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I. Introduction:


This handbook is a result of an effort to manage the educational pursuits of an ever-growing Creative Arts program. We have made every attempt to reduce subjectivity in our grading systems, establish guidelines and policy regarding conduct, attendance, and inform readers of the extra-curricular responsibilities that the Creative Arts require. We hope that this document will provide students and parents with a clear outline of the expectations required of the Creative artists at Burr and Burton.

II. The Performing Arts Instructional Staff:


  • Instrumental Music: Neil Freebern - Director of Creative Arts  

  • Vocal Music: Julie Freebern

  • Dance: Claudia Raposa

  • Drama: James Raposa


III. Student Staff Positions:


Student staff positions exist for each discipline. Responsibilities may include clerical work, equipment management, performance promotion, costuming, etc. Interested students should contact their instructor for additional information.


IV. Curricular Attendance policy:


(Membership in any performance ensemble requires time outside of normal school hours)

Students are required to be present at all rehearsals and performances scheduled for both in and out of school. If a student is unable to meet this requirement at any given time, the following will occur:

The student will attempt to resolve the conflict prior to speaking with instructor.

If the conflict cannot be resolved, the student is required to:

  • Notify the instructor within a reasonable period of time. Please email, write a note or call the performing arts office prior to the rehearsal/performance time.

  • Present the instructor with a written note stating the date of the absence and reason for conflict.

  • Have an open and respectful conversation with the instructor to determine how to best handle the loss of credit.


If the conflict is related to an excused absence, the student may choose to complete additional enrichment projects in order to compensate for the loss of credit for the missed performance. (Projects must be pre-approved by the instructor.)


Excused absences from performances will be granted if any of the following conditions are present:

  • Conflict is a result of a school related scheduling conflict. (Athletic meets, field trip, etc)

  • Severe illness

  • Death in the family

  • Traditional religious holidays/observances.


Please make every effort to contact your instructor prior to the commitment that may be missed. The school is anticipating being responsible for you during this time and it is imperative that we know where you are.

The instructor reserves the right to suspend students from participation in major performances if:

  •  a student does not attend scheduled rehearsals prior to performance.

  • a student exhibits consistent disruptive classroom behavior


The Creative Arts Chair will determine level of participation for events based on the nature of the student’s absence. 


Make up credit policy form


V. Curricular Grading Policies


It is the objective of the Creative Arts faculty to reduce the subjectivity of grading. Due to the varied levels of abilities within a 9-12 course, our goal becomes the measurement of a student’s understanding of concepts being presented within the curriculum, not primarily an assessment of their level performance proficiency. Conceptual knowledge, connections of concepts to individual performance, and methods of revision are the primary means for assessment.

Self-Assessment methods:  Self-assessment is a reflective process that allows a teacher to witness the students’ understanding and implementation of the concepts learned in class. The use of scoring rubrics assists the instructor in objectively grading student response. Forms of self assessment:


  •  Individual Performance Assessment

  •  Ensemble Performance Assessment (Group Assessment)

  • Homework Assessment

  • Technical Assessment

  • Visual Assessment

  • Post Performance Self-Reflections

  • In class critiques of student work


Additional Methods of Assessment:

  • Written Exams

  • Rubric Development Sheets

  • General Assessment; Fundamental skills necessary to function effectively within a performance ensemble or class.

  • Portfolio Assessment

  • Notebook

  • Additional tools as determined by the instructor.


VI. Rehearsal and Classroom Etiquette:


The process of achieving excellence takes consistent effort and dedication. It is each student’s primary responsibility to make a sincere and sustained effort to progress artistically and work together. Each instructor will have specific criteria for proper rehearsal technique and etiquette.  Respect is the founding principle.

VII. Performance and Rehearsal Attire for Performancel Ensembles

Each performing arts discipline has a unique requirement for dress in performance and rehearsal. These requirements are essential for establishing a professional appearance in public, and safety/uniformity in rehearsal.


Instrumental and Vocal Music Performance dress:

For males:

  • A black tux shirt (provided)

  • A black bow tie (provided)

  • Cummerbund (provided)

  • Black dress pants

  • Black dress shoes

  • Black socks


For Females:

  • Black Blouse (Provided)

  • Black Stockings and knee length skirt or Black dress pants. (Formal)

  • Black dress shoes


Dance Rehearsals: 

Unitards, leotards or sweat pants are required for all class sessions. Only solid colors are allowed; no logos or text on any clothes.Always come prepared to do a lot of physical action. Wear comfortable, loose shirts and pants which allow you to stretch and move with ease.

Dance Performance: TBA

Drama Performance: TBA


VIII. Extra Curricular Opportunities


In addition to the curricular performing ensembles at Burr and Burton, several additional performance opportunities exist for students outside of the curriculum. These “extra-curricular ensembles” or clubs follow a different set of guidelines for participation.

  • The instructor of the extracurricular reserves the right to determine student’s participation either through an audition process or by discretion. Priority for participation is given to students involved in curricular courses within the department in the event that enrollment is limited.

  • Students choosing to participate in extracurricular activities will be required to follow all rules and Regulations set forth by the Academy’s “Extracurricular Activity Rules and Regulations’ policy.

  • Any student failing a course or receives on failing notice during any grading period will be placed on an “academic probation for extracurriculars” plan. Refer to the “Extracurricular Activity Rules and Regulations’ policy.


IX. Use of School Instruments and equipment:


1. Please ask the permission of an instructor prior to using any school owned equipment

2. Refrain from using other students or teachers equipment without their presence and approval.

3. Students that choose to be assigned a school owned instrument are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of that instrument for the duration of the time they are using it.

4. Please treat any piece of equipment with the greatest respect. If a problem does occur, notify the instructor immediately.


The Performing Arts courses are unique for they exist inside and outside of the school day. We have provided a schedule of Performing Arts events in order for families to better schedule their time over the course of the year.

If conflicts do arise, please contact the Performing Arts staff at Burr and Burton to find resolution. We will do our best to remain flexible and equitable in all situations.







Burr & Burton Academy believes that it is important for students to maintain a healthy body and mind. In an effort to encourage students to make proper choices, a set of training rules are in place for any student participating in extracurricular activities. Improper diet, use of drugs alcohol and/or tobacco only impedes a student’s ability to succeed academically, athletically, or artistically. Use of illegal drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated.

When a student makes the choice to violate training rules it not only hurts them but also affects the other students involved in the activity. We ask that the student not compromise his or her integrity.



  • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages at any time or any place.

  • The use or possession of non-regulated drugs at any time or any place.

  • The use or possession of drug paraphernalia at any time or any place.

  • The use or possession of tobacco in any form at any time or any place, this includes the purchasing of tobacco products regardless of the student’s age.


Administrators, coaches, faculty, staff, law enforcement officers, the student’s parent, and the student himself/herself may report violations of training rules. A violation reported to the school will result in the following:



Following the report of an incident, the administration will decide whether or not action is required. If it is determined that a violation may have occurred, a hearing will be scheduled with the student and the administration. The student may have a parent or guardian present. This hearing will take place within three days of the report.

After carefully considering the facts presented, the administration will decide whether the student may continue to participate or will be penalized as per policy below.




1. First Offense:

Athletics: The athlete will continue to attend and participate in practice but not play in an equivalent of 25 percent of the scheduled games for that season. If applicable, a suspension will continue into post-season play or into the next sport season. Athletes will be required to attend a counseling session with the school’s substance abuse counselor. First offense status will remain in effect for one calendar year.

Academic and/or artistic participants in extracurricular activities: The student will be required to attend the activity however will not participate for a minimum of three sessions. The student will be required to attend a counseling session with the school’s substance abuse counselor. In the event the first violation occurs during a time of a performance or competition, the student will be required to have a parent present as a chaperone while the student is involved in the activity. The student will not be allowed to participate in any additional activity associated with the extracurricular group/performance and will serve a minimum of one Saturday detention. The student will be required to attend counseling with the school’s substance abuse counselor. First offense status will remain in effect for one calendar year.


2. Second Offense:

The student will be suspended from all practices, games, and/or extracurricular performances for the remainder of the season and will be required to make an appointment for a formal assessment with the school¹s substance abuse counselor. In order for a student to participate in extra curricular activities the following season, a positive recommendation will be required from the substance abuse counselor. Any cost related for required counseling will be the families’ responsibility.

Failure to meet the obligations of any of the requirements listed above will result in the student’s forfeiture of participation in any extra curricular activity for the remainder of the year. Any behavior outside of school that violates public law may result in suspension from the student’s sport or activity for the remainder of the season.

Please note:


Any student that attends an extracurricular activity under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will forfeit participation in that activity for the remainder of the season. A formal counseling session with the substance abuse counselor will be required and disciplinary action by the administration will ensue. Please make good decisions.

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