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Becoming a PHS Member
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Planet Homeschool’s mission statement is: “We are a secular organization open to all faiths, beliefs and educational styles. In all that we do, we work to include, respect and learn from individual differences in ability, gender, culture, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation and educational philosophy.”
Our community functions best when we strive to be kind and respectful of both ourselves and our fellow members. All of PHS is a shared space and we must work together to ensure it is a welcoming and safe space for everyone.
As a parent at PHS, I agree to the following member expectations:
This includes becoming familiar with behavior and membership policies at PHS by reviewing information on our website, attending a fall or spring member meeting each year, keeping up with forum announcements, and fulfilling volunteer requirements.
I also will make sure my student knows the following:
PHS volunteers and teachers will do their best to make the co-op a welcoming, safe environment for all students, but parents need to understand and acknowledge that PHS is not a school, but a co-op with fellow parents serving as unpaid volunteers.
With all this in mind, I agree to coach my children on strategies for coping with challenges they might face at PHS and make sure they’re clear on what’s expected of them in a group learning environment. If needed for the good of my child and others interacting with them, I will also communicate proactively with teachers and other adult volunteers about how best to work with my child.
Occasionally, teachers or volunteers may suggest that it’s necessary for a parent to stay on-site while a student is at PHS. As a member of a cooperative endeavor, I agree to abide by that suggestion if needed for the benefit of my student and others.
Planet Homeschool is a homeschool cooperative, which means that we are a group of families working together to create a vibrant, welcoming learning community. Because we are a co-op that runs on volunteer energy and has no paid staff, we rely on all members to do their required volunteer hours.
The minimum volunteer requirement for fall semester is 6 hours. For the longer spring semester, the requirement is 8 hours. These hours may be adjusted slightly during the academic year if needed to keep the co-op functioning.
During semesters when the co-op holds on-site classes, the volunteer requirement is most commonly filled by doing two-hour shifts as on-site parent monitors. On-site parent monitors greet visitors, help students find needed items, call parents if needed, and very occasionally address behavior issues outside of classrooms. If I am unable to volunteer on-site, I agree to work with the volunteer coordinator(s) to find an alternate way to serve the co-op.
During the fall 2020 semester, which will be conducted entirely online due to COVID-19-related uncertainties, parents will be asked to volunteer off-site. Possible tasks may include helping chaperone online social activities for students, hosting book clubs, fundraising, or promoting PHS on social media. I understand that volunteer coordinator(s) will be in touch with me to offer options for off-site volunteering for fall 2020 and will contact me about my volunteering availability in spring 2021.
Student behavioral issues are rare at PHS, and most parent volunteer shifts go smoothly and uneventfully. However, if a need arises to speak to a student about a behavior issue, I agree to try to take a restorative, compassionate approach rather than a punitive, shaming approach. That means starting by using short, simple statements to let students know how their actions are affecting others. For example, “Your conversation is getting too loud and it’s making it hard for the class across the hall to concentrate. Could you please talk more quietly?” or “Jokes that stereotype gay people make people feel unsafe and unwelcome at PHS, so please don’t tell them here.”
The vast majority of the time, that kind of interaction will be all that’s needed to resolve an issue.
If a quick reminder or short conversation doesn’t resolve the issue, volunteers can consult a more experienced PHS volunteer or one of the PHS lead volunteers for further help. They can also call a student’s parents for help using the directory on-site at PHS. The next step if a problem doesn’t get resolved would be for the people most directly impacted to meet to work out a solution together, either on their own or with support from PHS volunteers. If a student adversely affected by another student’s actions doesn’t want to meet in person, they will not be required to do so, but their parents will be expected to speak on their student’s behalf.
If my student or I have a conflict with another member of our community, I understand that the best approach, if possible, is for me to speak directly to the person or people involved in the conflict. Addressing small problems before they escalate into big ones keeps our community healthier, stronger, and more peaceful.
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 in those problems. However, I understand that if I can't or don't feel able to resolve a problem on my own, I can ask for help via an email to email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org.
If lead volunteers are made aware that a member’s behavior has made others feel unsafe or unwelcome, the first course of action will be to reach out to the families involved to initiate further conversation among the people most directly impacted by the situation. Members are expected to be willing to engage in any conversations necessary for ensuring that everyone here feels safe and welcome.
If conversations don’t resolve the issue or a family has been unwilling to engage in finding mutually satisfactory solutions to a problem, lead volunteers may decline to allow a family to re-join the co-op the following semester. They also reserve the right to ask a student or family to leave the co-op immediately if necessary for the functioning of the co-op or for safety reasons.
Individual instructors may set their own policies regarding behavior in the classroom and the removal of students from their classes for cause.
The community may choose to amend this policy for the well-being of the PHS community.
I have read and agree to abide by the above member expectations and policies.
Entering your name here serves as your digital signature.
A confirmation that you've completed this form will be sent to this email address. To help volunteers connect your form to your membership, please use the same email address that you entered as your family's Primary Email in your Member Profile.
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