JSA Handbook



    Jackson School for the Arts Handbook

    Mission: The Jackson School for the Arts broadens student knowledge and appreciation of the arts and increases student achievement through authentic experiences in dance, theatre, visual arts, vocal music, instrumental music and integrated challenging academic courses.

    Vision: Demonstrating Jackson Local Schools’ tradition of academic excellence, the Jackson School for the Arts immerses students in a rigorous, enriched humanities education. JSA believes that artists share their perspective in their work and seek to communicate through the arts to make a difference in the world.


    JSA is a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on the arts in an academy within Jackson High School. Over a four-year period, students are exposed to all art forms, eventually narrowing their focus to a single area of concentration. Students’ diplomas will reflect this concentrated study. Opportunities are available for involvement in school productions, marching and symphonic bands, juried art shows, private music and voice lessons, field trips, university master classes, speakers, College Credit Plus and Advanced Placement study. To be a member of JSA is a privilege. JSA students will conduct themselves in a respectful manner.


    JSA stresses achievement in both arts and academics. To this end, students are encouraged to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2. Should a student’s GPA fall below 3.2, a meeting with the student’s teachers, counselor and JSA director will follow. If a student wishes to drop the program for any other reason, an exit conference must be scheduled with the student’s counselor and the director. JSA students are encouraged to challenge themselves in academics and the arts. Our students are enrolled in accelerated, College Credit Plus and Advanced Placement courses.


    JSA students are expected to make attendance at school a primary goal. Students missing 3 or more classes in a particular subject (including zero period) in a quarter may be asked to meet with their teacher, counselor, assistant principal, parents and academy director to investigate attendance issues.

    Guidelines for JSA Students Attending Auditions/Portfolio Review

    Seniors who may be engaged in an extensive audition or portfolio review process that may lead to absences from school will adhere to the following guidelines:

    Seniors must expend their two (2) college visit days and (5) vacation days completing the appropriate paperwork.

    If the aforementioned days are exhausted, students will seek approval from the High School Principal and the District Arts Consultant.

    A plan for additional absences will be presented including the dates absent from school, where the student will be attending and the purpose of the absence.

    The plan will be reviewed by the Principal and the JSA Director and a decision will be made.

    Once a student is granted additional absences, the student will:

    Complete a form provided to the student by the JSA office to give to his/her teachers upon written notification from the parent. Upon completion, the arts absence form shall be returned to the JSA office.

    All work assigned will be due the first day the student returns to school.

    All semester and final exams missed during leave will be made up following the student's return. It is the student's obligation to contact the teacher or arts consultant to schedule the make-up exam.

    Upon the student’s return, in order to be granted the leave, students will provide the JSA Director proof from the college, university, art school or conservatory of the audition/review.


    As part of JSA, students are privileged to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and field trips. Consistent academic issues could jeopardize these opportunities. Students are encouraged to keep their cumulative GPA above 3.2. If at any point in the year a student's grade falls below this mark the students will be asked to meet with their teacher, counselor, assistant principal, parents and academy director to investigate academic issues.


    While in JSA, students are expected to hold themselves to a standard above and beyond other students at JHS. Students must follow a code of conduct in order to remain in the JSA program.

    ALCOHOL/DRUG USE: Students are expected to refrain from substance abuse. This extends to all official JHS events and programs.

    HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, BULLYING: JSA is a welcoming community of artist-learners. While enrolled in the program, it is the responsibility of everyone to maintain this supportive environment. JSA students treat others with dignity. Students who disrespect others, including online and social media sites, will be subject to disciplinary actions as detailed in the JHS Handbook. Harassment, bullying or intimidation will not be tolerated.

    HONESTY and INTEGRITY: JSA students are expected to be honest. JSA believes in the concept of the ensemble. The members of the JSA must be forthright with each other and committed to the Academy ensemble.

    PLAGIARISM: Students are expected to create original works while in the program. All assignments must be created by the student. Students must cite outside sources appropriately. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Staff may require the use of turnitin.com. If a student is caught cheating or plagiarizing, consequences listed in detail in the course syllabus will result.

    USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Students are expected to not compromise the integrity of the Academy by unsanctioned use of logos, hashtags, photos, profiles, projects and videos. Any photos or videos of Academy members posted and/or shared without members’ permission may result in disciplinary action.


    REMIND---ALL students and parents MUST sign up for REMIND to receive notifications. In addition, students must check their Bearworks email account for information from the staff. 


    To prepare students for college, university, conservatory or art school, JSA suggests that all students have three years of world language as well as other college preparatory courses. In addition, students are highly encouraged to take Advanced Placement and College Credit plus courses. JSA seniors complete an internship as a capstone project during the senior year. The senior internship commitment varies based on the courses the student is taking. This is explained in the senior internship guidelines. JSA students manage very full schedules and must stay very organized.


    Dance Showcase is tentatively scheduled for May 13th and 14th, 2022. With this in mind, any JSA student who finds that he or she has an unavoidable conflict must submit it in writing to the director. Conflicts do NOT include work, other shows, vacations, or other school functions. Showcase is part of each student’s grade. Freshmen enrolled in either semester of dance will participate in the Showcase. Further information regarding rehearsals will be provided.


    Requests to be enrolled in both JSA and JAGS will only be considered by administrative review. Please submit your request to both the JAGS Coordinator and JSA Director via email in order to be considered for dual enrollment in JSA and JAGS.


    The JSA school day begins one period prior to the JHS school day. This is necessary to incorporate all of the arts expectations for the program. This class time is scheduled as zero “0” period. Students are eligible to ride a JSA bus. However, parents MUST inform the transportation department of their student’s need for busing prior to the start of school (330-830-8042) or email: busgarage@mail.jackson.sparcc.org

    Students may be required to attend various events after the hours of the normal school day. Teachers may assign grades based on students’ attendance and participation at these events.


    As in most things in life, funds are needed to help make JSA programs a success and to provide students with the most well-rounded experiences possible. Our fundraisers allow our students to have many, many opportunities that students in traditional high school programs may not have access to: dance instruction, master classes, symphonic, dramatic and musical theatre performances, field trips, speakers and workshops. To help accomplish the goals of JSA, there are multiple ways to contribute:


    JSA All District Arts Extravaganza

    Our major fundraiser will be tentatively held on February 19, 2022. Extravaganza encompasses many events and this year could potentially be online, including a live auction and instrumental, vocal, dance, musical theatre and theatrical  performances. The Extravaganza may be a part of a JSA student’s grade. Any student who finds that he or she has an unavoidable conflict must submit it in writing. Conflicts do NOT include work, other shows, vacations, or other school functions. 


    Patrons: A program such as JSA will not continue to thrive without the gracious and generous support of the community. Parents are encouraged to become a JSA Patron of the Arts. There are many levels of giving and all donations are truly appreciated. Parents will be notified of the opportunity early in the year.

    Corporate Sponsors: JSA is always looking for corporate sponsors. We are so very grateful to have area businesses and medical practices sponsor JSA. The 2021-2022 corporate sponsors will be recognized at our events. JSA actively seeks corporate sponsors.

    Donations: This year we will continue to seek donations for our Extravaganza live auction. In the past we encouraged our parents to sponsor or create a basket for our silent auction. This year the silent auction items will be grouped and sold as part of the live auction. Parents often ask local businesses for donations and create a basket around that theme. Some parents showcase products from their own companies, their employers or their hobbies.



    To graduate with the JSA diploma and honor cords, JSA seniors must successfully complete ALL senior internship assignments and commitments including the Senior Capstone. Seniors participate in a concentrated area of study in their chosen arts field through a combination of upper level courses, attendance at junior/senior seminars, community service and the Senior Capstone. Capstone requirements vary depending on the classes a student completes. 



    The student advisory board is comprised of JSA students from all 4 grade levels. Students on this board meet with the director to discuss pertinent issues and provide a student perspective. A team of JSA seniors will comprise the leadership for this group. 


    Students are required to participate in performances and exhibitions through JSA courses. It is the expectation of the JSA team that students will attend all required JSA activities as specified within each course syllabus. These activities are included as part of each student’s grade. When possible, the JSA teaching team will attempt to coordinate schedules with conflicting Jackson High School activities. Excusable conflicts do NOT include work, other shows, vacations, or other outside activities. Other conflicts will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Further information regarding rehearsals will be provided. Each JSA course and activity has its own specific expectations and contract. Students and parents are expected to thoroughly read each contract before signing.


    Students are encouraged to participate in outside performance activities if they do not conflict with the schedule of events at JHS or in JSA. Students should not participate in more than one large scale production at the same time. Even though outside activities may be time consuming, it is the expectation of the JSA team that students will attend all required school classes and the required activities of those classes. Due to the fact that participation in outside projects may present conflicts, students are required to clear their potential involvement in such projects with the appropriate arts’ staff. Together, the student, parents and teaching staff will work together to support the student’s choice. Students are responsible for communicating with their teachers to coordinate missed assignments and requirements.

    Students are not permitted to audition for an outside production after they have been cast in a JSA/Jackson musical or play without first clearing it with the director. Students involved in outside productions prior to the JSA/Jackson musical and play may still audition but must list all rehearsals and performances on their conflict sheets. Additional conflicts not listed at the time of auditions will not be honored. In addition, outside performances must be finished 5 weeks before the JSA/Jackson production opening night. Violation of these policies will result in removal from the production.



    It is suggested that JSA students take at least one physical education requirement during the summer OR complete the summer camp 60 hour dance/flex credit physical education option.



    Musical Theatre, Dance, and Visual Art Camps are held annually. The purpose of these camps/workshops is two-fold: first, it increases awareness and interest in the arts for area students; and second, it provides valuable experience for JSA upperclassmen. Participation in camps/workshops as a JSA student is a privilege, not a guarantee. Students will be assigned specific duties prior to the end of the school year for the summer camps. The expectation is that students will be at the high school during the hours of the commitment (and additionally for planning purposes) completing their assigned duties. Students are not permitted to leave Jackson High School during camp hours. The camps are coordinated and taught by: Susie Gardner, Hannah Rissler, Megan Seemann and Bridget Williams.



    Students will have various opportunities throughout the year to learn to manage their time better. It is the expectation of the program that during “downtime” at performance rehearsals or other scheduled events, students will use their time to study and to complete assignments if at all possible. Performances and rehearsals should never be used as reasons to not complete academic assignments. Every effort will be made to address time management issues with the students during class as well as during rehearsals. Attendance at rehearsals or performances is not an excuse for missing school or assignments.


    On many occasions students enrolled in JSA are expected to remain after school for rehearsals, stage crew sessions, art studio time etc. This necessitates the need for students to arrange for their own transportation.