by Claire Patnode, PAW Writer
With pants nowhere in sight, young ladies attending Providence Academy are in search of ways to protect their skin from these Minnesota winters. Students attending PA are required to wear a specific uniform, and for young ladies, that means donning on their skirts while it’s below zero outside. Not only is the cold air uncomfortable, but it is also dangerous to one’s health. As an article from Harvard Medical School points out, “Numerous studies have shown that death rates peak this time of year. Blood pressure increases during the winter, and, by some reckonings, 70% of the wintertime increase in the death rate can be traced back to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular causes of death. And, of course, flu season is a winter event, and flu viruses spread more readily once the air is dry and chilly.” So it’s time everyone took their mother’s advice and bundled up.
At a first glance, the girls at Providence Academy appear to have no way to keep warm while sporting skirts. However, there are several options for students to protect themselves from the cold. The obvious solution to this problem would mostly likely be to adjust the uniform code, allowing the young ladies to wear pants during the winter season. Mr. David Harman, Dean of Students at Providence Academy explains that this was indeed the case. Middle and Upper school students were once allowed to wear pants. However, after noticing that the majority were still wearing the skirt, the school removed pants from the women’s uniform. And they do not appear to be coming back. Adding pants back to the PA uniform code would add a lot of variety for the students. Although this may seem harmless, it is important to PA to have a uniform and that the students are not simply wearing whatever they want.
Even though most ladies didn’t wear the pants while they were allowed, some did, and still would today. Samantha Kelley ’16 wore pants all throughout sixth and seventh grade. Her classmate, Liza Kourdaev ’16 also wore pants in the sixth grade. When asked if they would wear them again if it were an option, both girls responded yes. Their pants kept them warm while walking in and out of school and through the parking lot.
Thankfully, there are options for ladies who are longing for a warmer uniform. Although pants are not and may never be an option, tights are. Mr. Harman explains that tights colored navy blue, black, or skin toned, are all allowed. This has seemed the best solution for most girls. Annika White ’15 says that she wears tights quite often and recommends the ones lined with fleece for extra warmth. Another option is sweatpants. Slipping on a warm pair of sweat pants or pajama pants before climbing into the car and walking into school certainly will protect one’s skin from the biting wind. Having sweatpants to wear into school and to change into again before leaving, is the preferred method for others. Sophie Horinek ’16 prefers these. She likes to wear her navy blue sweatpants under her skirt to minimize the effects of our Minnesota temperatures.
Skirts, overall, are not too big of a nuisance. As long as one makes it a priority to add layers; such as tights or sweatpants, or simply learn how to walk faster from the parking lot into school, it will insure that every student is kept warm this winter season.