FAQs



Tracks

Q:

What are the two tracks to membership?

A:

Co-op track is the right track for most families.  It is the only option for families with elementary-aged students and is the best option for families with 7th-12th graders who wish to enjoy all that Learning Station has to offer. 

However, we offer upper level only track to families with 7th-12th graders.  This track has fewer perks, but it also requires less of a time commitment than co-op track. 

Q:

What is the difference between co-op track membership and upper level only track membership?

A:

Beliefs, values, philosophy

Q:

What is Learning Station's statement of faith?

A:

Co-op track members must affirm agreement with LEFC's statement of faith.   You can find the statement of faith online at https://www.lefc.net/statement-of-faith/.  A link at the bottom of the page provides scripture references for each statement of faith.

Upper level only track members must accept that Learning Station leadership and teachers operate in agreement with that statement, and they must agree to respect and defer to the policies and principles set by the steering committee. Members must also promise not to oppose, undermine or malign the beliefs outlined in our statement of faith and affirmed by all of our co-op track members and upper level teachers.

Q:

How is the Learning Station “governed?"

A:

Learning Station is led by a steering committee made up of approximately five to ten co-op track members, each having different areas of responsibility.  We operate under the oversight of the LEFC although they are not directly involved in our decision-making process.   

Requirements

Q:

What are my responsibilities as a co-op track parent? (Please note that this does not apply to upper level track only families.)

A:

Learning Station is a cooperative. Our success depends on the contributions of every member’s time and unique talents.  We strive to match members’ roles with their own interests, giftings, and preferences. We also try to divide the labor so that no one is overburdened. 

For co-op to be successful, each member is expected to contribute by teaching/helping in three classes and one extracurricular or the approximate equivalent, recognizing that some assignments require more of a time commitment than others.

Q:

As a co-op parent, would I be required to teach every week?  (Please note that this applies only to co-op track families and not upper level only track families.)

A:

In each elementary-level class to which you are assigned, you are working with at least one other teacher.  The two of you would then work out a teaching model that best suits both of you.  Over the ten-week semester, you might teach five sessions, and the other teacher would teach five sessions.  Another option is that one of you would be the main teacher for all ten weeks, and the other person would be the assistant.   You will be expected to be present each week and to make yourself available to help out where needed.   

Members who are interested in teaching classes for upper level students may choose to teach for 10 or 15 weeks per semester.   Classes at upper level may be taught by one teacher, by co-teachers or by a team of teachers.    

Q:

Am I permitted to go “off campus” to do other things during the time I am not teaching on Wednesday morning?

A:

All parents of elementary students are asked to remain on campus from nine to noon even when they are not teaching, so that they are available if their children need something or if a class needs a substitute.  There is more flexibility for parents of middle/high schoolers in this area depending on when they are teaching.

Q:

Would I need to anticipate staying later than noon on Wednesdays if I am not involved in any afternoon classes?

 

A:

Normally, you are free to leave at noon.  One exception would be if your child is involved in a performance-type class like drama; teachers may schedule additional practice time after noon on occasion.   The other exception would be if we have a weather-related delay.  In that situation, we would operate on a two-hour delay schedule, and the elementary day would end after noon.

Please know that we offer the opportunity to order pizza for lunch or for you to bring a packed lunch for the 10 weeks that co-op meets. Some families stay to socialize and eat lunch and some families head to a local playground. This is all optional but the opportunity for social time exists if it is something you are looking for in your homeschool week.

Q:

What is your attendance policy for members?

A:

Sometimes absences are necessary due to illness or extenuating circumstances, but attendance for both adult and student members should be a priority.   If you must be absent, have your co-teacher take charge of the class and find a substitute for that day from the sub list in advance. If you have a last minute emergency on Wednesday morning, call your co-teacher to take charge of the class and call a substitute from the sub list.  After you have made substitute arrangements, please notify the elementary coordinator or upper level coordinator of the arrangements you have made.   Elementary-aged students may not attend co-op without their parents except for pre-approved and extenuating circumstances.  If approval is granted, the parent must designate another co-op member to be responsible for his/her children.   

All appointments, trips, and other commitments should be avoided during scheduled co-op days.  Avoidable absences reduce the availability of substitutes for unavoidable ones, place an unnecessary burden on other members, and are contrary to the commitments members make to Learning Station.   If a member plans to miss any co-op days in a year, he/she should notify the steering committee as soon as possible and preferably prior to registration.  The steering committee will consider requests for more than one planned absence on a case by case basis.   If the steering committee determines that the absences would hinder the member’s ability to fulfill his/her minimum obligation to the co-op, the committee will not approve the request. The member may then decide to withdraw his/her membership for the year.  Refunds will be issued according to the refund policy, and exceptions to the refund policy will be considered on a case by case basis.    If a member takes more than one avoidable absence in a year without approval from the steering committee, he or she will require steering committee approval to renew his/her membership for the following year.

Because faithful attendance is vital to the success of the co-op, the steering committee will re-evaluate the membership status of any member who, for two consecutive years,  misses three or more co-op days per year for any reason.   The steering committee will also re-evaluate the membership status of any member who misses four days for any reason in a single year.   Extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration. 

Details

Q:

When does Learning Station meet?

A:

Elementary (PreK-6th

Elementary students meet for regularly scheduled classes on Wednesdays from 9 AM to noon.  We have two 10 week semesters.  The fall semester typically begins after Labor Day and the spring semester begins late January or early February.

 

Middle/High School (7th-12th)

Classes for middle and high school students begin at 9:00 AM and run through 4:00 PM* on Wednesday.  Individual classes may run for 10 or 15 weeks per semester.    For specific start and end dates, see the calendar (link on homepage). (Theater Arts sometimes meets past 4 p.m.)

 

Q:

Where does Learning Station meet?

A:

We meet on Wednesdays at Lancaster Evangelical Free Church (LEFC), 419 Pierson Road, Lititz, PA 17543.

Q:

What are the expenses associated with joining Learning Station?

A:

To become a co-op track member, two fees are required.

Annual Registration Fee

$95 per family w/1 child in co-op
$105 per family w/2 children in co-op
$115 per family w/3 children in co-op
$125 per family w/4 or more children in co-op

CHALC membership Fee** 

$25 per family

(**CHALC (Coalition of Homeschoolers Across Lancaster County) is an organization which provides support to co-ops in the county.  They provide insurance, access to homeschool-life, discounted graduation,  a month newsletter, and mroe.   Families who are members of more than one CHALC member group will receive a $15 refund from CHALC on additional membership fees paid. )            

There may be additional expenses associated with a particular class.  For example, some of the high school classes require the purchase of a textbook. Theater Arts may have additional expenses for scripts and costumes.  Elementary students may occasionally be asked to have various supplies.  If you choose to participate in some other things we provide, there are, of course, the appropriate fees connected with these activities.

In addition, if your student wishes to take upper level classes taught by an independent contractor (ULA classes), you would be responsible for the tuition for that class.  Upper level classes (ULB) taught by co-op members are included in the registration fee (up to 5 classes per UL student).

Upper level only track families pay a registration fee of $10 per upper level class per semester if they choose to fulfill their monitoring duties.  If they choose to opt-out of monitoring, they pay $30 per upper level class per semester.  They must also submit $25 for the CHALC membership fee and pay the class fee for both ULA & ULB classes.  Fees for each class will be published on the class registration grid.

 

 

Q:

What are the ages for which you offer classes?

A:

We cover all ages from infant-12th grade.  Elementary classes are broken in the following age groups:  infants, toddlers,0-1 year olds, 2-3 year old, 4-5 year olds, 6-7 year old, 8-9 year olds, 10-11 year olds.  Placement for elementary students is determined by the students age on September 15.   Upper level classes cover 7th through 12th grades.

Q:

May I register for only a half year of co-op track?

A:

Your commitment as a co-op track member should be seen as a year-long commitment.  While there will be exceptions made for unexpected hardships, dropping out mid-year should be the rare exception. Because we are a co-op and all have our roles to fill, it creates extreme difficulties when someone isn't there to fulfill their responsibilities.  

Q:

Besides Wednesday mornings, would there be other times that I need to reserve time for co-op?

A:

When a person first joins Learning Station, she/he will be asked to attend a one-time meeting held in the summer with the New Member Coordinator before the start of classes.

Every year there is one mandatory orientation meeting that we request a parent attend which is held in late-August.

In addition, Learning Station generally hosts a talent show in the fall, a closing program in the spring as well as Track and Field day in the spring.  We also offer one to three co-op track family field trips per year that typically do not occur on Wednesdays and are optional. Attendance at these special events is not mandatory unless your extra-curricular assignment requires it.  

Q:

What classes are offered at the co-op?

A:

Elementary classes vary.  Our member's interests and talents dictate the subjects and topics taught.  We typically have a PE class each semester for each age group of Pre-k and up.    We try to encourage art, science, literature, music, and history in a way that takes advantage of the group setting.  Classes are designed to be interactive and hands-on.   

Our elementary classes are designed to supplement your home curriculum, not replace it. Therefore, most of the work will be done in class.  Our upper level classes include "academic" and "enrichment" options. (The schedule of Jr./Sr. high classes (ULA & ULB) will be posted on the public page when available.)

Q:

Can you accomodate children with special needs?

A:

While Learning Station wants to serve all families and their students, Learning Station is not equipped to meet every individual need of every student and every family. While the steering committee will work with families, we ask that you understand that some needs may be beyond the expertise of our member-teachers.   

Q:

Ok, I'm ready to join.  What do I do?

A:

Contact us at LearningStationCoop@gmail.com  to schedule a tour/meeting with our new member coordinator.   After your tour/meeting, you may request that a link to our member application.  

 

 

Independently Contracted Teachers

Q:

Must I have a teaching certificate to teach at Learning Station?

A:

No.  While we do have some teachers who have teaching certificates, it is not a requirement.   

Q:

How much do ICT (independently contracted teachers) get paid?

A:

ICT teachers set their own per-student class fees.  They also set the minimum number of students they will accept and still hold the class.  Currently, class fees fall between $60-100 per semester per student. 

Q:

Are teachers considered employees of Learning Station?

A:

No.  Learning Station has no employees. Families make checks payable directly to the ICT teachers in whose classes their children are enrolled.

Q:

Do you enlist ICT teachers to teach elementary classes?

A:

No. We only use ICT teachers for 7th-12th grade classes.  Our elementary classes are taught by members.

Q:

Who provides supplies for my class?

A:

You should plan to either provide the needed supplies or require students to provide their own supplies.  Our teachers do have access to a copier and some basic office supplies.  We also have a number of science supplies, but other than that, teachers are expected to include supplies in their class fee or give the students a list of supplies to bring to class.

Q:

How can a class be worth a full credit if it only meets once a week?

A:

One word...homework. Teachers can assign a significant amount of homework and expect that it be completed by the student with parental assistance if required.   A general guideline is that a full-credit course at Learning Station should be giving students between 3 to 4 hours of homework a week.  Alternatively, one full credit may be earned by covering 2/3s of a single credit textbook.   

Q:

What types of classes would you offer?

A:

Our offerings are dependent upon our members and our ICTs.  While we try to schedule traditional, academic classes like biology, chemistry, algebra, speech, etc, we also value classes that you might not find in a public high school such as automotive care, crochet, Krav Maga, Ham Radio, Interior Design, Intro to Engineering, Finance, Sci-Fi Literature, Woodcarving, Carpentry, Small Engines...etc.  Those classes may be born from our teacher's training, work or life experience, interests, or hobbies.   

Q:

What about classroom discipline?

A:

Classroom discipline is generally not an issue at Learning Station.    Students are involved in Learning Station by either their choice or their parent's choice or both.   So, they want to be there, and they want to learn. Should an issue arise, parents are easily accessible as is our upper level coordinator.  All will work with you to resolve any discipline problems.    You will find our students to be engaged in your class, respectful of your teaching, and grateful for your time.