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.
Dress Code Contract
- 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, 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 policy.
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, or while on field trips or 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 teachers 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.
- GENERAL STANDARDS
2.1 The school administration may determine that certain types of student clothing and grooming are
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.
- 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. No skulls, no drug, no alcohol, no gang references, no swearing, and no
pornography references will be 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 Shirts are to be modest. 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.
3.2.4 Colored denim is acceptable.
3.2.5 Sweats, track pants, warm ups, sports shorts, yoga pants, or pajama pants are not permitted.
3.2.6 Pants, skirts and shorts must be hemmed at the bottom with no frayed edges and no holes.
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
Ameritus Day is regularly scheduled for the last Thursday of every month, unless otherwise notified by Administration.
3.4.1 The approved dress for Ameritus Day is defined as business professional.
3.4.2 Administration will establish the acceptable standard of business professional dress and will ensure
faculty, staff, and students are provided with appropriate guidance on what constitutes business professional dress.
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 which 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 without a sports bra underneath,
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 the t-shirt.
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 Exercise pants and shorts are acceptable. The only acceptable color for pants or shorts is
maroon, navy blue, white (school colors), or black. There will be no graphics on the pants or shorts other than a small logo of the brand of the pants or shorts.
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.
3.8.1 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 need to be 4” or longer.
3.9 Additional dress code 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 paraphernalia.
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. Radical or outlandish hair styles and irregular hair colorings (any color that does not occur naturally) are not permitted.
3.9.7 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 issues are prohibited. Gauges in any body part is prohibited.
- ENFORCEMENT AND DISCIPLINE
School 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; suspension; expulsion; exclusion or loss of extracurricular activities; probation; alternate educational placement; and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
Approved by the Board of Trustees July 20, 2017
Merit College Preparatory Academy ________________________________________________________________________________________
Attendance Policy & Procedure
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 53A-11-101, 53A-11-102).
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 53A-11-101.5). 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 promotion of 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 or parent to promptly get with the teacher to re-schedule 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 53A-11-101.
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 53A-11-101 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 and if the student is not proactive and personally responsible they may lose homework, assignment and project, 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
· 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 excused. Our campus is closed except at lunch time for the 10th-12th grades.
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 53A-11-101 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.)
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.
Student is not in attendance during class and the absence has not yet been excused.
Student’s absence is valid excused.
Student has been meeting with a counselor, administrator, and/or teacher, or the student has been testing and has missed the class period.
Student has missed class due to a school approved activity.
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.
Absence has been excused by a doctor’s note. Note must be turned into the front / attendance office for the absence to be excused.
A student is out of class unexcused after they have arrived at school.
A student is suspended from school.
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:
1. Enable teachers to utilize the entire class period for constructive academic learning and provide consistent
consequences for tardiness.
2. Encourage students to show respect for teachers and peers.
3. Help establish Merit College 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.
Student is not in the classroom, in their seat, and prepared to work when class time begins
Student entered class at least 15 minutes late, but no more than 30 minutes late.
Student has arrived late to school and checked in at the office
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.
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.
Consequences for 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, other consequences, or expulsion will apply
. Detention – after school, before school, and/or 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 issues, then other consequences will apply.
· Detention costs:
· Detention Rules:
o Be on time or it does not count
o Phones will be handed to the supervisor / if phone is out then you will be excused, your detention will not count, you will exit the building immediately
o If you break any of the rules your detention will not count
o No sleeping
o No talking
o No earphones or earbuds
o You may sit quietly, read, write, doodle or draw, do class work, or work on assignments given to you by administration
o 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
· · · · · · · ·
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
· Alternative programs and placements
· Loss of eligibility for any or all extracurricular activities
· Involvement of other agencies
· Police contact
· Court referrals
Suspension and Expulsion:
If the student and parent are not willing to comply with above consequences decided or the student continues to have unexcused absences or unexcused tardies, then:
1s t offense will be 3-day suspension 2n d offense will be a 5-day suspension
3r d offense will be a 5-day suspension and a board discussion about expulsion ________________________________________
· Parent letters as 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 Truancy” is a written notice mailed to or served on the parent of a student and students who is a 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 Utah Code Ann., 53A-11-101.7(4).
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; and (ii) local charter board in securing regular attendance by the school-age minor. 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: January 14, 2019
Board approved: February 11, 2019
1440 W Center St. Springville, UT 84663 • (801) 491-7600 • (801) 491-4092 fax
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.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
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 that Merit Academy, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Merit Academy may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised Merit Academy to the contrary in accordance with Merit Academy procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Merit 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 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 Academy in writing within 2 weeks of enrolling. Merit Academy has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date and place of birth
- 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 ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user
A student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.email@example.com
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