Student Handbook


Focused on the Future:  One student at a time!

James Stephens International Academy

2018-2019 Dress Code Policy


James Stephens International Academy enforces the student dress code adopted by the The School District of Lee County.  Personal appearance shall not detract from the educational process.  Students shall maintain a clean, orderly appearance at all times. 



  • All polo or button-up shirts must have a collar, sleeves, and can be of any plain color.
  • JSIA School Shirts may be worn any day of the week with uniform bottoms.
  • All shirts must be properly fitted and be tucked in at the waist throughout the school day.
  • Shirts shall be appropriately fastened in accordance with the design of that shirt or blouse.
  • The length of the shirt must be long enough to be tucked in properly.Midriffs should not be visible at any time.



  • Shorts, long pants, skirts, skorts, or capri pants must be navy blue or khaki.
  • All bottoms must be properly fitted.
  • Belts must be worn and buckled.
  • Shorts, skorts and, skirts, must be knee length.
  • Bottoms shall be properly fastened, buttoned, zipped and worn at the natural waistline.
  • All bottoms must be free from rips, tears, and/or holes.



  • All jackets with hoods must have zippers or buttons.NO HOODIES MAY BE WORN AT ANY TIME.
  • Jackets are not to be used to cover dress code violations.



•              Shoes (appropriate footwear) shall be worn at all times.  The following are not permitted for safety reasons: 

open toed shoes; shoes without backs/straps; thonged shoes/sandals; flip flops; beach style sandals; shoes with

metal bottoms; steel-toed shoes; shoes with wheels; mesh shoes or any type of slipper.



•              Adornments, that in the principal’s judgment could cause injury, be a safety risk or cause a disruption to the school environment, may not be worn.  Examples of prohibited adornments include, but are not limited to, hoops or rings attached to the tongues, noses, eyebrows, cheeks, and lips is not permitted.  Gauging of the ears is prohibited.

•              Sweatbands and bandanas may not be worn anywhere on the body at any time.

•              Apparel or symbols (on clothing or shaved into hair/eyebrows) which may be considered to be gang related may

                not be displayed on a student’s person or in the student’s possession.

•              Apparel, emblems, insignias, badges, or symbols that promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any other

                illegal activity are prohibited.

•              No hair picks of any kind can be on campus.

•              No writing, drawings, tattoos, or body stickers anywhere on body or clothing.

•              Due to various health issues for many students and staff, all perfume, cologne, body spray, sunscreen, and other

                strong aromatic items must be applied at home.  NO SPRAYS will be allowed at James Stephens International Academy

                or on the school bus (will be confiscated from the student)


In the event students are allowed to be out of school uniform, Lee County Public Schools dress code must be followed at all times.

Students are expected to meet dress code requirements every day of school.  Students who choose not to meet the dress code requirements will be subject to the consequences as outlined in the Code of Code for Lee County Public Schools.


The curriculum at James Stephens International Academy, in accordance with the Florida Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, is designed to promote the desire to seek knowledge and to envision learning as a life-long process within students.  





Grade              Percent           Definition

    A                         90-100                   Above proficient

    B                          80-89                      Proficient

    C                          70-79                      Minimally Below Proficient

    N                         60-69                      Substantially Below Proficient

    U                         50-59                      Inadequate Progress Demonstrated                                                                 


Attendance Policies

Students shall be counted in attendance if they are actually present at school at the time the attendance is taken or are away from school on a school day and engaged in an educational activity that constitutes a part of the school-approved

instructional program for the student (Section 1003.23, Florida Statutes).



All students are expected to be on time and present each day school is open during the school year.  Students may not be absent from school without permission of the principal/designee.  The school principal or designee is the only person authorized to excuse a student’s absence.  A note from a parent/guardian is a request that a student’s absence be excused.  When a student accumulates an excessive number of absences (5 days in a calendar month or 10 days within 90 calendar days) and additional absences occur which are caused by illness, a written statement from a physician

verifying that the absence was caused by an illness may be required by the principal to be submitted by the

parent/guardian (School Board Policy 4.16).  Habitual tardiness is defined as six (6) or more tardies to school or to an individual class per quarter.  For enforcement of compulsory school attendance, three unexcused tardies or unexcused early sign-outs may, at the discretion of the school principal, be considered equal to one day of absence.


The School District seeks to locate and identify every qualified person with a disability ages 3 through 21. A free,

appropriate education will be provided to students found eligible for Exceptional Education Services. No

otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from

participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination from any program or activity of the

District. If you believe this policy has been violated, please contact a school-based Equity Coordinator or the

Student Services Department at 337-8181.


A child academically at risk accruing ten or more absences (excused or unexcused) within a school year shall be referred to the MTSS to determine whether the student shall be promoted. 


At James Stephens International Academy, we will take a proactive stance on attendance. The school will contact the parents in the following ways:


  • By letter when child receives 3 or more unexcused absences.
  • By letter when child has a total of 5 absences to alert that the child is approaching the excessive absence limit.
  • By letter when the child has reached the excessive absence limit of 10 days. A parent meeting will be required to discuss attendance/promotion.Medical documentation is required for chronic medical conditions.


Make-Up Work

A student who is absent, and the absence is determined to be an excused absence, as defined by School Board Policy 4.16, is required to make up all course work missed. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain assignments from the appropriate teacher(s) upon returning to class immediately following an absence. The student will be given the number of days absent plus one additional day to make up all work missed for full credit.



Current Change of Address

It is the responsibility of each parent/guardian to immediately inform the Information Specialist of a change of address or phone number.  


When changing a student’s address, parents must provide proof of address.  

Proof of address may include one of the following:

  • Utility bill with parent’s name and current address on it.
  • Mortgage/Rental agreement with parent’s name and current address on it signed by BOTH parties.

    If the parent is living with someone else they must have:  

  • A notarized letter from the person they are living with.
  • The other parties photo ID.
  • Their Mortgage/Rental agreement signed by BOTH parties.


This is essential in case of an emergency at school and there is a need to contact the family.  In addition, having accurate information facilitates communication between the school and home.



Change of transportation for the day must be submitted in writing and given to the Homeroom and/or first period teacher.  All notes must have a valid and current working telephone number on them.  No change of transportation will be accepted within the last thirty minutes of the school day.


Bus Riders

It is a privilege to ride the school bus to and from school.  The Transportation Department has specific rules that students must obey when they ride the bus.  These rules are designed to provide safety for all passengers on the bus.  Students who do not abide by the bus rules may be referred by the driver for disciplinary action.  The parent/guardian will be contacted should this occur and will be expected to become involved in a behavioral plan for this child.


Bus Changes:

The Transportation Department assigns students to a bus according to the area in which they live.  Permission for a student to ride a bus other than the one assigned, or to get off at a stop other than the one assigned, must be made in writing and will be approved only in cases of emergency.  Students will not be permitted to ride an unassigned bus without a School Bus Request permission slip signed by the principal or assistant principal.  The permission slip will be given to the bus driver before getting on the bus.  Riding other buses for non-school related activities that are not emergencies will not be approved.


Dismissal Procedures:

Afternoon dismissal begins at 3:15 PM each day. Requests to change a student’s dismissal procedure must be made in

writing, by email or in person the day of the change. 


No sign-outs permitted 30 minutes prior to dismissal.


Car Riders

If you are a car rider, you must be dropped off and picked up in the designated Parent Pick-up Area.  All cars MUST have a designated JSIA parent pick up tag when picking up students. 


  • Cars should enter the school on Marsh Avenue.
  • Form one line and drive to the parent pick-up area.
  • When the line has stopped, students will be directed to their cars.
  • When the cars in the immediate parent pick-up area are loaded, a staff member will signal them to leave.
  • The next group of cars in line will then proceed to the parent-pick-up area.


Parking in the parking lot and calling for your child is not permitted.  This is a safety hazard.  Please wait in the parent pick-up line.  Students will only be released from the parent pick up area.  We will not release children to cars that park on Marsh Avenue instead of waiting in the parent-pick up line. 



If you walk to and from school, please be reminded that sidewalks are to be used for your safety.  Crossing guards are located at intersections to help you cross safely.  Two entry gates are provided on Marsh Ave., one for walkers from the south and one for walkers from the north.  Students may not enter through the main entrance.


Bike Riders

If you ride a bike to school, you must enter campus through the parent pick up gate. Bike racks are provided for your convenience.  Students are encouraged to use a lock to secure their bike while on campus.  Please remember that the law requires the use of bike helmets.



The clinic has a full time registered nurse and assistant who provide temporary care for ill/injured students and dispense approved medication.  The clinic is not equipped to take care of a sick student long term.  Parents will be notified if the situation is serious, and in an emergency, appropriate emergency personnel will be contacted. 


Emergency Health Information Card

Every student is required to have an up-to-date emergency card on file in the clinic.  The school must have accurate telephone numbers for anyone authorized to pick up the child in an emergency situation.


Medication in School

A student may have an illness that does not prevent him/her from attending school, but requires medication.  If possible, such medication should be given at home by the parent/guardian.  Medication may only be administered at school if failure to take it could jeopardize the student’s health.  In this case, a school board approved parent form must be completed.  Medication must be fully labeled and in its original container from the pharmacist.  If medication is given for longer than two weeks, a statement from the physician must be provided on the school board approved form.  Nonprescription medication may be given only when both parent and physician forms are fully completed.


Health Services

The ability to learn can be affected by vision, hearing or general health.  Health screening tests are not diagnostic, but can identify students who may have a problem and may need evaluation by a health professional.  During the school year, students will receive health screenings such as: vision, hearing, height, and weight.



The faculty and staff at James Stephens International Academy will make every effort to keep you informed of your child’s progress.  Teachers are available to schedule conferences with you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s education.   



Our cafeteria is prepared to offer a great dining experience!


There is no charge for breakfast or lunch for all students during the 2018-2019 school year.  Students will still be required to enter their ID number but they will not have to pay for breakfast or lunch. 


Students who bring their lunch should make sure that it is labeled with their name.  All students will remain in the cafeteria until their teacher picks them up.  Nuts, energy drinks and glass bottles are not permitted on campus.


Cafeteria Behavior

The cafeteria is an excellent place to demonstrate good manners.  Students are expected to socialize with quiet voices with those seated at their table.  Students should remain seated unless given permission to move and eat the food that has been served or brought from home. Students are not permitted to share food with others.  


During lunch, students are expected to return all trash to a disposal area and to clean the area around them.  Students are to remain seated until they are given directions for dismissal from the cafeteria.  



RESPECT yourself and others.  The purpose of discipline is to help students in the development of self-control, respect and responsible behavior.  In order to help provide a safe and orderly environment for all students that is conducive to learning, teachers, staff, administration and parents/guardians must work together.


James Stephens International Academy has a school-wide discipline plan with behavioral objectives, rewards and consequences.  Students who choose to disobey school rules and/or disrupt the learning environment for others will be disciplined accordingly.  Parents/guardians will be notified regularly by the teacher and/or administrator when a student is experiencing difficulties.



Electronics/Telecommunications Devices (ETD)

Display or use of a personal electronic or telecommunication device during school hours.

Students may possess cell phones and other personal electronic devices while on school grounds during regular school

hours, however they must be turned off at all times unless utilized for an approved activity.  Possession of all personal electronic  devices, including cell phones, is done at the student’s own risk and the school assumes no responsibility, legal or otherwise, with regard to these items.


Equipment and Facilities

RESPECT our school.  Students and Staff are responsible for the care of school property, all equipment and the facility.  When accidental damage occurs, a student may be asked to pay for damages (depending on the damage sustained).  Malicious damage must be repaired or replaced at the student/family’s expense.


Students are responsible for maintaining technology equipment, textbooks and library books in good condition.  Any property belonging to James Stephens International Academy and/or the School District of Lee County that is damaged, destroyed, lost and/or not returned is subject to replacement and/or repair costs.  The Principal shall collect from each student (parent/guardian) the purchase price of any instructional material the student has lost, destroyed, or unnecessarily damaged and to report and transmit the money collected to the Superintendent.  Please contact JSIA for a replacement cost.




A School Advisory Committee (SAC) exists at James Stephens International Academy.  Parents are strongly encouraged to become an active member, and support the efforts, of the SAC which include projects, programs and fundraising activities.  SAC meeting dates will be published in the school calendar and on the school website.


Parent volunteers have proven to be a valuable asset to the success of the total school program.  We appreciate any donated time.  No previous experience is necessary!  Just complete an application and a brief training!  Being a volunteer can include, but is not limited to:  working with students one on one or in small group settings; listening to students read; reading to students; assisting with math; helping in computer lab; helping with light clerical duties; creating bulletin board displays and much more.  Special classroom or school projects often are in need of assistance from volunteers.  If you are interested, please contact the school at (239) 337-1333.



Parents are advised the School Board does not provide insurance coverage for students.  Insurance is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.  Optional insurance is available for purchase to all students by a reputable company.  Notices regarding the optional insurance can be requested from the office of JSIA.


Search and Seizure

Based on the School District’s Code of Conduct for Students, if at any time there is a reason to believe a student is concealing stolen or illegal property, illegal substances, or any prohibited item, the administrative staff has the right to search the student, the student’s desk, and personal property.


Signing out Students ** Must be done 30 minutes prior to dismissal. **

Parents are required to establish the way a student will be going home daily.  Children are often easily confused when they have multiple ways of going home.  If there is to be a change, your child must have a written note from the parent/guardian.  If no note is received, you will be sent home the established way.  If a student is to be dismissed early, a note must be sent that morning to the teacher.  The student will be dismissed early for medical reasons or emergencies only.  A student may only be dismissed early to the parent/legal guardian.  If anyone other than the parent/legal guardian is picking up the student, they must be listed on the student’s emergency card and will be required to show proof of identity.  When a child is signed out early, it takes away from their instructional time, homework assignments and end of the day activities.


TIPS to remember when signing out students!

  • Students should be signed out for medical and emergencies only.
  • Proper I.D. must be shown.
  • Person signing out student for early dismissal must be the parent/legal guardian, unless a written note has been received from the parent/legal guardian ahead of time.


Sun Protection

To help prevent students from the exposure to sun, caps and sunglasses may be worn during P.E., on outdoor field trips, and any other school sponsored outdoor activities.  When students come indoors, these articles must be removed.  Hats and sunglasses should be clearly labeled with the student’s name.


Shatterproof plastic U.V. protective sunglasses are recommended for all outside activities.  Polycarbonate lenses provide the utmost impact resistance.  U.V. coating for all prescription lens is appropriate.


Sunscreen is also beneficial protection against sun exposure.  If parents wish to have their student protected, the following guidelines should be followed:


Sunscreen should be applied at home to all exposed skin surfaces before school (and may not be brought to school).  This will provide protection to the student during the time traveling to school as well as during the rest of the day. 



Toys, trading cards, electronic games and stuffed animals or stuffed animal key chains are not permitted at school.  Such items will be taken away by the administration and will only be returned to a parent.



All visitors to the school must report to the school office, present a valid photo ID and be signed in.  Visitors will be issued a pass from the office.  Parents and guardians are always welcome to come have lunch with their student in our courtyard during the student’s scheduled lunch time.  Unless it is a life or death emergency, parents, guardians and/or relatives are encouraged to make appointments to see administrators, the school counselor, teachers, or to visit their child’s class.  Since the teacher has teaching responsibilities, he/she may not be available to speak with the parent while students are present in the classroom.  Additionally, office staff will not connect phone calls from parents to teachers during instruction time.


ALL visitors must have permission from administration prior to being permitted on campus.  ALL visitors are required to present a valid driver’s license that is passed through a scanner at the front desk.  After the verification of identity a pass will be issued for entry onto the school campus.  NO VISITOR WILL BE PERMITTED ON CAMPUS WITHOUT A VALID ID (Jessica Lunsford Act).


Emergency Procedures

Fire Drills

Fire drills are required by State Law at least once every month. Before the first day of school, each teacher receives an evacuation map.  This map will be discussed with all students at least once every quarter and posted in a location which is easy to see.  Should the primary route of exit be the point of the emergency, secondary routes are also posted.  Teachers will stress that students will exit the building WITHOUT TALKING and will go at least 100 yards away from the building.  No student nor staff member shall return to the building until the all clear signal (announcement) is given.  All students and staff will reenter the building without talking in case further verbal directions are needed.



A tornado warning will be given verbally over the intercom system or by a message carrier.  If there is imminent danger, the teacher will instruct the students to move to a safe area away from windows or glass, to draw their knees up under their body and cover the back of their heads with their hands or a book.  


WATCH:  A tornado WATCH means weather conditions are right for the formation of tornadoes.  The Public Information Office will notify all principals when the National Weather Service or Lee County Emergency Management announces a weather watch, weather warning, or other emergency situation in our area.


WARNING:  A tornado WARNING means that a tornado has been sighted in the area visually and/or on radar.  The Public Information Office will notify all principals when the National Weather Service or Lee County Emergency Management announces a weather watch, weather warning, or emergency situation in our area.









Bomb Threats

Upon receipt of a bomb threat or other threatening situations requiring evacuation of the school building, an announcement will be made to evacuate.  All students and staff members will evacuate to a safe location.  No student nor staff member shall return to the building until the all clear signal (announcement) is given.  Parents will need to show I.D. when picking up their children. The School Board Office of Risk Management and/or The Public Information Office will maintain contact with school administrators to stay informed about the conditions at the school site to answer questions from parents and/or the public.


Disclaimer:  Information contained in this document may be updated at any time by the Administration to reflect alignment with school district policies and procedures.