HEARTH Co-Op is moving to a referral-only membership system. We anticipate that by the fall of 2017, membership to Co-Op will be limited to those who are referred to the Co-Op by a current (2nd year or longer) Co-Op member. If you do not know a member of HEARTH Co-Op, but would like to be considered for Co-Op membership, please fill out the form located HERE. If we choose to consider offering membership, we will contact you to set up an informal interview. Thanks for your interest in HEARTH!
FALL 2014 INFORMATION & POLICIES
WHAT IS A HOMESCHOOL CO-OP?
A homeschool co-op is a co-operative effort between homeschooling parents to provide classes and opportunities for their children that might be otherwise difficult or too costly to provide at the family level. Each family is required to provide a parent to help with the co-op.
IMPORTANT NOTE - A parent is required to be present whenever a student is involved. NO DROP OFFS!
MISSION OF HEARTH
MISSION STATEMENT - We will build a supportive community of Christian Homeschool families, who are committed to uplifting and encouraging each other, by offering a Christian Co-Operative, field trips, and other enrichment opportunities for likeminded homeschooling families.
VISION STATEMENT - Through it’s many opportunities for dynamic interaction with like-minded families, HEARTH Homeschool Co-Op and Community will foster friendships for students and parents as well as encourage mentor/mentee relationships among adults. As Homeschoolers, we are often scrutinized, and many times the most hurtful criticisms come from those closest to us. It is our goal to encourage a culture of kindness in our community, thereby creating a “safe haven” for the homeschool parent. As members of HEARTH, we act in accordance with the spirit of Romans 12:8, which encourages us to do our part to live in peace with everyone.
HEARTH is guided by a Volunteer Leadership Team of Christian homeschoolers. For our Statement of Faith, see our website. All classes will reflect a Christian perspective that honors our Lord. No class will teach anything that would be in direct conflict with our Statement of Faith.
HEARTH has two components - A Co-Operative (homeschool classes taught and attended by Co-Op members), and a Community (consisting of all homeschooling families in the Genessee County, MI and surrounding areas).
FOCUS OF HEARTH CO-OP
HEARTH's Homeschool Co-op is a members-only program which meets on alternating Mondays, fall through spring. HEARTH Co-Op is mainly focused on the needs of children six years old and up. We also offer classes for ages 3-5, and nursery care for infants of teaching parents. However, these are meant to be supplemental offerings for siblings of enrolled students.
We place a priority on classes that are difficult to teach at home, such as Musical Instruction or Science Lab, or those that benefit from a large group setting, such as Physical Education. We also like classes that are fun for our students!
FOCUS OF HEARTH COMMUNITY
The focus of the HEARTH Community is to offer encouragement to, and fellowship for, homeschooling parents and their students. We seek to be an agent of unification among all of the homeschool groups in the Genesee County and Surrounding areas. Our goal is to offer several opportunities for fellowship and shared experience to homeschooled students within our reach. Any homeschooling family who is able to is welcomed to attend HEARTH Community Events.
HEARTH LEADERSHIP TEAM 2013-14
Jamie Hershberger - Co-Coordinator
Kim Honnen – Co-Coordinator
Jill Barnett - Co-op Facility Team
Stephanie Rappuhn – Treasurer
Theresa VanAllen - Secretary
We require that a parent be present during the times that children are present. The adult will serve in one or more of the following capacities for 3 hours, depending on the commitment arranged with the leadership team: Teach or Assist with a class, Supervise or assist in the nursery, monitor the hallway, or various other necessary duties.
Parents - please stay in your assigned classrooms during class times. As a matter of protection for both our students and our teachers, we assign 2-deep parental leadership to all of our classes. Therefore, it is important that you honor your assignments. In the event that you must step away from a classroom to attend to the needs of one of your other children (or for some other emergent reason), please notify a member of leadership right away so that we may help you locate a replacement for you in that classroom.
We expect that parents will do their part to keep themselves informed. To that end, attendance at the co-op assemblies and participation in our Google Group are vital and mandatory.
Google Groups is simply a tool for Leadership to e-mail many people at the same time, as well as a place for us to post and store important files and documents for co-op use. If you are unfamiliar with Google Groups, a member of the Leadership Team will be happy to tell you about it. All you need to participate is an e-mail address. If you are not a member of the Google Group by registration day, Leadership will add you at that time.
IMPORTANT: The Google Group “HEARTH Homeschool Co-op” will be the primary means of communication between the Leadership Team and the co-op families. The Yahoo Group HEARTHHomeschool will remain active with posts about events/park dates, but will NO LONGER BE THE SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUTCO-OP.
Please be considerate; if you have a class that is frequently messy, make an effort to clean the bulk of the mess before you proceed to your next hour.
At the end of the co-op day, each teacher and the assistant(s) in that room are required to clean that room according to the methods and standards set by our host (the church). Cleaning supplies will be distributed to rooms no later than 2:20 pm. At that time, teachers are expected to end the class and begin clean up of the classroom they are using. Older students may be encouraged to help with the clean-up, at the teacher's discretion.
Co-op is a commitment. Please remember also that this is a co-operative, which means we all make it happen as a team. When even just one parent is missing, it makes it more difficult for the rest of us to do our jobs and the kids are the ones who lose out. We recommend you find another co-op alternative if you have plans to miss 2 co-op Mondays. Because of the example we are setting for our children, it is important to be on time and to fulfill our commitments.
If you are chronically absent, the Leadership Team may ask another parent to take over your class, and you may not be considered for teaching for the next year (at leadership’s discretion). Penalties for excessive tardiness and excessive absences will be subject to the Leadership Team's review and will depend on your circumstances.
Ideally, you will be at every co-op. However, we realize that sometimes there will be unavoidable situations that cause you to miss co-op. Teachers need to provide us with the name of their designated substitute before co-op begins. If you serve as an assistant and need to be absent please contact the Attendance Coordinator (AC) and we will provide a substitute for your classes. However, when you are absent you will then be asked to assist and make up the hours that you have missed during subsequent co-op times. If it is an emergency, please let us know and we will make sure your assignment is covered.
You MUST call or e-mail the Attendance Coordinator (AC) if you are not going to attend co-op. In the event you need to be absent for all or part of a co-op day, it is your responsibility to call or e-mail as soon as you know, and no later than 8:30 a.m. Monday morning.
NOTE - The responsibility for securing a substitute teacher is yours, as is the responsibility for having an emergency lesson plan on file with the AC. The AC will ask you who you have arranged to teach your class in your absence.
If one of your children is ill, your other children ages 6+ may attend co-op under the direct supervision of another adult. (If this adult is not a co-op member, he or she must be pre-approved and listed on your registration form.) We require a signed note from the parent stating that the designed substitute is supervising your children. Please do not assume that you may send your children with someone else. You MUST call either the Co-Op Coordinator or Assistant Coordinator and obtain approval.
Dropping off your children is not allowed.
In case of an emergency (not scheduling conflicts or “errands”) where you must leave the church grounds, ask another parent to be directly responsible for your children. Tell your children and the Coordinator or Assistant Coordinator to whom your children are accountable.
Students will not be allowed at HEARTH co-op without a parent on site at all times (or a designated substitute in case of an emergency or illness). If a parent must leave the grounds, they must check out with the Coordinator or Assistant Coordinator.
REMINDER - a parent or guardian is required to be present whenever a student is involved.
REGISTRATION – GENERAL INFO
We require every family to enroll at least one child aged 5+ in order to register with HEARTH.
The class schedule will be released before registration. We will NOT be mailing class schedules. Check the website for the schedule. You can print this schedule out.
Children may consider the first two (2) Coo-Op classes a time to determine whether the class is a good "fit" for them. There are NO transfers of classes after the third Co-Op meeting.
We regret that we have to limit the size of the co-op due to space and management considerations. If we accumulate a waiting list of interested families, we will draw from the waiting list according to needs of the Co-op. Families will be added to the Co-Op at Leadership discretion. Reasons for adding one family over another may include, but are not limited to, space available for child(ren) of that (those) age(s), and the parent's ability and willingness to teach a high demand class.
(If someone out there is interested in starting another co-op, we would be very glad to help get one started!)
COSTS AND FEES
A. Registration Fee
There are costs associated with running a co-op. HEARTH leadership appreciates the financial sacrifices homeschooling families often make to be at home with their children. We will therefore strive to keep the co-op affordable for everyone.
To hold your place in co-op, we require a $20 non-refundable deposit. This deposit will be applied toward your registration fee.
The registration fee goes to cover costs of the building and other expenses of running the co-op. The balance of your registration fee will need to be paid in full at registration.
We must have your full payment for your registration to be considered complete and for your space to be held in the classes.
B. Other Fees/Costs
Most classes require a supply fee, which is paid directly to the teacher. Classes with high materials costs, such as crafts, may have higher supply fees. These costs are listed on the Class Descriptions sheet, as well as a brief accounting of the materials teachers will be providing for this fee.
Depending on the classes you select for your children, you may also have to pay tuition to a specialist who has come to our co-op specifically to teach (such as a dance instructor).
Please check each fee before registering to avoid surprises later. Supply fees are due on the first day of class, unless you make other arrangements directly with the teacher.
Important - supply fees must be given to the teacher in an envelope with your child’s name and the class name on the outside. Do not expect the teacher to make change. Cash or checks are both acceptable. Please take a few minutes before the first day of co-op to prepare supply fee envelopes for all your children’s classes.
Parent Participation is the final cost of the Co-op. As stated earlier, each family is required to provide one adult volunteer (ages 18+) to serve during Co-op in some capacity.
Generally, class fees are non-refundable after the cut-off date for class changes. Exceptions may be made to this rule at the teacher's discretion.
Regarding refunds of the Co-Op family participation fee.
There are many monetary expenses involved in the operation of a Co-Op. There are also a lot of non-monetary expenses involved, including the precious time of our volunteer Leadership Team who must spend hours outside of Co-op planning, preparing schedules, executing communications, banking, etc. Losing a family from the Co-Op once commitments are made disrupts all of this planning and causes lots of extra work.
Additionally, the Co-Op Leadership Team is of the mindset that people value a group that costs them something more than they value a group that is free, and that people are generally less inclined to break a commitment when there is a financial penalty associated with doing so.
With this perspective in mind, the Co-Op Leadership Team has decided to adopt the following policy regarding the refunding of the Co-Op family participation fee:
The first $20 you pay into the Co-Op is NON-REFUNDABLE. This could be a deposit signifying your commitment to another year of Co-op, or it could be the first $20 of your family fee if paid all at once.
Refunds of the remaining family fee will be pro-rated, based on the date you notify the Co-Op Leadership of your decision to leave the Co-Op. Pro-rating will take place according to the following schedule:
BEFORE first Co-op class meets: 100% (minus the first $20)
BEFORE December 31st: 50% (minus the first $20)
AFTER December 31: 0% (no refund at all)
In the event that your student is asked to leave the Co-Op due to repeated or serious behavior issues, the above reimbursement schedule may be followed, at the discretion of the Leadership Team.
This policy goes into effect immediately as of it's drafting on August 15, 2013. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact any member of the HEARTH Leadership Team.
DATES AND TIMES
Co-op will meet every other Monday. Please check the website for dates. There will be a MANDATORY assembly each co-op day at approximately 9:30am. The co-op will offer 4 time slots of classes between 10am –2:20 pm. At 2:20 pm, cleaning supplies will be distributed to classrooms and rooms will be cleaned by teachers/assistants. Students are encouraged but not required to assist with room cleaning.
Each student will register for 4 classes. Each class will clearly state the age requirements for that class. Parents will sign up in advance for the classes for each student. They will also sign up for the parent commitments on registration day.
Some classes may have limitations on the number of students. Please be aware of this. If the class you want is full, consider that classes in high demand may be repeated in the next session.
We have dates on our calendars as make-up days. These make up dates will be used as an open gym day or for special events if we do not need them as make up dates. Co-op will be cancelled if Kearsley Community Schools are cancelled due to inclement weather. If you are wary of going out due to weather, please feel free to make that judgment yourself. NOTE - Please call Kim Honnen or email her at email@example.com to let us know you will not be in.
NURSERY AND PRE-K/K
A staffed Nursery will be offered for babies and toddlers of teaching parents ages 2 and under. Older children will not be allowed into the nursery, unless their own parent is working in the nursery at that time.
Due to space and management considerations, we cannot accommodate children of non-teaching parents (during the parent’s “off hour”). W e therefore ask that parents of nursery students keep their children with them when the parent is not teaching or serving in the nursery.
Each nursery student should bring his/her own sippy cup from home to use in the nursery. The Co-Op will provide Cheerios or a similar "finger food" item for snacks.
We will offer a Pre-school program for children age 3-young 5. This will include activities, snacks, and (ideally) naptime/quiet-time.
Children must be pre-registered to enter the nursery. Children will be released only to Parents of that child or to siblings if PRE-APPROVED by the nursery worker. Please do not send an older sibling for a child unless you have spoken to the nursery worker in advance. This will eliminate confusion and worry.
Diaper changes and pottying will remain the parent's responsibility.
All co-op participants, children and adults, must be dressed modestly and appropriately while attending the co-op. If you are unsure if something is appropriate, it is probably wise to choose another item of clothing.
- Abdomens and backs must be covered.
- Tight-fitting clothing should be avoided.
- Shorts and skirts must be at least fingertip length when hands are at the sides.
- Clothing must not have inappropriate slogans or illustrations.
- Girls that wish to wear dresses should wear shorts under their dresses if engaged in physical activities.
- Clean, dry shoes must be worn to protect the church’s flooring.
- Effective 9/5/2013, hats will be permitted, provided students remove hats when appropriate (during prayers and pledge of allegiance). It is also expected that if a teacher asks a student to remove the hat, the student will do so.
As with other article of clothing, hats worn should be devoid of offensive slogans, sayings, and/or pictures.
Every adult, not just the designated teacher, is expected to intervene if disruptive or disrespectful behavior is observed. All parents are responsible for enforcing HEARTH rules.
Parents are responsible for their children’s actions and behavior. It is understood that if anyone in your family violates the rules, it will jeopardize your participation in the co-op, and the Leadership Team reserves the right to deny participation to any student or family. Parents will be contacted if a disciplinary problem arises and may be asked to remove their child from class.
These guidelines are for handling any disruptive behavior in class:
1st Offense - Speak to the student, asking him or her to please stop the behavior and giving him or her a warning that if he or she does not stop the behavior, he or she will have to sit with an adult in the classroom or be separated from the other students.
2nd Offense - Remind the student to stop the behavior. Either move the student next to an adult or separate him from the other students.
3rd Offense - Remove the student from class and escort them to the Coordinator or one of the Leadership Team Members. They will notify the parent during the next transition.
If a student’s behavior is excessively rude or aggressive, steps 1 and 2 should be skipped and step 3 should be taken immediately. If a student continues to be a disruption during the semester, they will be asked not to return.
MEDICAL RELEASE & WAIVER OF LIABILITY
Each family must sign a form releasing HEARTH, Richfield Road Church, and their employees and volunteers from any liability for damage or injury. Signing this form also grants permission for HEARTH to use photographs taken at co-op in printed and electronic publications, as well as for co-op participants to be listed in a group directory. The medical release form is available on the Yahoo Group.
* ALL parents are expected to correct rule violations and/or report them to leadership.*
1. Parents MUST stay on-site.
2. Respect all adults and peers; anyone (including adults) disrupting class will be asked to leave.
3. All families must join the HEARTH Google Group. Please check email regularly.
4. Commit to attend every Co-op. NOTE – If you must be absent Please call Kim Honnen or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Arrive promptly.
6. Inappropriate conversations, gestures, clothing, or aggressive physical contact will not be permitted and may result in EXPULSION from co-op.
7. DO NOT SIT on the tables.
8. Name tags must be worn at all times during co-op.
9. The lawn and playground may be used, but children (including teens) must be directly supervised by an adult who is outdoors.
10. Coats should be hanging on racks. Please leave boots near coat racks.
11. Backpacks or lunch bags should be left neatly out of the way.
12. No running indoors, except during supervised classes.
13. No loitering in the bathrooms.
14. Please use the designated bathrooms.
15. Children are the responsibility of their parents when they are not in class.
16. No children, including teens, should be outside except when directly under the supervision of an adult.
17. An un-enrolled child may not attend co-op as a "visitor" unless that child’s parent is present AND prior permission has been obtained from a Coordinator.
18. No smoking, drinking alcohol, illegal drugs allowed at co-op. No weapons unless specifically required for a class.
19. Students: No hand-held electronics or games. No weapons unless required for a class. Weapons brought for classroom use must remain in the possession of the parent until needed for class and then immediately returned to the parent.
20. Mobile phones can be a distraction. Phone usage during class is only allowed with teacher permission. Teachers have the right to confiscate phones, in which case the phone will be returned to the parent at the end of the class. Repeated violations may result in a phone ban for that student.
21. Teachers and Assistants - do not use your cell phone or check your e-mail during class time.
22. Public display of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships is not acceptable at the co-op.
23. Co-op participants are responsible for and will be asked to pay for any damages they cause to the building, grounds, or equipment.
24. All co-op participants, children and adults, must adhere to the HEARTH dress code.
25. Gym equipment is for Gym classes ONLY. Students should not be bouncing or throwing balls during class transition times nor at any other non-prescribed times.