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Student Handbook

JMA Student Handbook

The Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School

The JMA staff and students, as well as our community partners, will align core educational and social values with rigorous academic and ethical codes. We believe that what we learn and do in school should mirror the fast-paced, ever-changing multimedia world. As technology and media creates a worldwide community, our understanding of local, national, and global levels requires active participation rather than passive observation. In order to achieve our mission and vision, the JMA staff recognizes that students need to understand their role in our expanding communities and what opportunities are available.Mission. Using the values of Discipline, Respect, Unity, and Maturity (DRUM), all students will gain advanced skills in technology, writing, research, creativity, and critical thinking, that will enable them to participate successfully in a 21st century media-conscious world.
JMA will be a transformative learning community that prepares all students to be college and career ready and use their voices to communicate, educate, and elevate their world.
Recognizing the value of education and our student body, HPS has constructed a state-of-the-art high school building on Tower Avenue. The JMA building is equipped with resources, technology, and staff that will provide optimal learning environment for students in Hartford and the surrounding communities.
Curriculum and Instruction
The JMA is dedicated to developing a strong curriculum that supports student development and learning. We will provide a quality education in all major content areas: reading, writing, mathematics, the arts, science, technology, physical education, and other core curricula. We will provide students with theme-based courses that will enhance their knowledge and understanding of journalism and media, as well as supporting individual development of lifelong skills.
CPBN Partnership
As part of our commitment to a 21st century multimedia education, JMA and HPS have partnered with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network to create a unique opportunity for our students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in the fields of journalism and media. 

In August of 2013, CPBN opened the Learning Lab, located on the 4th and 5th floors of CPBN’s headquarters in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. This versatile training facility includes classrooms and workstations, conference rooms, a 150-seat auditorium, production studios, editing suites, a screening room, audio and mixing studios and a media gallery to serve diverse audiences and support a wide range of educational and community functions.
As part of our partnership with CPBN, seniors of the JMA will spend part of their day at the Learning Lab, working with teachers and media professionals and using state-of-the-art equipment to learn industry-standard methods and skills. Seniors who attend class at the Learning Lab will still have the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges as those students at the JMA building on Tower Ave (like afterschool athletic and academic programs).
It is our responsibility to cultivate a longstanding partnership with CPBN and ensure access to this opportunity for current students and for generations to come.

The Handbook
The JMA handbook is intended to familiarize both students and parents/guardians with the significance of school procedures, policies, and expectations (both academic and social). It is the responsibility of both students and their parents/guardians to review it.
About JMA
Our support staff is available to assist students with both academic and social needs. Students may use these resources on a day-to-day basis to help prepare them for the rigor of high school, college, and career. It is extremely important for students to know and understand that there is both academic and social support available if they need it. Support staff will recognize and honor student confidentiality.
Dress Code
The JMA faculty and staff recognize the importance of following the Hartford Board of Education’s Policy 5140 regarding student attire. Students, parents, and guardians are asked to please pay particular attention to the prohibited clothing and items section.
Students will be placed in the Climate Improvement Program room if they do not arrive to school and remain in uniform. In an effort to promote a professional work and study environment, all students are expected to be in uniform every day.
JMA Uniform Policy
The JMA uniform consists of the following items only:
  • Royal blue button-down shirts (Oxford-style). Shirts may be long or short sleeved.
  • Black full-length chino-style pants.
  • Closed-toe and closed-heel shoes (no flip-flops, sandals, high heels, etc). Sneakers or tennis shoes are acceptable.
  • White and black undershirts, if worn (must be plain).
  • Black leather, leather-like, or web belts that meet Hartford BOE standards are allowed.
  • The JMA logo is available as a patch or can be embroidered.
  • Shirts must be tucked in at the waist.
  • Acceptable alternatives:
  • Black sweaters (cardigans, cable-knit, sweater-vests) over royal blue shirt.
  • Black fleece vests or jackets may be worn in colder weather.
Unacceptable School Attire:
Examples of unacceptable attire includes, but are not limited to:
  • Shades of blue that are not royal blue (navy, light, or pale blues)
  • Cargo pants or other pants with extra pockets on the legs
  • Cropped pants of any kind
  • Black jeans or skinny-style pants
  • Sweatshirts, sweatpants, hooded sweatshirts, and “sweaters” made of sweatshirt-like material
  • Clothing that is more than one size too big or one size too small
  • Shoes or boots that cover the pants leg
  • Socks pulled over pants leg
  • Colored shoe laces (laces must be black or white, depending on the color of the shoe)
  • Clothing worn in an inappropriate manner
  • Clothing worn in a manner that may suggest affiliation or imitation of gang styling
  • Hats, scarves, bandannas, or any other head covering.
  • Uniforms are to be worn in school at all times, including at off-campus school functions, designated school functions, satellite campuses, and special schedule days.
Outerwear must be stored in lockers. Students may wear head coverings if they have a documented religious purpose.
Attendance Policies (HBOE 5114)
Regular and punctual student attendance in school is essential to the educational process. Classroom learning experiences are the basis for public school education. Time lost from class is lost instructional opportunity.
The Board of Education requires that accurate records be kept of the attendance of each child. Students should not be absent from school without parental knowledge and consent. Connecticut state law places responsibility for assuring that students attend school with the parent or other person having control over the child. To assist parents and other persons in meeting this responsibility, the Board of Education, through its Superintendent will adopt and maintain regulations to implement this policy.
The Superintendent shall follow the regulations adopted by the State Board of Education regarding “excused” and “unexcused” absences. The Superintendent shall report to the Board of Education a summary regarding attendance, each year in October, January, and June. A truancy summary report shall be provided to the Board annually.
Legal References: Connecticut General Statutes
10-184 Duties of parents (as amended by PA 98-243 and PA 00-157)
10-185 Penalty
10-198a Policies and procedures concerning truants (as amended by P.A.11-136, An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes.)
10-199 through 10-202 Attendance, truancy - in general
Action taken by State Board of Education on January 2, 2008, to define “attendance.”
Action taken by State Board of Education on June 27, 2012, to define “excused” and “unexcused” absences.
Policy adopted: September 14, 1999                          HARTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Policy updated: November 1, 2005                            Hartford, Connecticut
Policy revised: June 18, 2013
Administrative Regulations Regarding Attendance
Definitions of Excused and Unexcused Absences: Adopted June 27, 2012 CT State Board of Education.
Excused Absences
A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within ten school days of the student’s return to school or in accordance with Section 10-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes and meets the following criteria:
For absences one through nine, a student’s absences from school are considered excused when the student’s parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate documentation
For the tenth absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are considered excused for the following reasons:
  • student illness (Note: all student illness absences must be verified by an appropriately licensed medical professional to be deemed excused, regardless of the length of absence);
  • student’s observance of a religious holiday;
  • death in the student’s family or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family;
  • mandated court appearances (additional documentation required);
  • the lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends (no parental documentation is required for this reason); or
  • extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance.
Unexcused Absences
A student’s absence from school shall be considered unexcused unless they meet one of the following criteria:
the absence meets the definition for an excused absence (including documentation requirements); or
the absence meets the definition of a disciplinary absence.
Disciplinary Absences
Absences that are the result of school or district disciplinary action are excluded from these definitions.
*The Connecticut State Board of Education policy states that “A student is considered to be ‘in attendance’ if present at his/her assigned school, or an activity sponsored by the school (e.g., field trip), for at least half of the regular school day. A student who is serving an out-of-school suspension or expulsion should always be considered absent.” A student not meeting the definition of ‘in attendance’ is considered absent.
**Such documentation should include a signed note from the student’s parent/guardian, a signed note from a school official that spoke in person with the parent/guardian regarding the absence, or a note confirming the absence by the school nurse or by a licensed medical professional, as appropriate. Documentation should explain the nature of and the reason for the absence as well as the length of the absence. Separate documentation must be submitted for each incidence of absenteeism. For example, if a student is out sick two consecutive days, that student must submit the appropriate documentation covering both sick days. If a student is out sick two nonconsecutive days, that student must submit the appropriate documentation following each absence. Schools should take steps to allow non-English speaking parents/guardians to submit documentation in their native language
Truant is defined as a student age five to eighteen, inclusive, who has four (4) unexcused absences from school in one month or ten (10) unexcused absences in a school year. C.G.S. 10-198a(a) (2012 Supplement).
Habitual truant is defined as a student age five to eighteen, inclusive, enrolled in a public or private school and has twenty unexcused absences within a school year. C.G.S. 10-200 (2011) requires the school superintendent to file a Family with Service Needs complaint within 15 days after a parent fails to attend a required meeting with school officials or otherwise fails to cooperate in addressing his or her child's school absences. C.G.S. Sec. 10-198a(c)
Administrative Procedures:
Annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, the administration shall notify the parent or other person having control of each child enrolled in the Hartford Public Schools the obligations of the parent or such other person regarding attendance policy and regulations.
Annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, the administration shall obtain from the parent or other person having control of each child in a Hartford Public School a telephone number or other means of contacting such parent or such other person during the school day.
Each school shall implement a system of monitoring individual unexcused absences of students, which shall provide that whenever a student enrolled fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no indication has been received by school personnel that the child’s parent or other person having control of the child is aware of the pupil’s absence, a reasonable effort to notify, by telephone, the parent or such other person shall be made by school personnel. All parent outreach efforts must be documented. When the school in which a child is enrolled receives no notification from a parent or other person having control of the child is aware of the child’s absence, a reasonable effort shall be made by school personnel or volunteers under the direction of school personnel to notify by telephone and by mail such parent or other person having control of the child.The required mailed notice shall include a warning that two unexcused absences from school in one month or five unexcused absences in a school year may result in a complaint filed with the Superior Court alleging the belief that the acts or omissions of the child are such that the child’s family is a family with service needs.
When a student is truant, (see R-5114b), the building principal or his/her designee shall schedule a meeting with the parent of each child who is a truant, or other person having control of such child, and appropriate school personnel to review and evaluate the reasons for the child being a truant, provided such meeting shall be held not later than ten school days after the child’s fourth unexcused absence in a month or tenth unexcused absence in a school year. Notice and meetings must be in a language understandable to the parent.
If the parent or other person having control of a child who is a truant fails to attend the meeting or fails to cooperate with the school in attempting to solve the truancy problem, such policies and procedures shall require the superintendent of schools to file for each such truant enrolled in the schools under his jurisdiction a written complaint with the Superior Court pursuant to section 46b-149 alleging the belief that the acts or omissions of the child are such that his family is a family with service needs.
As appropriate, the superintendent or designee, shall coordinate services and/or referrals of children to community agencies that provide child and family services.
In addition to the procedures specified, a regular education student who is experiencing attendance problems shall be referred to the building intervention Student Study Team (i.e. SST, SAT) or other appropriate body, for review and assistance. The team will review the student’s need for referral for a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting. A special education student who is experiencing attendance problems must be referred for a PPT meeting for program review.
Revised: June 18, 2013           HARTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS          Hartford, Connecticut
JMA will adhere to the attendance policy outlined by Hartford Public Schools. Connecticut General Statute Section 10-184 requires students to attend school every day.
Students should arrive on school grounds in time to be present in class at 7:45am. Students may enter the building at 7:15am. Students entering their first period class after 7:45am must sign in at the main office and will be marked tardy to school. Such students will not be admitted to class without a pass. Students will have one week to bring in a note to excuse their absence or tardy.
Please note that 3 unexcused tardies to any one-class equals 1 unexcused absence. Should a student receive 5 unexcused absences in any one academic class in one Marking Period, that student will receive a grade of a 55 for that Marking Period. Students will be allowed to rectify this grade change by maintaining no additional unexcused absences for the remainder of that marking period. Students will not receive credit for a class in which he or she has exceeded 10 unexcused absences in a semester courses or 20 unexcused absences in a full year course.
A student who has accumulated more absences than allowed by the policy, but who feels that the situation warrants special consideration because of extenuating circumstances, may appeal to the attendance review board (ARB) for re-instatement of credit by completing the Request for formal appeal of Loss of Credit Form. At the discretion of the attendance review board (ARB), the parent/advocate of the student may be requested to appear at the hearing to verify the legitimacy of the appeal. Waivers are to be applied in a systemic manner.

The Attendance Review Board will consider all absences and any extenuating circumstances and render an impartial judgment. The Attendance Review Board will be comprised of JMA Administration, School Counselor, Family Resource Aid and a Teacher. Students that exceed the maximum number of absences as allowed by the policy will receive a loss of credit letter from the school. Included in this letter is a description of the procedures for an attendance review board hearing as well as the guidelines for requesting a hearing for your child.
Student Responsibilities
Students are expected to attend medical appointments after school whenever possible. Excessive absences may result in loss of credit or retention. Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, truancy, oversleeping, missed bus, family vacations, etc. Students are required to follow their entire schedule. Cutting a class is a violation of the JMA
Standards of Conduct. It is important to note that class attendance will be calculated on a class-by-class basis throughout each day.Students are responsible for regular attendance in all classes to benefit from continuity of instruction, sequential presentation of material, class interaction, and the attendant self-discipline and responsibility.
We will conduct "Hall Sweeps" to ensure that students are attending classes on time. On a weekly basis, JMA administration will be monitoring students who remain in the hallways after the arrival bell for each period. If a student is detained in a Hall Sweep for being tardy to class two (2) times within the same week will be issued an afterschool detention for the next day, according to the JMA progressive discipline policy.
Truancy and Habitual Truancy
Truancy is any unexcused absence from school. A student is considered truant when he or she has four unexcused absences in one month or 10 unexcused absences in one semester.
Habitual truancy is when a student has 20 unexcused absences in one year. Truant students are subject to disciplinary action.
Tardiness Policy
Reporting to school before 7:30 AM allows students to eat breakfast and get to their first class, which starts at 7:45 AM. A member of the JMA staff will be signing in students who arrive to school late. Any student who arrives to school without documentation excusing the lateness will be marked with an unexcused lateness. Late students will then be sent to class with an entry pass.
Students are responsible for making up all late work for each class missed. Chronic or habitual tardiness could affect a student’s eligibility to participate in clubs, sports, and other school activities.
Textbook Policies
All textbooks are the property of the Journalism and Media Academy. Students are responsible for the textbooks issued to them. Textbooks must be covered and given proper care. Students who lose or deface textbooks must pay the full value of the book.
Student Financial Obligations
Students with financial obligations to the Journalism and Media Academy can settle them with either cash or money order. Personal checks are not accepted.
Student financial obligations include, but are not limited to, debts owed for lost, stolen, or damaged textbooks, borrowed items, or school property, as well as owed student activity dues.
Failure to resolve financial obligations will result in denial of privileges to borrow textbooks or other items from JMA and the withholding of report cards, records, transcripts, and diploma.
Lost or Stolen Items
The Journalism and Media Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students are encouraged not to wear expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of money to school. In addition, student should not leave expensive items unsupervised. All items should be placed in student lockers and students should not share lockers with their peers.
Clubs and Athletics
Students are encouraged to participate in after school programs, clubs, and athletic teams. After school programs and clubs may be offered by JMA sponsors, as well as by community and educational partners. Students interested in participating in an after school activity should give their name to the appropriate coach or sponsor in charge of the program, club, or program.
Students planning to participate in after school programs, clubs, and athletic teams must meet all Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) requirements for interscholastic eligibility. Please see CIAC rules and regulations regarding eligibility for more information.
Truancy and Eligibility
Students who skip class forfeit their eligibility to join the after school program, club, team, or activity for the day of their truancy. Habitual truancy also jeopardizes long-term eligibility for programs, clubs, teams, or activities.
Suspension and Eligibility
Students who are serving any form of suspension, including in-school Climate Improvement Program or out-of-school suspensions, are not eligible to participate in any after school programs, clubs, teams, or activities for the duration of their suspension.
Minimum Diploma Requirements
The Capstone Experience (1 Credit, Required)
The purpose of the Capstone Experience is to provide all high school seniors the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed to complete a project, project, portfolio, internship, service learning, or other research task in an area of particular interest to the student.
Course Requirements for Graduation
Required Courses
4 Credits (English I   & II; Literature & Composition I & II)
3 Credits (including   Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
3 Credits (including   Biology, Chemistry lab)
3 Credits (including   U.S. History, International Studies, Civics, Geography)
Visual & Performing   Arts
2 Credits
World Language
2 Credits
Physical Education
1.5 Credits
Health, Nutrition &   Wellness
.5 Credit
School Thematic Courses
4 Credits
Capstone Experience
1 Credit
Total Credits
24 Credits
*Students will be   required to take 4 years of Mathematics
In order to support students in meeting the graduation requirements for entry and success in post-secondary education, the appropriate curricular and instructional supports will be provided to students.
Curricular Support
Students will be supported by a clear and viable curriculum that outlines the necessary essential skills and knowledge needed to earn credit for every core and theme-based course. Instructional supports will be targeted to the individual needs of students.
Transportation Information
Students on Hartford Public School buses will be brought to JMA with sufficient time to eat breakfast. In the unlikely event that a HPS bus arrives late, students may arrange with the JMA Executive Assistant or Dean of Students to receive breakfast and a pass to class. Students on Hartford city buses need to take an early enough bus to arrive to school prior to 7:30 AM to ensure that they can receive breakfast and get to class on time. Parents who drive their children to school, as well as students who walk, must ensure they arrive before 7:30 AM.
CPBN Transportation Information
Students participating in a year-long residency at CPBN will travel to CPBN campus daily. JMA will accommodate classes at both the JMA Tower Avenue campus and at the CPBN Learning Lab. Students will report to the JMA Tower Avenue campus for morning classes and lunch. Seniors will then take a Hartford Public Schools bus to the CPBN Headquarters on Asylum Avenue. At the end of the day, students will board a HPS bus and return to the Tower Avenue campus for afterschool activities and transportation home. If you allow your child to be released from school for the day from the CPBN campus, please fill out the proper form found in the appendix.
Early Dismissals
Students who need to be excused early from school can do so only at the request of a parent or guardian. A parent or guardian must send a signed personal request along with a working phone number that JMA administration can use to contact the parent or guardian that day. Parent or guardian must come in to sign students out in the main office.
Students will not be allowed to exit the building during the school day without the approval of appropriate JMA faculty, staff, or administrators. Students who leave without documentation are considered to be skipping, are out of bounds, and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Parental Role
School Governance Rules
Consistent with its adopted theory of action and commitment to create and maintain a system of high-performing, distinctive schools of choice, the Hartford Board of Education will authorize the formation of school-based governance councils to guide the development of its schools. The BOE believes that the success of the school and the students it serves is the shared responsibility of school faculty and staff, parents and legal guardians, and community members.
The School Governance Council (SGC) is the primary, local decision-making body devoted to helping achieve the school’s mission and vision. The SGC will focus on the analysis of student achievement, development of improvement plans, allocation of resources, and programmatic and operational changes. After three years, a council may vote to recommend that a school be reconstituted in order to improve the quality of the school and the achievement of its students.
Student Demographics
It is the responsibility of each parent/guardian to inform the JMA’s Executive Assistant of the student’s correct address, home telephone number, and other important demographic information. All contact information must be provided in writing. Any changes must also be provided in writing. Changes must be reported immediately to keep all school records up-to-date and ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. Inability to contact a parents and guardians in the event of an emergency is a preventable situation, and not reporting changes to demographic information also makes it difficult for JMA faculty and staff to discuss important academic or behavioral concerns or share successes with parents and guardians.
Student Records and Confidentiality
Parents and guardians have the right to inspect and review all education records of their child. All requests to inspect and review records must be made in writing. Student records will be provided to the parents and/or guardians of a student within five school days of the initial request. A parent and guardian’s right to inspect and review records are restricted to information pertaining to their own child only.
Student Conduct and Behavior
Students are expected to follow the values of Discipline, Respect, Unity, and Maturity (DRUM). Faculty, staff, and students at the JMA will promote an encouraging, safe, productive, and socially responsible learning environment. By adhering to DRUM, students will learn professional and courteous behavior and help them become positive members of the JMA, the Hartford community, and beyond.
Conduct Violations
Student conduct violations include, but are not limited to:
  • Possessing weapons on school property.
  • Repeated and deliberate trespassing on school grounds.
  • Making a false bomb or other emergency threat/call.
  • Willfully striking or assaulting JMA students, faculty, or staff.
  • Possessing or selling drugs or drug paraphernalia.
  • Willfully tampering with fire alarm boxes.
  • Blackmailing, extorting, threatening, or intimidating JMA students, staff, or faculty.
  • Theft or larceny.
  • Possessing a dangerous object or instrument on the JMA campus.
  • Possessing, selling, or consuming illicit narcotics or alcoholic beverages on the JMA campus.
  • Selling or distributing any items (including candy) on the JMA campus.
  • Willfully cutting, defacing, or otherwise vandalizing any property belonging to another person or the JMA.
Academic Integrity
Honesty, responsibility, reliability, and integrity are critical elements for student success. JMA prides itself on the values of DRUM, which includes a strict academic integrity policy. JMA faculty and staff expect students to rely on their own efforts in order to complete their coursework. Any form of deception in the completion of assigned work is considered a form of academic dishonesty and violate the JMA’s academic integrity policy.Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:
  • Plagiarism.
  • Copying another’s work from any source.
  • Allowing another to copy one’s own work whether during a test or on an assignment.
  • Any attempt to pass off the work, data, or creative efforts of another as one’s own.
  • Unauthorized use of prepared materials (like notes) or information prior to or during testing.
  • Unauthorized use of a teacher’s materials accessed from their desk, files, or computer.
Serious Conduct Violations
In order to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning, the JMA considers certain actions to be serious conduct violations. Serious conduct violations include, but are not limited to, bullying, possession of weapons or dangerous instruments, and sexual harassment.
Bullying will not be tolerated. See Hartford Public Schools policy 5141: “bullying behavior in school” for more information.  
“Bullying” refers to any overt acts by a student or a group of students directed against another with the intent to ridicule, harass, humiliate, or otherwise intimidate the other individual. Students may file verbal or written complaints concerning suspected bullying behaviors. Students shall be permitted to anonymously report acts of bullying to teachers and school administrators. Parents may also file written complains and concerns regarding suspected bullying behavior. Any report of suspected bullying will be reviewed promptly.
Students found to have committed bullying will be subject to disciplinary action. Serious bullying infractions may result in arrest, expulsion, and/or a 10-day out-of-school suspension depending on the severity of the incident(s).
Weapons and Dangerous Instruments
No weapons or dangerous instruments shall be permitted on the JMA campus, on school transportation, or at any JMA-sponsored activity either on or off school premises. Students found in possession of weapons or dangerous instruments will be immediately referred to appropriate JMA faculty, staff, or administration. Law requires that a school principal must report all individuals suspected of being in possession of a weapon or dangerous instrument to the police. In addition to filing a police report, JMA administration may also decide to implement a suspension or expulsion.
If a weapon or dangerous instrument is used against another person, an arrest will be made by police and charges will be filed. The student will also face serious disciplinary action from JMA.
Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment” is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical, including, but not limited to:
  • Insulting or degrading sexual remarks or conduct.
  • Threats or suggestions that a student’s submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct will in any way influence a decision.
  • Conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with the student’s learning
  • Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment, such as the display of sexually suggestive object or pictures in the classroom.
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated amongst the students or staff in the Hartford Public School district. It is the policy of the Hartford Board of Education that any form of sexual harassment is prohibited. Students are expected to adhere to a standard of conduct that is respectful to fellow students, JMA faculty and staff, HPS employees, and to the public.
Students are encouraged to promptly report sexual harassment complaints to a JMA staff of faculty member. Complaints will be investigated promptly and action will be taken if and when allegations are verified. Confidentiality will be maintained by all persons involved in investigating allegations of sexual harassment.
Disciplinary Actions
The Journalism and Media Academy will use a variety of disciplinary actions for students whose conduct violates the student Standards of Conduct.Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to:
  • Referrals
  • Removal from the classroom
  • Detention
  • Loss of privileges
  • In-school suspension ( climate improvement program)
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Referrals
Referral forms may be submitted to administrators for major offenses. Major offenses include, but are not limited to:
  • Bullying (cyber, verbal, physical, or otherwise)
  • Verbal or physical assault
  • Possession of illegal substances
  • Possession of weapons
  • Horseplay
  • Detention
  • Reduce the amount of off task behavior/minor infractions therefore increasing student achievement.
  • Reduce the number of office referrals.
  • Provide staff intermediate disciplinary responses.
  • As part of a viable progressive discipline model, student discipline for minor behaviors (according to the PBIS framework) should begin through classroom management, teacher based discipline and parent/guardian contact.

If teacher based discipline does not correct negative student behaviors, then administrative detentions will be used, as part of a progressive discipline system.

Types of Administrative Detentions:
Lunch Detention
  • Student will receive a copy of the detention slip with date. This slip will act as a pass from the cafeteria. It is the student responsibility to hold on to the slip.
  • Student Expectations:
  • Students are required to report to the CIP room with lunch no later than 10 minutes after lunch begins. After 10 minutes the student will be considered skipping.
  • Students are expected to sit quietly. No sleeping or talking.
  • No electronics of any kind are allowed.
  • Also see electronics policy
  • School work may be completed
  • Students are responsible for properly disposing of their lunch.
  • At the teacher’s discretion, skipping a lunch detention or any non-compliance will result in an additional lunch detention and/or an after school detention.
After School Detention:
Afterschool detention will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:15-2:45.
Detention will be held in CIP or the screening room.
Referring Staff Responsibilities:
  • Student will receive a copy of the detention slip with date.
  • The original copy will be placed in designated staff member’s mailbox 24 hours before the detention.
  • Referring staff member is responsible for contacting parent at least 24 hours before the detention is to be served.
 Student Expectations:
  • Students must report to detention promptly at 3:00 and stay until 3:30. Any student who arrives late or leaves early will be considered skipping.
  • Students are expected to sit quietly. No sleeping or talking.
  • No electronics of any kind are allowed.
  • Also see electronics policy
  • School work may be completed
  • If student does not have work an assignment will be provided
  • Students who skip or do not comply with detention rules will be referred to the office by the detention teacher, and additional disciplinary action will follow, in accordance with JMA progressive discipline framework.
Detention Duty Staff Member Responsibilities:
  • Monitor student behavior and enforce all rules.
  • Take attendance
  • Assist with student work when necessary
  • Refer non-compliant or skipping students to the administration.
  • If unable to cover your assigned date it is your responsibility to get someone to cover for you.
  • Designated Staff Member Responsibilities:
  • Compile daily list of students assigned to detention
  • Send list of assigned students out to staff by morning of detention
  • Compile overall detention data
  • Refer students to administration after three detentions
  • Refer students to the SAT team after chronic offences
 Possible Reasons for Detentions:
  • Tardy to class
  • Skipping class
  • Repetitive dress code violations
  • Repetitive cell phone/electronic policy violations
  • Minor classroom disruption
  • Inappropriate language
  • Other minor behaviors according to the PBIS framework.
Loss of Privileges
At JMA, students must earn special privileges, like field trips or special events. However, students who violate the Standards of Conduct may lose privileges they have gained as part of a disciplinary action.
In-School Suspension (Climate Improvement Program)
Objectives and goals of CIP:
Each and every student discipline occurrence is an educational opportunity. CIP is intended to be a corrective action to particular behaviors, therefore we must provide a structured learning environment, in order to encourage students to learn from their negative behaviors and grow as responsible citizens and students.
This document outlines standards and practices required of students, administrators, teachers and CIP monitors. Compliance with these standards and practices ensure a productive, supportive learning environment. If we’re not winning, then we are learning!
Student Procedures:
  • Report directly to CIP at 7:45.
  • Students must bring books, paper, pencil, pens, and other materials to CIP. The schedule in CIP will follow the students schedule for that day.
  • Students will go to cafeteria to get their lunch, and return to CIP with their lunch. They will not eat in the cafeteria.
  • Seniors will not report to CPBN during their assigned CIP day.
  • The CIP teacher will assign each student a seat. Students will remain seated at all times; only essential movements related to the completion of assigned tasks will be allowed.
  • Students will follow the DRUM while assigned to CIP.
  • Students will work in silence while in CIP unless instructed to do otherwise by the CIP teacher.   Additionally, students will not sleep while in CIP.
  • Students will remain seated.
  • Students will be issued two passes per day, one before lunch and one after.
  • Students will raise their hands to ask questions.
  • Students will not use electronic devices while assigned to CIP.
  • When assignments are completed, students will hand them into the CIP teacher. This work will be put in individual teachers mailboxes by the end of the school day.
  • At no time should a student in CIP leave to collect his or her work. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the CIP work and submit it to the appropriate teachers.
  • During the course of a student’s time in the Climate Improvement Program (CIP), CIP faculty will complete a CIP-points sheet for each individual. If the student does not receive an adequate number of points while in CIP, he or she will be required to repeat the day or period, depending on the severity of the noncompliance or behavioral issue.
  • Students who display repeated negative behaviors in school despite opportunities to improve behavior will be subject to escalating disciplinary actions.
Out-of-School Suspension
Students who are suspended – meaning removal from school for up to ten days – are entitled to an informal meeting with the school administrator as an opportunity to provide information about the incident and have input into the suspension decision. In the event of a student receiving a suspension, parents and guardians will be provided immediate oral and written notices.
At no time is a student to report to school during an out-of-school suspension. Students who return to campus without authorization during an out-of-school suspension will be considered trespassing and may be subject to further disciplinary action and/or arrest. After a suspension, a student must return to school accompanied by his/her parent or guardian.
Teachers will provide work for students serving an out-of-school suspension. It is the responsibility of a parent or guardian of a student serving an out-of-school suspension to pick up work for their student. If a parent/guardian cannot pick up or deliver schoolwork, a parent/guardian should contact the JMA Executive Assistant at the main office to make arrangements. It is the responsibility of the student to complete all work provided. A parent or guardian can return work to school on behalf of their student.
JMA administration will require a re-entry meeting for students that are suspended for serious offenses.
Students who commit more serious offenses may be recommended for expulsion from school for up to 180 days.
Students can also be expelled based upon criminal activity outside of school if they are perceived and/or considered to be a threat to the JMA student body, faculty, and staff. In such cases, a formal hearing will be conducted before an impartial panel. The impartial panel will determine whether the student will be expelled, as well as the duration of the expulsion. The impartial panel may also recommend that a student who has been expelled is provided an alternative education program.
Consequences for Academic Integrity Violations
Disciplinary action will be taken on a case-by-case basis. Consequences for Academic Integrity violations depend on the severity of the specific incident. Students who violate the Academic Integrity policy can receive out-of-school suspension or expulsion for serious infractions.

Campus Grounds Rules and Policies
Emergency Evacuation
In case of an emergency situation or a situation that requires the evacuation of the building, an alarm will sound and an emergency announcement over the public address system will be made. Students should carefully read the following evacuation procedures to prepare for the unlikely event of an emergency.
Evacuation Procedures
  • Familiarize yourself with the closest exit routes.
  • Follow the emergency exit routes and walk promptly and silently out of the building.
  • Do not go to your locker.
  • Meet your teacher once you are outside of the building and remain with him or her for the duration of the evacuation alarm.
  • When the “all clear” signal is given, walk back inside the building and return to the room you left from at the initial alarm.
Corridor Passes and Procedures
  • Corridor passes are issued only when absolutely necessary.
  • No passes will be issued during the first and last 10 minutes of the day.
  • No student is allowed in the halls at any time without a pass.
  • If a student requires a pass to the guidance counselor, social worker, or college and career specialist, then that student must obtain a pass from the teacher that the student is assigned at that time.
  • Students cannot go to the guidance counselor, social worker, or college or career specialist between bells or without a pass.
  • A member of the JMA faculty or staff must sign the return pass and provide a departure time.
  • Students are only permitted to go to the area designated on the pass issued.
  • Failure to abide by the corridor pass rules may result in disciplinary action.
Locker Assignments
Lockers will be assigned to all students at the beginning of the school year. Each student shall be responsible for maintaining his/her locker and for all contents contained in the locker. No illegal substance or item or anything that endangers the health, safety, or welfare of JMA students, faculty, and staff should be placed in lockers. Students should not share their lockers or their locker combinations with others. Students cannot write on, place stickers, or otherwise deface lockers.
Locks are the property of JMA. Any lock that is not issued by JMA will be removed from the locker and any items in that locker will be confiscated. If a student loses a lock, the student will be charged for a replacement.
Locker Searches
Appropriate JMA personnel may search any locker at any time. A student locker may be searched if the administration has “reasonable suspicion” that an individual student has something illegal in their locker. “Reasonable suspicion” includes (but is not limited to) faculty, staff, or students documenting and verbally expressing concerns that weapons, drugs, or other illegal items are being stored in lockers. Random locker searches can be implemented at any time.
During class periods or lunch, students must have a signed pass from their classroom teacher or appropriate JMA faculty or staff to visit the restroom. JMA restrooms are shared facilities and, as a result, is it the responsibility of all JMA students, visitors, faculty, and staff to work together to keep restrooms clean and undamaged.
Students are not allowed to smoke, eat, loiter, or vandalize the restrooms. Any student caught in violation of these rules may be subject to disciplinary action.
Out of Bounds
Out of bounds is when a student is in an unauthorized location during school hours. Creating a safe environment is the number one priority for JMA faculty and staff. When students are out of bounds, they are unsupervised and, as a result, create an unsafe environment.
Examples of Out of Bounds
  • Going to an area not designated on an issued corridor pass.
  • Going to an unsupervised or unauthorized area that is strictly prohibited.
  • Leaving the JMA campus without permission.
  • Goring to an unassigned classroom.
  • Entering any room, including bathrooms and the library, without permission.
  • Loitering
  • Loitering is defined as the act of remaining in a public place for an extended period of time without an apparent purpose. Students or non-students loitering on the JMA campus will result in the immediate removal of the individual or individuals from the premises and/or potentially an arrest.
Tresspassers are persons who have not been authorized by JMA personnel to be on the JMA campus or inside the JMA building without authorization.

Persons may be considered trespassing if:
  • A student is serving an out-of-school suspension and returns to the JMA campus without permission.
  • A student or visitor has failed to sign in.
  • He/she has no specific purpose or reason to be on the JMA campus.
  • Students or other unauthorized persons trespassing on JMA property are subject to arrest.
Cafeteria and Food/Beverage Policies
As part of the student Standards of Conduct and the values of DRUM, students in the JMA cafeteria at lunchtime will follow the rules and procedures outlined below. Cafeteria Rules
  • Students will line up in one single-file line at the serving station.
  • Students will not cut in line ahead of others and will wait their turn.
  • Students will not sit on the tables.
  • Students will not use profane or vulgar language.
  • Students will keep voices at a level that is not disruptive or offensive to others.
  • Students will clean up after themselves and place all garbage into the trash bins.
  • Students must remain in the cafeteria area during the lunch period and not in the hallways near the cafeteria.
  • If a student wishes to leave the cafeteria early to go to the media center or see a teacher or counselor, he/she must show a pass specifically indicating his/her name, time, date, destination, and a signature from a JMA faculty or staff member.
  • Students will not be allowed outside the cafeteria during lunch without a pass.
Cafeteria Procedures
  • Enter the cafeteria and seat themselves at tables.
  • Wait for their table to be called to get their food.
  • Return to their table immediately following the retrieval of their lunches.
  • Wait for their table to be called to dispose of their garbage and return their lunch trays.
  • Exit the cafeteria at the end of the lunch period.
  • Students who do not follow the cafeteria rules and procedures as outlined above may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Food and Beverages
  • All food and beverages can only be consumed in the cafeteria. Students are expected to clean up their areas when they finish eating. Students are not permitted to eat and/or drink in the hallways. Students in violation of the food and beverage policy as outlined above may be subject to disciplinary action.
Use of Metal Detectors/Search and Seizure
The Hartford Public School District authorizes the use of handheld metal detectors to check a student’s person or personal effects. School officials or law enforcement officers may conduct metal detector checks of groups or individuals if the checks are conducted in a minimally invasive, non-discriminatory manner. Examples of “good” searches include checks of students entering the school, checks of all students in a randomly selected class, or a check on every third individual entering a school event.If a school official or law enforcement officer has a reasonable suspicion to believe that a particular individual is in possession of an illegal or unauthorized metal-containing object or weapon, the official or officer may conduct a metal detector check of that student’s person or personal effects.
Any student who fails to submit to a metal detector check as described above will be considered insubordinate and may be subjected to further disciplinary action.
Electronic Devices
Any portable electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, iPods, hand-held devices, etc.) and headphones that are not used appropriately are a distraction and disrupt the educational environment for both students and teachers.
Students are not permitted to use electronic devices in the hallways, at school functions, and in any classrooms or areas of the school where using an electronic device might be disruptive. Students may use their electronic devices in the cafeteria area during lunch.
Electronic devices may be permitted in classrooms if the teacher has clearly indicated that students are allowed to use them.
JMA has a see it, hear it, take it policy with electronic devices. Any device that is visible or audible will be confiscated by JMA administration. Depending on the offense, students may face disciplinary action.
First Offense Student will receive device back at the end of the day.
Second Offense Student will receive device back at the end of the day, must be picked up by parent or legal guardian.
Third Offense Device will be held for five schools days, must be picked up by parent or legal guardian.
Fourth Offense Device will be held for five school days, must have parent/guardian meeting before device is returned.
Five (or more) Offense Device will be held for remainder of semester, must have parent/guardian meeting before device is returned.
The three-strike offence procedure is part of Hartford Public School Board policy. A parent or legal guardian will receive notification by phone if their student’s electronic device has been confiscated. Any student who fails to turn over his/her device to administration upon request will be considered insubordinate and will be subject to further disciplinary action.
Computer Use Policy
JMA prides itself on the accessibility of high-tech, multimedia equipment to help our students master their message and design their future. In addition to the vast array of video, audio, and multimedia equipment, Students have access to computers and networks, including access to the internet and email.
Through these devices, students can open the door to explore libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with others. However, access to the internet is for educational purposes only. Students should understand that access to JMA computers is a privilege, and students that abuse the computers, networks, and equipment may lose their ability to use technology.
Communications on JMA computers and networks are often public in nature and the JMA Standards of Conduct apply to these interactions as well. It is important that students and parents/guardians understand that Hartford Public Schools, as owner of these computer systems, intends to monitor and review all use in an effort to ensure that users engage in appropriate use.

Student’s Name: _________________________Grade: _____________________ Date: _____________
At the Journalism and Media Academy, we follow the D.R.U.M. (Discipline, Respect, Unity and Maturity). Our core values, mission and vision reflect these principles. The JMA staff and students, as well as our community partners, will align core educational and social values with rigorous academic and ethical codes. We maintain high expectations for our students, so they may understand their role in our expanding communities and what opportunities are available.
Please sign below and return to your student’s first block teacher.
I have reviewed a copy of the Journalism and Media Academy Student Handbook and I understand and acknowledge that my student is responsible for all of the policies and procedures contained in the handbook.
Parent/Guardian Signature: ______________________________________________________________
Student Signature: _________________________________________________________________________

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