MHE Member Handbook
What is Metro Home Educators, Inc. (MHE)?
- MHE is a group of Christian homeschooling families working together to offer support and encouragement to one another.
- MHE expects all MEMBERS to uphold biblical and moral lifestyle standards as outlined in the Bible.
- MHE provides an opportunity for homeschool children to experience learning in a group atmosphere.
- MHE classes and field trips are a supplement to your own homeschool program, they are not meant to be the only curriculum you use.
MHE is NOT a childcare service or preschool. A PARENT/GUARDIAN is required to remain at the facility and volunteer their time while their child is present for afternoon classes. MHE’s nursery and age 3-4 class is ONLY for younger siblings of registered STUDENTS.
Is religion involved? What religion?
Yes. MHE was founded by and is comprised of Christian families. MHE represents homeschoolers from a variety of Christian backgrounds. This is both a blessing and a challenge as there is a range of beliefs held under the label of “Christian”. This means we have a wide range of worship expressions, variations in understanding on some practices, and expectations of what Christian living looks like within our group which needs to be properly respected and honored.
What is a Statement of Faith?
A Statement of Faith makes it clear to potential members what is most important to MHE, and what MHE’s values are, which allows them to make an informed decision on whether MHE is the right place for their family.
MHE Statement of Faith
1) We believe the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired and infallible Word of God. We believe it is complete. We deny any place of prominence, alongside of Scripture, to any other alleged holy books. The Bible alone reveals all we need to know for Christian faith and godliness.
2) We believe there is one God—our sovereign Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. Yet He exists in three distinct persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who are each God, sharing equally in divine power and glory. In Jesus Christ, God the Son has assumed a fully human nature.
3) We believe that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We believe salvation is a free gift to all who repent and believe (trust) in Jesus Christ to redeem them through His death and resurrection.
4) We believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His Word need not be amended or re-evaluated for this or any other generation. We believe we should conform ourselves to God’s Word, not conform God’s Word to changing times or situations
Definitions for this document:
Metro Home Educators will be referred to as MHE.
Any registered member of MHE will be referred to as MEMBER.
Parent or legal guardian will be referred to as PARENT/GUARDIAN.
Westminster Presbyterian Church will be referred to as WPC.
The person in charge of Monday classes will be referred to as CLASS COORDINATOR.
The designated lead teacher of any class will be referred to as TEACHER.
The designated teaching assistant of any class will be referred to as ASSISTANT.
Children registered to attend MHE will be referred to as STUDENT.
The board members as a collective group will be referred to as BOARD.
ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS-Please review this entire handbook with your family. This is required for MHE membership.
ACCIDENTS-Report accidents/injuries during class time to the CLASS COORDINATOR or a BOARD member immediately. It will be determined if the accident/injury warrants an incident report being filled out. If a child’s parent must be contacted then an incident report MUST be filled out.
ALLERGIES/MEDICAL CONDITIONS -We always attempt to offer the safest environment possible for our children. Each year you will be asked to fill out an allergy/medical form regarding your child(ren) if applicable. Please note that although we are collecting information and sharing it with the appropriate TEACHERS, we require that you remain an active advocate for your child(ren) and any medical/allergy/behavioral conditions that may affect their time at MHE classes, activities and events. Open communication is a must to ensure that all of our children remain safe.
ATTENDANCE – Consistent attendance is expected to maintain continued learning.
- Any family regularly missing Monday class days may be asked to relinquish their place in the program the next semester if there are families on the waiting list.
- One PARENT/GUARDIAN from each family attending afternoon classes is REQUIRED to remain and participate in their assigned area(s).
- In cases of emergency, another MHE parent that attends Monday afternoon classes may be designated as the responsible party for your children, however, these absences are not expected to occur EXCEPT in the case of an emergency. (ex: one of your children is sick and you stay home to care for them, but the rest of your children want to attend).
- If the PARENT/GUARDIAN is going to be absent, but their children still want to attend, the PARENT/GUARDIAN may send another responsible adult (ex: grandparent) as their replacement for that day. This adult MUST participate in the classes the PARENT/GUARDIAN is normally assigned to.
- If the PARENT/GUARDIAN is going to be absent and they do not have another parent designated as the responsible party for their children OR they do not have another responsible adult (ex: grandparent) to send as their replacement, then your children must stay home for that class day.
- If you have questions please contact the CLASS COORDINATOR.
AUTOMOBILE AND PARKING LOT – MEMBERS are to park in the lot at the back of WPC for all MHE events. All MEMBERS need to enter at the double doors (with steps leading up to them). There is handicap parking available in the front lot of WPC that may be utilized if needed.
BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS/DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES
Please make yourself and your children familiar with the expectations and guidelines listed below.
- Listen attentively to the TEACHERS and ASSISTANTS.
- Talk only at appropriate times.
- Keep your hands to yourself at all times.
- Honestly attempt to do whatever leaders may ask you to do. Do not refuse to participate in planned activities.
- Always walk quietly and politely in the building.
- Use only the rooms in the building where your classes are being held. You should not be in any part of the building without supervision or permission.
- Put trash in the proper place. Do not damage, destroy or deface any furniture, equipment or building structure. Inform the leader of any accidental damage.
- Leave all toys, money and valuables at home.
- Never bring pocket knives, multi-tool knives or anything of the sort to any MHE activity.
- Never leave the building during class time without permission from an adult in charge.
- Always speak courteously to all adults, STUDENTS and guests.
- Never engage in crude, rude, vulgar, or socially unacceptable speech.
- Never cause any physical harm to any other person including: hitting, kicking, or punching, etc.
- Verbal, emotional or physical bullying of another person will NOT be tolerated.
When a child demonstrates rebellious behavior at Monday classes or any other event, this creates a disruptive and potentially unsafe environment for STUDENTS. Children are expected to follow the Behavior Expectations outlined above. The following Discipline Procedures are in place for children that do not comply with the Behavior Expectations.
- The first incident will result in the adult who observed the behavior explaining to the STUDENT his/her deviation from expectations.
- A second incident will result in contacting the child’s parent to discuss the behavior.
- A third incident will result in the child being required to stay with his/her parent for the entire class time, thereby missing out on their own classes.
- A fourth incident will result in the child being asked to leave MHE Monday classes for that semester. The BOARD will decide whether or not to allow the child to come back to MHE Monday classes the following semester.
*Please note: All MHE adult MEMBERS are expected to enforce these guidelines by speaking to the child who has misbehaved. Please bring your concerns to the TEACHER or a BOARD member so that CLASS COORDINATORS can work with parents in accordance with these guidelines. It is every MEMBER’S responsibility to keep the environment safe for all involved with MHE activities.
BEVERAGES-- Water is the only beverage allowed outside of the Social Hall area.
BUILDING USE – All MEMBERS are to treat all WPC property with respect because it is the house of God.
MEMBERS are to contact a BOARD member with requests or issues regarding the use of WPC facilities or equipment. WPC prohibits use of the premises for any activity that has the potential of damaging structures or causing bodily injury. PARENT/GUARDIANS will be held responsible for any damages caused by their child’s inappropriate actions.
- The BOARD may deem it necessary to cancel Monday classes and/or other MHE activities due to inclement weather. Notice of weather cancellations will be listed on KWWL, posted on our website homepage, and sent by email notification. If Waterloo schools are canceled, then MHE will also cancel classes/activities.
- There are occasions when WPC may be utilized for funerals or other church related events and MHE classes/activities may need to be cancelled. MEMBERS will be notified via email and the MHE website when a cancellation of this manner occurs.
CLASS CHECK-IN (Mondays) – Upon arrival at every class day please come to the Check-in table first. Sign your family in on the attendance clipboard. Pick up all children and adult name tags and make sure they are in a very visible location on your child’s body. Review the message board near the check-in table to see the announcements for that day. Check your family folder/mailbox for communications. If you are responsible for a class attendance clipboard pick it up at this time.
CLASS CHECK-OUT (Mondays) – At the end of the class day TEACHERS and ASSISTANTS will bring STUDENTS ages 5 through Teens to the Shared Life Center (Gym). TEACHERS and ASSISTANTS can work together once in the Shared Life Center to take turns going to get their own children that are age 0-4. Please pick up children age 0-4 promptly so the TEACHERS and ASSISTANTS in those classrooms can get to the Shared Life Center to pick up their own children. Please make sure your child’s TEACHER is aware that you have picked them up from their class.
Return name tags to your family folder (where applicable). Return class attendance clipboards if you were in charge of one. Check your family folder before you leave to see if any communications may have been placed there during class time. Please exit the building as promptly as possible so scheduled families can complete cleaning duties.
CLASS OFFERINGS/SCHEDULE CHANGES – Monday class offerings vary by semester depending on what PARENTS would like to teach. Occasionally MHE will hire an outside TEACHER to come and teach a course. The BOARD will send out emails as class planning time approaches asking for class ideas and for MEMBERS willing to teach. The BOARD will make the decisions on whether to hold a class that has low registration numbers. Since we are a PARENT run organization we have to utilize our parent TEACHERS in the most effective manner. The BOARD will communicate changes in class schedules as soon as possible to MEMBERS.
CLASS MAXIMUMS – Class maximums are placed on some classes due to limited classroom space and for the effectiveness of the learning environment. Waiting lists will be utilized in the event a class maximum has been met.
CLASS MINIMUMS – Class minimums are placed on some classes to ensure that the cost of the class can be covered. If a class minimum is in place and the minimum is not met MEMBERS will be notified as soon as possible. Class minimums are also implemented to make sure we are utilizing parent TEACHERS as efficiently as possible.
CLASSROOM CLEANING- Please leave all classrooms in better shape than you found them in. It is imperative that EVERYONE (children and adults) help to keep WPC clean.
A cleaning schedule will be implemented to ensure we are leaving WPC clean and tidy. Each family that attends Monday classes will be on this rotating schedule. This task is not expected to take a large amount of time. If you notice issues in an area of WPC that MHE has utilized please contact a BORD member. The cleaning schedule and specific cleaning responsibilities will be shared with families at the beginning of each semester. If your family is absent from class the day you are on the cleaning schedule you are responsible for finding a replacement family for that week.
COMMUNICATION– MHE’s main means of communication is the MHE website (www.mheonline.org).
MHE does not require potential MEMBERS to have a personal email account or home access to the internet, however, it is important for potential MEMBERS to understand that email and internet access are the PRIMARY ways that MEMBERS are kept up-to-date on what is happening at MHE. It is the responsibility of each MEMBER to ensure that they are receiving email notifications from MHE. Please check your family account on the website to make sure your email address is correct. Each MEMBER receives access to the secure website while their MHE membership is current. If a MHE membership is not renewed then website access will no longer be available.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION– If a MEMBER has an issue with another MEMBER we ask that you try working it out with each other first. If help is needed, please ask the CLASS COORDINATOR or a BOARD member for assistance.
DAYCARE/FOSTER CARE/PUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN POLICY-- We realize that some families have daycare children in their homes. It is the policy of MHE to allow children that are not members of an MHE family to attend Monday classes on a case-by-case basis. If this applies to you, please approach a BOARD member with your unique situation.
There may be a few field trips where NON-MHE members can attend. Field trips that allow NON-MHE MEMBERSs specifically list this in the event description.
If you provide foster care or respite for foster care you are welcome to bring your foster children with you to Monday classes. Please contact the CLASS COORDINATOR when you have new placements that will attend. If you know they will only attend one time (i.e. providing respite for a week) please keep them with you during classes, otherwise they may be permitted to enroll in the class appropriate for their age. If placement is ongoing after five weeks please formally register the child/children on the website.
The BOARD recognizes that some MHE families have children that are homeschooled and children that attend public/private school. Occasionally the need may arise for PARENTS/GUARDIANS to bring their public/private school children to Monday classes. This is allowed if you contact a BOARD member prior to bringing public/private school children to Monday classes. These children must stay with their PARENT/GUARDIAN at all times during the class day.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES/CELL PHONES–Electronic items are not allowed to be used in class unless directed by the TEACHER. This includes all computers, tablets, phones, iPods, iPads, etc.
FAMILY DIRECTORY— A directory of families involved with MHE is located on the secure MHE website. This directory is NOT to be utilized for solicitation purposes.
FEES – Fees for MHE classes will vary each semester depending on the class offerings, location, class size and TEACHERS. Class fees are different from Building/Insurance fees and from the general MHE Membership fee. The BOARD tries at all times to keep fees affordable. Current fee information is available on the MHE website.
FIELD TRIPS – MHE field trips are posted on the MHE website on the calendar. Many field trips require sign up and have a participant limit. Each field trip on the calendar will list the registration requirements (if parents and children have to be signed up, ages of participants, number of participants allowed, cost, if payment is needed in advance, if the event is a drop-off event or if parents must stay with their children, etc.). It is your responsibility to read each field trip listing carefully.
If you sign up for a field trip and are then not able to attend you are required to go back to the website and cancel your field trip sign-up. This allows other families that may be on the waiting list to then attend.
Field trips are coordinated by parent volunteers. If this is something you would be interested in doing please contact a BOARD member.
GUEST/VISITOR POLICY – (see also DAYCARE/PUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN POLICY)
Children attending Monday classes are NOT allowed to bring friends.
A family that would like to see how our Monday classes run because they are interested in joining MHE must receive prior approval from the BOARD to come and observe.
ILLNESS POLICY -- To ensure the health and well-being of our MEMBERS we ask that you NOT attend classes or activities if you or your child:
- Have had a fever or vomited within the last 24 hours
- Have diarrhea
- Have lice or nits
- Have a green or yellow nasal discharge
- Have a continual cough that is not allergy related
- Have any type of contagious illness or disease
It is VERY IMPORTANT that the CLASS COORDINATOR be contacted by 8:00 AM if you are going to be absent so we can plan accordingly for the class day.
MHE MEMBERSHIP – There is an annual fee to be a MEMBER of MHE. For current membership pricing please visit the website at www.mheonline.org. This membership offers full access to the secure MEMBER website, organized field trips, Monday classes and other planned family activities.
- Monday classes are scheduled for 10 sessions in the fall (normally starting mid-September) and 10 classes in the spring (starting in January). MHE classes are for ages 5 and up. We do offer nurseries for children ages 0-4 with siblings participating and parents helping in the afternoon classes.
- PARENTS/GUARDIANS with children registered for afternoon classes are required to stay and assist in some capacity with afternoon classes. You will be assigned classes to assist in.
NAME TAGS/IDENTIFICATION – It is of critical importance that each child and adult wear their name tag in a visible location during each class day. Those who refuse to wear their nametags may be asked to sit out of activities. This helps everyone to easily identify those children and adults that are involved in our program. Allergies are also reflected on nametags.
NURSERY/PRESCHOOL AGE CLASSES – Nursery through preschool (ages 0-4) care is provided ONLY for younger siblings of STUDENTS registered for MHE afternoon classes. In order for a family to utilize the nursery through preschool program they must have at least one child old enough to register for the 5-8 year old class or above (Must be five (5) years of age by Sept 15th).
PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES – Every PARENT/GUARDIAN has a role to play in our Monday class day. Please make yourself aware of your assigned tasks and the responsibilities that are included. All families participating in Monday classes MUST have a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian on the premises and participating in their assigned area(s) for the duration of the session (9:00-11:45am). This gives all PARENT/GUARDIANS an opportunity to be involved, and offers the safest environment for our children.
PARENT/GUARDIANS will be asked each year whether or not they give permission for photos/videos of your children/family to be posted on the secure MHE website or on MHE printed materials. PLEASE NOTE: MHE will do it’s best to not put photos/videos of your children/family on our website/printed materials if you request this. If a picture/video would happen to get posted please notify a BOARD member immediately and the photo/video will be removed from the secure MHE website/printed materials.
PRIVACY/WELL-BEING – Please remember that every child/family have a right to privacy. Should you become aware of a special need of a child in your charge do not discuss it with other parents. If you have questions or concerns regarding a child’s best interest, speak directly with that child’s parent(s). We seek to provide a nurturing, respectful environment for all of our families.
Many families have children with allergies, medical concerns or emotional/learning challenges. These families should notify the BOARD of their child’s needs to ensure we are better equipped to provide the best learning environment for them. PARENT/GUARDIANS can fill out the Medical Information/Allergy Form when registering for classes. This information will be shared with TEACHERS.
PUNCTUALITY – It is imperative that all MEMBERS (adults and children) are on time for Monday classes and other MHE events. We understand that unforeseen circumstances can cause you to be late on occasion, but we want everyone to be on time more often than not. Being early is encouraged!
REFUND POLICY FOR FEES
- General MHE membership fee is not refundable.
- Building/insurance fees are not refundable.
- Class fees are refundable if you withdraw from classes 7 days prior to the start of classes for that semester.
- If classes have started and you decide/need to withdraw then class fees are not refundable.
- Payment is expected at the time of registration for classes each semester. If you would like to utilize a payment plan please speak with the MHE Treasurer as there are options available.
- If you have a payment plan and you do NOT pay in a timely fashion you may be asked to withdraw from Monday class program.
- The BOARD reserves the right to cancel a class at any time due to, but not limited to: low registration numbers, a change in the commitment of the TEACHER willing to teach the class, a change in the location of Monday classes, etc. The BOARD will notify MEMBERS of any class changes as soon as possible.
SCHOLARSHIP FUND – The MHE Scholarship Fund has been in place for over 10 years. Anyone can donate to this fund and MEMBERS can request assistance for paying class fees from this fund. The BOARD reviews all requests for assistance from this fund. There must be funds available in order for assistance to be granted. MEMBERS previously enrolled in the Monday class program will be given priority in fund requests. If there are sufficient funds, we will also be able to offer scholarships to families new to the MHE Monday class program. There is always a need for this fund. If you would like to donate to this fund or if you are in need of financial assistance please contact the MHE Treasurer. Requests for assistance from this fund are kept anonymous.
STATEMENT OF FAITH – If for any reason your family feels you cannot honestly sign this statement, the BOARD would ask that you withdraw your membership. We understand that not all people will agree with this statement of faith, but MHE chooses to hold firmly to these beliefs. All curriculum, lesson plans and topics used in the MHE Monday classes will line up with the MHE Statement of Faith. See the beginning of this document for the MHE Statement of Faith.
- TEACHERS are required to check the supply cupboard for supplies prior to purchasing items. The MHE website has supply list in the left hand menu.
- TEACHERS are expected to sign out supply items for their classes or MHE activities. Any unused supplies must be returned to the cupboard and signed back in (see list on inside of cupboard door). If a supply needs to be replaced please let a BOARD member know.
- In order to be reimbursed for supplies purchased for MHE:
- original receipts must be turned in (no receipt = no reimbursement)
- receipts for items purchased in the current semester must be turned in by the last day of class for that semester
- If you are bringing receipts to Monday class day and expecting reimbursement the same day please email the Treasurer with the amount prior to Monday class. Bring your receipt(s) on Monday to turn in. Please remember that our Treasurer also teaches classes so may not be available to immediately reimburse you.
- Any items/supplies purchased by a TEACHER and then reimbursed by MHE become property of MHE.
- As TEACHERS are planning for their classes each semester they should submit an estimated class budget to the BOARD for approval. Any items NOT included in the original estimate must be submitted for approval by the BOARD prior to purchase in order to be considered for reimbursement.
METRO HOME EDUCATORS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO
DENY OR CANCEL MEMBERSHIP TO ANY FAMILY OR STUDENT.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE GUIDELINES IN THIS MEMBERSHIP
HANDBOOK WILL JEOPARDIZE YOUR FAMILY’S MEMBERSHIP.