Close up of the hand of a PHS student holdidng an epee during Fencing class
 

Community Expectations

VALUES IN ACTION   CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Basic Obligations

1. Where to be:

As indicated in our lease, PHS has use of the following spaces:

  • The south (or back) door to enter and exit the building

  • First-floor classrooms, lounge, storage closet, bathrooms, L-shaped hallway by classrooms and bathrooms on the way to the Fellowship Hall, ramp outside the Fellowship Hall, and the Fellowship Hall

  • The picnic tables, parking lot, and lawn on the west side of the building

  • The Fellowship Hall foyer (or any empty classroom) for quiet study

We may not use these spaces:

  • The main (or east) door with the exception of instructors bringing supplies and equipment in and out of the building (with students to assist as needed)

  • The front (or north) door

  • The elevator except as needed as a disability entrance

  • The stairs leading to the second floor from the Fellowship Hall foyer

  • The stairs leading to the second floor from the south door foyer

  • Any part of the second floor

  • The lawn on the building’s north side (along 33rd Avenue)

2. How to behave:

Treat each other, our community, and the space with respect. Keep behavior, language, and conversation topics appropriate for a public place.

If your class ends early, please be mindful of classes still in progress and keep hallway noise to a minimum.

3. Where to eat:

Food is allowed only in the Fellowship Hall, outdoors, or in the hallway outside the lounge at the Onsite Volunteer Station.

Spilled food must be cleaned up immediately.

4. Clean up after yourself and keep the spaces clean.

PHS is its own janitor. The church’s weekend events depend on us leaving the space as clean as we found it and putting furniture back in place. We will incur a fee if church staff need to clean up after us.

5. Pitch in.

Because students are at PHS every week while most Onsite Volunteers only assist with a few shifts per semester, our students are the experts on how our space needs to be set up. Students are expected to take charge of morning setup, classroom transitions, setup for lunch, cleanup after lunch, and cleanup at the end of the day.

At the end of each class, please clean up spills, pick up trash, help rearrange tables and chairs as needed, and otherwise ensure the classroom is in good condition for the next class. Help prepare the Fellowship Hall for lunch by setting up tables and chairs from the closet. Help clean up the Fellowship Hall after lunch by wiping down tables and chairs and returning them to the closet and by cleaning up any food spills on the floor.

Members should not leave at the end of the day until Planet Homeschool is clean and returned to the church’s preferred layout. Students should check in with the Onsite Volunteers to see what still needs to be done in the common areas and other classrooms once their own classroom is complete. If everyone participates, cleanup can be completed in 10-15 minutes.

Students should plan to arrive 10 minutes before class time to help with the setup of classrooms and shared spaces. Students should plan to stay at least 15 minutes after class ends, or later on particularly messy days, to help with the cleanup of classrooms and shared spaces.

6. Be informed

Please familiarize yourself with membership policies at PHS by reviewing information on our website, including but not limited to:

  1. Community Expectations

  2. Volunteer Commitment Overview

  3. Tuition & Fees

  4. Refund Policy

  5. Allergies and Sensitivities Policy

  6. Inclement Weather Policy

  7. About PHS

  8. FAQ

The Lead Volunteers may choose to amend these policies for the well-being of the PHS community. Members will be informed of any policy revisions via our co-op forum.

All members are also expected to:

  1. Attend an Orientation Meeting each semester.

  2. Keep up with co-op forum announcements.

7. Ask for help!

Let the Onsite Volunteers know if you need help with anything while you’re at PHS.

 
BASIC OBLIGATIONS   CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Values in Action

Our community functions best when we show kindness and respect to both ourselves and each other. All of PHS is a shared space, and we must work together to ensure it is a welcoming and safe space for everyone. With that in mind, all community members agree to treat ourselves, others, and our rented space considerately and in keeping with the guidelines below.

While in our shared space at PHS, we agree to refrain from:

  • Name-calling, jokes, or slurs that put down or threaten individuals or groups of people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, people of color, people of particular genders, people of particular faiths or ethnic backgrounds, and people with disabilities

  • Profanity/swearing

  • R-rated, NSFW-type conversations about sex or violence

  • Forcing unwanted physical contact on others, touching others without consent, or pressuring others for touch of any kind

  • Harassing or unkind comments about others’ bodies, appearances, or abilities

  • Behaviors that physically endanger or threaten to endanger anyone

  • Damaging the space we rent from Faith United Methodist Church

  • Displays of affection more suited to a private place than a shared space

  • We also agree not to harass or bully other PHS members on social media, in online chat forums, or through direct messages or emails.

Some classes involve talking about violence, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and other emotionally charged topics. Students and instructors agree to be sensitive and thoughtful when discussing these topics.

For Students

Please speak up if something bothers you or makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at PHS.

Examples:

  • “Your music is too loud for me. Can you please turn it down or use headphones?”

  • “I understand that you meant it as a joke, but it hurt my feelings. Would you please not tell jokes like that around me?”

If talking to the person doesn’t resolve the issue, or if you don’t feel safe addressing a problem directly, ask for help from a PHS adult (an Onsite Volunteer, an instructor, or any parent or guardian who is present).

If a community member speaks to you about modifying your behavior, do your best to respond courteously to the request, change your behavior as needed, or ask for help or clarification if you’re not sure what you’re being asked to do or why your behavior is seen as a problem.

For Onsite Volunteers

Student behavioral issues are rare at PHS, and most Onsite Volunteer shifts go smoothly and uneventfully.

Respond to problems and requests for help by:

  1. Using short, simple statements about how a student’s behavior is affecting others and what change you are requesting. Examples:

    • “Your conversation is loud enough to be heard in the classroom across the hall. Please lower the volume or take your conversation outside.”

    • “Jokes based on stereotypes make people feel unsafe and unwelcome. Please don’t tell them here.”

  2. Asking everyone involved in a conflict these questions:

    • “What happened? or, “What’s happening?”

    • “What were you thinking about while this was happening?”

    • “What does everyone in this situation need right now?”

    • “What needs to happen so everyone’s needs and boundaries are respected?”

Onsite Volunteers should do their best to approach students with compassion, generosity, and kindness and with the understanding that students may not be able to answer these questions when they are stressed or upset and may need time and support to understand what’s being asked of them.

If need be, Onsite Volunteers may call students’ parents or guardians for help and guidance in addressing a situation. Contact information can be found in our Member Directory, a printed copy of which is kept at the Onsite Volunteer File Box.

You may also seek help from the other PHS adults present.

Please document any conflicts or behavior problems during your volunteer shift on the Onsite Volunteer Shift Log form, so that Lead Volunteers can be aware of what happened and keep watch for patterns that need addressing. Lead Volunteers may follow up with Onsite Volunteers to see if further steps are needed.

For Parents and Guardians

Families are central to helping students prevent conflict and navigate conflict resolution.

Families can:

  • Keep in mind that all PHS volunteers are just other parents and guardians volunteering in this community to the best of their ability

  • Understand that no one at PHS has the role of a principal or school counselor, and Lead Volunteers at PHS have limited power to solve problems that are best worked out by the people most directly involved

  • Be willing to contact other PHS members directly and to participate in conversations with compassion, generosity, and respect

  • Remind your students that they are empowered to speak up in a respectful way and to set healthy boundaries

  • Remind students they are always welcome to ask the Onsite Volunteers and instructors for help

  • Ensure your students know the expectations for behavior, including treating other students, instructors, volunteers, and others respectfully

  • Ensure your students understand that they are responsible for setup, cleanup, and transitions for our classrooms and shared spaces

  • Ensure your students are aware that they should listen to and work with other students, instructors, Onsite Volunteers, and other adults

  • Coach your students with strategies for coping with challenges they might face at PHS and make sure they understand what’s expected of them in a group learning environment

  • Consider whether your students can resolve particular issues on their own or if they need help from you

  • If your student is facing challenges (such as sensory issues, impulse control issues, anxiety, auditory processing, or difficulties reading social cues), contact your student’s instructors before the first day of class to let them know the best ways of working with your student while at PHS

    • It is also helpful to let Lead Volunteers know what your student needs. At the same time, please keep in mind that PHS is a co-op, not a school and that there is no professional support staff.

  • Commit to following through on the conflict resolution process with your student, pulling in others when necessary, until resolution is achieved

  • Remain at PHS with your student while a conflict is being resolved or if the Lead Volunteers or instructors request it

For Instructors

Individual instructors may set additional policies regarding classroom behavior and for the removal of students from their classes for cause.

 
BASIC OBLIGATIONS   VALUES IN ACTION

Conflict Resolution Steps

  1. Person-to-person conversation between the people directly involved.

  2. If needed, request assistance from an instructor or Onsite Volunteer.

  3. If needed, have a follow-up conversation among the people involved, including the students’ parents or guardians.

  4. If needed, contact the Member Liaison(s) to request a restorative circle with a trained volunteer; participants agree to abide by the resolution reached through the restorative circle process.

Our community’s goal is to resolve disagreements and offer each other a chance to learn from mistakes. However, the community members involved may decide that a parent or guardian should stay onsite with a student during classes and/or free periods. In rare instances, the healthiest course of action may be for a student or family to leave PHS.

Restorative Circle Process

When additional help is needed to find ways to address a problem in a mutually acceptable manner, directly involved families and instructors may be invited to participate in a restorative circle facilitated by a trained volunteer. Families may ask to invite a small number of other community members to the circle to provide other perspectives and share fresh ideas for coming to a mutually acceptable resolution.

This process is designed to bring healing and understanding, empowering everyone involved to develop a mutually acceptable strategy to address the particular situation and any underlying problems that may have led to the conflict. In reaching these goals, the circle process builds on the values of respect, honesty, listening, truth, and sharing. Everyone present will have a voice in the process, speaking as a talking piece is passed around the circle.