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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. 

Behavior that Violates the Policy

  • Having your device visible, underneath the desk, or in your lap (even if turned off)

  • Texting or using social media during class

  • Wearing earbuds, headphones, or a smart watch 

  • Giving your phone to another student during the school day

  • Taking someone else’s phone and using it during the school day

  • Calling or receiving calls from parents during class or in the hallway

Behaviors that Follows the Policy

  • Turning your phone off and keeping all electronic devices stored away and out of site.

  • Receiving permission from a teacher to go to the office to contact your parents for an important reason.

Responsibilities of Teachers

  • Model behaviors that follow the policy

  • When a student violates the cell phone/electronic device policy, the teacher will respectfully request the device and turn it into the office.

  • After a warning, if a student continues to violate the cell phone/electronic device policy,  respectfully request the device and store it until the end of class or turn it in to the main office for parent/guardian pick-up.

  • Contact the parents and inform them that the device has been confiscated.

Responsibilities of Students

  • Follow the cell phone/electronic device policy with fidelity.

  • Follow the directives of teachers and staff if asked to hand over your electronic device.

Responsibilities of Parents

  • Refrain from calling/texting your child during the school day.

  • In the event of an emergency, contact the main office at (202) 282-0123.

  • If you need to contact your child during the school day, contact the main office, send an email to your child’s advisory teacher, or use an email to send them a message via his/her electronic device provided by the school.

Responsibilities of Office Staff

  • Safely store students’ devices until picked up by parents/guardians.

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