Policies and Procedures

CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS’ CO-OP of Mount Pleasant

Policies and Procedures

2020-2021

These Policies and Procedures have changed significantly to reflect the Plan B changes. All portions of the document should be read, but please pay particular attention to the italicized portions as these reflect the modifications for Plan B.

General information about participation

During Plan A "normal" co-op, a parent from each participating family must serve in the co-op all hours. The parent’s giftings and input are considered when placing him or her on the schedule. However, under Plan B, there are significant changes:

  • Only students in grades 7-12 will participate in the in-person CHEC Friday classes.

  • Parents of 7-12 students will cooperate through: teaching (in person or online), serving behind the scenes, cleaning, or giving writing feedback.

  • Parents lead teaching or providing writing feedback in person with no alternative provision for their 6th and under children may bring their younger elementary children. Supervision with some activities and games will be provided.

  • Students in grades 1-6 may choose whether or not to follow along with CHEC classes via website syllabus &/or enrichment suggestions.

  • Families with concerns about Covid risk or limitations to mask requirements may opt out of Plan B without jeopardizing their longterm CHEC participation.

  • Families opting out of plan B are expected to keep pace with 7th-12th academic courses from home in anticipation of a possible return to plan A.

  • Should CHEC return to plan A during the 20-21 school year, all participating families will be assumed to return. Any family wishing to opt out at that point will be considered withdrawing. They would then be ineligible to participate in co-op for two full years.

  • Sign-ups for CHEC for the next year are held in the spring. Current participants are automatically enrolled for the next school year unless they withdraw.

Communication

Co-op participants communicate primarily three ways: Emails on the CHEC Groups loop, Classroom Connections on the website, and an emergency text group. Each new participant receives an invitation to the Group loop which they must respond to. Information on Classroom Connections is open to the public and arranged by age and course of study. If there is a problem or concern regarding the Group loop or website, contact the internet technology coordinator (see last page for names of coordinators). To join the text group, participants need a code. Instructions are given at orientation and/or directly from the co-op director. Families without text messaging options should find another family to alert them when time-sensitive announcements are communicated (such as cancellations, delayed starts, etc.).


Details about the Plan B co-op day

  • All co-op participants will be required to have a temperature screening and affirm their response of "no" to the Covid questionnaire each Friday before entering the building.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available and used upon entry to the building and each separate classroom.

  • Science kits should be brought to and from co-op weekly by the student. Students should pay special attention to what room their science class will be meeting in and leave their kits neatly in the hallway or next to a wall of the classroom upon arrival.

  • CHEC teachers receiving papers from students may place folders or trays for collection in the foyer.

  • At 9:15, 9th-12th grade History classes will begin. There will be no assembly. Please arrive at co-op early enough to allow your student time to complete the temperature check and Covid questionnaire, find their class, be seated, and ready.

  • At 10:00, 7th/8th grade classes will begin. The doors will be open to these students at 9:50 after they complete the temperature screening and Covid questionnaire.

  • 7th/8th grade students whose parents are teaching or serving in some other capacity during the History hour (9:15 - 10:00) may choose a study hall in the foyer or to audit a high school class if permission is given by the director.

  • As much as possible, all classes for each grade will be held in the same room to minimize movement within the building. Students not traveling to another classroom should use the five minute break between classes for stretching and drinking their water.

  • 7th - 12th grade students not enrolled in CHEC Math will be finished for the day at noon. They should promptly depart with their families. A study hall in the foyer will be provided for non-math students whose parents are teaching or serving in some other capacity.

  • Classroom doors will remain opened.

  • A bell rings five minutes before each class ends to signal time to close the lesson and clean up the room. A 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 expressed permission from a parent.

  • Juniors and seniors may have partial days at co-op. They can take what they need and leave when they do not have class, keeping in mind that students who leave campus must have expressed permission from a parent.


Lunch

  • There will be no lunch during Plan B. Students in grades 7-12 may bring water bottles to class. Between classes, students may drink their water by lifting the bottom part of the mask.

  • Younger students on site with teaching parents may bring their own snack from home, but will not be able to share with others. They will have a specific snack time.

  • While students may have only water in the building, parents may have any beverage in the building.

  • All 7th through 12th grade students and teachers will need to eat outside the building, if they need to eat onsite. Snacks for teacher's children will be discussed with those moms.


The Parking Lot

  • Because the parking lot has non-co-op people coming and going to the church, and local people use it as a cut-through to the I-30 service road, 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.

  • When cars are parked in the painted, allocated spots, children and adults going to and from the building to the grassy area opposite the building cross traffic patterns six times. This is a time for proper fear. Children and adults should fear coming into the path of a car from between two parked cars knowing that the driver will not see them until it is too late to stop. The shorter the person, the more danger of not being seen emerging from between cars. Please talk to your kids about parking lot safety. Take them into the parking lot and demonstrate.

  • The north-most parking spaces at the west end of the building (those along the curb close to the building) are reserved for Rainbow School each Friday morning and should be avoided by CHEC vehicles every Friday.

  • When unloading items from your car, please take care to not park in no-parking zones, and never block the mailbox. North Ridge will not receive its mail if a vehicle is parked in front of the mailbox when the postman arrives.

  • A teacher choosing to hold class outside may allow students to unmask if he/she feels comfortable supporting the students' maintenance of healthy social distancing parameters.

Miscellaneous Courtesies

  • Because we want participants in CHEC to be part of the larger homeschool community, please use the CHEMPA loop to share all things general (not specific to CHEC). Likewise, be careful to communicate on the CHEC loop things clearly related to co-op and of interest only to CHEC participants.

  • When at events that are not CHEC events, please try to engage those not in CHEC and avoid discussing things only of interest to CHEC participants. We do not want to become a separate community.

  • After September of each year, families who want to be a part of the local homeschool community will have joined CHEMPA or the homeschool group in their area. Therefore, general emails on the CHEMPA loop do not need to be duplicated on the CHEC loop.

  • We do not sell or promote products at co-op or by way of co-op contact information. This includes fund-raising products. We may make personal items available for free or for a price on the CHEMPA loop and make the exchange at co-op. However, the exchanges may not interfere with a person’s co-op duties, and if the exchange is with a CHEMPA member not in co-op, it should be made in the parking lot during the teacher’s off hour or after co-op.

  • Please do not bring random give-away items to co-op. The donation piles often end up left at the end of the day for someone else to clean up. Make your items known on the CHEMPA loop and bring them only if you have a definite taker/buyer. Co-op members are welcome to bring give-away items to co-op and leave them in their car.

  • No one should suggest or administer medicine or alternative medicines to a child other than her own child unless the counsel is explicitly and discreetly sought out 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.

  • Plan B parents dropping off older students should be prompt with arrival and departure times.

Out-of-Town Guests or Local Company

  • Co-op families may not bring guests to co-op with them.

  • Grandparents or other adult extended family members may visit co-op classes with permission from the director, but mask wearing, temperature checking, and Covid screening will apply.

  • It is assumed that co-op teachers will be present for their classes even with company at their homes, but special occasions sometimes merit absences. Just ask.

Foster Children

Foster Children are welcome at co-op under the following circumstances.

  1. Infants and babies in foster care that are easily cared for by their foster parent in a sling or support device without being a distraction to classes are welcome at co-op. They will not be listed on a roll nor be cared for by co-op workers in the nursery. The co-op placement of foster parents with an infant will be limited to positions that maximize safety for the child. Infants and babies that become too wiggly to be worn by the foster parent and begin to need nursery care will then be evaluated for possible placement in the co-op nursery using the standards outlined below in numbers 2 and 3.

  2. Foster children considered to have a pre-adoption status (those with a court date set to place them in the adoption unit and then adopted by their foster family) will be placed on the roster and allowed to attend co-op if the parent so chooses and provided there is space. If no space is available, they will be added to the roster as participants in waiting.

  3. All other foster children who attend co-op will meet the following requirements:

a. they have been living with their co-op foster family continuously for six months,

b. all potential alternate caregivers have been exhausted on the Family Resource Form,

c. they require level 1 care, and

d. they have no known behavioral challenges.

Children over the age of two who meet the requirements above will be allowed a beginning-of-semester September start date (for children in the home prior to March 1) or January start date (for children in the home before July 1).

Children under age two who meet the requirements above may begin attending at any time, provided there is room in the nursery.

The foster care coordinator will evaluate each participant on a case-by-case basis. Foster children will be placed on their class roll if there is room after the new families have been placed each year.

Other legal statuses similar to but short of adoption are treated like foster care. Other children temporarily in co-op participants’ custody are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Absences/Substitutes

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-19. Other sicknesses may require well children to stay home.

  • A participant with known Covid exposure (unmasked and non-distanced contact of 15 minutes or more with a person that is Covid positive) will not be allowed to attend co-op for 14 days. The family may still attend provided the exposed individual remains symptom free and no other family members develop symptoms.

  • When a known or suspected Covid case is in a participant’s household, the 14 day countdown for family reentry will not start until the infected person is cleared to resume normal activities, usually 10 days from onset of symptoms.

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 or contact the substitute-notebook coordinator by email or phone. 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 when there are so many families on the waiting list. Please schedule around 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.

Immunization Policy

We do not require immunizations to participate in co-op. However, if a communicable disease (for which a vaccine exists) breaks 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 particular disease is no longer considered a significant threat in our area.

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.

  • At the end of each class period, the departing lead teacher is asked to clean or oversee the cleaning of tables/chairs using the materials CHEC will provide.

End-of-the-Day Building Clean-up

  • The categories of cleaning and job descriptions for Plan B will be available on the website before classes begin meeting.

  • During Plan B cleaning, the scheduling will happen through a sign-up process.

  • Parents are encouraged to think through their areas of service. Those that are not teaching or serving in other capacities should consider signing up to clean a particular area, even weekly.

  • Parents may oversee their children doing work, but the work must be checked and improved if needed.

  • If you are not there, the cleaning coordinator will find a substitute for you. Please contact her as soon as you know you’ll be gone.

  • Those not cleaning should leave the premises. Those cleaning should take all their personal belongings to their vehicles while waiting for the building to empty.

  • After building cleaning, board members will finalize the cleaning/disinfecting of each classroom.

  • For more details about how the building is cleaned, see Cleaning Descriptions on the website.

Supplies

  • The supply-room coordinator oversees the supply room and its contents. Please see her or her Plan B substitute with questions or concerns.

  • Many supplies are available for the classes: art supplies, science lab equipment, snacks, and more. If you need something that we do not have, add it to the purchasing agent’s shopping list found on the clipboard by the door in the supply room. Include the class and a contact name in case clarification is needed. Sometimes more explanation is sought by the co-op purchasing agent or by the appropriate age-group coordinator. Purchases made without prior permission might not be reimbursed.

  • During Plan B hand sanitizer will be kept in the supply room. Please use each time upon entering the room before touching any item.

  • Any item returned to the supply room should be placed in the return tub, rather than put away.

  • Please take very good care of what you use from the supply room.

  • If a consumable item is low or out, please put the item on the shopping list found on the clipboard by the door in the supply room

Fees

Family fee - $30 per year

Student fee - $20 per child per year

  • No student fees will be collected for students 6th and under this fall.

  • A pro-rated student fee of $10 will be collected for each student 6th and under, should we return to Plan A in the spring.

  • Family fees for families with only 6th and under children will be $7 multiplied by the number of participating family members, but not to exceed $30.

  • All other fees and rental prices will be published by the treasurer via email the week of orientation.

  • Fees will be collected on 8/28/20 (the day before orientation) at the same time rented books are picked up.

  • Separate arrangements can be made to pay at orientation for those living too far out of town.

  • Families can rent the curriculum for some classes. 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. Book rentals can be extended beyond the due date for the cost of $20 per book. If a book is not returned by the due date, it is considered an extended rental. Please communicate your intentions with the textbook coordinator.


Money

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

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. Online paced courses in Plan B should be especially mindful honoring copyright laws.


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. Co-op cancels if area schools begin to cancel for Covid.

Although cancellations are announced through the emergency text group, participants should check for emails on Thursday nights and Friday mornings to make sure all is well.

Bible Classes

It may seem contradictory that a group that desires all things to be Biblical does not allow Bible classes. 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)

The current year calendar is on the website. Please notice that while our first CHEC meeting of 2021 is later this year, assignments will begin from home at the regular time

  • Orientation – the Saturday closest to two weeks before the first co-op

  • First fall co-op – the Friday after Labor Day

  • Fair-week Friday – no co-op - usually the fourth Friday of September or first Friday in October

  • Last fall co-op – the Friday before Thanksgiving

  • First spring co-op – the second Friday in January

  • The Friday of the regional basketball tournament in February – no co-op due to lack of in-town co-op participants

  • Spring break – the most common spring break of the local public schools

  • Good Friday – no co-op

  • Last spring co-op – the last Friday in April


Homework

  • The students in the late-elementary classes and almost all the junior high and senior high classes are expected to purchase curriculum and do work as paced by the co-op teacher.

  • The students should keep pace with the class, and if a student consistently comes to class unprepared, they will be asked to leave the class permanently. Unprepared students affect the ability of the teacher to have enriching class discussions and lower the work standard for the other students.

  • Students following along with online course work in academic 7-12 courses must be vigilant to stay current should there be a return to Plan A within the school year.


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. Some courses just need to get started to do the curricula justice. The Tuesday morning after Labor Day, assignments are welcome.

  • Assignments are expected Monday – Thursday of Titus County Fair week.

  • Although assignments may be given the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, many homeschool families travel or have company coming. Our school buildings are also our homes, and hospitality may be a higher priority than school. School work assigned these days is often moved until after the holiday weekend. Keep that in mind when assigning work. To be fair to some curricula, assignments may be necessary for the timing of finishing for the Christmas holidays. The fewer classes assigning, the better.

  • Assignments after Thanksgiving are necessary for the high school science curricula and for some math classes. Unless assignments are necessary for the pacing of a curriculum, holiday assignments are not encouraged. No assignments should be given five full SCHOOL days before Christmas Eve. Stopping sooner is even better. Again, our school buildings are also our homes where preparations are made for guests and family gatherings. The holiday break, while assignments are few, is a great time for catching up and reviewing or for mastering weak areas.

  • 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 second Friday falls so late that assignments may be given before that Monday.

  • Over half of our co-op families are involved in the regional basketball tournament held in February. The tournament starts on Thursday; many leave town on Wednesday. Keep this in mind when writing assignments for that week.

  • 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.

  • When five assignments are given in one week, teachers should be aware that most families (according to the Spring Feedback Form) do not do one of those assignments over the weekend. Instead, they double up on one school day. Some weeks, five days of assignments are necessary for a good purpose (i.e. covering more material while it is easier and more manageable, finishing a chapter before a long break, etc.). Teachers should consider the difficulty of the assignments before risking that two difficult assignments might be done on the same day, thereby 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. And again, there is an expectation that some work will be done in May in curricula that need more time to be adequately covered.


Projects

  • 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.

  • There is a project calendar in the supply room where all projects dates and brief descriptions must be written. The goal of the calendar is to spread out project deadlines so that all extra work is not going on at the same time. Please consult the project calendar before picking the date for a project. The supply-room coordinator writes the projects on the calendar.

  • Although group projects may be chosen by students with their parents’ consent, working as a group cannot be required outside of co-op. Some occasions are better than others for parents to support cooperative efforts.

  • Students working in groups at co-op during Plan B will need to use hand sanitizer if any common items are shared.

Behavior

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 his 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 boys and girls.

  • Students (and parents) dress appropriately and modestly on class days.

    • Ladies wear modest tops that provide ample coverage of waist, chest, and back. The midriff area and any undergarments should remain covered during normal movement.

    • Shirts without sleeves should have a strap with a minimum 2-3 fingers width.

    • 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.

    • No baseball caps.

    • Gentlemen wear sleeves, although boys 4th grade and younger may wear sleeveless shirts.

    • Rips, frays, or cut outs in jeans should not extend much above the knee unless clearly backed with fabric.

    • All pants should be worn at the waist.

    • No hat of any kind should be worn inside the building.

  • We need to be excellent guests of the church. When students are in the building, they must walk (not run or engage in horse play) and use quiet voices. We leave every room the way we found it, if not better.

  • Once students arrive at co-op, they must stay under the supervision of adults at all times. 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 discipline issues. If bad behavior is chronic, please talk to the parents and let the director know. If the child’s behavior does not change, please bring it to the attention of the director.

  • All Plan B participants will be expected to wear a mask on site at all times.

  • A mask should cover the nose and mouth, and be secured under the chin; should fit snugly against the sides of face and be made of material that allows for easy breathing at all times. Gaiters, masks with valves, and face shields do not meet CHEC's mask requirements.

  • All parents have the freedom and responsibility during co-op classes to address masking issues. If the mask still isn’t being worn correctly, please send the student to the director, whom will notify their parent that they are ready for pick-up.

  • Further failure to comply with the request to wear a mask on site will jeopardize the entire family’s involvement in co-op for the remainder of the year. After that time, the family may be reconsidered for co-op participation.

  • Disposable masks and water bottles will be available for purchase onsite.

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 – 2020-2021

(Contact information is not listed on the public website. Contact must be made through the loop or private contact list)

CHEC Board: Laura B., Marcy C., Christie G., Misty M., Steffenie R., Karen R., Lisa S., and Katherine W.

As we need new board members due to attrition of the board, we see the Lord graciously raise up people to do particular jobs that are related to the overall effectiveness of co-op or to bring a particular perspective to the board. New board members are sought out by the current board. Technically, we have a “self-perpetuating board.” We make decisions by unanimity, seeking to be of one mind with God’s plans for CHEC. Concerns should be brought to any board member.

Positions/Jobs:

Executive Director*: Lisa S.

Director*: Christie G.

Secretary/Registrar*: Katherine W.

Treasurer*: Misty M.

Internet Technology Coordinator*: Laura B.

Roster Coordinator*: Laura B.

Building Liaison*: Karen R.

Age-group Coordinators*:

Preschool – K Marcy C./Steffenie R.

1st - 6th Christie G.

7th – 12th Christie G.

Curriculum Purchasing Agent: Shana A.

Textbook Coordinator: Lisa F.

Book Sales: Andrea C.

Supply-Room Coordinator: Lisa F.

General Purchasing Agent: Shana A.

Substitute Coordinator: Christie G.

Substitute-Notebook Coordinator: Tina F./Nancy H.

Cleaning Coordinator: Tina F./Nancy H.

Furniture Coordinator: Karla D.

Orientation Brunch Coordinator: Brandi T.

End-of-the-Year Program Coordinator: Andrea C.

Foster Children Coordinator: Jennifer S.

Food Allergy Coordinator: Wendy R.

Special Needs Liaison: Dawn W.

Covid Coordinator: Lisa S.

*Board Positions

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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