If you have questions or concerns about our policies and procedures, please contact our school director, Dr. Jesse Meeks at (801) 491-7600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FERPA and Directory Information
Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the Merit Preparatory Academy receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the school principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask Merit Preparatory Academy to amend their child’s or their education record should write the school principal [or appropriate school official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in the school’s or school district’s annual notification for FERPA rights. A school official typically includes a person employed by the school or school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer. [NOTE: FERPA requires a school or school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request or the disclosure is initiated by the parent or eligible student.]
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Merit Preparatory Academy to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
See the list below of the disclosures that elementary and secondary schools may make without consent.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure. Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency (SEA) in the parent or eligible student’s State. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38. (§ 99.31(a)(5))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena if applicable requirements are met. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10)
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” if applicable requirements under § 99.37 are met. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(L))
- To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(K))
Notice for Directory Information
[Note: Per 34 C.F.R. § 99.37(d), a school or school district may adopt a limited directory information policy. If a school or school district does so, the directory information notice to parents and eligible students must specify the parties who may receive directory information and/or the purposes for which directory information may be disclosed.]
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires Merit Preparatory Academy, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Merit Preparatory Academy may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised Merit Preparatory Academy to the contrary in accordance with Merit Preparatory Academy procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Merit Preparatory Academy to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honor roll or other recognition lists;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. [Note: These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).]
If you do not want Merit Preparatory Academy to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify Merit Preparatory Academy in writing within two weeks of enrollment. Merit Preparatory Academy has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended
Student Data Collection Notice
ADA compliant as of 8.5.19
Necessary Student Data
Necessary student data means data required by state statute or federal law to conduct the regular activities of the school.
- Student Name, Date of birth, and Sex
- Parent and student contact information and Custodial parent information
- A student identification number (including the student’s school ID number and the state-assigned student identifier, or SSID)
- Local, state, and national assessment results or an exception from taking a local, state, or national assessment (click here for more information on assessments)
- Courses taken and completed, credits earned, and other transcript information
- Course grades and grade point average
- Grade level and expected graduation date or graduation cohort
- Degree, diploma, credential attainment, and other school information
- Attendance and mobility
- Drop-out data
- Immunization record or an exception from an immunization record
- Race, Ethnicity, or Tribal affiliation
- Remediation efforts
- An exception from a vision screening required under Section 53G-9-404 or information collected from a vision screening described in Utah Code Section 53G-9-404
- Information related to the Utah Registry of Autism and Development Disabilities (URADD), described in Utah Code Section 26-7-4
- Student injury information
- A disciplinary record created and maintained as described in Utah Code Section 53E-9-306
- Juvenile delinquency records
- English language learner status
- Child find and special education evaluation data related to initiation of an IEP
Optional Student Data
We may only collect optional student data with written consent from the student’s parent or from a student who has turned 18.
- Information related to an IEP or needed to provide special needs services
- Biometric information used to identify the student
- Information required for a student to participate in an optional federal or state program (e.g., information related to applying for free or reduced lunch)
Certain sensitive information on students collected via a psychological or psychiatric examination, test, or treatment, or any survey, analysis, or evaluation will only be collected with parental consent. You will receive a separate consent form in these cases. See our Protection of Pupil Rights Act (PPRA) notice for more information.
We will not collect a student’s social security number or criminal record, except as required by Utah Code Section 78A-6-112(3).
We will only share student data in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which generally requires written parental consent before sharing student data. FERPA includes several exceptions to this rule, where we may share student data without parental consent. For more information on third parties receiving student information from us, see our Metadata Dictionary.
Student data will be shared with the Utah State Board of Education via the Utah Transcript and Records Exchange (UTREx). For more information about UTREx and how it is used, please visit the Utah State Board of Education’s Information Technology website.
Benefits, Risks, and Parent Choices
The collection, use, and sharing of student data has both benefits and risks. Parents and students should learn about these benefits and risks and make choices regarding student data accordingly. Parents are given the following choices regarding student data:
- Choice to request to review education records of their children and request an explanation or interpretation of the records (see our annual FERPA notice for more information)
- Choice to contest the accuracy of certain records (see our annual FERPA notice for more information), potentially leading to the correction, expungement, or deletion of the record
- Choice to opt into certain data collections (see the section above on optional data collections)
- Choice to opt out of certain data exchanges
- Information that has been classified as directory information (see our directory information notice for more information)
- Parents of students with an IEP may have their information shared with the Utah Registry of Autism and Developmental Disabilities (URADD). If included in this data exchange, parents will receive a separate notice within 30 days of the exchange, informing them of their right to opt out, per Utah Code Section 53E-9-308(6)(b)
- Choice to file a complaint if you believe the school or its agents are violating your rights under FERPA or Utah’s Student Data Protection Act. If you have a complaint or concern, we recommend starting locally and then escalating to the state and US Department of Education
Merit Preparatory Academy
Hillari Bollard 801-491-7600
The Utah State Board of Education
Report your concern with the USBE hotline
The US Department of Education
Report your concern here
Storage and Security
In accordance with Board Rule R277-487-3(14), we have adopted a cybersecurity framework called the CIS Controls.
Data Governance Plan
1. Governing Principles
Merit Preparatory Academy (referred to as the LEA throughout) takes its responsibility toward student data seriously. This governance plan incorporates the following Generally Accepted Information Principles (GAIP):
- Risk: There is risk associated with data and content. The risk must be formally recognized, either as a liability or through incurring costs to manage and reduce the inherent risk.
- Due Diligence: If a risk is known, it must be reported. If a risk is possible, it must be confirmed.
- Audit: The accuracy of data and content is subject to periodic audit by an independent body.
- Accountability: An organization must identify parties which are ultimately responsible for data and content assets.
- Liability: The risks in information means there is a financial liability inherent in all data or content that is based on regulatory and ethical misuse or mismanagement.
2. Data Maintenance and Protection Policy
The LEA recognizes that there is risk and liability in maintaining student data and other education-related data and will incorporate reasonable data industry best practices to mitigate this risk.
In accordance with R277-487, the LEA shall do the following:
- Designate an individual as an Information Security Officer
- Adopt the CIS Controls or comparable
- Report to the USBE by October 1 each year regarding the status of the adoption of the CIS controls or comparable and future plans for improvement.
3. Roles and Responsibilities Policy
The LEA acknowledges the need to identify parties who are ultimately responsible and accountable for data and content assets. These individuals and their responsibilities are as follows:
3.1 Data Manager roles and responsibilities
- authorize and manage the sharing, outside of the student data manager’s education entity, of personally identifiable student data for the education entity as described in this section
- provide for necessary technical assistance, training, and support
- act as the primary local point of contact for the state student data officer
- ensure that the following notices are available to parents:
3.2 Information Security Officer
- Oversee adoption of the CIS controls
- Provide for necessary technical assistance, training, and support as it relates to IT security
4. Training and Support Policy
The LEA recognizes that training and supporting educators and staff regarding federal and state data privacy laws is a necessary control to ensure legal compliance.
- The data manager will ensure that educators who have access to student records will receive an annual training on confidentiality of student data to all employees with access to student data. The content of this training will be based on the Data Sharing Policy.
- By October 1 each year, the data manager will report to USBE the completion status of the annual confidentiality training and provide a copy of the training materials used.
- The data manager shall keep a list of all employees who are authorized to access student education records after having completed a training that meets the requirements of 53E-9-204.
5. Audit Policy
In accordance with the risk management priorities of the LEA, the LEA will conduct an audit of:
- The effectiveness of the controls used to follow this data governance plan; and
- Third-party contractors, as permitted by the contract described in 53E-9-309(2).
6. Data Sharing Policy
There is a risk of redisclosure whenever student data are shared. The LEA shall follow appropriate controls to mitigate the risk of redisclosure and to ensure compliance with federal and state law.
- The data manager shall approve all data sharing or designate other individuals who have been trained on compliance requirements with FERPA.
- For external research, the data manager shall ensure that the study follows the requirements of FERPA’s study exception described in 34 CFR 99.31(a)(6).
After sharing from student records, the data manager shall ensure that an entry is made in the LEA Metadata Dictionary to record that the exchange happened.
- After sharing from student records, the data manager shall make a note in the student record of the exchange in accordance with 34 CFR 99.32.
7. Expungement Request Policy
The LEA recognizes the risk associated with data following a student year after year that could be used to mistreat the student. The LEA shall review all requests for records expungement from parents and make a determination based on the following procedure.
The following records may not be expunged: grades, transcripts, a record of the student’s enrollment, assessment information.
The procedure for expungement shall match the record amendment procedure found in 34 CFR 99, Subpart C of FERPA.
- If a parent believes that a record is misleading, inaccurate, or in violation of the student’s privacy, they may request that the record be expunged.
- The LEA shall decide whether to expunge the data within a reasonable time after the request.
- If the LEA decides not to expunge the record, they will inform the parent of their decision as well as the right to an appeal hearing.
- The LEA shall hold the hearing within a reasonable time after receiving the request for a hearing.
- The LEA shall provide the parent notice of the date, time, and place in advance of the hearing.
- The hearing shall be conducted by any individual that does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
- The LEA shall give the parent a full and fair opportunity to present relevant evidence. At the parents’ expense and choice, they may be represented by an individual of their choice, including an attorney.
- The LEA shall make its decision in writing within a reasonable time following the hearing.
- The decision must be based exclusively on evidence presented at the hearing and include a summary of the evidence and reasons for the decision.
- If the decision is to expunge the record, the LEA will seal it or make it otherwise unavailable to other staff and educators.
8. Data Breach Response Policy
The LEA shall follow industry best practices to protect information and data. In the event of a data breach or inadvertent disclosure of personally identifiable information, the LEA staff shall follow industry best practices for responding to the breach.
- The director will work with the information security officer to designate individuals to be members of the cyber incident response team (CIRT)
- At the beginning of an investigation, the information security officer will begin tracking the incident and log all information and evidence related to the investigation.
- The information security officer will call the CIRT into action once there is reasonable evidence that an incident or breach has occurred.
- The information security officer will coordinate with other IT staff to determine the root cause of the breach and close the breach.
- The CIRT will coordinate with legal counsel to determine if the incident is meets the legal definition of a significant breach as defined in R277-487 and determine which entities and individuals need to be notified.
- If law enforcement is notified and begins an investigation, the CIRT will consult with them before notifying parents or the public so as to not interfere with the law enforcement investigation.
9. Publication Policy
The LEA recognizes the importance of transparency and will post this policy on the LEA website.
Dress Code Policy
MERIT DRESS CODE POLICY
1. PURPOSE AND PHILOSOPHY
The Board of Trustees recognizes that student dress and grooming directly impacts the education of students. Experience and research have demonstrated that the learning atmosphere is improved when students dress and groom appropriately. Appropriate student dress and grooming promotes an effective learning environment free of unnecessary disruption and distraction. In addition, appropriate student dress and grooming helps increase school and student safety and security. Certain fads and extremes of dress and grooming tend to attract undue attention to an individual,
and accordingly, interfere with or disrupt the educational process.
The Board of Trustees emphasizes the importance of cooperation among school officials, parents/guardians, and students to ensure appropriate dress and grooming (hygiene and cleanliness
of self and clothing), and further recognizes that parents/guardians are primarily responsible for
their students' dress and grooming. The Board of Trustees delegates to the school administration the
responsibility to see that each student adheres to the dress and grooming standards set forth in this
A higher standard of dress encourages greater respect for individual students and others and results
in a higher standard of behavior. It also prepares students for the dress code requirements of the
workforce. Our dress code requirements indicate appropriate school dress for normal school days.
All students are expected to be in dress code at all times while on campus during school hours,
during school events, while dong fieldwork and other off-campus activities. MCPA dress code is
intended to be strict enough to support the educational goals, vision, and standards
upheld by the school, yet not so restrictive that families will find it difficult to abide by.
Dress Code adherence will be checked daily by staff, faculty, and administrators. Students are
expected to remain in Dress Code clothing at all times while on campus, including before school
and after school unless other permission is obtained from an administrator.
2. GENERAL STANDARDS
2.1 The school administration may determine that certain types of student clothing and
grooming are prohibited which:
2.1.1 Draws undue attention, distracts, disrupts, and/or interferes with the educational
environment at school or at a school activity or event.
2.1.2 Endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the student or others.
2.1.3 May cause damage to school facilities or equipment.
2.1.4 Does not conform to generally accepted community standards.
2.1.5 Appears as an obvious attempt to challenge this policy or the authority of the school.
2.2 Student dress and grooming must conform to the requirements of a special class or school activity
or event which requires special dress or grooming and in which the student expects to participate.
3. SPECIFIC STANDARDS
3.1.1 Collared shirts, polo shirts, Henley style shirts, blouses and t-shirts are approved.
Sweaters, hoodies, and light jackets are permitted. The hood on jackets and hoodies are not to be worn
up in the school.
3.1.2 Emblems are allowed. Words, symbols, or images that support or represent drugs or drug use, skulls,
alcohol or alcohol use, gang references, swearing, and pornography are not allowed.
3.1.3 T-shirts and pull over sweatshirts are permitted.
3.1.4 Bare shoulders and midriffs are not allowed.
3.1.5 Sleeves are to be no shorter than a cap sleeve.
3.1.6 No skin can show under the shirt. Undershirts must be worn under low tops.
3.1.7 See through shirts are not permitted.
3.2 Pants, shorts and skirts
3.2.1 Approved pants include dress pants, slacks, cords, cargo style and blue jeans.
3.2.2 Pants, shorts and skirts are to be worn at the hip at all times.
3.2.3 Shorts, skirts are to be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee when worn without leggings.
3.2.4 If wearing leggings/exercise pants/lycra pants, the top/shirt/skirt must be fingertip length.
3.2.5 Colored denim is acceptable.
3.2.6 Sweats, track pants, warm ups, sports shorts, yoga pants, or pajama pants are not permitted.
3.2.7 Pants, skirts, dresses, and shorts must be hemmed at the bottom with no frays and frayed edges; no
tears, and no holes are allowed in pants, shorts, dresses, or skirts
3.3.1 Shoes are to be kept in overall good condition with no holes or rips. Flip flops are not permitted.
3.4 Ameritus Dress
3.4.1 Ameritus Dress is usually held in conjunction with Ameritus Assemblies
3.4.2 Ameritus Dress is Business Professional for all students and staff: slacks, suit, dress, skirt, blouse, button
up shirt, tie, dress shoes.
3.4.3 No jeans. No athletic shoes.
3.5 Formal Wear Events – Homecoming, Prom and Sweetheart’s Dance
3.5.1 All formal wear must conform to Merit Dress Standards.
3.5.2 All will wear semi-formal attire, formal gowns or pantsuits.
3.5.3 Suits or sport coats are encouraged to be worn, but at a minimum, they are expected to wear formal
wear. This includes Slacks, nice shoes, and a nice shirt. Ties are encouraged, but are not required.
3.5.4 Sleeves must be at least 2 inch in width. No spaghetti straps or strapless dresses.
3.5.5 Necklines cannot be low cut in the front or the back. The front of the dress must not fall below your
armpit line. The back of the dress must not fall below the point of a shoulder blade.
3.5.6 Skirts must reach to at least the fingertips when the arms are hanging down by the sides, front and
back. This also applies to slits in dresses. Dress must also be the appropriate length even if leggings
are worn underneath the dress.
3.5.7 Dresses may not be extremely tight or form fitting. Be aware of the material that gathers and rises
when you walk.
3.5.8 The following will not be permitted:
220.127.116.11 Two piece formal gowns or pants and a top where the midriff is showing.
18.104.22.168 Dresses with revealing cut outs.
22.214.171.124 See through gowns. This includes sheer/mesh overlays that do not have material underneath.
126.96.36.199 Torn clothing.
3.5.9 If your attire is questionable, students are encouraged to show their evening wear to administrators
beforehand to determine if it is dance appropriate. The determination of the appropriateness of student
dress and grooming shall rest with the director/assistant director.
3.5.10 Students and their dates who are non-compliant with the dress code will not be admitted to the dance
or will be escorted out of the dance. No refunds will be given for dance dress code infractions in when
these students are asked to leave.
3.6 Dance – Performance/Practice
3.6.1 Girls are allowed to wear wide strap higher neck tank tops, fitted t-shirts, leggings, or sport short length
shorts, or leotards.
3.6.2 Boys are allowed to wear t-shirts, shorts, and designated dance clothing.
3.6.3 Sweats may be worn until the body is warmed up and then removed. Tank tops must be covered before
going into the halls.
3.6.4 Not allowed: midriff tops, spaghetti strap tank tops, low cut tank tops, or super short shorts.
3.7 Physical Education
3.7.1 Students must wear a t-shirt at all times. The only acceptable color for t-shirts is maroon, navy blue, or
white (school colors). There will be no graphics on the t-shirt other than a small logo of the brand of
188.8.131.52 The sides must be complete, no open sides.
184.108.40.206 All shirts must cover the midriff.
220.127.116.11 No low cut shirts (Nothing that dips below the armpit line in the front or the back).
3.7.2 Shorts are acceptable. Exercise pants and leggings are also acceptable as long as shorts are worn
over them. The leggings and shorts must be a solid color of blue, black, maroon, gray, or white.
They cannot have holes, tears, rips, or mesh in them.
18.104.22.168 Shorts need to be 4” or longer.
3.7.3 Shoes must be worn at all times.
22.214.171.124 A different pair of shoes than the ones worn to school must be used on the gym floor.
126.96.36.199 No sandals or open toed shoes.
3.8 Sports / Cheer / Fine Arts
3.8.1 The standard accepted sports uniform must be worn in its entirety.
188.8.131.52 Jersey tops/t-shirts
184.108.40.206.1 Full sides
220.127.116.11.2 Covers the midriff and back, no exposed undergarments
18.104.22.168.3 Nothing that dips below the armpit line in the front or the back
22.214.171.124.4 Uniforms must have 2” straps
126.96.36.199.1 Shorts or skirts need to be 4” or longer.
3.8.2 Athletic Director must approve all uniforms and performance dress before purchase.
3.9 Additional dress code and grooming requirements
3.9.1 Clothing will be modest, neat, clean, and in good repair. Modesty includes covering shoulders, midriff,
back, underwear, and cleavage.
3.9.2 Extreme clothing, which includes, but is not limited to, sagging clothing; excessively oversized clothing;
clothing that is mutilated, torn, ripped, or frayed are prohibited. In addition, inappropriately short, tight,
or revealing shorts, skirts, dresses, tank tops, halter or crop tops, and spaghetti strap tops are prohibited.
Skirts, dresses, and shorts must be at least mid-thigh length when the student is sitting.
3.9.3 Clothing and personal items, such as jewelry, backpacks, fanny packs, gym bags, water bottles, etc., shall
be free of writing, pictures, or any other insignias, which: (a) are crude, vulgar, or profane; (b) are violent
or advocate hate; (c) signify gang affiliation; (d) concern or represent tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or illegal
substances; (e) concern or represent criminal or illegal activities; (f) infringe upon the rights of others; or
(g) are sexually suggestive.
3.9.4 Hats and sunglasses are not to be worn in the school building during school hours, except as part of an
approved school activity or event, for medical reasons, or for religious purposes.
3.9.5 Gang-related clothing, personal items, grooming, hair styles, colors, and paraphernalia are not
allowed in schools or at school related activities and events. This includes, but is not limited to,
tattoos, bandannas, chains, clothing, or jewelry associated with gangs, gang symbols, names, initials,
and insignias. School administration in consultation with law enforcement agencies will determine
what constitutes "gang-related" clothing, personal items, grooming, hair styles, colors, and
3.9.6 Hair, including facial hair, must be maintained in a clean and well-groomed manner. Hairstyles and facial
hair that draw undue attention, distract, disrupt, and/or interfere with the learning atmosphere at school or at
school activities or events are prohibited.
3.9.7 Students are expected to use proper hygiene including cleaning the body and hair regularly, wearing clean
and laundered clothing, proper oral health care, keeping hands clean, taking care of sickness before coming back to
3.9.8 Jewelry worn in any pierced body parts other than the ears must be removed or covered while on school
grounds and during school activities. Clothing, jewelry, accessories, piercings, tattoos, chains, clothing, etc., which
are disfiguring or draw undue attention that distract, disrupt, or interfere with the learning atmosphere at school or
at school activities and events, and/or create a health, safety, or welfare issue are prohibited. Gauges in any body
part is prohibited.
4. ENFORCEMENT AND DISCIPLINE
School faculty, office staff, staff, and administrators are responsible for implementation and enforcement of this
policy. The legal concept of "reasonableness" shall be the guiding principle. School administrators may approve
exceptions to this policy for special school activities or events. Adherence to these dress and grooming standards
will be the responsibility of the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s). Any student violating this policy shall
be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, being asked to change,
remove, or cover the clothing, personal item, or whatever else is at issue; in or out of school suspension;
expulsion; exclusion or loss of extracurricular activities; probation; alternate educational placement; and/or
referral to law enforcement authorities.
Revised: September 17, 2019
Approved by the Board of Trustees: September 17, 2019
Attendance Policy & Procedures
School attendance has a direct impact on a student’s level of academic achievement. In order to make the most of each student’s educational opportunities, Merit College Preparatory Academy expects students to be in class; on time, and prepared for learning and assessments. The opportunities lost through poor attendance leave learning gaps that are difficult to fill.
When a student develops reliable attendance habits, they are demonstrating a life skill that will positively impact their lives while in school and after graduation. High attendance improves academic achievement, graduation rates, responsibility, respect, school climate, personal confidence, and school safety.
Utah State Law requires students between the ages of six and eighteen to be in attendance at school unless they have graduated from high school (Utah code 53G-6-201, 53G-6-204).
It is primarily the parent’s responsibility to ensure their student achieves punctual daily attendance as set forth in the Utah compulsory education requirements, (Utah Code 53G-6-202). Students are required to attend each class, on time, every school day unless properly excused.
Merit Academy believes that school attendance is a student-parent-school responsibility which involves all three participants in order to resolve attendance issues. Students who demonstrate attendance problems (as defined by school and state policy) will be subject to consequences that could result in ineffective learning, loss of opportunities, and administrative action.
A parent/guardian may monitor their student’s attendance by accessing the Student Information System (SIS) through Merit’s website at https://merit.usoe-dcs.org/login/. They may also contact the school to obtain attendance information regarding their student.
Attendance Policy Goals
Merit Academy’s Attendance Policy will help accomplish the following goals:
- Provide all students and teachers the opportunity for success in the secondary education learning environment by maximizing instructional time.
- Provide a safe, effective, and uninterrupted learning environment for each student
- Promote responsible behavior by teaching students to be accountable for their attendance and preparation for learning.
- Support parent efforts in promoting student attendance.
- Enforce state policies.
Administration will be responsible to communicate the Attendance Policy to staff, students, and parents.
Administration is responsible to work with families, teachers, and staff to intervene early and often when students exhibit poor attendance behavior.
Administration is responsible to ensure the policy is implemented and enforced fairly and consistently.
Administration has the authority to determine whether an absence or tardy is excused or unexcused.
School administration may evaluate requests to approve extended or excessive absences. Such absences may be excused so long as the absences do not negatively impact the academic progress of the students. The decision to mark an absence or tardy “excused” is within the discretion of the school administration. School administrators have authority to grant exceptions to procedures.
Teachers will be responsible for taking and recording accurate class attendance in SIS at the beginning of each period.
Teachers will be responsible to change an absence to a tardy if a student comes in late.
Teachers will be required to follow the school’s attendance policies.
Teachers will maximize the use of instructional time for the benefit of student learning and engagement.
Teachers should resist scheduling events that remove students from meaningful learning activities
Teachers will work reasonably with parents and students to help them recover from excused absences and stay current in learning activities and assessments.
Teachers will never punish a student with loss of participation points when they have excused absences or excused tardies but students will likely have class work they need to make up including notes to procure, assessments to complete, or other projects that will need to be completed before or after school.
Note: Teachers are not required by Administration to accept late work and missed assessments for full credit or any credit, provide identical learning opportunities or assessments, etc. from a student with unexcused tardies and/or absences.
Note: Students will need to meet the teachers schedule and do any makeup work or assessments decided upon for unexcused absences or tardies.
Note: It is the responsibility of the student and/or parent to promptly get with the teacher to reschedule assessments, obtain materials handed out, ask for new assignments missed, agree on a turn in or completion date of things missed for full credit, and get notes from fellow students when he or she has an excused absence and/or tardy.
School will keep accurate records of student’s daily attendance as required by Utah State Law.
School will notify students in a timely manner of any attendance issues that need to be resolved.
School will notify parents/guardians of a student’s excessive absences or tardies. Parent notification may include, but is not limited to one or more of the following:
- Parent Link calls
- Teacher contact
- Attendance office contact
- Computer-generated letters
- Counselor contact
- Administrator contact
Attendance Definitions (Rule R277-607)
Absence is defined as a student’s non-attendance at school for one school day or part of one school day.
Truant is defined as absence without a valid excuse
Habitual Truant is defined as truant at least 5 (five) times during one school year or fails to cooperate with efforts on the part of school authorities to resolve the minor’s attendance problem as required under Section 53G-6-201.
Students may occasionally need to be absent for illness, emergencies, etc. In such cases, students may be excused but are responsible to make up any class work or assessments missed (daily participation points will not be deducted for excused absence).
Students have the responsibility to arrange with their teachers for any and all missed class work and to schedule taking missed assessments before or after school at the teachers’ convenience. Parents/guardians are advised to limit their student’s’ absences as a student’s learning and grades can be significantly affected by this.
Teachers, parents, and students can discuss how much time is reasonable for make-ups. Teachers may also publish their make-up policy in their disclosure document which students and parents sign.
Utah code 53G-6-201 defines a Valid Excuse as:
- Death of a family member
- An approved school activity
- An absence permitted by a school-age minor’s:
(i) Individualized education program, developed pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, as amended; or
(ii) Accommodation plan, developed pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
- Any other excuse established as valid by a local charter board:
(i) Medical or dental appointments
(ii) Family emergencies
(iii) Family Activity or Travel that does not adversely impact the student’s education
If you are planning a family event and your student will miss school, you should make arrangements to make up any missed class work with your student’s teachers at least 3 days in advance. Please connect with the teacher and make a plan so your student will know when homework will be due and when assessments need to be taken that are missed as a result of the absence. The teacher, student, and parent should communicate and determine the number of days needed to help the student be successful in missed class work and assessments, and even consider alternative assignments. Each student is responsible for opening communication with the teacher to establish due dates – it is not the teacher’s responsibility to open this communication. If the student is not proactive and personally responsible they may lose homework, assignments and projects, and assessment credit.
Parent/guardian action for absences:
Utah Law under the Compulsory School attendance subsection places the burden of responsibility for school attendance on the parent/guardian. Parents/guardian must contact the school and provide the reason for their student’s absence. Failure to provide a reason for the absence will cause the absence to be documented as Unexcused.
Students having excessive excused absences exceeding all or part of five (5) school days due to an illness or injury may be required to provide a doctor’s note specifically addressing the dates the student was absent from school.
All full-day Absences must be excused within 5 school days of the absence or they will be documented as unexcused.
Parents/guardians may excuse their student’s absence through the attendance office by:
- Calling (801) 491-7600 and leaving a detailed message on the attendance office voicemail
- Sending a note with your student to be taken to the front office
- Emailing email@example.com
* Please note: The attendance secretary may follow up on calls, voicemails, emails and notes to ensure accuracy of who actually excused the student.
Check out procedure:
Students will not be allowed to check out of school, or be excused, without a parent/guardian’s prior consent.
Parent/guardians can give their consent by:
- Calling the front office 801-491-7600 before the student is checked out
- Sending a note to the school office with their student
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Signing their student out at the front office
If a student does not follow this check out procedure, they are sluffing and sluffs are not excusable. Our campus is closed except at lunch time for the 10th-12th grades.
* Please note: Students must check in at the front office if they return to school that day.
Unexcused Absences / Truancy
An unexcused absence / truancy is an absence without a valid excuse as defined by Utah Law 53G-6-201 and/or an absence where the parent/guardian fails to contact the school to excuse a valid absence.
Class work and assessments missed, due to a sluff, will be accepted solely at the discretion of the teacher.
Students who are habitually truant (have ten (10) or more unexcused absences during one school year) or who fail to cooperate with efforts on the part of school authorities to resolve the attendance problem will not be allowed to attend or participate in extracurricular activities (activities after school or off campus) for one week and/or until consequences are fulfilled (this includes athletics and sports teams, performing arts, student activities, dances, club activities, etc.). Additional consequences may be given (see Consequences section).
* Please note: If an absence has been recorded in error, students need to report this to the teacher who will then email the attendance office for correction.
10 Day Rule
By law, any student who does not attend school for ten consecutive days without a valid excuse will be dropped from school rolls. The parent will be required to meet with school administration to discuss re-enrolling their student in school.
We are an open campus for 10th-12th grade students at lunch only, and closed at all other times. Once students arrive on campus, they are expected to remain on campus under school employees’ supervision unless prior arrangement by a parent/guardian is made with the Front Office or Attendance Secretary.
A sluff absence occurs when a student has been marked absent in a single class period, but marked present in other class periods that school day, and the student has not been excused by a parent/guardian, at the office, prior to the absence or the student has not been checked in late that day.
Students and/or parents are given written, email, or phone notice from the attendance office alerting them of their sluff absence, as soon as we are made aware of the attendance issue. The student then has one school day to clear up the sluff absence.
Sluff absences cannot be parent excused. Not attending class or leaving the building without permission, except at students designated lunch time, is a sluff.
If a student misses ten (10) consecutive excused days due to illness, or other medical reason, a doctor’s note will be required, and the student will be considered homebound. It will be at the discretion of the Administration to determine the best course of action for each student. This may include, but is not limited to, being placed on an academic plan and/or having to complete missed class work for credit.
SIS Absence Attendance Codes – The following SIS attendance codes are used to alert parents, students, and administration that the student has been marked absent.
|U||Unexcused Absence||Student is not in attendance during class and the absence has not yet been excused.|
|E||Excused Absence||Student’s absence is valid excuse.|
|O||Office Excused||Student has been meeting with a counselor, administrator, and/or teacher, or the student has been testing and has missed the class period.|
|A||Activity Excused||Student has missed class due to a school approved activity.|
|H||Homebound||A Student is missing school for 10 or more days. A doctor’s note is required and must be turned in to the attendance office before absences are marked excused.|
|D||Doctor Excused||Absence has been excused by a doctor’s note. Note must be turned into the front / attendance office for the absence to be excused.|
|S||Sluff||A student is out of class unexcused after they have arrived at school.|
|Z||Suspension||A student is suspended from school.|
|I||In – school Suspension||A student is suspended from their normal school routine. Student will remain in school but not in normal classes. They will be given a lunch break but not with their peers.|
Tardies: Merit Academy’s tardy policy will:
- Enable teachers to utilize the entire class period for constructive academic learning and provide consistent consequences for tardiness.
- Encourage students to show respect for teachers and peers.
- Help establish Merit Preparatory Academy as a school committed to educational excellence.
Tardiness is not acceptable. It disrupts the class, hurts the morale of students, shows a lack of regard for the teacher, displays a negative attitude toward the class, and creates disruptions in the hallways and on campus.
Students will be considered tardy if they are not in the classroom, in their seat, and prepared to work when class time begins. Repeated tardiness in one or more classes may result in disciplinary action.
When arriving tardy to school, students must sign in at the office and receive a tardy slip marked excused or unexcused. A teacher should not admit a student to first hour without a tardy slip.
Parent/Guardians may not excuse tardies after the first period unless the student was previously checked out by their parent/guardian or arrived to school after the first period and were signed in at the office.
Because Merit Academy is an open campus for the 10th-12th grades at lunch time, parent/guardians may not excuse students for being tardy from lunch unless they were officially checked out by the parent/guardian.
Utah State Law defines an “Excused Tardy” as lateness resulting from: illness, medical/dental appointment (verified by a note from the doctor/dentist), quarantine, weather or road conditions making travel dangerous, any usual cause acceptable to the director of the school. Tardiness for any other reason constitutes an unexcused tardy for which regular tardy policy consequences will apply.
SIS Tardy Attendance Codes – The following SIS attendance codes are used to alert parents, students, and administration that the student has been marked tardy.
|T||Tardy||Student is not in the classroom, in their seat, and prepared to work when class time begins|
|L||Late Tardy||Student entered class at least 15 minutes late, but no more than 30 minutes late.|
|R||Office Tardy||Student has arrived late to school and checked in at the office|
|N||Office Excused Tardy||Student has been meeting with a counselor, administrator, and/or teacher, or the student has been testing and is late to class.|
|K||Excused Tardy||A student entered class after class begins and was excused by a parent by phone call, sign in, or note.|
Student is more than 30 minutes late to class and is considered absent.
Unexcused tardies and absences:
- 1 sluff equals 1 detention
- 3 tardies in a class or a pattern of tardies in multiple classes equals a detention
- If you miss making up 2 or more detentions, suspension, meeting with Admin, or other consequences may occur
Detention – after school, before school, and sometimes at lunch (based on staff availability)
- Detention notes are given to the student at school. Detentions must be made up within 3 days or further consequences apply.
- If the student cannot come to detention because of transportation, work, or other major family issues, students are able to reschedule it once with the Attendance Secretary. The student is responsible for doing this.
- Detention Rules are posted in detention and are expected to be followed otherwise another detention (or further action) may occur.
- Detention Rules:
- Be on time or it does not count
- Phones will be handed to the supervisor. If phones are out then you will be excused, your detention will not count, you will exit the building immediately
- No laptops or Chromebooks
- If you break any of the rules your detention will not count
- No sleeping
- No talking
- No earphones or earbuds
- You may sit quietly, read, write, doodle or draw, do class work, or work on assignments given to you by administration
- Exit the building immediately after detention unless you are involved in an extracurricular activity
Additional Consequences for Unexcused Absences and/or Tardies
- E-mail / phone / or interview contact with parent or guardian and student
- Academic or service makeup sessions with teachers including study, cleaning, and extra assignments
- Before or after-school detention including additional learning assignments given by Administration
- Learning assignments given by Administration
- School service including cleaning, grounds work, or facilities maintenance (must have parental consent recorded)
- Counseling contact
- Class schedule changes
- Attendance / tardy contract
- Lowered grades
- Loss of credit when lowered grades result in failing a class
- Home visit from a school representative
- In-school suspension
- Out-of-school suspension
- Reverse Suspension (parent(s) come with student for full school day(s))
- Alternative programs and placements
- Loss of eligibility for any or all extracurricular activities
- Involvement of other agencies
- Restorative justice program referral, meaning a school-based program or a program used or adopted by a local education agency that is designed to enhance school safety, reduce school suspensions, and limit referrals to court, and is designed to help minors take responsibility for and repair the harm of behavior that occurs in school.
- Police contact
- Court referral
- Suspension and Expulsion
1st offense will be a meeting with Admin to determine further action using any of the above and a possible 3-day suspension.
If the student and parent(s) continue to not comply with the established decided upon consequences and/or the student continues to have unexcused absences or unexcused tardies, then:
2nd offense will be a meeting with Admin to determine additional intervention strategies above and a possible 5-day suspension.
If the above strategies do not change the poor attendance patterns, then Admin may work with the court authorities or Restorative Justice System to come up with the best solution. A board discussion about possible expulsion may result.
Student letters (defined below):
“Notice of Truancy” is a letter issued to a student who is at least twelve (12) years of age or older who has five (5) truancies during the current school year. The “Notice of Truancy” shall contain the notifications and provisions required by Utah Code 53G-6-203. Notice shall give the same directions as those of the “Notice of Compulsory Education” below, but it shall be given to the student and the parent.
Parent letters (defined below):
“Concern Letter” is a letter mailed to the parent of a student who is regularly tardy, absent, and / or sluffing classes. The letter informs the parent of their student’s attendance and / or tardy problems, requests help in solving the problems, and informs the parent or guardian of school action taken and additional action forthcoming if the problems continue.
“Notice of Compulsory Education” is a written notice mailed to or served on the parent of a student who is at least twelve (12) years of age or older who has five (5) truancies during the current school year. The “Notice of Compulsory Education” shall contain the notifications and provisions required by Utah Code 53G-6-202. Notice shall direct the school-age minor and the parent of the school-age minor to: (i) meet with school authorities to discuss the school-age minor’s truancies; (ii) cooperate with the local school board, charter school governing board, or school district in securing regular attendance by the school-age child. Notice will inform the recipients that they may contest the notice of truancy by making an appointment to speak with the board in an executive session of their board meeting by contacting Merit administration.
To Appeal Disciplinary Measures:
If a parent / guardian disagrees with the actions taken by administration they may contact the office to schedule a meeting with the Merit Board of Trustees to appeal the decision.
Incentives and recognitions for student attendance may be offered as determined by the Administration.
Revised: September 19, 2019
Board approved: August, 2019
MERIT COLLEGE PREPARATORY ACADEMY POLICY BULLYING, CYBERBULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND HAZING
- Purpose Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing of students and employees are against federal, state and local policy, and are not tolerated by MERIT ACADEMY. MERIT ACADEMY is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, MERIT ACADEMY has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and hazing—including but not limited to civil rights violations—as well as processes and procedures to deal with such incidents. Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing of students and/or employees by students and/or employees will not be tolerated in MERIT ACADEMY.
School officials have the authority to discipline students for off-campus speech that causes or threatens a substantial disruption on campus, including school activities, violent altercations, or a significant interference with a student’s educational performance and involvement in school activities. If after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 53A-11-904 and or in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. If after an investigation, a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, termination.
- Definitions A. “Bullying” is commonly understood as aggressive behavior that (a) is intended to cause distress and harm, (b) exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and strength, and (c) is repeated over time. Bullying may involve physical actions, words, gestures and social isolation. Although bullying may involve direct, relatively open attacks against a victim, bullying is frequently indirect, or subtle in nature (spreading rumors, enlisting a friend to assault a child). It means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:
- endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;
- involves any brutality of a physical nature such as punching, shoving, kicking,
physical aggression, acts of sexual aggression, whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements b. involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance; c. involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a
school employee or student; or d. involves physically obstructing a school employee’s or student’s freedom to move; and 2. is done for the purpose of placing a school employee or student in fear of:
- physical harm to the school employee or student; or b. harm to property of the school employee or student 3. The conduct described above constitutes bullying, regardless of whether the person against
whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct. B. “Civil Rights Violations” means
- bullying (including cyberbullying), harassing, or hazing that is targeted at a federally
protected class C. “Cyberbullying” means:
- using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to send 2. or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that
the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual, 3. regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or
voluntarily accessed the electronic communication. D. “Federally protected class” means any group protected from discrimination under federal law
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or
national origin. 2. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. 3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. 4. Other areas included under these acts include religion, gender identity, and sexual
orientation. E. “Harassment” means repeatedly communicating to another individual, in an objectively demeaning or
disparaging manner, verbal threatening, name calling, sexual overtones, acts of a sexual nature, statements that contribute to a hostile learning, social, or work environment for the individual F. “Hazing” means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:
- endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;
- involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding,
calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements; b. involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance; c. involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a
school employee or student; or d. involves physically obstructing a school employee’s or student’s freedom to move; and 2. is done for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a
condition for, membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event; or 3. if the person committing the act against a school employee or student knew that the school
employee or student is a member of, or candidate for, membership with a school, or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event to which the person committing the act belongs to or participates in 4. The conduct described in Subsection (5)(a) constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the
person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct. G. “Retaliation” means an act of communication intended:
- as retribution against a person for reporting bullying, cyberbullying, harassing, or hazing; or 2. to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying or
hazing. H. “School” means any public elementary or secondary school or charter school I. “School board” means
- a local school board; or 2. a local charter board. J. “School employee” means:
- school teachers; 2. school staff; 3. school administrators; and 4. all others employed, directly or indirectly, by the school, school board, or school district.
III. Prohibitions A. No school employee or student may engage in bullying or harassing a school employee or student:
1. on school property; 2. at a school related or sponsored event; 3. on a school bus; 4. at a school bus stop; or 5. while the school employee or student is traveling to or from a location or event described above
in Subsection A(1) – (4)
- No school employee or student may engage in hazing or cyberbullying a school employee or
student at any time or in any location.
- No school employee or student may engage in retaliation against:
- a school employee; 2. a student; or 3. an investigator for, or witness of, an alleged incident of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying,
hazing, or retaliation
- No school employee or student may make a false allegation of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing,
or retaliation against a school employee or student.
- Any bullying, harassing, or hazing that is found to be targeted at a federally protected class is further
prohibited under federal anti-discrimination laws and is subject to compliance regulations from the Office for Civil Rights.
- Actions Required if Prohibited Acts are Reported
Complaints will be reported to counselors and/or administration. A. Each reported complaint shall include:
- name of complaining party; 2. name of offender (if known); 3. date and location of incident(s); 4. a statement describing the incident(s), including names of witnesses (if known).
- Each reported violation of the prohibitions noted previously shall be promptly investigated by a
school administrator or an individual designated by a school administrator. Formal disciplinary action is prohibited based solely on an anonymous report of bullying, hazing, or retaliation.
- Verified violations of the prohibitions noted previously shall result in consequences or penalties.
Consequences or penalties may include but are not limited to: 1. student suspension or removal from a school-sponsored team or activity including school
sponsored transportation; 2. student suspension or expulsion from school or lesser disciplinary action; 3. clearly written and enforced discipline plan 4. employee suspension or termination for cause or lesser disciplinary action; 5. employee reassignment; or 6. other action against student or employee as appropriate.
- Compliance with the Office for Civil Rights when Civil Rights Violations are Reported:
- Once MERIT ACADEMY knows or reasonably should know of possible student-on-
student bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment or hazing, the school must take immediate an appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred. 2. If it is determined that the bullying, cyber-bulling, harassment or hazing did occur as a result of the student-victim’s membership in a protected class, MERIT ACADEMY shall take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to:
a. end the bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, or hazing b. eliminate any hostile environment, and c. prevent its recurrence. 3. These duties are MERIT ACADEMY’s responsibilities even if the misconduct also is covered by
a separate anti-bullying policy and regardless of whether the student makes a complaint, asks the school to take action, or identifies the bullying, cyberbullying, harassment or hazing as a form of discrimination.
- Actions must also include, as appropriate:
- procedures for protecting the victim and other involved individuals from being subjected to:
- further bullying or having, and b. retaliation for reporting the bullying or hazing. 2. prompt reporting to law enforcement of all acts of bullying, hazing, or retaliation that constitute
suspected criminal activity. 3. prompt reporting to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of all acts of bullying, hazing,
retaliation that may be violations of student(s)’ or employee(s)’ civil rights. 4. procedures for a fair and timely opportunity for the accused to explain the accusations and
defend his actions prior to student or employee discipline. 5. procedures for providing due process rights under Section 53A-8-102 (licensed staff), local
employee discipline policies or Section 53A-11-903 and local policies (students) prior to long term (more than 10 day) student discipline or employee discipline. 6. Records may be expunged by request after the students graduates from school.
MERIT ACADEMY School will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and/or hazing. The MERIT ACADEMY Investigators, the Director or Assistant Director or an employee designated by the Director or Assistant Director, will be responsible for handling all complaints by students and employees alleging bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or hazing as outlined in the procedures below:
- Prompt investigation
- Incident, details, consequence, and plan recorded in the Behavior section in the student’s Aspire account.
- Notification to parent of the event by email, phone, and/or voicemail that the parent has on file with the school.
- Notification to parent when the student threats to commit suicide, if there is an incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment or retaliation.
- Notification will be given by administration or counselor.
It is MERIT ACADEMY School’s policy, in compliance with state and federal law, that students have a limited expectation of privacy on the school’s Internet system, and routine monitoring or maintenance may lead to discovery that a user has violated school policy of law. Also, individual targeted searches will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a user has violated policy or law. Searches will be conducted by two employees under the direction of the Director or Assistant Director. Personal electronic devices of any student suspected of violation of the above policy will be confiscated for investigation and may be turned over to law enforcement.
- Training A. The training of school employees shall include training regarding bullying, cyberbullying,
harassment, hazing, and retaliation. B. The training should include training on civil rights violations and compliance when civil rights
violations are reported. C. To the extent possible, programs or initiatives designed to provide training and education
regarding the prevention of bullying, hazing, and retaliation should be implemented. D. In addition to training for all students and school employees, students, employees, and
volunteer coaches involved in any extra-curricular activity shall: 1. participate in bullying and hazing prevention training prior to participation; 2. repeat bullying and hazing prevention training at least every three years; 3. be informed annually of the prohibited activities list provided previously in this Policy and the
potential consequences for violation of this Policy.
VII. Additional Notes A. 53A-11a-301 requires that this policy be developed with input from (1) students, (2) parents, (3)
teachers, (4) school administrators, (5) school staff, or (6) law enforcement agencies. B. All information received in a complaint, names of complainants shall be treated with the utmost confidence to the extent possible. Administrators shall notify complainant before revealing his name.
Internet Safety Policy
Merit College Preparatory Academy Acceptable Use Policy for Internet and Network Access We are very pleased to bring internet access to Merit Academy. The internet offers vast, diverse, and unique resources to both students and teachers. Our goal in providing this service to teachers and students is to promote educational excellence in schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. The internet at Merit Academy is automatically filtered to prevent unacceptable use such as:
- Searching or navigating to sites involving pornographic or illegal content. 2. Searching or navigating to sites containing malicious content (sites that would hurt network devices and
equipment- involving your own device) 3. Gambling websites. Students and teachers have access to:
- E-mail 2. Public Domain Sites
Teachers are given “Override Accounts” that allow them access to everything on the internet except pornographic and illegal content. This allows them to use educational content found on YouTube and other streaming media sites, as well as other useful online services. Students are not allowed to use the override accounts. Students found trying to use these accounts will be disciplined. If a site is being blocked that can reasonably be considered appropriate for students use on campus, students are able to ask administration that the site be evaluated and unblocked. Students are allowed to bring their own personal device that is connected to the internet via service they pay for (i.e. iPads, smart phones, kindles with 4G/3G internet service provided by a cell phone company). Content accessed through this medium cannot be monitored or filtered by Merit Academy. Teachers may allow students to access their devices for educational purposes. Students and parents agree that:
- If a student uses a device without the teacher’s permission: . 1st offense: Student’s device will be confiscated and the student can pick it up from the teacher
at the end of the day. 2nd offense: Student’s device will be confiscated and taken to the front office. Student can pick it up at the end of the day. 3rd offense: Student’s device will be confiscated and taken to the front office. A parent or guardian will need to pick it up – it will not be released to the student. 2. The student will not access or search out sites containing pornographic or illegal content such as using
school provided network infrastructures.
- Obscene, nude, sexually explicit, R-Rated, or explicit images or content b. Illegal drugs, criminal behavior, hate or discrimination, school cheating, or terrorist activities. *Students reported accessing the content listed in 2a and 2b will be investigated with the possibility of, but not limited to, Parental conference, suspension or expulsion from school, and/or civil and criminal charges filed against the student. *Students attempting to physically vandalize, hack into, or compromise networks or network and computer equipment in any way will be disciplined up to suspension or expulsion from school, and/or civil and criminal charges filed against them. STUDENT: I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the Merit College Preparatory Academy acceptable use policy for internet and network access. PARENT OR GUARDIAN: As the parent or guardian of this student, I have read the Internet Use Agreement. I understand that this access is designed for educational purposes. Merit Academy has taken precautions to eliminate controversial material. However, I also recognize it is impossible for School District to restrict access to all controversial materials and I will not hold them responsible for materials acquired on the network. Further, I accept full responsibility for supervision if and when my student’s use is not in a school setting.
Unpaid Meal Policy
Unpaid Meal Charge policy
It is the goal of the Nutrition department at Merit College Preparatory Academy to offer the best possible meals to our students and staff. These meals should comply with USDA standards for nutrition as well as be tasty and interesting. The following policy is to set guidelines for collecting payment so we can continue to serve these meals to our students and staff.
- It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their student has sufficient funds in their meal account.
- Meals can be paid for electronically by going online to meritacademy.org and selecting lunch account under the parent tab. Payment by cash, check, or credit card may also be made in the front office. Meal payments will not be accepted in the lunch line. Payments should clearly indicate the student account to which the funds should be credited, especially if a parent has multiple children at the school, in which case the payment must indicate which student’s account along with the amount to be credited.
- The school may choose not to accept personal checks from parents who have previously provided a check that was returned from their bank for any reason, including insufficient funds.
- If a student qualifies for free meals, no payments are due for the reimbursable meal. Parents must pay for any meals charged to their child’s account prior to qualifying for free/reduced meals. Parents who qualify for free/reduced meals are responsible to pay for any seconds, extra milk and/or juice, and ala carte charges to their student’s meal account.
- If a student qualifies for reduced-price meals, no payments beyond the reduced price are due for the reimbursable meal. However, full payment will be required for any seconds, extra milk and/or juice, and ala carte charges to their student’s meal account. Students with negative account balances may not purchase additional food, other than the normal amount given in a regular school lunch (reimbursable meal).
NOT SUFFICIENT FUNDS (NSF) CHECKS
Utah law provides specific notice requirements and collection procedures after receipt of an NSF check. Therefore, a school may notify the Legal Department immediately upon receiving an NSF check. In addition, a person who knowingly issues a bad check may be guilty of a crime. Merit College Preparatory Academy uses an outside collection agency to collect any and all checks returned for NSF or any other reason. Their Legal Department may notify law enforcement if it has reason to believe a person has knowingly issued to a school an NSF check.
SERVING STUDENTS WITH NEGATIVE MEAL ACCOUNT BALANCES
- A student shall not be denied a reimbursable meal based solely on the student’s meal account being delinquent or containing insufficient funds to pay for the meal.
- School staff will exercise sensitivity and confidentiality in serving students with insufficient funds or delinquent meal accounts. Employees should communicate with parents about insufficient funds or delinquent meal accounts and should generally avoid communicating with students about their accounts. Employees shall not subject a student to embarrassment or ridicule based on the student’s meal account balance.
Kitchen Non-discrimination Policy
Merit College Preparatory Academy Kitchen Non-discrimination Complaint Policy
- Please address all complaints through the kitchen manger including who is filing the complaint, contact information, when and where the incidence occurred, and person(s) involved in the discrimination.
- Kitchen manager will forward all complaints to the School Director and School Board.
III. Kitchen manager will forward all complaints to the USOE Child Nutrition Programs Office:
- Attn: Utah State Office of Education Child Nutrition Programs 250 East 500 South | PO Box 144200 Salt Lake City, UT | 84114-4200 Monday – Friday | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (801) 538 7500
- Email Contacts: http://schools.utah.gov/cnp/Contact.aspx CNP Director, NSLP- Coordinator, School Specialist or any department members.
- Additional information regarding the USDA Food and Nutrition Civil Rights is available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/civil-rights.
- Once a complaint is received by the USOE, a follow-up with be conducted and information will be reported to the USDA FNS Regional office.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
FNS Child Nutrition assistance programs, State or local agencies, and their sub-recipients, must post the following Nondiscrimination Statement:
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Kim Loveland, Coordinator-NSLP
Utah State Office of Education Child Nutrition Programs 250 E 500 S PO Box 144200 Salt Lake City UT 84114-4200
801-538-7684 (office) Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/utahcnp.
Rationale and Justification
Good health habits in childhood lay the foundation for a lifetime of good health and disease prevention. In order to maximize potential for learning, growth, and well-being, children need access to healthy foods and beverages, opportunities for physical activity, adequate rest, and a supportive environment. Good health promotes student attendance and education. In addition to good nutrition and physical activity, adequate rest and fluids are important for overall health. Adequate sleep helps maximize a child’s cognitive functioning. For any school-based wellness program to be successful, parents must become educated and willing partners since they have the most influence on their child’s environment.
Mert Academy is committed to creating an environment that maximizes a student’s ability to grow, develop, and perform both physically and academically. Scientific research is clear that proper nutrition, physical activity, hydration, and adequate rest are each integral to accomplishing both fitness and academic goals.
Federal Wellness Policy Requirements
As required by the WIC Authorization Act of 2004 (Federal Public Law PL 108.265 Section 204), the Merit Academy Wellness Policy includes the following:
- Goals for nutrition education 2. Goals for physical education and physical activity 3. Goals for other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness 4. Cafeteria guidelines for reimbursable school meals which are no less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1779) and section 9(f) (1), 17 (a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758(a)) as those regulations and guidance apply to schools 5. Goals for measuring evaluating and maintaining the wellness policy
- Nutrition Educational Goals
- The nutrition education program will focus on all students in all grades’ eating behaviors and attitudes,
be age appropriate, interactive, and will focus on wellness and a healthy body image
- Nutrition education will be age-appropriate and designed to help all students learn nutritional
principles, which emphasize the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and the My Plate initiative
- Nutrition education instructional activities will stress the appealing aspects of healthy
eating and healthy lifestyles b. USDA National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program standards can be
found at https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals 2. Merit will celebrate National School Lunch Week, National Nutrition Week, and National
School Breakfast Week 3. Merit Academy will encourage participation in school breakfast and school lunch so all students
will have access to meals that meet dietary standards. 4. All families will receive an application for free/reduced breakfast and lunch with their enrollment
packets or families may obtain the information on the school’s website at http://meritacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Free-and-Reduced-Lunch.pdf before school begins each year or anytime during the year 5. Staff model healthy eating/drinking by eating from the cafeteria, drinking water when possible,
and having the option to purchase healthy snacks in the staff lounge. They are also encouraged
to consume healthy food options while in front of students. Staff is provided with breakfast and lunch breaks where they are not required to eat with students. B. Nutritional Education will:
- Be offered appropriately in the school cafeteria through signage 2. Be integrated within the comprehensive health education curriculum 3. When selecting educational materials (especially in PE and Health classes), review of
advertising content (ie. brands free of names and logos illustrating unhealthy foods) will be considered. 4. Teach skills that are behavior-focused at all grade levels 5. Include lessons that cover topics like reading Nutrition Fact Labels and Daily Dietary Needs 6. Posters and/or bulletin boards will be displayed in the cafeteria area to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy body image. They will also be displayed in the locker rooms. 7. Cheerleaders will have a nutrition minute at pep rallies 8. Child Nutrition and Food Services will send via email nutrition information at least three times a
year. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Physical and mental benefits of healthy eating, exercise, fluid intake, and adequate rest b. Assessing personal behaviors based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans c. Components of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body image d. Understanding My Plate e. Meal and snack planning f. Understanding and using food labels g. Nutrient density h. Essential nutrients and nutrient deficiencies i. Proper hand-washing methods
- Physical Activity Goals
- All grades will be offered quality Physical Education (PE) classes in connection with a written
Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) that adheres to state requirements and the school’s improvement plan. We will also emphasize the enjoyment of physical activity not only for students, but also for staff and the school community. Merit Academy is dedicated to promoting quality PE curriculum which is both developmentally and instructionally relevant for all students being served. Fitness is presented as a positive experience in which students feel socially and emotionally comfortable and learn to overcome challenges on a personal level. Our goal is to instill joy of participation in health-enhancing activity, leading to lifetime fitness. PE classes shall include but not be limited to educating students in movement, personal fitness, a positive self-image, and personal and social responsibilities.
- The Utah State Office of Physical Education Curriculum will be implemented 2. Merit supports local government and community-based agencies that support active transport to
school (ie. Safe Routes to School Program) to encourage biking and walking to school.
3. We strive to offer a minimum of 225 min/week of PE in both middle and high school (grades 7-
12). 4. The student-teacher ratio for Physical Education classes is that used in other classes. 5. Physical Education for grades 7-12 is taught by certified/licensed teachers with endorsements in
Physical Education 6. All students in grades 7-12 are required to take physical education classes. Students are not able to be exempted from required physical education nor are they able to substitute other school or community activities for required physical activity class time or credit. 7. Students should be able to demonstrate improvement in physical activity through application of
knowledge, skills, and practice B. Students shall be encouraged to develop physically active lifestyles.
- They are offered after-school competitive and challenging athletic and fitness/leisure programs
in order to foster healthy lifestyles such as volleyball, baseball, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, and a winter ski program 2. Teachers are encouraged to integrate physical activity into the academic curriculum where
appropriate and offer physical activity breaks for every 60 minutes of instruction 3. Staff is recommended to use physical activity as a reward rather than food and as a reward
rather than as a punishment / consequence for poor behavior. Physical activity will also not be withheld from students as a negative consequence. 4. Elective courses, after school clubs, and sports programs will be offered so students shall have
opportunities for additional physical activities 5. Merit Academy Physical Education Department will seek opportunities to encourage students, their families, and school staff to participate in local activities which foster physically active lifestyles (ie. Health Fair, Jog-A-Thons, etc.). 6. Merit staff models physical activity by participating in exercise breaks during class time with their
students, exercising with their classes during PE, and/or sharing positive physical activity experiences with their students. 7. Merit has joint-use agreements for community use of our gym and soccer field as well as Merit’s
use of community baseball fields, swimming pools, and bowling alleys.
III. Other School-Based Activities
- Non-food items or foods of high nutritional density will always be considered the best choice to give
students for rewards and celebrations
- Non-food items are considered the best choice to give as rewards to students. Foods of high nutritional density may be used as a reward. If foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) are used as a reward, either a food of high nutritional density will be offered also or a non-food item will be offered also. 2. The parent committees, school personnel, and parents/guardians will encourage healthy
lifestyle choices in the classroom even during room parties and celebrations. 3. Utah State Department of Health Regulations (R392-100-2) prohibits the serving of homemade
treats and food to children at school. Food items brought to school must be store bought. Remember to check with your child’s teacher for dietary allergies of students in the class and his/her policies on birthday celebrations. B. The staff will work with the Wellness Committee to determine what items are sold during the school day, before/extended school day, and in the vending machines and make certain that they are in line with the wellness goals of Merit Academy and the USDA nutrition standards for all FOODS (Smart Snacks). All snacks served during the after school Boys and Girls’ Club program will meet the Smart Snack standards.
1. Such foods and snacks will contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy or proteins that
are low in calories, sugar, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. 2. No soda will be sold in the vending machines nor will beverages containing caffeine ever be
sold on campus. All beverages sold during the above times will meet the USDA Smart Snack nutrition standards. 3. Smart Snacks nutrition standards are followed and can be found at
https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks C. Staff members who provide nutrition education and physical education will have appropriate training
- The Child Nutrition Director will attend training from the State Office of Education Child Nutrition
Program at least twice a year. They will receive and implement policies regarding the National School Meals Program. They will comply with federal, state, and local laws. 2. Child Nutrition and Food Services employees will be certified food handlers. Child Nutrition and
Food Services Manager or Director will be ServSafe certified. D. Foods sold inside and outside of the school day to raise funds will strive to meet the Smart Snack
nutritional standards E. Merit Academy will follow the guidance of the State of Utah in regards to the amount of time for students
to eat and using meal time as punishment.
- The guidance states students should be allowed an ‘adequate’ time to eat (7 CFR 210.10(f)1-3. “FNS encourages schools to provide sufficient lunch periods that are long enough to give all students enough time to be served and to eat their lunches.” Students will get 40 min for lunch. 2. Schools are prohibited against denying meals to children as a disciplinary action in FNS
Instruction 791-1, Rev. 1. “Disciplinary action which indirectly results in the loss of meals/milk is allowable (ie. a student is suspended from school). However, when the withholding of meals/milk is the disciplinary action OR if the disciplinary action directly results in the loss of meals/milk, it is inconsistent with the law and is not allowable.” F. Wellness promotion and marketing
- Advertising of foods and beverages that are not available for sale at school will not be
advertised on any school property (ie. buses, building exteriors, scoreboards, and any other signage). 2. Advertising of any food or beverage that may not be sold on campus during the school day, of
any brand on containers used to serve food, or in areas where food is purchased is prohibited. 3. Merit will limit the advertising of unhealthy food and beverage products in school publications,
especially those that do not meet the Smart Snack nutrition standards. All advertising in school publications and school media outlets must be approved by the Director. 4. Merit does not participate in incentive programs that promote brands or provide children with
free or discounted foods or beverages.
- The Cafeteria
- School meals will meet or exceed the criteria for reimbursable school meals, as set for by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to Subsections (a) and (b) Section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1779) and Section (f)(1) and 17(a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758 (f)10, 1766 (a)0, as those regulation and guidance apply to schools, specifically, program requirements and nutrition standards set forth under 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220. B. Specifics:
- Merit Academy shall provide a pleasant, clean, safe, and enjoyable meal environment for all
students. 2. There shall be enough space and serving areas to ensure all students have access to school
meals with minimum wait time.
3. Students are made aware that drinking fountains are available at the school so they can have
water throughout the day, including during breakfast and lunch meals. 4. All students will be encouraged to participate in the school meals program. The identity of
students who eat free and reduced priced meals shall be protected. 5. After obtaining food, students will have 40 minutes to eat lunch. 6. Lunchtime shall be scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible. 7. Grades 7-9 follow the district’s closed campus lunch policy. Grades 10-12 have an open
campus lunch policy and can leave campus during lunch time. 8. Because we are a junior and high school, we do not offer recess, however, students are able to
move around campus including having use of the soccer field and occasionally the gym. C. Child Nutrition and Food Services shall offer an alternative entrée daily to accommodate children with allergies and medical conditions. Parents/guardians should notify the school in writing concerning allergies, special dietary needs, and limitations. D. Reasonable accommodations for religious groups will be offered as appropriate.
- Assessing Compliance of Merit’s Wellness Policy
- The Merit Academy wellness committee will be receptive to suggestions for implementation and
evaluation of the wellness policy at any time. Any complaints alleging civil rights discrimination within our school’s Food Nutrition Services (FNS) School Meal Program will be directed to the Food Nutrition Director and School Director for further review and resolution. B. The Merit Academy Wellness Committee will assess the wellness policy and encourage its
implementation. The committee is composed of the Nutrition Director, School Administrator, Teacher, Representative from the Physical Education Department, students, and interested parents. C. The Wellness Policy Coordinator shall be the Nutrition Director. The Coordinator will schedule
meetings, set agendas, and supervise follow-up action items from the meetings. The School Administrator (Assistant Director) will ensure the policy is implemented throughout the school. D. The school’s wellness committee will meet in the Fall each year (and reconvene as needed) to evaluate, maintain, and revise the Wellness Policy. Via email, the School Newsletter will invite members to join the Wellness Committee. Teachers, students, parents, administrators, board members, and health professionals are encouraged to attend. After which, an annual assessment report will be sent to the school community through the School Newsletter. E. A progress report is made available to the public in all or some of the following ways: through the School Newsletter at least once throughout the year, on the School’s Wellness Policy page at www.meritacademy.org/about-us/policies, direct mailings to families, presentations to the Parent Volunteer Organization (PVO), and local press/media releases. The report will include an update of wellness activities and progress of wellness goals, contact information for Wellness Committee Members, and an invitation to join the committee. F. Nutrition education (nutrition, healthy lifestyles, etc.) will be provided to parents and families in the form
of handouts, on the school website, the school’s Facebook page, the School Newsletter, student Showcase nights, and/or a school Wellness Fair. G. The Wellness Policy will be reviewed annually by the Utah County Health Department and will provide assistance with changes as needed. The Assistant Director will report to the Director regarding the Wellness Policy and Committee on any changes needed to be in compliance until those goals are reached. A specified period of time will be given and followed up on by the Director to make such changes. H. The school’s Health teacher and PVO President will work with the Wellness Committee ensuring
compliance with the FNS Meal Program and Food Nutrition when needed. I. The school’s website links shall be checked and updated as needed by a member of the Wellness
Committee Members: Sharon Warner – Wellness Policy Coordinator / Nutrition Director Amanda Kuhnz – School Administrator / Assistant Director John Ko – Health Teacher / Physical Education Teacher Helen Toulley – Student Emma Fisher – Student Mickey Jungheim – Student Carissa Clay – Student Kati Evans – Parent
Service Animal Policy and Procedures
Title 1 Parent Involvement Policy
Discipline and Classroom Management
Merits Discipline Policy focuses on the individual student and seeks to help the student become a better person. We emphasize restitution if possible, doing meaningful activities and lessons to teach, suspending and expelling when appropriate based on Utah Law suggestions.
We follow the Utah Model Policy on Bullying, Cyber-bullying, and Harassment.
We ask ourselves, what is it going to take to get the student on board with appropriate behavior and what will it take to get the parents / guardians to support the student improving their behavior and supporting school decisions?
We support teachers in the classroom when their students are disrupting the education of themselves or other students. We also focus on great teaching so student engagement is high and the need to discipline is low. We help students become better learners in the classroom.
Work Experience Policy
PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
Merit College Preparatory Academy
PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
The procurement procedures contained on the following pages 1 through 8 will be implemented on December 1, 2017 from that date forward until amended. All procurements must maximize full and open competition. Source documentation must be available to determine open competition, the reasonableness, the allowability and the allocation of costs.
Merit Academy intentionally seeks to prohibit conflicts of interest in all procurement of goods and services. The code of conduct is identified in section G herein.
Chairman, Board of Education Date
(Name of School Food Authority)
- The Merit Academy plan for procuring items for use in the Child Nutrition Program is as follows. The procurement procedures maximize full and open competition, transparency in transactions, comparability, and documentation of all procurement activities.
- If the amount of purchases is more than the small purchase threshold currently valued at $10,000.00, formal procurement procedures will be used as required by 2 CFR 200.318-.326 and Utah State Procurement Code 63G-6a and Utah Administrative Code Title R33. Informal procurement procedures (small purchase) will be required for purchases under the most restrictive small purchase threshold as defined by the following: The individual procurement threshold is $1,000. The “single procurement aggregate” threshold is defined as individual items costing less than $1,000 and collectively less than $3,500 (Federal Micropurchase Threshold). The “annual cumulative” threshold is $50,000.
- The following procedures will be used for all other purchases:
- Formal bid procedures will be applied on the basis of:
Contract Award Type
Contract Duration/ Frequency
All perishable and
non-perishable foods and Manual-All Purpose Cleaning Supplies, Paper and Plastic Supplies
reimbursable plus fixed fee
Dish machine Chemicals
Fixed price with price adjustment
Fixed price with price adjustment
Milk and Dairy Products
Fixed price with price adjustment
Cost reimbursable plus fixed-fee
Processing USDA Foods
1 year (must terminate on June 30 each year), plus 2 1 year renewals
Micro-purchase/ small purchase procedures (requires authorized PO)
No contract, equitable distribution, transactions limited to $3,500 each
As needed: Approved locations: Walmart, Winco, Sam’s Club, Costco, Smiths, Reams
- Formal bid procedures will be applied on the basis of an: Individual School
- Because of the potential for purchasing more than $10,000, it will be the responsibility of the director of Merit Academy to document the amounts to be purchased so the correct method of procurement will be followed.
- When a formal procurement method is required, the following COMPETITIVE SEALED BID in the form of an Invitation for Bid or COMPETITIVE PROPOSAL in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP) procedures will apply:
- An announcement of an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be placed in the (Newspaper/media, IPS Website, other internet source) to publicize the intent of the School Food Authority to purchase needed items. The advertisement for bids/proposals or legal notice will be run for 7 – 10 days.
- An advertisement is required for all purchases over the districts shall purchase threshold of $10,000.00 The announcement (advertisement or legal notice) will contain a:
- general description of items to be purchased
- deadline for submission of questions and the date written responses will be provided including addenda to bid specifications, terms and conditions as needed
- date of pre-bid meeting, if provided, and if attendance is a requirement for bid award
- deadline for submission of sealed bids or proposals, and
- address of location where complete specifications and bid forms may be obtained.
- In an IFB or RFP, each vendor will be given an opportunity to bid on the same specifications.
- The developer of written specifications or descriptions for procurements will be prohibited from submitting bids or proposals for such products or services.
- The IFB or RFP will clearly define the purchase conditions. The following list includes requirements, not exclusive, to be addressed in the procurement document:
- Contract period
- SFA is responsible for all contracts awarded (statement)
- Date, time, and location of IFB/RFP opening
- How vendor is to be informed of bid acceptance or rejection
- Delivery schedule
- Set forth requirements (terms and conditions) which bidder must fulfill in order for bid to be evaluated
- Benefits to which the School Food Authority will be entitled if the contractor can not or will not perform as required
- Statement assuring positive efforts will be made to involve minority and small business
- Statement regarding the return of purchase incentives, discounts, rebates, and credits to the School Food Authority’s non-profit Child Nutrition account
- Contract provisions as required in Appendix II to 2 CFR 200
- Contract provisions as required in 7 CFR 210.21(f) for all cost reimbursable contracts
- Contract provisions as required in 7 CFR 210.16(a)(1-10) and 7 CFR 250.53 for Food Service Management Company contracts
- Procuring instrument to be used are purchase orders from firm fixed prices after formal bidding
- Price adjustment clause (tied to a standard index) (Consumer price index, or other as stated in terms and conditions for pricing and price adjustments)
- Method of evaluation and type of contract to be awarded – solicitations using an invitation for bid are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder; requests for proposal are awarded to the most advantageous bidder/offeror with price as the primary factor among factors considered
- Method of award announcement and effective date (if intent to award is required by State or local procurement requirements)
- Specific bid protest procedures including contact information of person and address and the date by which a written protest must be received
- Provision requiring access by duly authorized representatives of the School Food Authority, State Agency, United State Department of Agriculture, or Comptroller General to any books, documents, papers and records of the contractor which are directly pertinent to all negotiated contracts
- Method of shipment or delivery upon contract award
- Provision requiring contractor to maintain all required records for three years after final payment and all other pending matters (audits) are closed for all negotiated contracts
- Description of process for enabling vendors to receive or pick up orders upon contract award
- Provision requiring the contractor to recognize mandatory standards/policies related to energy efficiency contained in the State Energy Plan issued in compliance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (PL 94-165)
- Signed statement of non-collusion
- Signed Debarment/Suspension Certificate or statement included in contract or copy of Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).
- Provision requiring “Buy American” as outlined in 7 CFR Part 210.21(d); specific instructions for prior approval of all of non-domestic product (s).
- Specifications and estimated quantities of products and services prepared by SFA and provided to potential contractors desiring to submit bids/proposals for the products or services requested.
- If any potential vendor is in doubt as to the true meaning of specifications or purchase conditions, interpretation will be provided in writing to all potential bidders by the nutrition director and date specified.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for securing all bids or proposals.
- The nutrition director will be responsible to ensure all SFA procurements are conducted in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local procurement regulations.
- The following criteria will be used in awarding contracts as a result of bids/proposals.
- Quality Delivery (ie. quality, delivery, service, etc.)
In awarding an RFP, a set of award criterion in the form of a weighted evaluation sheet will be provided to each bidder in the initial bid document materials. Price alone is not the sole basis for award, but remains the primary
consideration among all factors when awarding a contract. Following evaluation and negotiations a firm fixed price or cost reimbursable contract is awarded.
- The contracts will be awarded to the responsible bidder/proposer whose bid or proposal is responsive to the invitation and is most advantageous to the SFA, price as the primary and other factors considered. Any and all bids or proposals may be rejected in accordance with law.
- The nutrition director is required to sign on the bid tabulation of competitive sealed bids or the evaluation criterion score sheet of competitive proposals signifying a review and approval of the selections.
- The nutrition director reviewing the procurement system to ensure compliance with applicable laws.
- The nutrition director is responsible for documentation the actual product specified is received.
- Any time an accepted item is not available, the nutrition director will select the acceptable alternate. The contractor must inform the nutrition director if a product is not available. In the event a non-domestic agricultural product is to be provided to the SFA, the contractor must obtain, in advance, the written approval of the product. The nutrition director must comply with the Buy American Provision. Once the contract is awarded and products are delivered, the kitchen staff will check labels to make sure the Buy American Provision is being met.
- Full documentation as to the reason an accepted item was unavailable, and to the procedure used in determining acceptable alternates, will be available for audit and review. The person responsible for this documentation is the nutrition director.
- The nutrition director is responsible for maintaining all procurement documentation.
- If the amount of purchases for items is less than the district’s small purchase threshold, the following, SMALL PURCHASE PROCEDURES, including quotes, will be used. Quotes from an adequate number of qualified sources will be required.
- Written Specifications will be prepared and provided to the vendor.
- Each vendor will be contacted and given an opportunity to provide a price quote on the same specifications. A minimum of two vendors shall be contacted.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for contacting potential vendors when price quotes are needed.
- The price quotes will receive appropriate confidentiality before award.
- Quotes will be awarded by the nutrition director. Quotes awarded will be to the lowest and best quote based upon quality, service availability and price.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for documentation of records to show selection of vendor, reasons for selection, names of all vendors contacted, price quotes from each vendor, and written specifications.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for documentation that the actual product specified is received.
- Any time an accepted item is not available, the nutrition director will select the acceptable alternate. Full documentation will be made available as to the selection of the acceptable item.
- Bids will be awarded on the following criteria:
- Price is the main consideration
- Delivery schedule and time
- Quality of the product
The nutrition director is required to sign all quote tabulations, signifying a review and approval of the selections.
- If items are available only from a single source when the award of a contract is not feasible under small purchase, sealed bid or competitive negotiation, NON-COMPETITIVE PROPOSAL procedures will be used:
- Written Specifications will be prepared and provided to the vendor.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for the documentation of records to fully explain the decision to use the noncompetitive proposal. The records will be available for audit and review.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for documentation that the actual product or service specified was received.
- The nutrition director will be responsible for reviewing the procedures to be certain all requirements for using single source or noncompetitive proposals are met.
- Non-competitive proposals shall be used for one-time purchases of a new food item in order to determine food acceptance by students and for samples for testing purposes. A record of non-competitive negotiation purchase shall be maintained by the nutrition director. The record of non-competitive purchases shall include, at a minimum, the following:
- item name
- dollar amount
- vendor, and
- reason for non-competitive procurement
A member or representative of the local Board of Education or Governing Board will approve, in advance, all procurements that result from non-competitive negotiations.
- Miscellaneous Provisions:
The School Food Authority agrees that the reviewing official of each transaction will be the business manager for Merit Academy.
Payment will be made to the vendor when the contract has been met and verified and has met the SFA’s procedures for payment. (If prompt payment is made, discounts, etc. are accepted.)
Specifications will be updated as need.
If product is not as specified, the following procedure will take place:
- Return for Credit
- F.Emergency or “Pressing Need” Purchases
1). If it is necessary to make a one-time emergency procurement to continue service or obtain goods, the purchase must be authorized using a purchase order signed by the business office of Merit Academy.. The following emergency procedures shall be followed. All emergency procurements shall be approved by the nutrition director. At a minimum, the following emergency procurement procedures shall be documented:
- item name
- dollar amount
- vendor, and
- reason for emergency
2). If it is necessary, in the course of a pressing need, to make an emergency purchase by means of “piggybacking” on the bid of another district, the following conditions must exist and approved procedures must be followed and appropriately documented as follows:
- The SFA originating the competitive procurement must have a “piggyback provision” in the original solicitation;
- Documentation of the emergency requiring the piggybacking must be maintained;
- Approval from the purchasing SFA’s governing board will be obtained and documented;
- Approval from the SFA that originated the competitive procurement will be obtained and documented;
- Approval from the Vendor that was awarded the Contract (original solicitation) will be obtained and documented;
- Approval to piggyback will be obtained and documented from the governing board during a regularly scheduled meeting following the public notice;
- Notification to the Vendor of final approval will be documented and issued;
- A contract with the Vendor will be developed including:
i. The contractor shall agree to retain all books, records and other documents relative to the contract agreement for three (3) years after final payment, or until audited by SFA, whichever is sooner. The SFA, its authorized agents, and/or State and/or USDA auditors shall have full access to and the right to examine any of said materials during said period.
3). The SFA shall agree to retain all books, records and other documents relative to the award of the contract for three (3) years after final payment. Specifically the SFA shall maintain, at a minimum, the following documents:
- Written rationale for the method of procurement;
- A copy of the original solicitation;
- The selection of contract type;
- The bidding and negotiation history and working papers;
- The basis for contractor selection;
- Approval from the State agency to support a lack of competition when competitive bids or offers are not obtained;
- The basis for award cost or price;
- The terms and conditions of the contract;
- Any changes to the contract and negotiation history;
- Billing and payment records;
- A history of any contractor claims; and
- A history of any contractor breaches.
- The following conduct will be expected of all persons who are engaged in the awarding and administration of contracts supported by School Food and Nutrition Program Funds. These written standards of conduct include:
- No employee, officer or agent of Merit Academy shall participate in the selection or in the award or administration of a contract supported by program funds if a conflict of interest, real or apparent, would be involved.
Conflicts of interest arise when one of the following has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for the award:
- The employee, officer or agent;
- Any member of the immediate family;
- His or her partner;
- An organization which employs or is about to employ one of the above.
- Merit academy employees, officers or agents shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, or parties to sub-agreements.
- Penalties for violation of the standards of code of conduct of Merit Academy’s Child Nutrition Program should be:
- Reprimand by Board of Education;
- Dismissal by Board of Education;
- Any legal action necessary (63G-6a-2404).
Utah Public Education Questions: Who Should I Contact?
Merit Club Policies and Procedures
- All clubs must be approved by the School Director before being implemented.
- All club members must be between 12 and 18 years old and enrolled at Merit to be a part of the program.
- All clubs must meet these requirements:
- Have student interest. Staff or volunteer in charge of a club must be able to prove that students have shown interest in having this club: petition, survey, etc.
- Be open to the whole school. No prerequisites are allowed for clubs.
- There must be something for every member to do. No child may be sitting on the side lines and not participating because they aren’t “qualified” to do the club.
- Have an educational component to it and clearly support Utah State standards and curriculum.
- Clubs should develop Ameritus values and habits of scholarship.
- Clubs are not based on individual identity.
- Staff or volunteer in charge must be able to prove that there is an educational purpose to the club
- Staff or volunteers are in charge of overseeing recruitment for their clubs.
- Any decisions or changes made to the club must be cleared by the Director.
- Advanced notice must be given if a club is going to be cancelled, end early, or moved to a different day.
- Staff or volunteers must get activities that are not usually a part of their club approved by the Director or Assistant Director
- If in doubt, just run it by the Director to be safe.
- All materials and information in clubs must be age appropriate and meet school standards. Any material that is questionable must go through the Director or Assistant Director first.
- Permission slips may be required for certain activities including movies. Please give advanced notice to allow time for that.
- Director reserves the right to discontinue a club if it seems resources and time are not productive or in alignment with this policy and the school mission and vision.
- Scheduled or unannounced observations will be conducted by the Director or Assistant Director.
Staff or Volunteers:
- Must be employees, if not an employee then they must have a background check and be interviewed but the Director before beginning work.
*If you are interested in starting a club at Merit please submit your request to Dr. Meeks; email@example.com. Your written proposal should meet the above requirements.
19/20 Fee Schedule
Registration Fees – Activity card, locker maintenance, technology, printing and mailing, and activities.
7th and 8th Grade Registration Fees $65
9th– 12th Grade Registration Fees $90
Art – Art supplies (paint, canvas, clay, etc.)
Art Foundations I & II $20/sem
Ceramics I, II, III $20/sem
Drawing, Painting $20/sem
3D Design $20/sem
Independent Study $20/sem
(Service Project materials, CERT Training)
AP Classes – Supplies and study guides
AP Art $60/year
AP Biology $60/year
AP Calculus $60/year
AP Chemistry $60/year
AP Computer Science $60/year
AP US History $60/year
AP Language and Composition $60/year
AP Physics $60/year
AP Test (Cost may be reduced for fee waiver students) $94/test
Computer Science – Equipment & Software Licenses
Intro to IT $40/sem Exploring Computer Science $5/year
Web Development $10/year
Programming I & II $5/sem
Mobil Apps $5/sem
Culinary Entrepreneurship $10/sem
(Hats, Shirts, Aprons)
Dance – Costume & field work
Dance I, Dance II, Dance III $15/sem
Hip Hop $15/sem
Ballroom I $15/sem
Ballroom II (Company) $30/sem
(Travel, Competition Fees, Costumes/Supplies)
Dance Company $200/year
(Travel, Master class, Festival, UVU day, Field Work, Costumes/Supplies)
English Language Arts
Student Book $10/year
Story Telling Festival (7th & 8th) $2/student Shakespeare Festival (10th Grade) $60/student
Financial Lit $3/sem
(binder and highlighter)
Foreign Language – materials/activities
Chinese I & II $10/year German I, II, & III $10/year
Spanish I, II, & III $10/year
Game Theory $15/sem
(Supplies & maintenance of classroom games)
Math Lab Fee $3/year
(classroom materials, book bindings, computer maintenance)
Music – Instrument Rental, Costumes, Music, etc.
Orchestra I $80/year
Orchestra II $80/year
Orchestra III $80/year
Band I $80/year
Band II $80/year
Jazz Band $40/sem
Glee Club $75/sem
PE/Health – equipment maintenance and activity fees
Individual Lifetime Activities $30/sem
Science – Laboratory supplies, dissection materials, chemicals for demonstrations, etc.
7th Grade Science $15/year
8th Grade Science $15/year
(includes trip to planetarium)
Earth Science $25/year
Wildlife Biology $25/year
Science Demo $40/sem
Investigation Science $25/sem
(includes science movie trip)
Student Government $15/year
Speech and Debate $30/sem
(Shirt & Tournament Fees)
STEM – Supplies, activities.
Engineering Tech $20/sem
Explore Lab $10/sem
Robotics $20/ sem
Theater – Costumes, sets, play rental, makeup, etc.
Play Performance $30/sem
Musical Performance $50/sem
Theater Foundations $15/sem
Making a Scene $30/sem
Theater Festival $100/year
(Travel, Classes, Lodging, Costumes/Supplies)
Audio & Video Production – Equipment and software licenses
Video Production $25/sem
Audio Engineering $25/sem
Music Videos $25/sem
YouTube/Facebook Videos $25/sem
(project materials & tool maintenance)
Extra-Curricular Participation Fees ** – player/performer transportation, equipment, uniforms, referees, entry/tournament fees.
Boys Baseball $225
Boys Basketball $225
Girls Basketball $225
Cheer Spirit Pack $100
Cross Country $100
Boys Soccer $225
Girls Soccer $225
Uniform Replacement Fee (not eligible for a fee waiver) $100
Laundering Fee $30
** Non-UHSAA or UHSAA outside region trips, tournaments, and camps are discretionary and students pay actual expenses. Students pay for personal clothing items such as student council sweaters, tee shirts, warm-ups, etc. Any overnight trips are discretionary and students pay actual expenses, including travel, meals, and lodging expenses. (for example: Senior Trip, Shakespeare Festival, Debate Tournaments, State Basketball, etc.)
1st Student $45/sem
Each additional family member $5/sem
Miscellaneous Fees not eligible for a Fee Waiver
Class Change Fee $5/per request
Independent Learning Packet $50/term
Lost/Damaged Text Book or Technology Cost of Replacement/Repair
Lost/Damaged Instrument Cost of Replacement/Repair
Transportation Vandalism Cost of Replacement/Repair
Stuco Jacket $50/Student
Dance Company Sweats $55/Student
National Honor Society Fee $10 per Member
National Honor Society Senior Fee $15 per Senior
National Art Honor Society $5 per Member
National Junior Art Honor Society $5 per Member
Optional CERT Hat and Vest $15 per set
PE Shirt $10
Transcript Printing Fee (1st one free) $5 per transcript
Yearbook Full Price $50 per book
Senior Trip $400 per senior
TSA Club $10 per member
Library Late Fee $.10 a day
Library – Damaged $2.00
Library – Lost Book $10.00
Library – Damaged beyond repair Replacement Cost
Breakfast per student $1.75/per Breakfast
Breakfast per Faculty/Adult $2.25 per Breakfast
Lunch per student $3.00/per lunch
Lunch per Faculty/Adult $3.50 per lunch
Refund of registration fees is a prorated amount based on when the student exits; class fees are not refundable after the first week of the semester.
All student fees are due by September 1st. Administration and the Finance Department will work with guardians on resolving unpaid fees, including establishing a payment plan. Unpaid fees may limit a student’s ability to participate in extra-curricular activities.
No student will be denied the opportunity to participate in a class or school sponsored or school supported activity. Adequate fee waivers will be provided for qualifying students. Revised 9/20/19
Code of Conduct / Appropriate Behavior Policy
CODE OF CONDUCT / APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR POLICY
- PURPOSE AND PHILOSOPHY
The Merit Board is committed to establishing and maintaining appropriate standards of conduct between staff members and students. These standards of conduct are also known as professional boundaries. Staff members shall maintain professional and appropriate demeanor and relationships with students, both during and outside of school hours, as well as both on and off campus, that foster an effective, non-disruptive and safe learning environment.
- “Boundary violation” means crossing verbal, physical, emotional, or social lines that staff must maintain in order to ensure structure, security, and predictability in an educational environment.
- A “boundary violation” may include the following, depending on the circumstances:
- isolated, one-on-one interactions with a student out of the line of sight of others;
- meeting with a student in rooms with covered or blocked windows;
- telling risqué jokes to, or in the presence of a student;
- employing favoritism to a student;
- giving gifts to individual students;
- staff member initiated frontal hugging or other uninvited touching;
- photographing an individual student for a non-educational purpose or use;
- engaging in inappropriate or unprofessional contact outside of educational program activities;
- exchanging personal email or phone numbers with a student for a non-educational purpose or use;
- interacting privately with a student through social media, computer, or handheld devices; and
- discussing an employee’s personal life or personal issues with a student.
- “Boundary violation” does not include:
- offering praise, encouragement, or acknowledgment;
- offering rewards available to all who achieve;
- asking permission to touch for necessary purposes;
- giving a pat on the back or a shoulder;
- giving a side hug;
- giving a handshake or high five;
- offering warmth and kindness;
- utilizing public social media alerts to groups of students and parents; or
- contact permitted by an IEP or 504 plan.
- “Grooming” means befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child or a child’s family to lower the child’s inhibitions for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
- “Sexual conduct” includes any sexual contact or communication between a staff member and a student including but not limited to:
- “Sexual abuse” means the criminal conduct described in Utah Code Ann. §76-5-404.1(2) and includes, regardless of the gender of any participant:
- touching the anus, buttocks, pubic area, or genitalia of a student;
- touching the breast of a female student; or
- otherwise taking indecent liberties with a student;
- with the intent to:
- cause substantial emotional or bodily pain; or
- arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any individual.
- “Sexual battery” means the criminal conduct described in Utah Code Ann. §76-9-702.1 and includes intentionally touching, whether or not through clothing, the anus, buttocks, or any part of the genitals of a student, or the breast of a female student, and the actor’s conduct is under circumstances the actor knows or should know will likely cause affront or alarm to the student touched; or
- A staff member and student sharing any sexually explicit or lewd communication, image, or photograph.
- “Staff member” means an employee, contractor, or volunteer with unsupervised access to students.
- “Student” means a child under the age of 18 or over the age of 18 if still enrolled in a public secondary school.
Staff members shall act in a way that acknowledges and reflects their inherent positions of authority and influence over students.
- Staff members shall recognize and maintain appropriate personal boundaries in teaching, supervising and interacting with students and shall avoid boundary violations including behavior that could reasonably be considered grooming or lead to even an appearance of impropriety.
- A staff member may not subject a student to any form of abuse including but not limited to:
- physical abuse;
- verbal abuse;
- sexual abuse; or
- mental abuse.
- A staff member shall not touch a student in a way that makes a reasonably objective student feel uncomfortable.
- A staff member shall not engage in any sexual conduct toward or sexual relations with a student including but not limited to:
- viewing with a student, or allowing a student to view, pornography or any other sexually explicit or inappropriate images or content, whether video, audio, print, text, or other format;
- sexual battery; or
- sexual assault.
- Staff member communications with students, whether verbal or electronic, shall be professional and avoid boundary violations.
- A staff member shall not provide gifts, special favors, or preferential treatment to a student or group of students.
- A staff member shall not discriminate against a student on the basis of sex, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other prohibited class.
- Staff member use of electronic devices and social media to communicate with students must comply with Merit Preparatory Academy’s policy, be professional, pertain to school activities or classes, and comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- A staff member may not use or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances during work hours, on school property, or at a school sponsored event. Additionally, a staff member may not use any form of tobacco or electronic cigarettes on school property or at school sponsored activities
- A staff member shall cooperate in any investigation concerning allegations of actions, conduct, or communications that if proven, would violate this policy.
- Merit Preparatory Academy recognizes that familial relationships between a staff member and a student may provide for exceptions to certain provisions of this policy.
- Conduct prohibited by this policy is considered a violation of this policy regardless of whether the student may have consented.
- A staff member who has reason to believe there has been a violation of this policy shall immediately report such conduct to an appropriate supervisor or school administrator. If a staff member has reason to believe a school administrator has violated this policy, the staff member shall immediately report the conduct to the administrator’s supervisor.
- In addition to the obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or the Division of Child and Family Services under Utah Code Ann. §62A-4a-403:
- a staff member who has reasonable cause to believe that a student may have been physically or sexually abused by a school staff member shall immediately report the belief and all other relevant information to the school administrator, or to Merit Preparatory Academy Administration;
- a school administrator who has received a report or who otherwise has reasonable cause to believe that a student may have been physically or sexually abused by a school staff member shall immediately inform the Merit Preparatory Academy Administration of the reported abuse; and
- if the staff member suspected to have abused a student holds a professional educator license issued by the Utah State Board of Education, the Merit Preparatory Academy Administration shall immediately report that information to the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission;
- a person who makes a report under this subsection in good faith shall be immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise arise by reason of that report.
- A staff member who has knowledge of suspected incidents of bullying shall immediately notify the student’s building administrator in compliance with Merit Preparatory Academy’s Bullying Policy.
- Failing to report suspected misconduct as required herein is a violation of this policy, the Utah Educator Standards, and in some instances, state law, and may result in disciplinary action.
- Within 10 days of beginning employment with Merit Preparatory Academy, a staff member shall receive training regarding this policy and shall acknowledge in writing having received training and understanding the policy.
- Staff members employed by Merit Preparatory Academy at the time of initial adoption of this policy shall receive training regarding this policy prior to the first day of the school year on which students will be in attendance and shall acknowledge in writing having received training and understanding the policy.
A staff member found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting Requirements
Utah Code Section 53E-6-701, Mandatory Reporting of Physical or Sexual Abuse of Students
Utah Admin. Code R277-401, Child Abuse-Neglect Reporting by Education Personnel
Utah Admin. Code R277-515, Utah Educator Professional Standards
Utah Admin. Code R277-322, LEA Codes of Conduct
Utah Code Section 63G-7-301, Waivers of Immunity
Utah Code Section 76-5-401.1, Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Utah Code Section 76-9-702.1, Sexual Battery
Approved by the Board of Trustees: September 17, 2019
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY
CODE OF CONDUCT
STAFF MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Name: _______________________________________ Position: _____________________
Date of Training: ______________ Trained by: _______________________________
I received training about the requirements of Merit Preparatory Academy’s Code of Conduct Policy. I understand the requirements of the policy and that I am responsible to recognize and maintain appropriate personal boundaries while interacting with students. I also understand that if I have reason to believe a staff member is violating the Code of Conduct, I will report my suspicions to Merit Preparatory Academy’s Administration.
Signature of Staff Member
Transgender Student Policy
1.1 “Assigned gender.” This is the gender designated at the time of birth and may also be thought of as the gender corresponding to the individual’s original physiology, or biological gender.
1.2 “Gender identity.” This is the individual’s internal sense of gender, and “identified gender” refers to the gender that matches this internal sense. Gender identity can be shown by information including but not limited to medical history, care or treatment of the gender identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity, or other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity, and not being asserted for an improper purpose.
1.3 “Gender expression” means the external cues or indications used to communicate gender to others, such as behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, mannerisms, or body characteristics.
1.4 “Transgender” means that an individual’s assigned gender differs from the individual’s gender identity.
1.5 “Transgender boy” (or “transgender man”) is an individual whose assigned gender is female but whose gender identity is male.
1.6 “Transgender girl” (or “transgender woman”) is an individual whose assigned gender is male but whose gender identity is female.
Utah Code § 34A-5-102 (1)(k) (2015)
- Records and References2.1 The official records of the student shall reflect the student’s legal name and gender, which is the name and gender listed on the student’s birth certificate or as changed by court order. Access to this portion of official student records shall be restricted to maintain the confidentiality of a student’s transgender status.
Utah Code § 26-2-11 (1995)
Utah Code § 42-1-1 (1933)
2.2 The unofficial records of the student shall reflect the preferred name and gender identity of the student. Students shall be addressed or referred to by the pronouns associated with the identified gender: transgender boys shall be referred to using “he” “his” and “him” and transgender girls shall be referred to using “she” and “her.”
2.3 A student’s transgender status shall not be disclosed without the student’s consent except as expressly authorized by the Director following such legal consultation as the Director determines is appropriate.
In determining which gender-segregated school facilities (restrooms and locker rooms) are to be used by transgender students, the school administrator shall take into consideration the desires of the transgender student and of the student’s parents as well as the privacy interests of other students. In addition to having the transgender student use the facilities corresponding with the gender identity, potential accommodations include use of single user restrooms or changing spaces or using facilities at a different time than other students. If the desired use by the transgender student is in significant conflict with privacy interests of other students, the school administrator should consult with the appropriate legal counsel.
- Classes and Activities
When classes or intramural activities are segregated by gender, transgender students are to be grouped according to the student’s gender identity. Where students are grouped according to qualities, which may have some association with gender (such as vocal quality for singing groups), the pertinent quality shall be evaluated without regard to assigned gender or transgender status. Where school activities involve overnight travel, lodging arrangements for transgender students shall take into consideration the desires of the transgender student and of the student’s parents as well as the privacy interests of other students. If the arrangement desired by the transgender student is in significant conflict with privacy interests of other students, the school administrator should consult with the appropriate legal counsel.
- UHSAA Extracurricular Activities
Participation by students in activities under the oversight of the Utah High School Activities Association is subject to UHSAA rules and policies. Where a transgender student wishes to participate in a gender-segregated UHSAA sport or activity according to gender identity rather than assigned gender, the school shall consult with UHSAA to determine whether this is permitted under UHSAA rules and policies. The school shall not disclose the transgender student’s identity to UHSAA without the consent of the student and the student’s parents.
- Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, and Hazing
6.1. Policy 3950, which prohibits bullying, cyberbullying and harassment regardless of the motivation for such misconduct, applies to prohibit bullying, cyberbullying or harassment of students because of their transgender status or gender expression. When the offender’s parent is given the required notification of a bullying or harassment incident against a transgender student which is motivated by transgender status or gender expression, care should be taken to avoid disclosing the student’s transgender status to the offender’s parent if the transgender student’s parent has not consented to such disclosure.
6.2. When a student has been bullied, cyberbullied, or harassed because of the student’s transgender status or gender expression, consideration should be given to what support, counseling, or other assistance the student may need that the school is able to provide to prevent such mistreatment from adversely affecting the student’s ability to learn and function in the school setting.
Approved by Board of Trustees: September 17, 2019