The idea of establishing a dress code in the Northridge School district is "very much in the early discussion phase," according to Superintendent John Shepard, and he has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the issue.

The idea of establishing a dress code in the Northridge School district is "very much in the early discussion phase," according to Superintendent John Shepard, and he has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the issue.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Northridge High School media center.

"We're not sure yet where the district's going with this," Shepard said, but he noted that students coming to school dressed inappropriately has proven to be a problem. Some of their clothing choices can be disruptive in the classroom, he said.

"Often it starts at home when kids leave the house," Shepard said. Teachers do their best to watch students as they enter the building, but some slip through without being noticed until classes begin.

He said he'd meet with teachers and administration before Thursday night's meeting to hear their ideas.

"It's definitely something the community's talking about," said Jayma Bammerlin, board vice president. "We're hoping to get parents and students to give us their ideas."

She said the subject of a dress code came up during a board meeting in September, when members agreed to look into it.

From her discussions, Bammerlin said, it seems that parents of younger children are in favor of a dress code, while parents of older students wonder if it would squelch their self-expression - or make it more expensive to buy clothes.

Bammerlin emphasized that board members have made no decisions yet, and she doesn't know whether, if a code is established, it would be for all grades or just the middle and high schools.

She said there'd be advantages to having students wear "Viking-wear" or "spirit-wear" that would support the district, but added that others favor a more conservative uniform.

"The board's open to anything," she said. "There are lots of good facts to support a dress code."

Also at the board's organizational meeting Jan. 17, two new members were appointed and board officers elected.

Two of the board's five members, Chris Pokorny and Lee Hatfield, chose not to run for reelection in November, and only one candidate, incumbent Bammerlin, was on the ballot, running to keep her seat. That brought the board to the first of the year with only three members.

Four candidates applied for the positions, including Pokorny, who received an appointment. Also named to the board was Doug Hart. They will serve on the board for two years before they would need to run for election.

"This is a new board," said Bammerlin, who was appointed last May.

Board members Mark Dann and Jeffrey Schrock are beginning their third terms.

Also at the meeting, Dann was named board president and Bammerlin vice president.