Policies and Procedures
Christian Home Educators' Cooperative
Policies and Procedures
General information about participation
A family is eligible for participation in CHEC once class space, character reference, and pastor recommendation are obtained. The family’s pastor must affirm CHEC’s statement of faith and that the applicant, to the pastor’s knowledge, pursues a lifestyle consistent with Biblical Christianity.
Participants are expected to demonstrate marks of Christian character and lifestyle while part of CHEC, particularly regarding any conflict resolution.
Participants retain full educational responsibilities for their students including all grades and transcripts.
Participating families must serve in the co-op all hours. The parent’s interests and input are considered when placing him or her on the schedule. Some families will split their service hours between Tuesday and Friday.
Once a family is registered for the year, they are expected to stay in co-op for that year. If a family withdraws after the registration deadline, June 15, they are ineligible to participate in co-op for two full years.
Current participants are automatically enrolled for the next school year unless they withdraw by June 15.
Participants are asked to verify their church home annually, and parents of 7-12 graders are asked to share the grammar program they use at home.
Participating students in grades 7-12 are expected to be prepared and ready to participate in chosen classes.
Co-op participants communicate primarily four ways:
Emails on the CHEC loop,
Band, a phone app that is also accessible from any computer, organized by age and subject/class (this replaces Classroom Connections on the website),
Remind text group for pressing matters, and
Mailbox. (CHEC teachers often use the mailbox to return papers, quizzes, and more to students and their parents. Please make a point to check weekly before leaving.)
If there is a problem or concern regarding any of these modes of communication, contact the internet technology coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators).
Details about the co-op day
At 8:30, we start the co-op day with assembly in the auditorium. We may say the Pledge of Allegiance, pray, sing a hymn, share announcements, and provide opportunity for memory recitations before dismissing to our morning classes. ALL students and adults are to be in assembly by 8:29.
A bell rings five minutes before each class ends to signal time to close the lesson and clean up the room. Another bell rings at the end of each class.
Once students arrive at co-op, they must stay under the supervision of adults. No student may leave campus without permission from a parent and notification of affected co-op teachers.
Juniors and seniors may have partial days at co-op, taking what they need and leaving when they do not have class. Please keep in mind that students who leave campus must have permission from a parent. Parents with only juniors and/or seniors at co-op serve only the hours their students are at co-op.
After the 3rd period, we have lunch as a co-op family.
Moms or older siblings need to pick up kindergarteners and younger children from their rooms ASAP. All other children, including 1st and 2nd graders, are released to meet their moms.
Bring your family's lunches and water for this time of fellowship.
If you eat outside, please remember to leave nothing but crumbs outside.
If you eat inside, please clean your family’s eating area completely.
Children in 4th grade or younger should eat with their parents unless another parent has agreed to be responsible for them. Parents should know where all their children are during lunch, and students should only be in designated eating areas.
If your older children do not eat with you, please be aware of their location so you can check their cleaning.
In inclement weather, we all eat inside. If not everyone fits at the tables, picnic blankets can be used on the floor. Blankets should be shaken outside afterwards.
High school students registered for Mike Schutt’s Literature class will take their lunches to eat (quickly) in the South Side area so that his class can begin. The same care with mess management will be maintained during this non-CHEC event.
Students may only have water for a beverage while in the building, and they may have that water only between classes, at lunch, and at PE. No water for students in classrooms. Parents may have any beverage in the building, and juniors and seniors may have non-water beverages at lunch.
The Parking Lot
Because the parking lot has non-co-op people coming and going to the church, parking lot safety must be taught thoroughly at home. Children of all ages must understand the real danger of drivers not seeing a child moving through the parking rows. The shorter the person, the more danger of not being seen emerging from between cars.
CHEC families are asked to park and enter/exit the building only from the main entrances at the northwest section of the parking lot.
Because we want participants in CHEC to be part of the larger homeschool community, please use the CHEMPA loop to share general (not specific to CHEC) matters. Likewise, communicate things related to co-op and of interest only to CHEC participants on the CHEC loop. General emails on the CHEMPA loop do not need to be duplicated on the CHEC loop.
Please be intentional to communicate inclusively at larger homeschool community gatherings. CHEC does not desire to be a separate community.
We do not sell, fundraise, or promote products at co-op or via co-op contact information. Personal items available for free or for a price may be made available on the loop with the exchange happening at co-op, preferably in the parking lot. Exchanges should not interfere with a person’s co-op duties. An exception to this rule is that food items may be sold at lunchtime for consumption during lunchtime.
Lost and found items will be kept for a few weeks and then donated.
No one should suggest or administer medicine or alternative medicines to a child other than her own child unless arrangements have been made by the parent.
We leave every room as we found it --- or better. We look for ways to improve and clean the building all day.
Out-of-Town Guests or Local Company
Co-op families may not bring guests to co-op.
Grandparents or other adult extended family members may visit co-op classes with permission from the director.
It is assumed that co-op teachers will be present for their classes even with company at their homes.
CHEC’s foster children policy can be found here.
There are three reasons for missing co-op: sickness, death in the family, and unavoidable travel.
Sickness – See the Health Policy for health guidelines. When sickness is an issue, even a possible issue, call or text the director as early as possible to keep her up to date. When in doubt, call to discuss the details of the illness. There are some sicknesses that require the entire family to stay home. Three of those are influenza (the flu), a stomach virus, and Covid. Other sicknesses may require well children to stay home.
Death in the family – When there is a death in the family or concern about the life of a loved one, please keep the substitute coordinator up to date.
Unavoidable travel - If you are unable to attend co-op because of upcoming travel, please record the dates in the substitute folder. Freedom to travel is one of the benefits of homeschooling, but excessive absences affect the entire community and abuse the privilege of being in co-op. Please schedule around Tuesdays and Fridays when reasonable.
Others – There are few other reasons to miss co-op, but when consideration is needed, please contact the director.
In cases of absences, parents should contact all others at co-op who count on them.
Well children, 5th grade or older, may be allowed to attend their classes even though their parents are not onsite.
If students do attend without a parent, that parent should ask another parent to be responsible for the attending children.
Well children, 4th grade or younger, might be allowed to attend with other parents. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis. The parent must call for explicit permission for their 1st through 4th grade student(s) to attend co-op in the parent’s absence.
Preschoolers are not allowed to come without their parent.
NO immunizations are required to participate in co-op.
Should a communicable disease (for which a vaccine exists) break out anywhere near our community, families who do not immunize or who do not have immunizations up to date will be asked to stay home until that disease is no longer considered a threat in our area.
This policy excludes influenza and Covid vaccines.
Class Clean-up (Clean up begins when the warning bell rings):
At the warning bell, students pick up all litter from the carpet. Vacuuming may be avoided if this is done well.
The students put the furniture back as found, including pushing in the chairs.
The teachers wipe the tables with cleaner and paper towels if needed.
We leave every room the way we found it, if not better.
End-of-the-Day Building Clean-up
A building/furniture coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators) will assign teams of students to restore classrooms to their original furniture configuration each week.
These student teams function primarily on responsibility, with final checking by the coordinator. If your student is a part of this team and is absent or leaves early, they must communicate with the coordinator so a replacement can be found.
A separate cleaning coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators) communicates the details of building clean-up and the worker schedule. Each week after co-op, the building must be left clean. Areas of cleaning include bathrooms, trash, and vacuuming/sweeping floors.
Parents and older students will be placed on the cleaning schedule to form teams that are overseen by the cleaning coordinator, building liaison, and other closing participants.
If you are not there, the cleaning coordinator will choose a substitute to ensure the sub is familiar with the job and to keep up with the trades.
Those not cleaning should visit outside or leave. Those cleaning should take all their personal belongings to their vehicles while waiting for the building to empty.
For more details about how the building is cleaned, see Cleaning Descriptions on the website.
The supply-room coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators) oversees the supply closets and contents. Please see her with questions or needs.
If you need something that we do not have, add it to the purchasing agent’s shopping list found on the clipboard in the closet. Include the class and a contact name in case clarification is needed.
Individual purchases made without prior permission might not be reimbursed.
Please put non-consumable materials back in the correct places in the supply closet when done. If a consumable item is low or out, please add the item on the purchasing agent’s shopping list.
Family fee - $30 per year
Student fee - $20 per child per year
Specific supply fees and/or project fees are charged to offset specific class projects.
Families can rent the curriculum for some classes. The rental fees are due at orientation. If a rented book is lost, the family will pay the replacement cost. The books are due back at a date set and announced by the textbook coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators). Arrangement with the textbook coordinator can be made to extend a book rental beyond the due date for the cost of $20 per book.
All fees go into CHEC’s checking account at Pilgrim Bank.
All pre-approved purchases are reimbursed by receipt and kept on file.
We invite the accountability of participants examining the books. Contact the treasurer.
Copyright laws are to be taken very seriously. Please do not copy materials that are protected by copyright laws unless (1) you contact the publisher and obtain permission; OR (2) you are very sure that you are not infringing the copyright (for example, your copying falls under the “fair use doctrine” or another exception to the law).
When in doubt, call the copyright holder and ask. CHEC views this as a matter of Christian integrity.
Cancellation of Co-op
Weather problems - Co-op cancels if MPISD cancels for weather. Regardless of CHEC canceling or not, each family must judge the safety of travel from their location. Some live far from Mount Pleasant and may have unsafe roads when the Mount Pleasant roads are safe. (CHEC has been known to cancel for substantial snow even if the roads are safe because playing in the snow and drinking appropriate amounts of hot chocolate is valued among our participants.)
Sickness - Because CHEC is a cooperative, a certain number of parents must be onsite to facilitate classes. When sickness is prevalent in the community, a cancellation may be necessary for staffing reasons or to stop the spread of sickness among CHEC families.
Cancellations will be announced through the Remind text group, Band, and email group.
Because CHEC sees the Bible as the most important truth to teach, CHEC defers all Bible teaching to the parents and the church.
Because all families have signed the statement of faith and all pastors of these families have signed off on the statement of faith, there is agreement on the foundational doctrines of orthodox Christianity.
The CHEC Calendar (exceptions happen)
Orientation – the Saturday closest to two weeks before the first co-op
First fall co-op – the Tuesday and Friday after Labor Day
Last fall co-ops – the Tuesday and Friday before Thanksgiving week
First spring co-op – the second Tuesday and the subsequent Friday in January
Spring break – the most common spring break of the local public schools
Good Friday – no HS science
Last spring co-op – the last Tuesday in April
Friday HS science lab schedules will be announced before each semester begins
The current year calendar is maintained on the website.
Some of the late-elementary classes and almost all the junior high and senior high classes use purchased curriculum.
The students in these classes are expected to purchase the curriculum and do work as paced by the co-op teacher. The students being at the same place in their courses of studies makes enrichment possible.
Should your student fall behind in a subject, please talk with the co-op teacher as soon as possible to plan for catching up.
For the sake of class morale and quality, if a student consistently comes to class unprepared, they will be asked to leave the class permanently.
Given the requirement for students to remain up to date with their course work, there is no allowance for auditing classes.
The CHEC Assignments – Some Boundaries and Guidelines
No assignments may be given before Orientation. Recommended (optional) summer reading is fine.
Assignments between Orientation and the Tuesday after Labor Day are not discouraged or encouraged. The Tuesday morning after Labor Day, assignments are expected.
When planning holiday assignments please keep in mind that our school buildings are also our homes, and hospitality and travel may be higher priorities than school. Unless assignments are necessary for the pacing of a curriculum, holiday assignments are not encouraged.
Assignments after Thanksgiving are necessary for the high school science curricula and for some math classes.
No assignments should be given five full SCHOOL days before Christmas Eve.
After Christmas break, assignments may be given to prepare for the first week back at co-op.
Monday of the returning week is usually a good day to start. However, there are years that the return date falls so late that assignments may be given before that Monday.
No assignments may be given the week set aside for spring break.
Assignments are expected Monday through Thursday the week of Good Friday.
Suggested assignments may be given for May. Many curricula are not covered well without more work in May.
Teachers should consider the difficulty of assignments before moving too quickly and affecting the students’ ability to fully grasp the concepts.
In all classes, the curricula and books chosen should not be rushed for the sole purpose of finishing the material. Sometimes less is more if it is grasped. That said, as much as can be done well, should be done at a reasonably rigorous pace.
Some classes have projects. Projects are a great way to enrich certain subjects, especially history and literature.
No class needs to have projects just to have them, but when a project would enhance the topic of study, it is encouraged.
Although group projects may be chosen by students with their parents’ consent, working as a group cannot be required outside of co-op.
The standard of behavior for co-op children is exceptionally high. Please consider whether your child is prepared to participate in the classes in a way that he and those around him benefit from him being there.
Children with special needs are welcome. Their parents may contribute to the co-op by shadowing their special-needs children.
All students listen to, respond to, and quickly obey adults. They respectfully listen during class time. “Respectfully listen” means not only listening, but having the appearance of listening, keeping eyes on the teacher and/or whatever the teacher is referencing. Students interact on topic when it is appropriate. In the academic classes, students must not have side conversations. Comments to each other, even on topic, are distracting and impolite. All talking should be for the whole class and only when talking is appropriate.
There are no inappropriate public displays of affection between co-op participants.
Students (and parents) dress appropriately and modestly on class days.
Young ladies wear modest tops (not too low or too tight), and do not expose their midriffs.
Shorts and skirts should fall at a modest length (think longer than mid-thigh). Jeggings, leggings, or spandex (pants that do not allow for normal creasing in the fabric) should only be worn with a tunic (think mid-thigh). Rips, frays, or cut outs in jeans should be entirely below the mid-thigh unless clearly backed with fabric.
The young men wear sleeves, wear their pants on the waist, and do not wear caps in the building. Young boys may wear sleeveless shirts.
We need to be excellent guests of the church. When students are in the building, they must walk (not run or engage in horseplay) and use quiet voices
Once students arrive at co-op, they must always stay under the supervision of adults. No student is at co-op without a parent or a previously arranged parent substitute.
All parents have the freedom and responsibility during co-op classes to address behavior issues. If bad behavior is chronic, please talk to the parents and let the director know.
Disruptive behavior is not tolerated. If a child cannot behave properly at co-op, the entire family will be asked to delay their involvement in co-op for one full semester. After that time, the family may be reconsidered for co-op participation.
Who to Contact About What – 2022-2023
(Contact information is not listed on the public website. Contact must be made through the loop or private contact list)
CHEC Board: Laura B., Lisa F., Chauna G., Christie G., Steffenie R., Karen R., Lisa S., and Katherine W.
CHEC maintains a “self-perpetuating board”. As we need new board members due to attrition, we look to where the Lord has graciously raised up people to fulfill particular roles, and they are asked to join the board.
Decisions are made by unanimity, as we seek to be of one mind with God’s plans for CHEC.
Occasionally, retiring board members will agree to serve an additional term(s) as a transition time in an advisory role. Advisors do not retain a voting privilege but engage in the decision-making process by sharing institutional memory.
An outgoing Director will typically serve as the Executive Director for up to two years to assist the incoming Director with day-to-day issues. The Executive Director will maintain voting privileges, share institutional memory, and protect community culture.
Occasionally an outgoing Executive Director will agree to serve an additional term(s) in an advisory role.
Director*: Christie G.
Secretary*: Karen R.
Treasurer*: Chauna G.
Internet Technology Coordinator*: Katherine W.
Roster Coordinator*: Katherine W.
Building Liaison (North Ridge)*: Karen R.
Building Liaison (Trinity)*: Lisa F.
Advisor to the Board*: Lisa S.
Advisor to the Board*: Laura B.
Preschool – K Steffenie R.
1st - 6th Cathy W.
7th – 12th Christie G.
Curriculum Purchasing Agent: Shana A.
Textbook Coordinator: Lisa F.
Supply-Room Coordinator: Lisa F.
General Purchasing Agent: Shana A.
Substitute Coordinator: Christie G.
Substitute-Notebook Coordinator: Nancy H.
Cleaning Coordinator: Nancy H.
Furniture Coordinator: Chad N.
Orientation Brunch Coordinator: Brandi T.
End-of-the-Year Program Coordinator: Cathy W.
Foster Children Coordinator: Amy M.
Food Allergy Coordinator: Lisa F.
Special Needs Liaison: Amy C.
A participant contact list with phone numbers and emails is on the password-protected portion of the website. An electronic version can also be sent to participants.
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