SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Middle and high school students studying at Axtell Park are described by the district as those with the highest chance of not graduating. So, the district’s making changes in hopes of increasing those chances.

There will be more mental health and safety measures. Another change, according to parents, is the dress code.

“As I understand it right now the dress code is long pants only, no shorts, they have to be black blue or khaki and then the assigned either short sleeve, long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt and nothing can be worn over or underneath of it,” said parent Jennifer Wentzel.

That’s the plan parents were told about this week. Late Friday afternoon parents received a revised dress code. It allows jeans, sweatpants and leggings.

Axtell Park School dress code for the 2022-2023 school year.

It also allows shorts in the first and fourth quarters.

The dress code says students will wear the provided gray Axtell shirt or a plain solid-colored polo shirt.

Wentzel says she and other parents she’s talked with feel the uniforms will single out students who don’t want to be singled out.

“I think the school was probably trying to build more of a community, more cohesiveness, make them feel like part of something but unfortunately, the way that it got out, the students knew before the parents did, and they decided they weren’t going to wear this dress code even before they got home,” said Wentzel.

A spokesperson with the district says the dress code is a small portion of the new programming at Axtell and many parents were very positive about the changes. The district says it is always making changes to improve the education of the 25,000 kids attending classes.

“Every decision we make in this school district is done with the well-being of students and staff in mind,” Superintendent Jane Stavem said in a school district video posted on Youtube.

Wentzel says as of now, her son doesn’t want to wear a uniform that he feels will label him.

“He’s a teenage boy. He doesn’t want anybody to know that he goes there now,” said Wentzel.

The school district says the adjustments are all part of the process of rolling out something new. Classes start in less than two weeks on August 25.