Uniform and Dress Code

ACA has a primary objective of developing a “community of learners,” dedicated to the highest standards of academics and deportment. As such, a distinctive uniform is a unifying factor within our school community. It is also a visible signature of our school to the larger community, an indicator of our unity and of our pride of purpose. This is one of the most important functions of a uniform: it identifies its wearer as part of a distinctive group with a distinctive purpose. It is a reminder to its wearer of that purpose and of one’s responsibility to that group.

The uniform is the basis of a dress code with a “professional,” business-like standard. Our students should dress their best, look their best, and do their best. All clothing must be clean, neat, reasonably pressed, and in properly fitting condition. If a child is deemed to be wearing inappropriate attire, the parent will be notified and a change of clothing may be required for attendance that day. If in doubt about the appropriateness of an article of clothing, check with the school office before purchasing. Good judgment exercised at home will be a learning activity for the child that will help to avoid embarrassment or wasted time at school. Decisions about the appropriateness of apparel may be referred to the Headmaster, whose judgment will be final. The Headmaster may make specific exceptions to the dress code, as demanded by particular religious customs.

If a student insists on rebelling by trying to beat the dress code, it will quickly become obvious to the faculty and Headmaster. Our desire is not to squash students’ individuality, but to secure their commitment to a community of learners whose purpose, while at school, is not faddish coolness, or outlandishness, but scholarship and character development. We ask not only for the student’s commitment to this concept, but for the parent’s as well. The uniform and dress code of ACA support and reinforce our academic goals. The uniform assists us in staying focused on the true individuality offered by healthy dialogue and the development of the life of the mind for each student.

Other than the dress code requirements for school, there are special requirements for periodic, special events throughout the year, such as the “semi-formal” dress code for concert participation and the all-school awards ceremony. Please see Semi-Formal Event Dress Code for an exact definition of how the Academy defines “semiformal” attire.

Students must stay in uniform whenever they are on campus (including the parking lot) during a school day. This means arriving on campus fully in uniform and leaving campus fully in uniform (correct shoes, shirts tucked in, etc.). Students may only change out of uniform after school with teacher/coach permission to participate in an approved curricular or extracurricular activity that requires an immediate change in dress.

Purchasing Note Some components of the uniform will need to be purchased from either Charter School Uniforms or Anton Uniforms. Please see the chart that follows.  Used uniforms are also available for purchase.

Required Student Uniforms

  • Polo Shirt – Short or Long sleeve with school logo
    • Color: White or Burgundy
    • Fit: Shirt must always remain tucked in
    • Vendor: Charter Uniforms or Anton Uniforms.
  • Pants –  Girls and Boys
    • Color: Navy Blue
    • Style: Flat front dress pants, no pleats, no jeans or cargo pants, with belt loops and a solid, dark belt
    • Fit: Pants should reach the shoe but not drag on the ground. No excessively baggy or tight-fitting pants will be permitted. Pants should be worn at the waist with no undergarments visible. The slacks should have belt loops and a solid, dark belt should be used.
    • Vendor: Any as long as pants are indistinguishable from the Charter Uniforms or Anton Uniform pants
  • Plaid Jumper and/or Skort – K-2 Girls
    • Color: Plaid only for jumper, navy for skorts
    • Length: The skirt hem may be no higher than just above the knee, both in front and in back. Skirt hem should be within two inches of the ground when properly adjusted at the waist and kneeling on a level surface; may be longer if desired. Skirts must be worn at the waist.
      • Dark spandex tight-fitting shorts must be worn under the jumper
    • Vendor: Charter or Anton Uniforms
  • Skort and/or Skirt –  3-5 Grade Girls
    • Color: Skirts and skorts must be plaid or navy
    • Length: The skirt hem may be no higher than just above the knee, both in front and in back. Skirt hem should be within two inches of the ground when properly adjusted at the waist and kneeling on a level surface; may be longer if desired. Skirts must be worn at the waist.
      • Dark spandex tight-fitting shorts must be worn under the skirt
    • Vendor: Charter or Anton Uniforms
  • Shoes (To assist in choosing an appropriate shoe, please visit our Uniform Links page.)
    • Color: The shoes should be solid black or solid white
      • No colors on the shoes, heels, or soles
      • No neon or bright colored shoe laces (white laces for white shoes, black laces for black shoes).
    • Style: Athletic (tennis, Keds) shoes. Mary Jane shoes, even athletic styled, are not allowed because of PE safety.
  • Socks, Tights, or Leggings
    • Color: Black, Blue or White
    • Sock Length: Ankle or knee-high socks
    • Leggings:must reach the ankle

Optional:

    • Shorts –  Girls and Boys
      • Color: Navy
      • Style: Flat or pleated front walking shorts. Shorts should fall mid-thigh and not be longer than the knee, with belt loops and a solid dark belt
      • Fit: No excessively- baggy or tight-fitting shorts will be permitted. Shorts should be worn at the waist with no undergarments visible. The shorts should have belt loops and a solid, dark belt should be used
      • Vendor:  Any as long as the shorts are indistinguishable from the Charter or Anton Uniform shorts.
    • Sweater
      • Color:  Burgundy or navy with school logo
      • Style:  Vest, sweater, or cardigan
      • Vendor:  Charter or Anton Uniforms
    • Knit Jacket
      • Color:  Navy with crest
      • Vendor:  Charter or Anton Uniforms
    • Outerwear: Jackets may be worn to school for warmth but must be free of logos and messages. Jackets may only be worn before and after school and during recess.

If the cost of the uniform presents a financial hardship for your family, please contact the school office for assistance.

Hair, Jewelry and Makeup 

Hair

  • Girls
    • Hair should be neatly combed or styled. Neat bows, barrettes, headbands, and “scrunchies” are permissible so long as they coordinate with the uniform.  Hair should not be arranged or colored so as to draw undue attention to the student.  Hair must be natural looking and conservative in its color (no bleaching or unnatural streaking/highlighting, no deep/bright reds or oranges, no artificial jet-black coloring, and no unnatural colors). Glitter and feathers in the hair will not be allowed
  • Boys
    • Hair should be neatly combed or styled. Hair must be well-off the top of the shirt collar. Hair should not fall below the eyebrows or past the mid-point of the ear. Hair cannot be tucked behind the ears. No shaved heads, Mohawks, rat’s tails, pony tails, or braids.  Hair must be natural looking and conservative in its color (no bleaching or unnatural streaking/highlighting, no deep/bright reds or oranges, no artificial jet-black coloring, and no unnatural colors).

Jewelry

Girls may wear small studded earrings. No loops or dangling earrings are permitted. Boys may not wear earrings. No other body piercings are permitted.  Boys and girls are permitted to wear one watch. Bracelets, rings, and necklaces are not permitted unless for religious reasons.

Makeup

Students may not wear makeup of any kind. Students may not wear colored nail polish.

Backpacks

Students may bring backpacks and lunchboxes to and from school. These items must be stored on the designated shelving units in the classroom during the school day. Due to small storage spaces, rolling backpacks are not permitted without a doctor’s note. Backpacks and lunchboxes should be free of icons of pop culture (peace signs, cartoon characters, tie-dyed patterns etc.) as well as messages that are offensive or inappropriate to the academy environment.

ACA officials may search and seize property when there is reason to believe that some material or matter is present that is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of students.

Additional Guidelines 

Hats and sunglasses may only be worn outside and must be removed when the student enters the building.

Student’s skin should be free of any painted or ink drawings of any kind. Students should not draw on themselves or on others.

Girls Boys Color Vendor Grades
Polo Shirt-Pique Yes Yes Burgundy with Logo Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Polo Shirt-Pique Yes Yes White with Logo Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Polo Shirt-Jersey Knit Yes Yes White with Logo Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Shorts- Flat Front Yes Yes Navy Blue Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Pants-Flat Front Yes Yes Navy Blue Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Skort Yes No Navy Blue Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Skort Yes No Plaid Anton/Charter Uniforms K-5
Skirt Yes No Navy Blue Anton/Charter Uniforms 3rd-5th
Skirt Yes No Plaid Anton/Charter Uniforms 3rd-5th
Jumper Yes No Plaid Anton/Charter Uniforms K-2
Socks Yes Yes Black or White K-5

Non-uniform Dress Code for Special Events

Athletic Practice and Outdoor Field Day Dress Code

Just as Archway provides guidelines for dress code in the classroom, it is important to project the image of professionalism in our athletic attire as well.

All shirts worn for athletic practices and field day should be modest, loose fitting, in good repair (no holes, torn sleeves, etc), should be worn either tucked in or well over the waist of the pants/shorts if not tucked in.  No midriffs may be shown.  T-shirts are preferred—not tank tops, camisoles, or sports bras may be worn as outer garments.  Sleeveless shirts may be worn if modest.

Shorts should be modest, in good repair (no holes, torn sleeves, etc.)  Shorts should be worn at the waist and should be no shorter than mid-thigh, and no-longer than just below the knee.  No short-shorts or long baggy shorts may be worn.  No boxers or undergarments may be visible.

Attire should be free of logos and messages, with the following exceptions: sports team logos (e.g., Diamondbacks, Notre Dame), and apparel brand names (e.g., Adidas, Abercrombie) are acceptable, provided they do not make inappropriate allusions (as do some skateboarding/ snowboarding brands).  These guidelines also apply to sweatshirts and jackets that students may wear.  Footwear should be athletic in nature: no sandals, open-toed, or platform shoes.  Hats and sunscreen may be appropriate, if the students will be in the sun.  Hat styles should follow the same guidelines as above.

Semi-formal Events Dress Code

There are specific, semi-formal dress requirements for special events, including periodic fine arts concerts.

Concert Dress
Concert dress is white and black for both boys and girls.  Boys wear white collared dress shirts with black slacks and black dress shoes.  Girls wear a white blouse with a black skirt or black dress slacks and black dress shoes (open-toed shoes and reasonable heels are permitted).

The semi-formal dress code for young men is: dress slacks (no jeans or patched pocket pants), a collared dress shirt, dark socks, dress shoes (no sneakers or sandals). No dyed hair or hats. Hair should be trimmed appropriately.

The semi-formal dress code for young women is as follows: modest-length skirts or dresses (no shorter than the uniform skirt), or appropriately fitting dress slacks. Bare midriffs and cutouts are not acceptable. Modestly-cut sleeveless tops and dresses are allowed. Girls may not wear strapless, spaghetti-strap, or tank tops. Girls should wear dress shoes. No flip-flops. No dyed hair.