If you have questions or concerns about our policies and procedures, please contact our school at (801) 491-7600.
Merit Academy believes that regular school attendance is necessary for academic achievement and is a shared responsibility between student, parent, and the school. Studies have shown when students miss more than 10% of class time, learning and long-term educational outcomes decline sharply.
Students bear a tremendous responsibility in the education process. Students must be in their classes on time and come prepared to learn (homework completed, necessary books and supplies ready). Whenever students are absent, they have the responsibility to arrange with their teachers for make-up work. However, the classroom experience cannot be duplicated through make-up assignments.
Absenteeism also affects a student’s classmates and places a burden on teachers. Teacher time and energy used for re-teaching and preparing make-up materials is taken away from students who attend regularly. Similarly, students who come to class late interrupt learning for those who arrive on time. Parents play an important role by determining which student absences are necessary.
Students may occasionally need to be absent or tardy because of illness, emergencies, funerals, etc. To allow for these unavoidable circumstances, four (4) parent-excused absences are allowed per term, per class, without penalty. Also, a student may be tardy four (4) times per class, per term, without penalty. Any attendance issues beyond this limit will result in No Credit (NC) being issued in that class for the term until resolved. Parents can excuse absences by calling the attendance office (801) 491-7600 or sending a note or email to have them excused. Parents should include the date of absence and a parent phone # on the written note, email, or voice message.
Student Check-in/Check-out and Excusing Absences:
- Parents may check-in students and excuse absences by sending a note with their student, sending an email to email@example.com or calling the attendance office at 801-491-7600 from 8 a.m. – 3:30p.m.
- When excusing an absence with a note, parents should include the date of the absence and parent phone number.
- Tardies may not be excused. Notes or calls to excuse a student’s tardiness will not be accepted.
- To minimize classroom disruption, please arrange to check students out between class periods when possible.
- No student check-out requests will be granted during the last 20 minutes of the school day.
- Fraudulent excusing of absences by students will result in school discipline.
- All unexcused absences are considered truancies (sluffs).
- Failure to make-up absences, truancies, or tardies will result in a loss of credit for the class.
Pre-approved Absence Requests: Students are strongly encouraged to obtain absence pre-approval for missed classes. This is available for family events such as vacations, funerals, weddings, etc. This requires a short form to be filled out with information from each of the student’s teachers. The request will be reviewed by the Attendance Office for final approval. These forms are available in the Attendance Office and should be filled out and turned in at least one week prior to the absence(s). Pre-approved absences will not be counted toward receiving an NC, but all classroom work will need to be made up.
School approved activity: School approved activities will be marked as approved absences and will not be counted towards total absences in determining NC for classes.
Truancies (Sluff): Truancy (Sluff) is a confirmed absence from school without prior parent approval and is determined by the Attendance Office. Confirmed truancies cannot later be excused by a parent and will automatically result in an NC. Additionally, students who leave class early or miss class without first being properly checked-out by a parent or guardian, will be considered truant. No exceptions. Students with a truancy are required to go to Attendance School or In School Suspension (ISS) -at the discretion of administration. Multiple truancies will result in students and/or parents
being required to meet with the Administration and/or a school counselor. Repeat offenders can be referred for In School Suspension, Out of School Suspension, Restorative Justice, Court, and/or Expulsion.
Excused Absences / Tardies: Absences must be excused within 5 school days. An unexcused absence is considered a truancy if it is not parent excused within that 5 day limit. A student is tardy who arrives late to class within the first 20 minutes of class time. After 20 minutes, the student is marked absent. Tardies cannot be excused. Students who first arrive at school after the school day has started, must check in at the Attendance Office.
Each term, upon reaching the 4th parent-excused absence or 4th tardy, students and parents will receive notification of attendance issues. The 5th absence or tardy will result in No Credit (NC) in the class or classes in which those absences or tardies have accumulated. Students with more than 4 excused absences or 4 tardies must meet with a counselor and go to Attendance School to have the NC removed and receive the academic grade and credit for the class.
Attendance School: Attendance school is set up to allow students the opportunity to make up assignments and time missed in class. At the teacher’s discretion, students may make up attendance infractions in the classroom, in lieu of going to organized attendance school. This allows for more specific instruction and learning recovery. Make-up credit for a given class period must be done with the teacher of that specific class and must be made up during the current term. Work to be completed is determined by the teacher. There is no in-classroom make-up after the end of the term. Attendance school can make up absences, truancies, and tardies on the following scale:
- 1 hour for every unexcused absence or truancy (sluff) in each class.
- 1 hour for an excused absence above 4 in each class.
- 1⁄2 hour for each tardy above 4 in each class.
Attendance School Schedule: Typically Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays before and after school there will be Attendance School. Please check with the Attendance Office for the current schedule. Students are responsible for arranging their schedules to attend make-up classes with teachers and for any transportation needs before or after school to participate in Attendance School.
Attendance School Costs: Attendance make-up before and/or after school will be offered free of charge until the last three weeks of each term. During the last three weeks of the term, all attendance make-up will cost $5.00 per session. Attendance make-up for previous terms will cost $10.00 per session and will only be offered for one week after the term ends. Students will not be allowed into paying sessions without their receipt. Students need to bring make-up work to Attendance School. No electronics, note passing, talking, sleeping, etc. will be allowed and will result in dismissal from the attendance session. All make-up done with a teacher in the classroom can only be completed in the current term and will be made-up free of charge during the term.
NC: A grade of NC (No Credit) will be given for any class with unresolved attendance issues (required Attendance School sessions not completed). If the NC is not restored by the end of the term, the student will have one week to make up the credit in Attendance School, please see above for details.
- An NC does not count against a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA).
- An NC is treated as an “F” for participation in extracurricular activities.
- All NCs MUST be made up within one week after term ends.
- One week after the term ends, all NCs become “F”’s and are calculated into a student’s GPA.
Attendance Appeals Process / Restorative Justice: Students and parents may appeal, in writing, any necessary concessions. Appeals are reserved for unusual attendance problems (i.e., medically verifiable illness, etc.). Appeals should be submitted to the Attendance Office as soon as possible. Restorative Justice contracts can be arranged in conjunction with counselors, teachers and administration when needed.
Excessive Absences: A student may be referred to an administrator when he/she has excessive absences in a class. A meeting between administrators, counselors, parents/guardians and the student will be required. Unresolved, excessive absences will result in further discipline including; in school suspension, out of school suspension, restorative justice, referral to attendance court, referral to law enforcement, and/or expulsion from school. Absences in excess of 10 consecutive days require prior attendance office and administrator approval or the student will be withdrawn from Merit Preparatory Academy.
*Approved by Board of Trustees- January 21, 2020
Revised and Board Approved: 9/19/20
Continuing Enrollment Attendance Policy
Merit Academy will not count a student as eligible if they have unexcused absences during ten consecutive school days. If a student has unexcused absences for ten consecutive days, Merit will make reasonable efforts to contact the parents/guardians of the student and make appropriate arrangements to help the student return and continue attending school. If Merit is unable to contact the parents/guardians, school policy will be followed and the student will be withdrawn from Merit Preparatory Academy.
Merit will measure online attendance on a weekly basis in compliance with Utah Administrative Code R277-419 in the following way:
- Student to teacher weekly contact either online, or by email, or by parent text, or by parent phone (unless a student is on an extended leave of absence from the school), and / or
- Student demonstration of progress on assignments, coursework, assessments or
progress toward academic goals during the course of the week.
If a student does not meet either of these, they will be marked absent for the week. If they are marked absent for ten days, and have not met the above criteria in any classes, Merit will make reasonable efforts to contact the parents/guardians of the student and make appropriate arrangements to help the student return and continue their learning. If Merit is unable to contact the parents/guardians, school policy will be followed and the student will be withdrawn from Merit Preparatory Academy.
Continuing enrollment status for students enrolled in both online and face-to-face courses at Merit Academy will be based on the program for which they earn the majority of their membership days.
Quarantine and Sick Students
Face to face students who are required to quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19 or who are diagnosed with Covid-19 will be temporarily switched to distance learning and continuing enrollment will be tracked accordingly. Merit Preparatory Academy will make reasonable accommodations for students who are recovering from Covid-19.
Board Approved: 06/29/20
Access to Technology Plan
Merit Preparatory Academy Access to Technology Plan
Learning Management System
Merit Academy will utilize Canvas as our primary Learning Management System(LMS)
for all courses. Students will automatically be enrolled and will be able to access their courses,
assignments and grades through their Merit Academy email address. Students and parents will
be able to track their progress, communicate with their teachers, and complete assignments.
All students who choose the Merit distance program or blended program will have full
access to course content and assignments, and they will be able to complete their coursework
entirely from home if they so choose.
Student access to technology
Students that demonstrate a legitimate need for access to technology will be able to
check out a Chromebook from Merit Academy at no cost to them. Students will use the
Chromebook to complete coursework only. Students that check out a Chromebook will sign an
agreement to maintain and care for their Chromebook. The student/parent will be responsible
for the care of the device that they checkout until it is returned at the end of the course or school
Students without internet access
Students unable to access the internet from home will be provided reasonable
alternative assignments in writing that they can pick up from the school, complete, and
return to the school.
Students with disabilities
Special Education and IEP services will be provided to distance education and blended
students virtually as needed. Merit will use online platforms to communicate with students and
parents and ensure that students are receiving all typical Special Education services that they
would receive at the school. Speech and language therapy will continue to take place via
remote video sessions. School counseling and psychology services will also be offered online.
Teacher access to technology
All Merit teachers are provided with a computer to work from home or the school and
access Canvas. Teachers will be provided additional equipment for online instruction as
necessary. This may include cameras, microphones, software and other educational technology
to provide equitable access to all distance or blended learning students.
Merit Preparatory Academy will provide Chromebooks currently owned by the school to
provide students with access to technology as needed. We will also use funds received from the
CARES Act to purchase additional devices and technology for students and teachers as
Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, and Hazing Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY POLICY BULLYING, CYBERBULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND HAZING
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. 53G-8-205 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.
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:
1. endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;
a. 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
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:
a. 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
1. bullying (including cyberbullying), harassing, or hazing that is targeted at a federally protected class
C. “Cyberbullying” means:
1. 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 test, 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
1. 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: 1. endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;
a. 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 of 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:
1. 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
1. a local school board; or
2. a local charter board. J. “School employee” means:
1. school teachers;
2. school staff;
3. school administrators; and
4. all others employed, directly or indirectly, by the school, school board, or school district.
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)
B. No school employee or student may engage in hazing or cyberbullying a school employee or student at any time or in any location.
C. No school employee or student may engage in retaliation against:
1. a school employee;
2. a student; or
3. an investigator for, or witness of, an alleged incident of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation
D. No school employee or student may make a false allegation of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation against a school employee or student.
E. Any bullying, harassing, or hazing that is found to be targeted at a federally protected
class is further prohibited under federal anti-discrimincation laws and is subject to compliance regulations from the Office for Civil Rights.
IV. Actions Required if Prohibited Acts are Reported
Complaints will be reported to counselors and/or administration.
A. Each reported complaint shall include: 1. 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
B. 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.
C. 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 students or employees as appropriate.
D. Compliance with the Office for Civil Rights when Civil Rights Violations are Reported:
1. Once MERIT ACADEMY knows or reasonably should know of possible student-on-student bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment or hazing, the school must take immediate and 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 identifites the bullying, cyberbullying, harassment or hazing as a form of discrimination.
E. Actions must also include, as appropriate:
1. procedures for protecting the victim and other involved individuals from being subjected to:
a. 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 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 53G-11-501
(licensed staff), local employee discipline policies or Section 53G-8-204 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
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
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.
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 (schedule of training, if necessary, will be established by Admin at the beginning of the year); 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. 53G-9-605 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.
C. A grievance process will be supported by the Administration, Counselors, and the Hope Squad in accordance with 53G-9-605-3F
Revised: 9/19/19 Board Approved:
Child Abuse - Neglect Reporting by Education Personnel Policy
Merit Preparatory Academy
1440 W. Center St., Springville, UT 84663 (801) 491-7600 Fax
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY CHILD ABUSE – NEGLECT REPORTING BY EDUCATION PERSONNEL POLICY
Merit Preparatory Academy supports early intervention in the child abuse-abuser cycle and also supports taking early protective measures to prevent said cycle. The daily contact of education personnel with children places them in a unique and ideal position for identifying and referring suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
Any school employee who knows or reasonably believes that a child has been neglected, or physically or sexually abused, shall immediately notify the local police department or the office of the state Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The school employee shall also notify the Director or Assistant Director. However, such a report does not satisfy the employee’s personal duty to report the abuse or neglect to law enforcement or DCFS. Merit Preparatory Academy charter school shall cooperate with social services and law enforcement agency employees authorized to investigate charges of child abuse and neglect.
School employees shall cooperate with social service and law enforcement employees including:
- allowing appropriate access to students;
- allowing agency employees to interview children consistent with DCFS and law enforcement protocols;
- making no contact with parents or legal guardians of children being questioned;
- maintaining appropriate confidentiality
Merit Preparatroy Academy will also ensure the anonymity of those reporting or investigating child abuse or neglect.
Board Approved: 7/26/20
Click on the link below for the most recent update to our CLUBS POLICY AND PROCEDURES
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
Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program (CCGP)
Conflict of Interest
Conflict Resolution Policy
Merit Preparatory Academy (MPA) is publicly funded and bound by applicable federal and state laws governing non-profit and charitable organizations. In order to protect the financial interests and tax-exempt status of the school, MPA prohibits any action that constitutes a conflict of interest in its contracts, agreements, transactions, and services, except as allowed by law. This policy applies to all “Merit Preparatory Academy representatives” defined as board members, administrators, key employees, consultants, and volunteers who make or influence decisions on school contracts, agreements, transactions and services.
Conflicts of interest occur when an MPA representative directly – or indirectly through business, investment, affiliation, family, or other relationships – stands to benefit financially, or otherwise from school-related contracts, agreements, transactions and services. Financial benefit includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors of any amount.
MPA representatives will be required to complete a conflict of interest disclosure statement annually. Any MPA representative who has an interest in a contract or other transaction presented to the board or a committee thereof for authorization, approval, or ratification shall make a prompt and full disclosure of their interest to the board or committee prior to its acting on such contract or transaction. Such disclosure shall include any relevant and material facts known about the contract or transaction that might reasonably be construed to be a conflict of interest. No board member shall cast a vote on any matter which has direct bearing on services to be provided by that member, or any organization which such member represents or which is otherwise interested or affiliated, which would directly or indirectly benefit such member, financially or otherwise. All such services will be fully disclosed or known to the board members present at the meeting at which such contract shall be authorized.. Any exceptions to this policy can only be granted with written approval from both the MPA’s current Director and the Board of Trustees.
Nepotism: Conflicts of interest can also occur when there are close relationships, family or otherwise in direct reporting relationships. MPA strictly forbids related individuals from having a supervisory relationship at MPA unless there is at least 2 levels of supervision between the related employees. If the position cannot be separated by 2 levels, an exception to this policy would be required. The exception would need to be approved by both the Director of the Academy and the Board of Trustees. If a relationship develops within the same team or department, each member of the relationship needs to disclose that relationship to their direct supervisor and the School Director immediately. Developing relationships may require a change to the department and team to remove any potential conflict of interest. If there is not another role available for transfer, employees may be requested to step down from their current position. Exceptions to this policy can only be granted in writing by the Director of MPA and the Board of Trustees.
Conflict Resolution Policy
Continuing Enrollment Policy
Merit Preparatory Academy Continuing Enrollment Policy
Merit Academy will not count a student as eligible if they have unexcused absences
during ten consecutive school days. If a student has unexcused absences for ten consecutive
days, Merit will make reasonable efforts to contact the parents/guardians of the student and
make appropriate arrangements to help the student return and continue attending school. If
Merit is unable to contact the parents/guardians, school policy will be followed and the student
will be withdrawn from Merit Preparatory Academy.
Merit will measure online attendance on a weekly basis in compliance with Utah
Administrative Code R277-419 in the following way:
1. Student to teacher weekly contact either online, or by email, or by parent text, or by
parent phone (unless a student is on an extended leave of absence from the school),
and / or
2. Student demonstration of progress on assignments, coursework, assessments or
progress toward academic goals during the course of the week.
If a student does not meet either of these, they will be marked absent for the week. If
they are marked absent for three consecutive weeks, Merit will make reasonable efforts to
contact the parents/guardians of the student and make appropriate arrangements to help the
student return and continue attending school. If Merit is unable to contact the parents/guardians,
school policy will be followed and the student will be withdrawn from Merit Preparatory Academy.
Continuing enrollment status for students enrolled in both online and face-to-face
courses at Merit Academy will be based on the program for which they earn the majority of their
Board Approved: 06/29/20
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.
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.
Donation Gift and Sponsorship Policy
Merit Preparatory Academy Donation, Gift, and Sponsorship Policy
The following policy directives regulate donations, gifts and sponsorships at Merit Preparatory
I. Donations, gifts and sponsorships must promote the philosophy, mission and goals of
Merit Preparatory Academy. All monies received through donations, gifts or
sponsorships are public funds subject to state and federal laws.
II. All individuals who receive, authorize, accept, value or record donations, gifts or
sponsorships on behalf of Merit Preparatory Academy will comply with applicable laws.
III. MPA reserves the right to decline, restrict or redirect donations, gifts and sponsorships.
IV. The collection and expenditure of funds or assets associated with donations, gifts or
sponsorships will adhere to MPA cash receipts and cash disbursement policies. Funds
associated with donations, gifts and sponsorships will be deposited directly into MPA
bank accounts by the Business Manager.
V. Revenues should be accounted for at an individual contribution level.
VI. Donations and gifts become the exclusive property of MPA upon delivery and all rights,
privileges and titles to donations and gifts are transferred.
VII. If donations or gifts are offered in exchange for advertising or other services, an
objective valuation will be performed and a charitable receipt will be issued by the
VIII. Donations, gifts and sponsorships shall be issued directly to MPA, or its approved
entities such as the Parent Organization, and may be designated for MPA specific
IX. Donated funds shall not directly or indirectly compensate public employees and no
donations, gifts or sponsorships shall be directly paid or given to individuals, vendors or
X. Donations, gifts and sponsorships should be used to enhance the delivery of the
educational program, and MPA will ensure equal and fair treatment of students in the
management of those funds.
XI. All donations, gifts and sponsorships will be evaluated by the Director(s), Business
Manager and/or Governing Board to ensure compliance with state procurement laws.
XII. Donations, gifts and sponsorships will only be accepted without expressed or implied
expectation of preferential consideration in any form, and will never be accepted as a
precondition for purchase of goods or services.
XIII. Donations and gifts over $250 will be acknowledged and issued a letter of
acknowledgement or a receipt.
Approved: October 21, 2020
R277-515: Utah Educators’ Standards
Utah Code 67-16: Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act Utah Code 67-16
Utah Code 63G-6a: Utah Procurement Code
IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions
Utah Code 51-7-3(26): Public Funds and Accounts State Money Management Act
Title IX: Education Amendments of 1972
Utah State Constitution Article X: Education
Drug-Free Workplace Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY DRUG FREE WORKPLACE POLICY
In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 34 CFR Part 85, Subpart F, Merit Preparatory Academy will maintain and enforce a drug and alcohol-free workplace. The school will provide a safe and productive workplace free from possession, manufacture, use, or distribution of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs.
Revised 6/23/20 Board Approved:
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:
22.214.171.124 Two piece formal gowns or pants and a top where the midriff is showing.
126.96.36.199 Dresses with revealing cut outs.
188.8.131.52 See through gowns. This includes sheer/mesh overlays that do not have material underneath.
184.108.40.206 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
220.127.116.11 The sides must be complete, no open sides.
18.104.22.168 All shirts must cover the midriff.
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 Shorts need to be 4” or longer.
3.7.3 Shoes must be worn at all times.
188.8.131.52 A different pair of shoes than the ones worn to school must be used on the gym floor.
184.108.40.206 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.
220.127.116.11 Jersey tops/t-shirts
18.104.22.168.1 Full sides
22.214.171.124.2 Covers the midriff and back, no exposed undergarments
126.96.36.199.3 Nothing that dips below the armpit line in the front or the back
188.8.131.52.4 Uniforms must have 2” straps
184.108.40.206.1 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
Emergency Response Plan - Pending Approval
This policy is pending board review.
Equality in Education Policy
Fees and Fee Waiver Policy
This policy is pending board approval.
Flag and Civic Patriotism Policy
Merit Preparatory Academy
Flag and Civic Patriotism Policy
- Patriotic, Civic and Character Education (R277-475-3)
- Merit Preparatory Academy (MPA) shall provide instruction for patriotic, civic and character
education in the social studies curricula of grades seven through twelve.
- MPA shall ensure educators have responsibility for patriotic, civic and character education
taught in an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work.
- School Responsibilities and Required Instruction (R277-475-4)
- MPA shall:
- ensure that all patriotic, civic and character education programs are consistent with the requirements of Sections 53G-10-302, 53G-10-304, and 53G-10-204;
- provide the setting and opportunities to teach patriotic values associated with the flag of the United States by example; and
- make information about the flag, respect for the flag, and civility toward all during patriotic activities available on the LEA’s website.
- MPA shall provide instruction in United States history and government that includes the
- a study of forms of government including:
- a republic
- a pure democracy
- a monarchy; and
- an oligarchy.
- political philosophies and economic systems including:
- individualism; and
- free market capitalism.
- the United States’ form of government: a compound constitutional republic; and
- the flag of the United States and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag consistent with:
- Subsection 53G-10-304(2)
- Section 76-9-601
- the plan of the social studies Core curriculum in grades kindergarten through six; and
- Subsection 53G-10-304(3).
- Instruction on the flag of the United States of America (53G-10-304)
- MPA shall provide instruction about the flag of the United States
- The instruction shall include the history of the flag, etiquette, customs pertaining to the
display and use of the flag, and other patriotic exercises as provided by 4 U.S.C. Secs. 1 to
- The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall:
- be recited once at the beginning of each day in each public school classroom in the state, led by a student, on a rotating basis.
- ensuring that each student shall be informed that they have the right to not participate in reciting the pledge.
- allow a student to be excused from reciting the pledge as they decide.
- At least once a year students shall be instructed that:
- participation in the pledge of allegiance is voluntary and not compulsory; and
- not only is it acceptable for someone to choose not to participate in the pledge of allegiance for religious or other reasons, but students should show respect for any student who chooses not to participate.
- A public school teacher shall strive to maintain an atmosphere among students in the
classroom that is consistent with the principles described in Subsection (3)(d)(i).
- Parental Notice of Pledge of Allegiance (R277-475-5)
- MPA shall adequately notify students and parents of lawful exemptions to the requirement to
participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
- Civic Engagement (R277-475-7)
- This section will be completed upon more information from the state.
Board Approved: 5/26/2020
Fiscal Policy Manual
Merit Preparatory Academy
Fundraising at Merit Preparatory Academy shall comply with the following policy statements:
I. Fundraising activities should always reflect the high academic and moral standards of
Merit Preparatory Academy.
II. All fundraising efforts should promote the philosophy, mission and goals of MPA and
should only be used to support school-sponsored academic or co-curricular activities
authorized by the Director(s) and Governing Board.
III. All monies generated by fundraising efforts are public funds subject to federal and state
IV. All individuals who initiate, authorize or participate in fundraising activities on behalf of
MPA will comply with applicable laws including, but not limited to, Utah procurement law,
state ethics acts, and Utah Educators Standards.
V. Under the direction and approval of the board, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
will address fundraising needs directly benefiting the school. The Governing Board may
engage in fundraising activities as well.
VI. The collection and expenditure of public funds will adhere to MPA cash receipting; cash
disbursement; and donations, gifts and sponsorships policies.
VII. Fundraising revenues should be accounted for at an individual contribution level. All
fundraising proceeds will be deposited directly into MPA accounts by the Business
VIII. The school’s tax exempt number will be used for legally allowable tax exempt purchases
IX. The Director(s) may authorize properly approved school-sponsored activities to use the
school’s name, facilities and equipment; hold fundraising activities at alternate locations
in the community; use school employees and resources to supervise, promote and staff
the fundraiser; and use parent volunteers to supervise and staff the fundraiser.
X. Participation in fundraisers is entirely voluntary.
XI. MPA will ensure equal and fair treatment of students in the management of fundraising
XII. MPA students will not be expected to sell anything for the purpose of fundraising.
Competitive enticements for participation in fundraisers are discouraged and rewards,
prizes, commissions or compensation may not be received by any individual employee
XIII. Fundraising proceeds will be directed to MPA for disbursement and never to an
individual or outside entity.
XIV. Risk of financial loss or liability in fundraising activities should be avoided. Private
businesses may not use the school as a marketing arm.
XV. MPA reserves the right to decline, restrict or redirect fundraising proceeds and to limit or
prohibit fundraising activities.
XVI. Records of fundraising efforts should be open to the public upon request.
XVII. Employees should not use their employment status at, or the resources of, a public
school for personal gain or for the promotion of any type of personal non-school-related
activities or events.
Employees should disclose any conflict of interest.
Approved: October 21, 2020
Utah Admin. Code R277-113: LEA Fiscal Policy and Accountability
Utah Admin. Code R277-515: Utah Educators Standards
Utah Code 67-16: Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act
Utah Admin. Code R277-107: Educational Services Outside of Educator’s Regular Employment
Utah Code 63G-6a Utah Procurement Code
Utah Code 51-7-3(26): Public Funds and Accounts State Money Management Act
Title IX: Education Amendments of 1972
Utah State Constitution Article X: Education
Instructional Material Policy
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.
Homeschool Credit Acceptance Policy
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.
Medical Recommendations of School Personnel Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY MEDICAL RECOMMENDATIONS OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to help school personnel understand legal restrictions in providing information and observations about students in an appropriate manner.
- “Health care professional” means a physician, physician assistant, nurse, dentist, or mental health therapist.
- “School personnel” means a school district or charter school employee, including a licensed, part-time, contract, or unlicensed employee.
- Child abuse is already covered under another policy.
- Emergency situations are already covered under another policy.
- Individuals with disabilities act is covered under another policy.
School personnel may provide information and observations to a student’s parent or guardian about that student, including observations and concerns with regard to progress, health and wellness, social interactions, and behavior. School personnel may also communicate this information and observations amongst each other as necessary for appropriate guidance for students.
School personnel may also refer students to other appropriate school personnel as it is consistent with our policy, which may include referrals and communication with a school counselor or other mental health professional that is certified and working within the school system. Appropriate school personnel with adequate knowledge of the student may complete a behavioral health evaluation form if requested by a student’s parent or guardian to provide information to a licensed physician.
School personnel shall NOT:
- Recommend to a parent or guardian that a child take or continue to take a psychotropic medication;
- Require that a student take or continue to take a psychotropic medication as a condition for attending school;
- Recommend that a parent or guardian seek or use a type of psychiatric or psychological treatment for a child;
- Conduct a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation or mental health screening, test, evaluation, or assessment of a child, except where the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its amendments applied; or
- Make a child abuse or neglect report to authorities, including the Division of Child and Family Services, solely or primarily on the basis that a parent or guardian refuses to consent to:
- A psychiatric or psychological, or behavioral treatment for a child, including the administration of psychotropic to a child or
- A psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation of a child
- Communicate this information to students
An exception can be made only if failure to take action would result in serious, imminent risk to the child’s safety or the safety of others.
A school counselor or other mental health professional acting in accordance with Title 58, Chapter 60, Mental Health Professional Practice Act, or licensed through the State Board of Education, working within the school system may:
- Recommend, but not require, a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation of a child;
- Recommend, but not require, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral treatment of a child;
- Conduct a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation or mental health screening, test, evaluation, or assessment of a child in accordance with 53A-13-302; and
- Provide to a parent or guardian, upon the specific request of the parent or guardian, a list of three or more healthcare professionals or providers, including licensed physicians, psychologists, or other health care specialists.
Merit Preparatory Academy will provide for training of appropriate school personnel on this policy as well as provide notice that intentional violation of this policy is cause for disciplinary action.
This policy is not intended to discourage general and normal discourse that is not expressly prohibited by this policy between school personnel and a student’s parent or legal guardian.
Board Approved: 7/26/20
Phones and Electronics Policy and Procedures
Phones and Electronics Policy and Procedure
We encourage our students to have quiet and concentrated moments of learning in the school environment
knowing that they have many opportunities for music and social media during other times of the day.
Phones, earbuds, headphones, air pods, etc. may be used during breaks, at lunch, and before and
- They are to be put away during class.
If a student is wearing, using, has out, or holding electronics in class:
- First time – Take them away and return them at the end of the hour.
- Second time – Take them away, label them, and the teacher or employee gives them to the office. The
office will return them to the student at the end of the day.
- Third time (and every time thereafter) – Take them away and give them to the office. The office will
return them to a parent when the parent chooses to come in.
Students may keep electronics in their pockets or backpacks.
PPRA/ UT FERPA
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).
Service Animal Policy and Procedures
Student Search Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY STUDENT SEARCH POLICY
SEARCH OF PERSON OR PROPERTY
Given the school’s custodial and tutelary responsibility for children, and the school’s commitment to preserve a safe environment for all students and staff, Merit Preparatory Academy officials have the authority to conduct reasonable searches of students and student property. School officials engaging in searches of students and property shall abide by the following guidelines:
Student Lockers: Students possess the right of privacy of person as well as freedom from unreasonable search and seizure of property. The individual’s right, however, is balanced by the schools’ responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its pupils and personnel. Student lockers are solely the property of the school, and as such students have no right or expectation of privacy in school lockers.
- Lockers and/or locker contents may be searched without prior permission and at any time by school officials either with or without cause.
- Once a locker is opened for search, any search of student belongings contained within the locker must comply with the guidelines for searches of personal belongings of this policy.
- The student should be present for the search of his/her locker. Except in an emergency it is recommended that the Administrator or his/her designee have another adult present during a locker search.
- The Administrator or his/her designee shall not be obligated, but may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer in the course of conducting a locker search.
- The Administrator or his/her designee shall respect the privacy rights of the pupil regarding any items discovered that are not illegal or against school policy or rules.
Searches of Personal Belongings: Personal belongings may be searched by school officials whenever school officials have reasonable suspicion to believe a student is concealing evidence of a policy violation or criminal activity and the items being searched are capable of concealing such evidence.
- The student may be asked to open personal belongings and to turn over personal property for search by a school official.
- All searches of student property by school officials shall be witnessed by an objective third party (such as another administrator, teacher, or police officer) to observe that the search is not excessively intrusive.
- All contraband discovered in a search by school officials shall be immediately confiscated and turned over to law enforcement officers if school officials have reason to believe the contraband is related to the commission of a criminal act.
Searches of Person: School officials shall make sure the search meets the following guidelines:
- The search shall be conducted in a private area of the school by a school official of the same sex as the student being searched
- The search shall be observed by an objective third party of the same sex as the student being searched (i.e., administrator, teacher, police officer)
- School officials may ask the student to remove his/her hat, coat, shoes and socks, turn pockets inside out, and roll up sleeves to see if the student is hiding contraband
- Under no circumstances may school officials require students to remove any other items of clothing or touch students in any way during the search.
If this limited search does not turn up suspected contraband and school officials have reasonable suspicion that the student is concealing contraband in his/her inner clothing (i.e., hiding drugs, weapons or other contraband underneath shirts, pants or underwear), law enforcement officers shall be summoned immediately to conduct further search and investigation.
Documentation of Searches: School officials shall thoroughly document the details of any search conducted of a student’s property or person. Documentation shall be made at the time of the search, or as soon as possible thereafter, and shall include the following:
- The time, place and date of the search
- The reasonable suspicion giving rise to the search (what did school officials suspect to find during the search)
- The name and title of individuals conducting and observing the search
- A statement about evidence that was found or not found as a result of the search
- A statement about who took possession of contraband (i.e., police, school, etc.)
- Information regarding the attempts of school officials to notify parents about the search.
Board Approved: 7/27/20
Student Face Covering Exemption Form
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.
Title 1 Parent Involvement Policy
Title IX Discrimination and Harassment Policy in ENGLISH and SPANISH
Threat and Gang Prevention Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY THREAT AND GANG PREVENTION POLICY
The Merit Preparatory Academy Threat Policy prohibits disruptive acts and/or bullying; dangerous weapons; hazing/harassment; abetting; and gangs, secret societies, and hate groups; and the other prohibited acts as defined below. Any instance of the acts listed above will be addressed according to the school disciplinary policy.
- Disruptive acts: Acts that disrupt the daily operation of the school include but are not limited to physical or sexual assault, intimidation, aggression, and possessing or displaying a dangerous weapon.
- Dangerous weapons: Any item capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, or a facsimile or representation of the item. Dangerous weapons as defined by these rules shall include, but not be limited to, firearms, knives, metal knuckles, straight razors, explosives, poisons, drugs, and noxious, irritating or poisonous gases.
- Hazing / Harassment: Intimidation of a student or staff member or any act that injures, degrades or disgraces a student or staff member.
- Abetting: The act of supporting, encouraging, and/or assisting activities which violate the safe schools policy.
- Gang / Secret Societies / Hate Groups: A group of two or more people who form an allegiance and engage in a range of disruptive behaviors that may include violent or unlawful activity or which advocate hatred or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin or disability.
Other Prohibited Acts
Students may not:
- Wear, possess, use, distribute, display or sell any clothing, jewelry, emblems, badges, symbols, signs or other things which are evidence of membership or affiliation in any gangs, secret societies or hate groups.
- Commit acts, or use speech either verbal or non-verbal (gestures, hand-shakes, etc.), showing membership or affiliation in gangs, secret societies or hate groups.
- Use speech or commit any acts or omissions in furtherance of the interests of the gang, group or society, including, but not limited to:
- soliciting others for membership
- requesting persons to pay for protection or otherwise intimidating or threatening any person
- committing other illegal acts or other violations of school district policies
- inciting other students to act with physical violence upon any other person, and
- defacing school property (ie: books, lockers, walls, etc.).
School counselors will notify parents of any suicide threat that we receive as soon as possible.
Parents will also be notified as soon as possible of any threats of bullying, cyber bullying, harassment, hazing or retaliation against their child.
Gang Prevention and Intervention
School faculty and personnel are trained to recognize early warning signs for youth in trouble. Faculty and personnel shall report suspected gang activity to a school administrator and law enforcement. Gang members are barred from extracurricular activities. Gang-related graffiti or damage to school shall result in parent/guardian notification.
Actions are required if prohibited acts are reported. Complaints will be reported to counselors and/or administration. Each reported complaint shall include:
- name of complaining party;
- name of offender (if known);
- date and location of incident(s);
- 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 gang-related activity.
Verified violations of the prohibitions noted previously shall result in consequences or penalties. Consequences or penalties may include but are not limited to:
- student suspension or removal from a school-sponsored team or activity including school sponsored transportation
- student suspension or expulsion from school or lesser disciplinary action;
- clearly written and enforced discipline plan
- employee suspension or termination for cause or lesser disciplinary action;
- employee reassignment; or
- other action against students or employees 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 gang-related activities, the school must take immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
- If it is determined that the activity 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:
- end the gang-related activity
- eliminate any hostile environment, and
- prevent its recurrence.
- These duties are MERIT ACADEMY’s responsibilities even if the misconduct also is covered by a separate policy and regardless of whether the student makes a complaint, asks the school to take action, or identifies the gang-related activity as form of discrimination.
Actions must also include, as appropriate:
1. procedures for protecting the victim and other involved individuals from being subjected
a. further gang-related threats or danger, and
b. retaliation for reporting the activity.
2. prompt reporting to law enforcement of all acts of gang-related activity or retaliation
that constitute suspected criminal activity.
3. prompt reporting to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of all acts of gang violence or 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 53G-11-501 (licensed
staff), local employee discipline policies or Section 53G-8-204 and local policies
(students) prior to long term (more than 10 day) student discipline or employee
6. Records may be expunged by request after the student graduates from school.
Board Approved: 8/19/20
Tobacco, Alcohol, Drug, and Safe Environment Policy
Transfer Students Policy
MERIT PREPARATORY ACADEMY TRANSFER STUDENTS POLICY
The following policy will be followed when a student withdraws from Merit Preparatory Academy: 1. Students/parents will sign a transfer form and indicate where they are attending.
2. When a student is withdrawn, they are coded accordingly (It is usually TS for transfer within state or TH transfer to homeschool)
3. Documentation is placed in the file: the signed withdrawal sheet, the records request when it is received from the new school, or in the case of a 10-day drop, the 10-day drop letter.
Revised 6/23/20 Board Approved:
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.
Utah Public Education Questions: Who Should I Contact?
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 http://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
Work Experience Policy
Asbestos Management Plan
Thursday, February 13, 2020
In 1986, congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).
AHERA is a provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act. It requires that local
education agencies such as Merit Preparatory Academy inspect for asbestos-containing
building materials, prepare and maintain up-to-date AHERA Management Plans, and
notify occupants of the plan on a yearly basis. All of this is an effort to prevent the
exposure of asbestos to the occupants of our school building.
Our architects and builders have certified that no asbestos containing materials were
used in the construction of Merit Preparatory Academy. Therefore, no
asbestos-containing materials were identified. We continue to be alert to ensure that
suspected asbestos-containing materials do not pose a hazard to our students and
Merit Preparatory Academy’s AHERA management plan is available for review and
has been submitted to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality/Division of Air
Asbestos Management Letter
Merit Preparatory Academy Instruction Material Policy and Procedure
Subject: 4I-200 Instruction Materials Adoption, Acquisition, Replacement, Disposal and Appeals Procedures Index: Instructional Programs – Instructional Resources
Revised: September 13, 2019
- PURPOSE AND PHILOSOPHY To improve the academic performance of students in all subjects and the core standards for Utah public schools through:
1.1. an improved instructional program that provides professional development;
1.2. coordination of curriculum with Merit adopted content standards;
1.3. student access to current instructional materials through school-wide participation in an efficient instructional material adoption cycle for all curriculum subject areas; and
1.4. disposal of unused textbooks and instructional materials.
- INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ADOPTION POLICY
2.1. Instructional Materials Adoption Procedures
2.1.1. The Administrator over Teaching and Learning shall develop procedures for selection and adoption of primary instructional materials.
2.1.2. Procedures shall provide for:
[a] required school-wide participation in a primary instructional materials adoption cycle; [b] establishment of a school primary instructional materials adoption schedule which shall be reviewed and adjusted annually by Administration in consideration of funding availability, publication dates of new materials, identified needs, etc.;
[c] establishment of primary instructional materials evaluation adoption department committees;
[d] review of state recommended instruction materials (RIMs) and identification of the instructional materials most appropriate for use in the school;
[e] identification of funding for the adoption process, implementation and professional development costs;
[f] identification of funding for new primary instructional materials adoption and support material costs;
[g] establishment of procedures which require coordination between the school Director, Department Chairs, the Finance Department, and the Vendors to ensure efficiency and price advantage in the purchasing process of the primary instructional materials adoption; and
[h] establishment of procedures for the reuse or disposal of primary instructional materials in the schools.
2.2. Instructional Materials Alignment with Core Standards
2.2.1. Before the school may purchase any primary instructional materials, the proposed materials must have been mapped and aligned to the Core by an independent party as required by Utah Administrative Code R277-469-8 and UCA § 53E-4-408.
2.2.2. Any supplemental or supportive instructional materials must support Merit standards.
2.2.3. Free instructional materials are subject to the same requirements of sections 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 above.
2.3. Instructional Materials Evaluation and Adoption Team
The composition of the Instructional Materials Evaluation and Adoption Team and procedures for the Team shall be developed by the Administrator over teaching and learning, board members, and department chairs.
4I-200 Instructional Materials Adoption, Acquisition, Replacement, Disposal and Appeal Procedures Page 2 of 3
2.3.1. Sexual Education Policy:
[a] Parents/guardians should be informed prior to any discussion / teaching of Sexual Education.
[b] The material used will be accessible to parents / guardians for review.
[c] Parents / guardians may opt out of such instruction upon which students may be given alternate assignments. Opting a student out of instruction will not result in any negative consequences to the student’s grade.
2.4. Implementation and Budget Procedures
The Teaching and Learning Administrator shall prepare annual budget projections for the primary instructional materials adoption and oversee the purchase of newly adopted primary instructional materials.
2.4.1. The budget projections shall be submitted to the Board for inclusion in the annual budget process.
2.4.2. The Board shall approve the allocation of available funds for the purchase of the new primary instructional materials adoption, support materials, and consumable instructional materials. The Teaching and Learning Administrator and Department Chairs shall be responsible to oversee the selection, acquisition, and implementation of primary instructional materials and support materials.
2.5. Appeals Procedure for a Member of the Community
2.5.1. STEP 1 – Complaint Referred to Teacher
Questions, concerns, or complaints from a patron(s) regarding instructional materials or supplemental enrichment books or information shall be referred first to the teacher using the work or material
[a] Every effort should be made to resolve the issue at this informal stage.
[b] A standard option is to choose an alternative work for the student to read if the patron and/or the student objects to the work being studied.
2.5.2. STEP 2 – Conference
If the question or concern is not resolved in Step 1, a conference shall be held that includes the patron(s), the teacher, the department chair, and a school administrator.
2.5.3. STEP 3 – School Review
If the situation is not resolved under Step 2 and the patron(s) requests that the work be removed from the school curriculum, the patron(s) may submit a formal request in writing to have the work/material in question reviewed by the members of the subject matter department (English, science, etc.)
[a] Requests for review shall be submitted
[b] Upon receipt of completion, the appropriate department shall convene a meeting within ten (10) school days to review the work in relation to its merits and its use in the curriculum.
(i) The Department shall make recommendations as to the continued use and submit the recommendations to the school Director.
(ii) A copy of the recommendations shall be sent to the patron(s) and the school Teaching and Learning Administrator.
[c] Steps 2 and 3 may be combined, i.e., when the department is limited in numbers of teachers.
2.5.4. STEP 4 – Board Review
If the patron(s) finds the results of the school review unsatisfactory, a review will be conducted at the Board level under the direction of the Director and/or Administrator of Teaching and Learning.
[a] The Teaching and Learning Administrator or content specialist shall make the arrangements for the committee members, determine the meeting schedule and participate in the Board Review Process. The Board Review Committee will follow administrative procedures developed by the Administrator of Teaching and Learning
4I-200 Instructional Materials Adoption, Acquisition, Replacement, Disposal and Appeal Procedures Page 3 of 3
- PROCEDURES FOR DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS USEABLE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
Disposal of surplus useable instructional materials will be determined by Administration.
“Curriculum alignment” means the assurance that the material taught in a course or grade level matches the standards, objectives and assessments set by the state or school district for specific courses or grade levels.
“Curriculum map” means a visual representation, a tool for assisting developers to conceptualize shared visions and values which will drive the curriculum as a whole. Sometimes called a concept map, this tool clarifies a plan for knowledge construction; it shows the links and relationships between concepts.
“Instructional materials” means systematically arranged content in text or digital format which may be used within the state standards framework for courses of study by students in public schools, including text books, workbooks, computer software, online or internet courses, CDs or DVDs, and multiple forms of communication media. Such materials may be used by students or teachers or both as principal sources of study to cover any portion of the course. These materials: (1) shall be designed for student use; and (2) may be accompanied by or contain teaching guides and study helps; (3) shall include all textbooks, workbooks and student materials and supplements necessary for a student to fully participate in coursework; and (4) shall be high quality, research-based and proved to be effective in supporting student learning.
“Primary instructional material” means a comprehensive basal or Core textbook or integrated instructional program for which a publisher seeks a recommendation for Core subjects designated in Utah Administrative Code R277-700-4, 5, and 6.
“Recommended instructional materials (RIMs)” means the recommended instructional materials searchable database provided as a free service by the USOE for the posting of evaluations and alignments to the core standards of instructional materials submitted by publishers and on the public website of the publisher, if applicable, for review by the Commission and approval of the State Board.
Utah Code Title 53G, Chapter 7, Part 6 – State policy on providing textbook.
Utah Code Title 53E, Chapter 4, Part 4 – State Instructional Materials Commission
Utah Administrative Code R277-407 – School Fees.
Utah Administrative Code R277-433 – Disposal of Textbooks in the Public Schools.
Utah Administrative Code R277-469 – Instructional Materials Commission Operating Procedures.
Utah Administrative Code R277-700 – The Elementary and Secondary School General Core
FORMS AND OTHER LINKS
Primary Instructional Materials Adoption Administrative Procedures
Instructional Materials Request for Review/ District Level Procedures
Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of a Work
Instructional Material Disposal Administrative Procedures
Board Approved: October, 2019