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      Problems continue with uniforms for IDEA Public Schools

      Frustrated parents turned to Action 4 News after they couldn't get their children's school uniforms in time for the first day of classes.

      Parents of students from IDEA Public Schools in Hidalgo County reported standing in line for up to three hours on Sunday.

      It all happened at the Tuff Stuff store inside Pharr TMs El Centro Mall to get their student's new school uniforms.

      Many were not available in their size even though parents say they had pre-ordered.

      On Monday morning, even more parents reported leaving the store empty handed.

      Andrea Lewis and other parents wrote to Action 4 News on Facebook.

      I TMm not upset about buying a new shirt but that I have to buy a different shirt to wear for the first week of school when he should have had his shirts for school, Lewis wrote.

      Action 4 News contacted IDEA Public School about the school uniforms issue and they issued the two following statements:

      Question 1: People are very upset about the large crowds and the long lines, why did you only choose one distributor?Answer: IDEA Public Schools has a culture of high-expectations for our students, vendors and most importantly, for ourselves. In May of 2012, IDEA made the decision to tighten our existing uniform policy so that all students would be in an educational environment free from distractions with the ability to focus on the curriculum, which matters most. After intense review of our previous uniform options, we noticed that students across our campuses were not wearing the same color of shirt or pants and some families were paying more than other families. In an effort to be more efficient for our IDEA families, we opted to select one distributor to ensure consistency across the price and the colors. We offered IDEA families multiple avenues to purchase and pick up their uniforms: on campus, online or at Tuff Stuff in El Centro Mall. We did encounter some logistical challenges with a combination of seasonally long back-to-school lines and some families unable to order their uniforms prior to the last two weeks and for that we are truly apologetic. We are working through them and working with the vendor to ensure they meet our expectations and those of our 13,000 IDEA families.

      Question 2: I am reading that the uniform policy changed this year, why did you all change?Answer: In May of 2012, IDEA made the decision to tighten its uniform policy"not change it---so that all students would be in an educational environment free from distractions with the ability to focus on the curriculum, which matters most. There have not been any changes to the uniform elements, students are required to wear a polo shirt with IDEA's logo and one of our core values, "No Excuses" along with khaki pants.

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