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Dress Code & Cell Phone Use

Dress Code Policy 

(Revised – 8/26/2022)

During school hours, the primary obligation of all members of the Ellington community is to be engaged in educational pursuits. School is a time and a place for learning. Therefore, members of the Ellington community are expected to dress in a manner appropriate to this agenda during school hours and all school-sponsored activities. “Dress” refers to the type, fit, and slogan content of clothing.

Violation of the Dress Code Policy will result in the actions/consequences outlined below:

  • Students will be given the option to change their clothing.

  • Parents will be called when a student reports to school out of compliance with the dress code. Parents/guardians may be asked to bring compliant clothing for the student.

  • If parents/guardians are not reachable or unable to respond, the student may be issued appropriate clothing to wear for the day with directions to return it clean the next school day.

  • A third offense of the dress code policy may subject a student to in-school disciplinary action.

Not Permitted in Ellington’s Professional Educational Environment:

  • No bare midriffs or chest, backless tops, strapless tops, or beachwear.

  • No transparent or low-cut outfits.

  • No exposed undergarments. Appropriate undergarments must be worn throughout the entire school day.

  • No garments shorter than 4 ½ in above the knee 

  • Distressed and ripped pants or shorts must have tights or shorts underneath to cover bare skin above the level permitted for shorts and skirts ( 4 ½ inches above the knee)

  • No bandanas, baseball caps, bonnets, du-rags, night scarves, or shower caps. (Head wraps are acceptable). 

  • No clothing or accessories displaying slogans or logos referencing violence, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, profanity, derogatory language, etc.

  • No heavy chains, wallet chains, jewelry with spikes or studs, or accessories with the intent of causing offense or inciting violence or other prohibited behaviors.

Cell Phone Use Policy

We believe that technology resources must be optimized to accomplish our mission to prepare our students to become productive citizens in our global society. Our students will have access to important technological resources (school provided) that will help them learn, and students are expected to bring their Surface (or personal device) fully charged every day. Student use of cell phones in the classroom, meanwhile, has created unnecessary distractions that prevent all students from learning; recent research also indicates that cell phone use can have a negative impact on the development and academic performance of students. Our goal is to help students be fully present within the classroom setting and encourage students to reach their intellectual and creative potential.

Cell phones and personal electronic devices must be silenced and cannot be visible during all instructional periods from 8:30 a.m. to 4:55 p.m. Storage may be in a locker, backpack, pencil bag, etc., during classes. Teachers may allow cell phone usage in their classrooms to serve as an additional technological resource for the academic lesson. Cell phones may be used on campus before the first bell, after the last bell, and during lunch.

Electronic devices include but are not limited to: 

  • gaming systems, 

  • headphones/earbuds, 

  • Google glasses, 

  • and/or smart watches. 

Violation of the Cell Phone Policy will result in the consequences outlined below:

1st Offense: If a device is visible, teachers may request that the student hand over their device. Teachers will hold the device until the end of the class period.

2nd Offense: The student device will be confiscated, and a parent/guardian will be required to pick up the device from the main office by 5:00 p.m. Those devices not picked up by this time will be locked up for the evening where they can be retrieved later. Devices will not be released to students.

3rd Offense: The student will be required to turn in their device upon arrival.


A student who refuses to turn over an electronic device or attempts to hide the device will receive additional in-school disciplinary action.

Both teachers and students need a learning environment that is free of the distractions that cell phones and other electronic devices have created at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Genuine learning takes place when students are fully engaged with classroom instruction. At the same time, we believe that there is a real need for students to use technology as a tool for learning. For this to happen, students will be provided with those devices by the school.

Students are discouraged from bringing personal iPads, Apple Watches, Bluetooth speakers, and other high-tech items to school. The school is not liable for these items if damaged, lost or stolen. 

Bullying Policy

DCPS and Ellington strive to provide students with optimal conditions for learning by maintaining a school
environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally
harmed. Acts of bullying by students are prohibited:

a. On school premises;
b. At any school-sponsored activity or event on and off DCPS grounds:
c. On public and school transportation including stop locations;
d. Using school property or equipment;
e. Walking to and from school;
f. Or, any other place where a student has access to technology.


,” means any severe, pervasive, or persistent act or conduct, whether physical,
electronic or verbal that
A. May be based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national
origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity
or expression, intellectual ability, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation,
political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of
an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business, or any other distinguishing
characteristic, or on a student’s association with a person, or group with any person,
with one or more of the actual or perceived foregoing characteristics; and
B. Shall reasonably predicted to:
a. Place a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to his or her person or property;
b. Cause a substantial detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
c. Substantially interfere with the student’s academic performance or attendance;
d. Substantially interfere with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from
school activities or services; or
e. Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation
of a school.

Bullying in DC is currently a Tier 3 infraction, per Chapter 25, and can result in a variety of
consequences. Schools are encouraged to determine and implement consequences and
progressive discipline actions consistent with DCPS policies and procedures. The following list of
consequences are provided as a guide:
• Verbal redirection/reprimand
• Teacher/student conference
• Administrator/student conference
• Parental contact (written or by phone)
• Parent conference
• Temporary Removal of Student from Classroom
• Behavior contract
• In-School Disciplinary Action
• In school suspension
• Out of school suspension


Bullying or suspected bullying is reportable in person or in writing (including anonymously) to
school personnel. DCPS expects all staff members and volunteers to report incidents of bullying
or retaliation they witness or are made aware of to the principal or the principal’s designee.
See Section XIV below for further information.
Students who have been bullied or are aware of incidents of bullying should be encouraged to
report this behavior to the principal or principal’s designee.
Parents or other adults who are aware of incidents should be encouraged to report this
behavior to the principal or principal’s designee.
Reports may be made anonymously but disciplinary action by the principal or principal’s
designee cannot be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report, though such a report
may trigger an investigation.

If you would like to put a bullying incident, you can reach out to the following staff members:

Dean Keyonna Sims (Bullying POC) - 
Arnold Hawkins (Title IX Investigator) - 
Director Donna (Title IX Investigation) - 

Prior to the investigation of an incident, the principal or principal’s designee will take steps to
ensure the safety of the alleged victim referenced in a reported bullying incident. 

Once the principal or the principal’s designee has received a report of bullying, the following
groups will be notified as needed:

• Parents and guardians: The principal or principal’s designee will notify the parents or
guardians of victims, bullies, and if appropriate, witnesses to an incident or bullying
behavior about the nature of the incident and the procedures and steps in place for
responding to it. The principal or principal’s designee will determine if parents or
guardians should be informed prior to or after the investigation of an incident.

• Law enforcement agencies: If the principal or the principal’s designee determines that
the reported incident may involve criminal activity or the basis for criminal charges,
information about the incident must be conveyed to the appropriate law enforcement
authorities. As part of making this determination, the principal or principal’s designee
may wish to consult with either a law enforcement or legal counsel. Law enforcement
shall only be contacted if all other available remedies have been exhausted.


The principal or principal’s designee will notify these groups of incidents of bullying only to the extent allowed by law. Notification will be undertaken solely to ensure that services are provided to victims and bullies and to protect victims from further or sustained victimization. The principal or principal’s designee will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of those who report bullying incidents.

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