Related Merici Policies

School Attendance Policy

Rationale/Purpose

Merici College is committed to holistic education and offers a range of academic, spiritual, social, sporting, leadership and intellectual opportunities for its students. The College recognises the efforts and time commitments of elite Competitors’ and commends these students for their dedication to developing their God-given abilities.

The aim of this policy is to:

  • clarify the school’s role in supporting students who compete outside school at an elite level in a performance-based activity.
  • assist students in finding a balance between their academic responsibilities and their area of competitive expertise.

Definitions

Elite

For the purposes of this policy, “elite” refers to competition in a sport or performance-based activity at state level or its equivalent.

Policy

The College aims to support students in their elite-level competitive pursuits. Students need to apply for support, in the first two weeks of a semester it is not practicable for the College to process applications after this time. All applications will be considered by the Head of Junior School, in consultation with appropriate specialists and based on their individual merit, and the level of support offered will be commensurate with the needs of the student. It is a requirement of this policy that all applicants re- apply each year.

Training and performance lessons scheduled during the day are in breach of the ACT Compulsory Education Act and should these sessions be scheduled, parents must apply for exemption from compulsory schooling under the Education Act. Applications must be made through the Head of Junior School to the Principal of the College, Catholic Education and the ACT Department of Education.

An interview with the Head of Junior School is required once the applications have been processed to ensure that the correct level of individual support is being provided.

Procedures

Students may be committed to many hours of training in their weekly schedules. Increasingly, outside agencies such as dance schools, sports organisation and private tutors timetable events and lessons that may impinge on the school day. There may also be an expectation that students have a reduced workload at school to assist them in their competitive endeavours. These situations can put students under intense pressure to both perform in their area of giftedness and to maintain their effort and engagement at school.

Students in Years 7 to 10 are bound by the Australian Curriculum, and the requirement to have sustained opportunities to learn in mandated areas of the curriculum. Students undertaking a Year 10 Certificate must meet the criteria as specified by the ACT Department of Education. The Principal must be able to state that a student has met school expectations in regard to attendance and assessment.

Three levels of support are provided.

LEVEL 1:

Teachers will be informed officially that the student may need to have extensions for assessment tasks or reduced homework expectations to ease the workload during times of intensive training or competitions. It will be the student’s responsibility to communicate with each teacher as the need arises.

LEVEL 2:

The student will attend all classes and experience all learning opportunities, but may be granted exemptions from homework or assessment tasks that require out of school research and preparation, in one or a number of classes, during intensive periods of competition. Exemptions will be in negotiated with the Head of Junior School (Years 7-9) or the Head of Senior School (Year 10) in consultation with teachers.

LEVEL 3:

The student will aim to attend all classes and experience all learning opportunities. However, the student may be absent from some classes, be granted exemptions from elective courses, or homework or assessment tasks that require out of school research or preparation during intensive periods of training or competition. The student will be mentored to develop organisational and academic independence so that her commitment to both learning and competition is maintained.

CRITERIA

A student seeking extraordinary processes needs to:

  • be of good standing in the College community
  • have demonstrated independent learning skills
  • have a commitment to participating in the College community and  maintain a cooperative manner in dealing with staff.

For a student to be included in the elite Competitors’ program she must meet all the following criteria:

  • competition at a state or national level
  • intensive training or coaching for a minimum of 25 hours over a seven day period
  • weekend commitments

Any teaching or coaching undertaken by the student will be considered as a part-time job, not as part of her Elite Competitors’ program.

Academic consideration or exemption is granted for a semester, although an extension into Semester 2 of the same academic year can be granted following a positive review of the student’s conduct, academic application and regular attendance at school. In the case of re application students may not need to submit all initial paperwork, provided training loads have not changed.

All Students seeking inclusion or continuation of the program need to complete the Elite Competitors’ Application Form, with attachments, and return this to the Head of Junior School in the first three weeks of the semester.

Forms

Elite Competitors’ Application form: Years 7-10
Exemption from compulsory schooling application http://www.act.det.gov.au/

Approved by: Merici Executive
Implementation Date: September 2007
Policy last Updated: 6th February 2017
Merici Contact Officer: Deputy Principal Learning

Please download full PDF to view and complete application form.