Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- A new wrinkle in back to school shopping for some parents as school uniform stores rush to fill the demand for school uniforms.
The new demand comes Tulsa Public Schools now requires uniforms for elementary and junior high students.
This time of year is always busy for school uniform stores, but this year demand is up because more schools now require them.
With the start of school for Tulsa Public now three and a half weeks away, the district is ramping up the effort to let parents know they can go ahead and buy clothes that will work for any school.
"What we're suggesting for the new schools which were not in uniforms last year is that parents buy a white plain polo shirt and khaki bottoms, pants or shorts and no cargo pants," said Paula Wood of Tulsa Public Schools.
Each school has -- or is close -- to developing a list of other acceptable colors and letters will go out with details, according to the district.
The uniform policy applies to all elementary and junior high schools, but not to any high schools besides the ones who required them before. TPS will have some free uniforms available for students, through school counselors at each site.
"One of the biggest things is: 'Do you have enough stuff? We've got to get stuff real quick,'" said Karen Renee, owner of K. Renee's Uniform Closet.
At K. Renee's uniform closet, new customers are coming in with questions about supply - and the cost.
"I think they're often surprised by how affordable it is, because you really don't have to buy as much. When kids are wearing uniforms, you can get by with less," Renee said. "The main thing is - is it clean every morning? That's all you really need to worry about. And you really don't have to have one of everything in a wardrobe that a school chooses."
The TPS policy follows the trend of private schools, which almost universally require uniforms. TPS will consider requiring uniforms in high schools, but not before the start of school next year.