Policies and Procedures

CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS’ CO-OP of Mount Pleasant

Policies and Procedures

2019-2020

General information about participation

  • 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.
  • 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, they are ineligible to participate in co-op for two full years. This is to encourage serious decisions before the schedule is created in July. Exceptions to the penalty for withdrawal are made on a case-by-case basis with board approval.
  • 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 co-op day

  • At 9:30, we start the co-op day with assembly in the auditorium. We say the Pledge of Allegiance, pray, sing Doxology, and share announcements before we are off to our morning classes. Our days and our students’ days go better if we are on time! Please arrive at co-op early enough to greet friends, take care of responsibilities, and still be seated in assembly by 9:29. ALL students and adults are to be in assembly.
  • 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. Because many begin to use NTCC for dual credit, they may not need all the offerings 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. Parents with only juniors and/or seniors at co-op serve only the hours their students are at co-op.

Lunch

After the 3rd hour, 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 in the foyer or other places.

One option is to eat lunch outside picnic style. You might want to keep a blanket or lawn chairs in your car for this weekly fun event. Bring your family's lunches and drinks for this great time of fellowship. Please help your students remember to leave nothing but crumbs outside.

If you eat inside, please clean your family’s eating area completely, leaving it as if you were never there. Remember that classes meet in the fellowship hall immediately following lunch. Please be aware of the location where your children are having lunch so you can police their eating areas before lunch is over.

When there is inclement weather, we all eat inside in the fellowship hall. Not everyone fits at the tables, but picnic blankets can be used on the floor. Blankets should be shaken outside afterwards.

You should know where your children are during the lunch hour. They should not be in the auditorium or classrooms. If you feel your child is old enough to eat with peers or another family, you are still the adult responsible for their behavior and clean up. If they are 4th or younger, they must be inside if you are inside and outside if you are outside, unless you give another specific parent charge of your children.

Students may have only 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, 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 for PE or lunch 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. The closure of this area provides a safe place for students to play during lunchtime and protects our cars from poorly-aimed projectiles.

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.

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. A caveat to this rule is that food items may be sold at lunchtime for CHEC friends to consume during lunchtime.
  • 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.

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. 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. Two of those are influenza (the flu) and a stomach virus. 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 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. Well children who are 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 who are 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 parents.

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.
  • The teachers wipe the tables with cleaner and paper towels if needed.

End-of-the-Day Building Clean-up

There is a cleaning coordinator who communicates the details of building clean-up and the worker schedule. Each week after co-op, the building must be cleaned and put in order. The categories of clean-up are bathrooms, trash, vacuuming/sweeping floors, lunchroom clean-up, and glass. Every family is placed on the cleaning schedule on a team. The parents may oversee their children doing work, but the work must be checked and improved if needed. Each team only cleans four times per year. Please pay attention to when you clean and do your best not to ask for a change unless you are absent for one of the allowed reasons. If you are not there, the cleaning coordinator chooses the substitute to make sure the sub is familiar with the job and to keep up with the trades.

Those not cleaning should visit outside. 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.

Supplies

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

Many supplies are available for the classes: art supplies, P.E. equipment, 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.

Please take very good care of what you use and put non-consumable materials back in the correct places in the supply room when done. 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 - $25 per year

Student fee - $10 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. 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.

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.

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)

  • 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

The current year calendar is on the website.

Homework

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. 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.

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.

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.

-Young ladies wear modest tops (not too low or too tight), wear shorts of a modest length, and do not expose their midriffs.

-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 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.

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 – 2019-2020

(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.

Cleaning Coordinator: Tina F.

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.

*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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