Policies and Procedures
Studies have proven that students who attend school regularly succeed. The Academy of Arts and Academics is committed to providing rich, interesting and student involved learning. To keep our curriculum student centered, our students must attend daily, and punctually, to reap the full benefits of this unique learning experience.
Because of the known outcomes of good attendance for our students, A3 will encourage all students to attend regularly. All absences must be excused by a parent or guardian. Parents should call the A3 office to excuse absences either the day of the absence or within 24 hours. The following are allowable reasons for an absence:
- student illness
- family illness that necessitates student’s presence
- medical instances student or family member
- family emergencies, including death or accident
- school sponsored activities
Vacations and other non-essential absences will not be excused:
The rationale for this is that students’ make up work is rarely up to the standard of students who have attended class. At three absences within a term or two consecutive absences, the student may be required to bring a doctor’s note to excuse the absence, at the school’s discretion. A parent/school conference will be scheduled for students who are regularly absent. For more information on the attendance policy, see Appendix, Page 29.
Tardies will be dealt with individually on a teacher by teacher basis, however if you have been tardy three times to a course be prepared to explain your potentially habitual tardiness to the entire class, staff, and parents. The group will set guidelines for subsequent tardies.
All A3 students and parents have agreed to and signed the Community Basics as part of the application to A3. We take these commitments VERY seriously and will hold each member to these standards. As a reminder, they are:
A3 staff, students, and parents will:
- Act as agents of change in our urban community setting
- Encourage positive personal connections among ALL members of the A3 community
- Collaborate in creating an integrated curriculum
- Share responsibility for a safe, ethical and focused place to learn
- Respect and protect school and community property and equipment
A3 Students Agree To:
- Commit to be a part of our school for four years
- Behave and dress appropriately at all A3 activities
- Respect requests and directions given by adults
- Respect others regardless of class, disabilities, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and any other differences that may exist
- Participate fully in mentor groups and all school functions
- Attend, engage, and perform in all academic courses and artistic endeavors
- Respect and protect school and community property, equipment, and resources in our school
A3 staff agrees to support students by addressing any breach of contract with the following interventions:
- Communicate with other staff
- Conference between mentor and student to clarify and discuss incidents
- Assist students to creatively solve the problem
- Assign alternative resources to get back on track academically
- Involve families in problem solving
Consequences for serious or repeated infractions may include:
- Formal conference between family, staff, mentor, and student
- Required study skills or peer tutoring program class if the student fails to make adequate academic progress
- Academic probation status (Required Study Skills class, loss of privileges such as participation in production companies, activities, etc.)
- Administrative interventions including suspension or expulsion
- Formal counseling toward a more appropriate site placement for the student
At the Academy of Arts and Academics, we adhere to the SPS Student Rights & Responsibilities as well as the following standards, designed to support our shared values.
Respect for cultural diversity.
The Academy of Arts and Academics is a rich community that includes people from all cultural backgrounds. Students at A3 have the opportunity to learn from their peers. That opportunity extends to matters of language, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religions, disabilities and other cultural traditions. Students are expected to offer the same kind of respect they would demand from others and may suffer disciplinary action if they fail to do so.
Sexual harassment is a serious issue and can result in severe disciplinary action. Any improper language or behavior that victimizes a member of our community because of gender or sexual orientation is forbidden. Such behavior may also be grounds for legal action and fines through the civil justice system. The message to students here is simple: Do not use suggestive, rude, or offensive sexual words, gestures, or actions in any way, at any time, while you are a member of the A3 community. If you are seen, heard, or reported committing such an action, you may be charged with sexual harassment.
Inappropriate physical contact:
Members of the A3 community are asked to refrain from inappropriate physical contact and may be subject to disciplinary action if they fail to do so.
Appropriate audience behavior:
Members of the A3 community are expected to support each other during performances and assemblies by practicing appropriate audience behavior. Members of the A3 community who cannot do so will be excluded from performances and assemblies.
Leaving the class/performance/assembly on request:
A teacher always has the right and authority to ask a student to leave the room, and the student must do so immediately and without disruption. Students asked to leave must go directly to the Arts Academy office where they will fill out a paper that asks for an account of the event. Students who do not go directly to the office may be suspended. After the incident, students have the right to appeal to the Director, an Advisor, or another advocate.
The Academy of Arts and Academics has an “open campus” policy for all eligible students, meaning the building operates like a college campus in which students are free to come and go during lunch and other specified times. Boundaries are: the north side of South A St to the south side of A St. and from 8th St to Pioneer Parkway, including the Springfield Bus Station. If students have a class or an event off-site, they will leave the building and return for their next class. Students who abuse this privilege will lose it.
All A3 students are issued an ID card. These cards must be worn on the supplied lanyard or carried at all times. The first card is issued at no cost to the student. If the card is lost or stolen, the student will be expected to pay $5 for a new card. Students must show their ID card if asked by any staff member (Academy of Arts and Academics staff, Willamalane staff, Emerald Arts Academy staff, Wildish staff, or other school staff). Failure to do so is grounds for disciplinary action.
Before-school and After-school hours:
Students may be in the building before and after hours only under the direct supervision of A3 staff.
A3 students may use only Academy of Arts and Academics designated areas. (Advisors will give students more explicit information as to which areas are designated for A3use.) Students must ask permission to enter faculty rooms or office spaces. Students may not be in the building without adult supervision.
Although we welcome visitors, no student may invite a visitor without the consent of school staff at least three days in advance of the visit. Students visiting from other schools must also bring a letter from their parent or guardian and a letter from their school giving permission. Visitors must come immediately to the front office to sign in with the school secretary. A3 students may not baby-sit younger family members or friends on school grounds before, after, or during school.
Passing time between classes:
There is sufficient time between classes for students to use the bathroom, retrieve materials, and get to their next class on time. During class time, students will be allowed to leave only during real emergencies.”Emergency” will be defined by the teacher.
Appropriate cell phone use:
Students may use cellphones before school or after a student’s last scheduled class or rehearsal. Cellphones that are being used during school time or that ring during school time may be confiscated. Students may not engage in text messaging during school time. Cellphones are not appropriate in the Springfield Library at any time. At the 1st infraction, the student will be asked to put the cell phone away. At the 2nd infraction, the cell phone is confiscated; the student will pick up the cell phone in the office at the end of the day. At the 3rd infraction, the cell phone is confiscated, and the parent must come to school to pick it up. At the 4th infraction, the cell phone is confiscated and returned to the student in June. Cell phones may be visible, but they may not be in use. Students are expected to keep their cell phones on vibrate.
Appropriate use of personal electronic equipment:
Personal electronic devices (headphones, iPods, CD players, etc.) are privileges. They are appropriate only when required for class assignments and don’t interfere with the educational environment. Otherwise, students may not wear headphones in the hallway or in class-regardless of whether the music is on or not. At the 1st infraction the student will be asked to put the item away. At the 2nd infraction, the item is confiscated; the student will pick the item up in the office at the end of the day. At the 3rd infraction, the item is confiscated, and the parent must come to school to pick it up. At the 4th infraction, the item is confiscated and returned to the student in June.
All students will have access to the school computers and are subject to the SPS SpringNet computer & internet policies. Students may not do any of the following: break into others’ accounts; knowingly introduce or create viruses; eat or drink near the computers at any time, before, after, or during school.
It is a privilege to use the Internet. Students must sign the Springfield Public School SpringNet Internet Policy and must adhere to it. Students are not allowed to go to inappropriate sites, play computer games, send or receive Instant Messages (“IMs”), or go into Chat Rooms on school computers at any time, before, after or during school. Students who do not adhere to this policy will lose their computer privileges.
Students are expected to dress appropriately for the class they are attending.(Leotards, for example, are appropriate for dance class but not Humanities).Clothing decorated with images of controlled substances, weapons, or offensive language are never appropriate in the school building, before, during, or after school. Students may not show any of the “6B’s”: bras, bellies, butts, breasts, backs, or boxer/briefs. Students will be asked to remove or change inappropriate attire.
Changing in appropriate areas:
Students may only change clothes in designated areas. Students who change clothes outside of designated areas may be subject to disciplinary action.
Food, gum, and drinks:
While these items may be allowed in classes at certain times, this is a privilege that may be revoked, especially if tidiness becomes an issue. Any situation where these become a distraction to the educational environment may result in a loss of privilege. Food and drinks will not be allowed near computers any time before, during, or after school.
As part of the Springfield Public School district, A3 contracts with the district food services to provide breakfast and lunch to all students. Free and reduced lunch will be provided for those who qualify.
Health Services and Medications:
Arrangements will be made for sick students to return home. All prescription medication must be brought to school by an adult, preferably the legal guardian or parent and counted in the presence of that adult and a person on the school staff. We will not be able to administer medication brought to school by the student. Medication will be checked in and kept in a locked cabinet in A3 office. A permission form, available from the office, must be completed and signed by the parent or guardian. Either a note from your physician or a new prescription bottle must verify changes in prescription medication. We are not allowed to take orders over the telephone from either the parent or a physician. If a dose of medication is missed that is usually given at home, we are not allowed to accept your call to give it to your student. You may come to school and administer the medication, or you may ask your physician to write an order to allow us to dispense medication in the morning.
Non-prescription medication means commercially prepared, non-alcohol based medication to be taken at school that is necessary for the student to remain in school. This shall be limited to eye, nose, and cough drops, cough suppressants, pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines, topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and antacids. A permission slip including the student’s name, the name of the medication, how it is to be given (by mouth, etc.), dosage and frequency of administration must accompany the medication and the medication must come to school in the original container or packaging. Parents are responsible for refilling the school’s supply of medication. We will notify you when the supply is getting low so you have time to refill the prescription. Ask the pharmacist to provide you with a bottle for home and one for school.
If the order calls for medication to be cut in half or otherwise prepared in some manner, parents are expected to have the medication properly prepared before bringing it to school. If you have questions or concerns you may contact Sue Bailey, our school nurse at 744-5031.
Loss or damage to school property:
A student may have the opportunity to check out school property (books for classes, cameras, discs, for example). The student is responsible for that property and for the cost of replacing the property if it is lost or damaged. In the case of loss or damage, the student will be billed for the replacement cost. The student may not elect to replace the equipment on his or her own.
Loss or damage to personal property:
A3 is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen personal property. The school is not responsible for reimbursing students for lost or damaged personal property. A Lost and Found area is located in the main office, and students should inquire there for missing items. Likewise, students finding items should deliver them to the main office for safekeeping until claimed by the owner.
A3 believes in the rights of the artists over their work. Students have specific rights to their creations ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES.
- Student paintings and drawings done in or out of class are the property of the student artist. Students may, however, be expected to pay for any school materials used.
- Student DIGITAL FILES, including writings, photographs, videos, music, etc…, including digital reproductions of paintings & drawings, are the property of the student. Students may purchase reproduced copies of their own work at cost or may be given free copies at the instructor’s discretion.
However, A3 reserves the right to reproduce any digitally created or reproduced media done while the student attends A3, and that the student or student’s parent does not expressly deny reproduction of, for publicity or fund raising. Any funds earned as a result of selling student art, reproduced by A3 personnel on school media, at A3 sponsored events or on campus is at the sole discretion of the school and no compensation will be due the student artist. Students may have their art reproduced at A3 for a nominal fee (at cost), but the school cannot serve as the student’s agent for selling art work.
Students are expected to use proper language. Profanity is not allowed unless artistically appropriate. “Artistically appropriate” will be defined by a staff member.
The Academy of Arts and Academics is committed to a process of exploring the tensions between the right of free expression and the responsibility to be respectful to all members of a community. Staff may censor excessive and/or gratuitous profanity, vulgarity, or sexual content, in course material or in student work. Parents, caregivers, and students should be aware, however, that A3 does not always censor material used in classes or in productions.
We are housed in non-smoking facilities, and smoking within the campus boundaries is cause for suspension.
Weapons and drugs:
In order to create a safe school environment, A3 follows the Springfield Public Schools policy. Weapon possession and drug possession are cause for expulsion. Coming to school under the influence of drugs or possessing drugs may be cause for expulsion.
The Academy of Arts and Academics’ assessment and graduation process prepares students to do the kinds of work required in college and the work place. Students graduate by successfully demonstrating their proficiency through portfolios, exhibitions, and performances. A3 also has made a commitment to communicating with families about student progress. Families will receive assessment information several times during the school year. Families are encouraged to contact a student’s adviser for additional information.
Students at The Academy of Arts and Academics earn credits in designated curriculum areas based upon the successfully completion of a course of study. Credits will be awarded based on the depth and breadth of the state content and skills standards addressed in the curriculum area during a term of study.
Performance at A3 will be assessed with respect to a Proficiency System. Students will be expected to continue to work at improving any area until proficiency is achieved.
Num. Score = 4
Grade = A
Num. Score = 3,
Grade = B
Num. Score = 2,
Grade = C or Pass
Num. Score = 1,
Grade = No Pass
Credit may be denied
The Graduation requirements at A3 are designed around the standards for acceptance at the Oregon University System. A3 offers many opportunities to support those students who are struggling with their coursework – both in academics and arts. For those students that require it, additional time will be dedicated for academic support in the afternoon. If a student fails to pass a graduation requirement with a C- or better, the course may need to be repeated. In addition, students who fall below a B average in their arts core, will be required to attend extra remediation or may not be allowed to participate in production companies.
Oregon University System entrance requirements:
(one year is equal to one unit)
English = 4 units
Mathematics = 3 units
Science = 2 units
Social Studies = 3 units
2nd Language = 2 units
Note: A3 students will get all 16 required units for college entrance, plus will take an additional 12 units in a variety of arts electives. Total number of units required to graduate from A3: 28.
While not the primary means of assessment at A3, standardized tests are one way to measure student achievement. All students will take the Oregon Assessment Tests. Standardized testing is part of the college application process. Most colleges, universities, and scholarship programs require one of two standardized tests: the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or the ACT (American College Test). Accordingly, students at A3 will learn strategies for taking standardized tests as part of their academic preparation.
Student-led Conferences happen in late October or early November. Each student is responsible for arranging a conference with teachers and parents to discuss their learning and the progress through the EDCRO system.
EDCRO & Juried Reviews happen in early March (called “Mid Year Reviews”) and at the end of the year. 9th graders focus on their learning over the year and seniors focus on their learning over all four years. Sophomores and juniors prepare Juried Reviews to present in front of a panel of specifically chosen professionals in the student’s area of focus.
Grades: Teachers will give proficiency-based numbers, 1-4. However, those will be translated to traditional letter grades on report cards. Instructors will provide students with grading formulas in course syllabi.
Report Cards: are generated by the Springfield Public Schools based on information we supply.
Transcripts: are official documents listing a student’s coursework and grades.
Graduation Requirements: are required courses, projects, or skills required for graduation. If a student does not meet a requirement, the student will not be promoted to the next grade or the next course.
Rubric: A rubric is a specific set of criteria that describe expectations for good work. Rubrics set a scale and give concrete descriptions of what work at each level looks like.
Syllabi: Each instructor provides a syllabus at the beginning of each new course.
Syllabi include grading formulas and expectations.
BEHIND THE SCENES
A3 Governing Board and Advisory Council:
A3 is 501(c)3 non-profit Charter School with its own Governing Board which is charged with overseeing the mission and financial stability of the school. Any adult community member may apply for membership in either the Governing or Advisory board. The current A3 Governing Board is:
Kirk Boyd • Michael Ponichtera • Carolyn Hatefi • Riley Grannan • Josh Metzger • Paul Weil • Amy Stranerie • Noland Peebles • Tina Lefever • Mark Freeman
Advisory Council: Rosaria Haugland • Denise Bean • Gino Grimaldi • David C. Johnson • Mary Jane Jewitt • Howard Jewitt • John H. Postlewait • Debbie Williamson Smith • Judy Wenger
The Academy of Arts & Academics depends on the commitment and involvement of parents & caregivers.
Parent and caregiver’s main responsibilities are:
- Staying involved in their student’s education and to communicate regularly with Arts Academy faculty members.
- Coming to all orientation meetings.
- Attending family conferences about academic and artistic progress.
- Reading and regularly reviewing this handbook.
There are many other ways for parents and caregivers to be involved:
- Assisting with varied aspects of productions
- Performing clerical tasks
- Answering telephones
- Monitoring entrances and the lunch room
- Assisting in the classroom
- Assisting with student performances
- Providing after school support activities
- Serving as room parents
- Assisting with fundraising. We rely on parents and caregivers to serve on the P3 board. Please contact Carolyn Hatefi in the main A3 office for more information on P3.
The Springfield Education Foundation (SEF) and P3 are the Academy’s primary fundraising entities. Thus, all fundraising activities should be coordinated with them. All faculty or staff initiated fundraisers (or grant proposals for curriculum related activities) should be reviewed by the SEF and the school district. Please provide a written description of the fundraiser that includes the following:
- Reason for fundraiser
- Person(s) being approached
- Item(s) being sought
- Date and location of event
Parent & Student Guidelines:
All fundraising activities initiated by parents or students (including grant proposals that involve the school directly), must be reviewed by the SEF and A3 Governing board. Please provide a written description of the fundraiser that includes the following:
- Reason for fundraiser
- Person(s) being approached
- Item(s) being sought
- Date and location of event
- Contact name and number of the parent or student involved