in my ear about. And dress code was one of those issues.”


Guthrie explained, “The dress code I inherited was very simple. Student clothing should be ‘clean, safe, and decent.’  It gave a big perspective but no real guidance on what was or was not appropriate. Clean, Safe, and Decent also meant that when referring a student to the office for alleged dress code violations, they were labeled ‘indecent.’ I didn’t like placing that label on any of our students.”


By way of full disclosure, our three kiddos will be at The Junior School this fall. Several parents and school administrators told me they believe a standardized dress code helps minimize distractions and social pressures related to clothing choices. The goal is to foster an atmosphere where students can concentrate on their studies and personal growth while preserving space for individuality and creativity.


So why not a uniform, parents might ask? Guthrie said he’d worked at schools where uniforms were mandated. He told me, “Uniforms solve a lot of issues but take away from some of the fun of being pre-teen and teenagers.”


Regarding enforcement of the new dress code, Guthrie said, “We know it will be a little bit of a culture shock, but I’m confident it will all work out.”


The 2024-2025 AHJS Dress Code is for ALL students:

  • Clothing with inappropriate messaging, such as promotion of  drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or inappropriate messaging is not allowed.
  • Pajamas or lounge wear are not allowed. (sweatpants are OK).
  • Students should wear foot wear that is safe and protective. Rubber flip flops, slippers, or house shoes are not allowed. (Crocs are OK).
  • Tops should appropriately cover the student’s entire torso, front and back. 
  • Shirts that show undergarments are not allowed.
  • Spaghetti strap shirts are not allowed.
  • Shorts are allowed and should fully cover a student’s bottom.
  • Undergarments should not be visible.
  • Unhemmed shorts (i.e. cut offs) are not allowed.
  • 2” skirt style shorts or garments are not allowed.
  • No hats or hoodies allowed in the building.



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