Policies


5 Tenets

I belong

At Atlantic Stars Academy I belong. I belong at all practices and practices aren’t the same without me. Everyone in the group belongs equally and I am equal to everyone else. Since I am equal and I belong, everyone else belongs as well.

I am responsible for my actions

I want to be responsible for everything I do. I understand that if I do something nice for someone that it will make them feel good. When I do this I will build a friendship with that person.

If I do something that isn’t nice I want to be responsible as well. This means that if I hurt someone (or hurt their feelings) by accident or on purpose, I will apologize and try to be friends with the other person.

I am accepted for who I am

I am unique and have abilities that are different than anybody else’s. Some of these abilities I know about and some of them I’ll learn about as I grow up. I will make sure that I use my abilities when I am practicing.

Eg: I’m a strong defender, I’m a good rebounder, I’m good at cheering people up, I’m good at helping the coach setting up for practice, I’m good at being an example for others by working hard, …

I also recognize and accept that there are things that I’m not good at and that’s okay. I will do my best at these things and I won’t be afraid to try. I realize that I can rely on others in my group who are good at those things.

I accept others for who they are

Just like I have unique abilities so does everyone else. I accept everyone else for their differences and unique abilities. I also accept that they aren’t as good as me in some things. We can help each other be better and we can work as a team to be good at everything.

I will do my best

 This does not mean, I will TRY my best but rather, I will DO my best. Doing my best far out reaches trying my best. Trying gives me an excuse to not DO. As a young person I am capable of a lot. I will push myself to do what the coaches ask even if it’s difficult and I will trust that they are helping me to be the best I can be.

Behaviour Policy

Our 5 Tenets are a creed that staff, players and parents all agree to uphold while at the Academy and give us a baseline to refer to when our focus wanders. In some cases, once in the program, the focus of a player, parent or coach can change. Our interest is in helping regain a positive focus on their goals and the 5 Tenets.

The staff of the Academy will take the following steps to assist a player in regaining a positive focus and embracing of the 5 Tenets.

  1. Academy staff will meet with the player and parents to discuss the goals originally discussed when the player first joined. We will point out that the current behaviour is not productive in achieving these goals, explain how to modify the behaviour and re-establish a commitment to the 5 Tenets. Following this, in each practice the Academy staff will encourage and support the player in maintaining a positive focus.
  2. If the negative focus persists or re-develops we will once again discuss the behaviour together with the parents. It will be explained that the athlete must attempt to “meet us halfway” in trying to change the focus and if the behaviour doesn’t change then membership can no longer be maintained.
  3. If the negative focus continues after a second meeting it has become clear that the athlete is not interested in pursuing his/her healthy goals and upholding the 5 Tenets. Membership will be revoked. There is no refund on any un-used portions of revoked memberships.

Cancellation Policy

The decision to cancel a practice due to weather or other reason is made at 4pm. At this time an email message is sent out to all players in the group. We only cancel practices in relatively bad conditions.

Cancelled practices are not always re-scheduled and it is expected that there will be cancellations each membership term.

Players can make up a missed practice by attending another practice at a different location or time. Please confirm with the administrator that this is okay in order to ensure the session isn’t overcrowded and we have enough coaches.

Child Abuse Policy

At Atlantic Stars Academy will want to provide a safe environment for our athletes both physically and emotionally. Since we live in a society where danger to children is significant we will take precautions to protect the children under our care. Our Child Abuse Policy outlines how we will maintain a safe environment for our athletes.

Definitions

Child: For the purposes of this policy, a child is defined as an athlete who is a member of Atlantic Stars Academy and who is entrusted in our care and supervision.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is any unwanted physical contact, verbal communication or action that implies or demonstrates sexual activity. Sexual abuse violates the child’s physical, spiritual and emotional wholeness causing the victim to feel shame, while providing power, stimulation and pleasure for the abuser. Most children, when abused, are abused by someone they know and trust, a relative, family friend or some other child care worker.

Physical Abuse: The disproportionate and inappropriate use of force to restrain, coerce, intimidate, discipline and/or control a child.

Emotional Abuse: The inappropriate disproportionate use of a “threat” of physical or verbal force to restrain, coerce, intimidate, discipline and/or control a child.

Harassment: Physical and/or emotional, persistent, unwanted attention directed toward a child or adult.

Child Neglect: Not providing for physical and/or emotional well-being of a child left in one’s care and protection.

Screening of Staff

All staff of Atlantic Stars Academy will have read the Child Abuse Policy. Further, all staff will follow all the directives contained within.

All staff will have a Child Abuse Registry check and Criminal Records check and copies of the certificates will be kept on file in the Atlantic Stars Academy Office.

Responsible Practices for Staff

  1. Do not be alone with a child where your activity cannot be seen. Leave doors open in non-windowed rooms which allows for others to observe any activity. If you are counselling or disciplining a child make sure that another adult is present or nearby.
  2. Do not invade the privacy of a child when they are using the toilet or showering.
  3. Do not engage in sexually provocative games.
  4. Do not make sexually suggestive comments about, or to, a child even in jest.
  5. Do not engage in any inappropriate or intrusive touching of any kind.
  6. Do not let a child involve you in excessive attention seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature. If you have a concern about a certain child’s behaviour talk to your immediate supervisor.
  7. Do not use physical restraint when disciplining a child unless they are causing harm to another person and immediate intervention is required. Guide children in their behaviour by being firm, caring and consistent. As adults we should be in control of our emotions. Never slap, hit or shake a child. Do not shout at a child in anger, belittle or demean a child.
  8. Do not invite a child to your home or your car alone. Make sure there is someone else present and close by. Make sure the parent(s) know where the child is.
  9. Do not give car rides to children alone. Make sure there is another person in the car.
  10. Do not share inappropriate sleeping arrangements with children on a trip.
  11. If you see another worker or any other adult acting in a way that might be misconstrued, speak to them and remind them of the directives in the Child Abuse Policy. If such behaviour continues report it to your immediate supervisor.
  12. Do not take pictures of an individual child in private without a parent’s permission.
  13. If a child’s behaviour is destructive to the atmosphere or other people, take them aside to speak to them but be sure that you are visible to others. Make sure you are out of hearing range but within visible range.
  14. Reject the behaviour and not the child. For example, “That’s the kind of thing bullies do” rather than, “You’re a bully”.
  15. Give encouragement to every child. Notice the good behaviour of a child and comment on it.
  16. All out of town or unusual activities require parental consent.

Responding to Allegations

How to React When a Child Wants to Talk About Abuse:

  1. I will help you. Reassure the child that he/she is safe and that it is your civic duty to report the matter to the proper authorities.
  2. Take the child someplace quiet where you can listen to them. Remain visible but not audible to others.
  3. Accept what the child says.
  4. Keep calm and focused.
  5. Look at the child directly.
  6. Let him/her know that you need to tell someone else – don’t promise confidentiality.
  7. Even when a child has broken a rule, assure the child that he/she is not to be blamed for the abuse.
  8. Be aware that the child may have been threatened and respond appropriately.
  9. Never push for information. Avoid leading or investigative questions and respect silence. Allow experts to make decisions, counsel and ask questions. Simply listen to the child.
  10. Make sure that the child is safe until a social worker or police officer arrives.

Helpful Things to Say:

  1. I believe you.
  2. I’m glad that you told me.
  3. It’s not your fault.
  4. I’m sorry that this has happened to you.
  5. I’ll help you.

Avoid Saying:

  1. Why didn’t you tell anyone?
  2. I can’t believe it! I’m shocked!
  3. Don’t tell anyone else.
  4. Are you sure this is true?
  5. Why? How? When? Who? Where? What? Our purpose is not to investigate but to allow the child to vent.
  6. Never make false promises.

After Listening to the Child:

  1. Let the child know what you are going to do next and that you will let them know what happens.
  2. Immediately let your immediate supervisor know what has happened. Speak of this matter only with your immediate supervisor, the police or authorities involved.
  3. Make notes as soon as possible. Write exactly what the child said and when he or she said it. Record the date, time, place and any other person present. Keep all your notes, even if you hand write them and then type them. The Suspected Abuse Report Form should be filled out immediately.
  4. Do not investigate or discuss the matter with anyone other than the authorities.

Conclusion

The Atlantic Stars Academy has implemented this detailed Child Abuse Policy to protect its members and staff for purpose of maintaining a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for its athletes, their parents and staff. Although we hope never to have to use this instrument we take the matter of child abuse very seriously and feel this document is most importantly a preventative tool.

Communication Policy

The primary method of communication is email and our website. Coaches often communicate in person before or after practice. In some situations we will communicate by telephone.

Email is the best way to communicate with us as there is not always someone in the office to take your call. Our office number is (902) 865-1844 and there is voice mail. We endeavour to return calls and emails within 24 hours.

The decision to cancel an evening practice due to weather or other reasons, is made at 4pm. Notice of cancellation is sent out by email shortly thereafter.

Absence Policy

Players are to provide at least 24 hours notice if they are expecting to be absent from practice. Understandably a full 24 hours is not achievable due to sudden emergencies and situations in which case reasonable notice is expected.

Tithe Policy

10% of gross revenues are given to local churches, Compassion Canada, Athletes in Action Ministries and their mission focused organizations. Each training group sponsors a child in Tegucigalpa, Honduras through Compassion Canada and the athletes in that group take part in writing letters to their sponsor child.

Everything we have is God’s possession. We are entrusted to good stewards with His money. Tithing honours God by thanking him for the things he has given us and expresses our trust in him to continue to provide for us.

Membership Policy

Maintaining a positive training environment for athletes, coaches, staff and parents is the top priority for Atlantic  Stars Academy. We are pleased to train athletes who have a strong desire to learn and play their sport and whose parents demonstrate a positive supporting nature.

While membership is considered to be year-round, the minimum membership is 1 semester (3 months).

Membership may be terminated at any time by the management and staff. Please see the Behaviour Policy.

30 days notice is required if a player is intending to take an extended period of time off from training or has decided not to continue with training. This is necessary so that group sizes and staffing requirements can be monitored. An extended period of time is considered more than 2 weeks or a period of time during which the player/parent is not intending to pay the membership fee.

A one month membership fee, which covers the 30 day notice, will be charged to the parent/player from the time that notice is given whether the player is present
at practice or not.

If the group is full and there is a waiting list for that group, the penalty fee MAY be waived depending on the circumstances. When a player is taking time off, the group is full and their spot is filled by a new player, the player on leave of absence may rejoin that group if there is space available. However, in that circumstance every effort will be made to place the player in another group.

Players requiring a leave of absence who are training on a scholarship will be charged the value of 1 month of membership.

In extenuating circumstances, such as injury, family emergency or re-location, allowances will be made. Effective communication with staff is critical in working through these allowances.

Payment Policy

Each membership period, or “semester” is 3 months long.  There are 4 semesters per year: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Existing members are provided advanced registration privileges for the next semester 45 days prior to the next semester starts. 30 days prior to the start of a semester, membership opportunities are opened up to new members.

Memberships must be paid in full prior to the start of the semester. Payment options can be arranged upon request.

Memberships will be pro-rated for those joining part way through a semester.

While membership is considered to be year-round, the minimum membership is 1 semester.

A late fee of $10 will be assigned for every 2 week period that a membership fee is late.

A $35 service fee is charged for each NSF cheque.

Refund Policy

Pro-rated refunds are granted in the event that a member is not able to finish the membership period due to injury or re-location (move). Administration fees may apply.