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School staff talk dress codes, shopping on a budget

A wardrobe room is set up for students at Riverside High School. (WCHS/WVAH)

Back-to-school shopping can be expensive when your child needs school supplies and new clothes.

School administrators said one of the important things is making sure those clothes are school appropriate.

"Our most important thing is to make sure that kids are here. We want them here. We don't want to send them home for not having the appropriate attire on,” said Valery Harper, principal at Riverside High School in Kanawha County.

That reason is why Harper said a wardrobe room was set up for students needing different clothes.

"If students are out of compliance, we just bring them back to the wardrobe room and have them pick out another outfit and continue on throughout the day,” Harper said.

Students will find things from T-shirts and sweatshirts to pants and jackets.

All the clothes were donated from the community, and students don't have to return the items.

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, Harper said there are a few things to avoid.

"There's one thing about (the) interpretation of the county policy, one thing that everybody's the same is definitely with not having any alcohol or drug paraphernalia or anything on their shirts, jeans, jewelry, socks,” Harper said.

Clarissa Tatum, who has two children and owns Just 4 Kids Consignment in Charleston, said she knows the struggle of finding her kids clothes that are appropriate and affordable.

"My son is in high school, so it's a lot harder to find stuff that he'd be willing to wear and the prices of clothing is just outrageous,” Tatum said. “We are all on hard times at this point.”

Tatum said she tries to price her clothing at an affordable cost. Most clothing items she has for sale range anywhere from $2 to $10.

With the first day of school approaching quickly in many counties, Tatum said people are coming in from elementary all the way up to high school.

"To me it's a ministry. I want to help people, and I want to be here for the community,” Tatum said.

Harper suggests students dress in layers, and if they are questioning any clothing items, check with school administration or bring a change of clothes just in case.

For more information on Kanawha County Schools' dress code policy, click here.

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