Frequently Asked Questions about Co-op
General Co-op FAQs:
How much is a BCHE membership? And what does it include?
Even though only BCHE members can participate in our Co-op, paying for a membership does not guarantee a spot in the Co-op. And Co-op registration fees are totally separate from membership dues. Even without the Co-op, however, the $30.00 BCHE membership remains an excellent value. With it your family has access to lots of benefits, such as: a parent support network, a secure online forum, BCHE parties for all ages, field trips, clubs and events (such as Field Day). And, if you help out in the organization by doing a Service Task, the following year when you renew your membership, you can receive a $10.00 discount on your dues.
1. How many students are allowed to register for each co-op class?
In kindergarten and under, we try to limit the class size to 12. In the elementary and middle school grades, we limit the class size to 15, and in the high school grades, we allow up to 18. We offer a nursery/classes for all ages through high school.
2. How long is each class? When does the co-op meet?
The co-op meets on Thursdays from 9:30 to 12:30. Each class lasts for one hour; therefore, each student (ages three through 6th grade) will receive three one-hour classes each Thursday during co-op. The high school class lengths vary due to what is being offered each session. The Enrichment Co-op will meet for two eight week sessions - one in the fall and one in the spring. Since the high school offers for-credit classes, they will usually meet for a total of 32 weeks over the entire school year.
3. Will I have any choices for the classes that my student takes?
Three year old, and four year old students do not have a choice in their classes. Kindergarten through sixth graders have a choice between two already set "paths." Six through eighth grade students have a choice between two classes for each hour and a half of co-op. We have two group options for sixth graders. These students may choose to participate in a 5th/6th combined class or choose from the options for the middle school classes.
Once we have put class offerings up onto the Co-op Matrix on the website, you can see what these are by clicking beside the red word “CLOSED.”
4. When does registration open?
Registration opens during the month of June, and registration occurs through the website only, so you must have online access in order to complete the registration process. Teachers register their children first and then, one week later, the general membership is allowed to register until the classes are full - usually 15 students. If one of the classes is filled, parents will have to register for the other option as we do not have waiting lists. The exact day and time for registration will be sent out through emails and listed on the website calendar. It is your responsibility to ask any questions before registration opens. Classes usually fill up quickly, so please be aware that registration occurs on a first-come, first-served basis.
5. Should I register my unborn baby?
Yes. Please remember to register all your kids, including babies who will be born and who will need a slot in the nursery during the co-op year.
6. How will I pay for the classes and what are the fees? And what is your refund policy?
BCHE encourages the use of Paypal at registration checkout, but you may mail in a check to the Co-op Treasurer. The fees may slightly vary each session due to the cost of curriculum (usually in the upper grades), facility rental fees, and/or supply fees for an individual class such as science or art. But since we desire to keep our cost as low as possible, we try to never charge more than $25 as a basic cost for each individual student attending (this amount only applies to the elementary and middle school classes.) Payment for the full year is due at the time of registration. Refunds for cancelled registration are not given.
High school classes will cost more due to the specialized curriculum and supplies, longer weeks of attendance, and gaining high school credits. High school teachers are also paid an additional monthly stipend directly from the student's family. We feel that the fees are very reasonable for the quality of classes that we are able to offer; therefore, we do not offer any sibling discounts. That being said, we do not want economic difficulty to be a hindrance to any family wishing to attend. If the registration cost is a hardship to your family, please contact the Co-op Director to discuss possible alternatives. Payment is due at the time of registration. High school fees and payment deadlines occur on a different schedule. Consult the BCHE calendar for all registration and fee deadlines.
7. Are students required to bring any "basic" supplies?
Every student is required to bring a "supply kit" which should contain pencil, sharpener, pen, eraser, age–appropriate scissors, glue stick, bottle glue, colored pencils, markers and/or crayons.
8. Is there a co-op orientation?
Yes, each session we will have a Teacher Orientation and General Co-op Orientation at the co-op venue. Watch for email updates as to where and when these will occur. Attendance is mandatory for each orientation as it guarantees that all participants are aware of the facility guidelines and rules set forth by BCHE. It is also an opportunity for students and teachers to meet and become acquainted with the layout of the facility.
9. Can I attend the co-op if my child has an allergy?
Yes!! Westwood has a strict no peanut/no nuts policy. We follow the same guidelines as our facility, so the co-op is a peanut/nut free zone. Occasionally, teachers or classes will have snacks as part of the curriculum or study, but these are carefully chosen because no nuts are allowed inside the building. After you have registered, please send the Co-op Administrator a separate email listing any allergies that your child has, and please make sure you have listed and updated any allergies your child has on your profile page on the website. Each teacher in your child's class will be aware of those allergies and avoid any possible contacts. Students are encouraged to bring a snack within the snack guidelines, so if you have additional concerns, please communicate these to the Co-op Administrator in advance. Students in the preschool and kindergarten classes will have a snack/play time each week. It is up to each parent to send snacks that follow the rules set forth by BCHE and the Westwood facility.
10. Do I have to stay with my child at the co-op, or can I leave?
Our co-op is not a "drop-off" co-op for the younger grades and non-credit classes. One parent or guardian is expected to stay with the child for the entire three hours of co-op classes. The parent will be assigned to help in different classes during two of the hours, and hopefully be able to have a "free" hour on site for the third hour. You may make requests to the Co-op Coordinator for where you desire to serve; however, placement is not guaranteed. Students 8th grade and up who are taking high school classes for credit may be dropped off and attend without parental supervision.
11. Can I choose just one or two classes for my child to attend or do I need to register for all three?
This question basically means - Do I need to stay all day or can I pick and choose which hours/classes I want my child to attend? Due to parental participation and our commitment to quality classes, we require that you attend all 3 hours of co-op. There is a lot of time and energy that goes on behind the scenes of co-op to ensure its success. We need your commitment to participate as well as your child’s.
1. How many children are allowed to register for each co-op class?
In kindergarten and under, we try to limit the class size to 12. In the elementary and middle school grades, we limit the class size to 15, and in the high school, we allow up to 18.
2. If I decide to teach, will I be alone or will I have any assistants?
You will not be alone in the classroom. Two to three parent helpers are assigned to each class. If you decide to teach, you may also want to co-teach with someone. You may find a co-teacher on your own. He or she would help you plan and share in the teaching duties. The helpers are just there to help the children while you do the actual teaching. Unless there is a special circumstance, teens are not allowed to be classroom helpers. The co-op committee would probably have to consider the circumstances and then approve the teenager if this question was to arise.
3. Will I get to pick the curriculum that I teach or does the Co-op Committee pick it for me? Each teacher is first asked to complete a "Class Proposal" form and turn it in to the Co-op Administrator on the Co-op Committee. We do this so that we can avoid any overlapping in subjects within a given path and to make sure that we do not have an overflow of teachers in one grade and not enough in another. You may pick the curriculum that you desire to teach as long as it falls within these guidelines and is discussed and approved by the Co-op Director. We also require that ALL teachers and Co-Teachers sign a Statement of Faith as we desire that the classes be taught with a Biblical worldview. This interactive form is located on the website under the "Co-op Information" tab on the left sidebar. You may e-sign it at any time, and you do not have to re-sign it each session.
4. Which hour will I be teaching?
We never know what time the classes will be scheduled until we have all of our teachers secured. You may "request" to teach during a certain hour, and we will do our best to try and make it work.
5. What do I do if I already know that I am going to miss a week and I am teaching a class?
There is not a substitute list; however, we will let you know in advance who your parent helpers are. It is usually best to ask one of them to teach in case you are ever out. Those parent assistants would be more likely to know what you are teaching and how the class has been progressing. In addition, we ask that you let the On-site Coordinator (Marie Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org) know in advance that you will be missing, in case we need to pull assistants from another area. If you have an unexplained or last-minute absence, like sickness, and cannot get a hold of any of your parent helpers, please feel free to call/text/email Lisa Patty to let her know of your situation (call/text: 284-3942; email: email@example.com).
6. If I commit to teaching, what will be my time commitment?
The co-op is divided into two 8-week sessions: fall and spring. The fall co-op usually starts during the second or third week of September. The spring session usually starts in late January. The confirmed dates are posted on the website calendar as soon as we have received the approval of our venue site. We only require that teachers teach in 8-week sessions for one hour per week. A teacher teaching in both sessions could continue on with the same information or start something else completely new - it is up to her or him.
7. Are students required to bring any basic supplies? Will I have any spending money for extra supplies?
Every student is required to bring a supply kit which should contain pencil, sharpener, pen, eraser, age –appropriate scissors, glue stick, bottle glue, colored pencils, markers and/or crayons. So, you the teacher should not have to purchase those kinds of items in advance. BCHE will also let you know how much you are able to spend once registration closes. That number is based on the # of students in the class ($2.00/Enrichment child, $2.50/MS child). It is usually between $10 and $20 dollars for the 8 week session. Once you have your supply list made out, you can email Marie Taylor and see if she already has any of your items. That way you may not have to purchase some things. After this, if you find things on sale and want to go ahead and pick them up, simply keep the receipt and turn it in for reimbursement later (please refer to our reimbursement policy located under the "co-op policy" page). All purchases turned in for reimbursement must have a valid receipt with them.