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Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators

Policies, Procedures & Expected Conduct

I. Statement of Purpose:

Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators supports and encourages families who are striving to educate their children in a manner pleasing to our Savior Jesus Christ. OVCHE is a volunteer-led support group providing resources for educational activities, communication, encouragement, fellowship, and information to homeschool families and to those interested in homeschooling.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart: and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6

II. Statement of Faith:

• God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

• Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is God come in the flesh.

• The Holy Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God.

• Man is by nature sinful and is inherently in need of salvation, which is exclusively found by faith alone in Jesus Christ and his shed blood.

• Christ's death provides substitutionary atonement for our sins.

• Jesus Christ literally rose bodily from the dead.

• Jesus Christ will literally come to earth again in the Second Advent.

III. Statement of Belief Regarding Marriage, Family, and Human Sexuality

We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our infallible guide. Since the Holy Bible speaks to the nature of human beings and their sexuality, it is imperative that we correctly understand and articulate what the Bible teaches on these matters.

• Marriage — OVCHE defines marriage as the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of one man and one woman.

• Sexual Immorality — OVCHE believes that sexual acts outside marriage are prohibited as sinful. Consequently, OVCHE participants must resist and refrain from any and all sexual acts outside marriage — including but not limited to adultery, fornication, incest, pornography, prostitution, pedophilia, or same-sex sexual acts.

• Sexual Identity — OVCHE believes that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal personal dignity. Consequently, OVCHE participants must affirm their biological sex and refrain from any and all attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with their predominant biological sex — including but not limited to elective sex-reassignment, transvestite, or transgender acts or conduct.

• Sexual Redemption — OVCHE believes that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and should seek redemption through confession and repentance. Consequently, OVCHE participants must welcome and treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity all who experience same-sex attractions or confess sexually immoral acts but are committed to resisting sexual temptation, refraining from sexual immorality, and conforming their behavior to OVCHE’s Statement of Faith.

• Celibacy — Celibacy and faithful singleness is to be celebrated and affirmed within OVCHE.

IV. Policies & Procedures:

OVCHE encourages participation and welcomes ideas and suggestion from its members for activities and events. These include field trips, co-ops, guest speakers, and any other events that would be beneficial to the homeschool community and our support group.

This support group consists of home educating parents joining together to share their talents, resources, and time in order to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of their children. Parental involvement is a necessity to avoid a deteriorating program and lost opportunities for our children. A support group also provides a source of advice and encouragement for the parent-teacher.

The Board of Directors may revise Policies, Procedures, & Expected Conduct at any time. As revisions are made, membership will be given notification of any changes. Expect changes as OVCHE grows in membership and maturity. Please keep a copy of Policies, Procedures, & Expected Conduct on file for future reference at any time.

V. Membership Benefits:

Members will have the following provided as part of their dues:

• Membership to OVCHE with all rights as members including support, encouragement and fellowship of other homeschooling families.

• Login-in access to OVCHE.org where members can:

  • View the online calendar of events, which includes such things as field trips, recitals, and holiday parties and where eligible (PPEC.VIII.9) members can sign-up for such events.
  • View the class registration portal for co-op and other classes and where eligible members can sign-up for such classes.
  • Gain access to an online directory of members.
  • Access the online forum, forms, and other information provided through OVCHE.org

• Permission to join the private OVCHE Facebook group.

Alumni benefits through a complimentary universal alumni log-in to OVCHE.org and continued access to the Facebook group.

Note: OVCHE keeps all information confidential to the extent provided by law.

VI. Membership Requirements:

Families are eligible for membership while homeschooling, while learning about homeschooling and after graduating their children. We also accept membership from those enrolled in a publically funded internet school; virtual, charter or distance learning program, or cyber school-at-home program.

The OVCHE Board reserves the right to deny membership. The membership may also be terminated if a member no longer meets the qualifications or their behavior is in conflict with our membership policies. Any behavior that a member feels needs to be addressed should be brought to the Board of Directors for discussion, decision, and action.

The qualifications are as follows:

• Each family is expected to read and complete the membership application at OVCHE.org, agreeing to abide by our Policies, Procedures, & Expected Conduct. If you have a child aged ten years or older, or will turn ten during the current membership year, please have them read and agree to abide by Youths’ Expected Conduct.

• Each family pays a nonrefundable $35 fee which is used to cover expenses incurred for management and support services offered by the organization.

• Member families are expected to volunteer in some way to serve the group either as a coordinator, teacher, or helper. There are many opportunities to serve throughout the year. Please let the appropriate committee chair know in what area you are interested or would like to help serve.

• Members families will provide physical home addresses for five years prior to the date of application, and will be screened through sex offender databases by the membership review committee. Registered sex offenders will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Board of Directors, who retain the right to limit membership benefits with sanctions for the safety of our children, in line with our Child Protection Policy.

We encourage people who are not comfortable with our guidelines to seek like-minded homeschooling families in other support groups.

A copy of Policies & Procedures, and Expected Conduct will be provided to each member. You must sign and agree to the terms in order to complete the Membership Requirements.

By agreeing with a statement, all members and children will behave in a manner consistent with Expected Conduct at all OVCHE meetings and sponsored events. Failure to do so could result in dismissal of membership with OVCHE.

VII. Dispute Resolution

In consideration for being accepted and allowed to participate in all OVCHE activities, field trips and events and activities associated with its program and location, I personally assume responsibility for my actions and release OVCHE and its agents from loss, injury, or damage to myself or my property: provided that nothing contained herein shall excuse OVCHE or its agents from responsibility to act with reasonable care for the safety of myself or my property.

In the unlikely event that a claim or dispute arises out of this agreement, or any of its provisions, the parties hereto agree to settle by mediation and, if necessary, arbitration in accordance with the Rules for Procedure of the Institute for Christian Coalition, 1537 Avenue D, Suite 352, Billings, MT 59102, and such proceedings shall take place in San Diego, California. Judgement upon an arbitration award may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction, and in any event of such judgement, a sum of reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party shall be included. This agreement is in effect until revoked in writing by either party.

VIII. Expected Conduct

The behavior and conduct of our members is how society will judge homeschoolers and OVCHE in general. Please join us to build a good reputation for homeschoolers by observing the following:

  1. Moral Standards and Behavioral Expectations:
    1. Live in accordance with the Statement of Belief Regarding Marriage, Family, and Human Sexuality. (PPEC.III)
    2. Members are expected to honor God by upholding and modeling a high standard of courtesy and to dress appropriately to the occasion or function. (PPEC.IX.4)
    3. Each family agrees to maintain an attitude of cooperation so that everyone can enjoy events. Be respectful and courteous at all times. No profanity. No drugs. No alcohol at any OVCHE family oriented events.
    4. Absolutely no physical altercations are acceptable. Depending upon the severity, a member can be terminated immediately at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
    5. All members (parents & children) are expected to respect the use of any facility used by OVCHE. Running in buildings, carving or defacing property, throwing things, littering, willful damage to, or destruction of property will not be tolerated. All members and children must respect the rules and materials of the facilities and not touch materials or equipment not needed for the function. Members are expected pick up after themselves and their children and should encourage their children to clean up all play areas before leaving. Children should be advised that many of these facilities, whether used for meetings or visited for field trips may be someone’s place of work. The level of noise must be kept to a minimum. Members must respect all parameters and restrictions set by any facility used by OVCHE.
    6. Parents are expected to monitor their children’s behavior at all times, either directly or by appointing another responsible adult to do so, and provide correction when necessary. If someone else’s child should break the rules, inform the parent of the situation immediately. If the situation remains, notify the event coordinator or a member of the Board of Directors.
    7. Our activities are designed to be learning experiences for school age children and members should do all they can to make them as profitable as possible. Preschoolers and babies are more than welcome to attend the activities. If they are noisy or distracting, PLEASE remove the disruptive preschoolers or babies from any assembly in consideration of others. Cooperation in this sensitive area is greatly appreciated.
    8. Youth and parent(s) are required to abide by and sign Youths’ Expected Conduct. A youth is defined as any minor age 10 and older.
  2. Financial Disputes:
    1. Parents are financially liable for any property damage or personal injury incurred during any field trip or event scheduled by OVCHE volunteers.
    2. If a family commits to attending an event and fails to pay the fees by the due date or cancel within the set guidelines of the event, and the financial burden falls onto the coordinator or OVCHE, that family’s account will be disabled until they settle their debt.
  3. Conflict Resolution: In the event of a conflict or issue with a member of OVCHE, please try to resolve that issue or conflict with the person directly. If unable to resolve, please bring the issue to the event coordinator, if applicable. If the issue is still not resolved, please bring issue in written form to the board President or Secretary. The issue will be addressed at the next meeting or, if needed, a special meeting of the board will be called. All board decisions will be final.
  4. Event Coordinating:
    1. OVCHE event coordinators reserve the right to set limits on age, grade and number of participants for their event and enforce payment due dates. (See VIII.2.b)
    2. When an activity or event planned by a member will require the collection of more than $250.00, those monies will be collected and disbursed by the OVCHE treasurer and not the coordinator. Otherwise, the event coordinator will be responsible for the collection of monies and making any payments.

5.Fundraising:

a. If any member or group of members wishes to plan an event or activity which desires fundraising, said persons must submit via email to treasurer@ovche.org their requests by Sept 15 for the months of September-December and by January 15 for the months of January–June their fundraising plans.

b.Fundraiser plans will be reviewed by the finance committee for each of the above terms. The committee reserves the right to restrict or alter plans.

c. No group will be permitted to host more than two (2) fundraisers per term.

d.Solicitation of sponsors (including tagging) is not considered a fundraiser.

  1. Attending an Event:
    1. Families must pay any fees by the event deadline.
    2. If a family is unable to attend an event for which it signed up, they must cancel within the guidelines of the event. (See VIII.2.b) Failure to do so would result in the forfeiture of any monies paid for a pre-paid event. Please contact the event coordinator as soon as possible, often times there are waitlists.
    3. Students may not leave an event without knowledge or permission from the coordinator.
    4. Parents need to honor the parameters and rules established by coordinator.
    5. Be prompt. If a family is unable to be prompt for a scheduled event, the group may not be able to wait and may proceed without latecomers.
  2. Fulfilling Commitments: In the event a member is unable to fulfill a volunteer position, that member should help the coordinator find someone to fill her place.
  3. Illness
  • If anyone who lives in my household is sick, my entire family will stay home from co-op, field trips, or any group event. Illness will include anyone that has had a fever defined as 100.0 or higher, vomiting, or diarrhea, and those with a cloudy, runny nose or a consistent cough within the last 48 hours.
  • If a child has been exposed to a contagious illness, please inform the event coordinator or a board member as soon as possible so that precautions may be taken. Please do not bring potentially exposed, but not yet sick children, to events.
  • If I or any of my children develop any symptoms of illness while at an OVCHE event or co-op, I will collect my children, notify those in charge of the event, and take my family home.
  • My family and I will participate in frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and will cover our coughs and sneezes properly.
  • My family will complete the health screening form prior to attending an event or co-op, if requested.
  • Members should also be mindful if a child or other family member has lice or has recently been treated for such.
  • If anyone who lives in my household is sick, my entire family will stay home from co-op, field trips, or any group event. Illness will include anyone that has had a fever defined as 100.0 or higher, vomiting, or diarrhea, and those with a cloudy, runny nose or a consistent cough within the last 48 hours.
  • If a child has been exposed to a contagious illness, please inform the event coordinator or a board member as soon as possible so that precautions may be taken. Please do not bring potentially exposed, but not yet sick children, to events.
  • If I or any of my children develop any symptoms of illness while at an OVCHE event or co-op, I will collect my children, notify those in charge of the event, and take my family home.
  • My family and I will participate in frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and will cover our coughs and sneezes properly. My family will complete the health screening form prior to attending an event or co-op, if requested. Members should also be mindful if a child or other family member has lice or has recently been treated for such.

9. The Board of Directors has discretion to determine guidelines to all of the above.

As the parent or legal guardian of the child(ren)listed on the membership form, I consent and agree that said child(ren) may participate in group activities and events. I herby assume all risk as a result of my child(ren)’s participation in the events and activities. I also hold harmless and indemnify OVCHE, its leadership, and any volunteers for accidents, injury, illness, or any other condition which may jeopardize the health/safety of my child(ren) involved therin.

Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators

Child Protection Policy

General Purpose Statement

Ohio Valley Christian Home Educators supports and encourages families who are striving to educate their children in a manner pleasing to our Savior Jesus Christ. OVCHE is a volunteer-led support group providing resources for educational activities, communication, encouragement, fellowship, and information to homeschool families and to those interested in homeschooling.

 

OVCHE seeks to provide a safe and secure environment for the children who participate in our programs and activities. By implementing the below practices, our goal is to protect the children of OVCHE from incidents of misconduct or inappropriate behavior while also protecting our board of directors and volunteers (workers) from false accusations.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, the terms “child” or “children” include all persons under the age of eighteen (18) years. The terms “worker” and “volunteer” include both paid and unpaid persons who work with children by teaching at the OVCHE co-op, working in a classroom with children under the age of 7, coordinating a tween and teen event, or anyone else who may be supervising children without the presence of the child’s parents or a minimum of two CPP compliant adults at an OVCHE sponsored activity.

Selection of Workers

All persons who desire to work with the children participating in our programs and activities will be screened. This screening includes the following:

  1. Six Month Rule

No person will be considered for any volunteer position involving contact with minors until she/he has been involved with OVCHE for a minimum of six (6) months. This time of interaction between our leadership and the applicant allows for better evaluation and suitability of the applicant for working with children.

  1. Application

All persons seeking to work with children must complete and sign a digital application on a form on the OVCHE website. The application will request for a statement of faith, past experience working with children, 2-3 references and disclosure of any previous criminal convictions. The application form will be maintained in confidence in the OVCHE admin database.

  1. Personal Interview

Upon completion of the application, a face-to-face interview may be scheduled with the applicant to discuss his/her suitability for the position.

  1. Reference Checks

Before an applicant is permitted to work with children, at least two of the applicants’ references will be checked. These references should be of an institutional nature as opposed to personal or family references, preferably from organizations where the applicant has worked with children in the past. Documentation of the reference checks will be maintained in confidence on file in the OVCHE admin database.

  1. Criminal Background Check

A national criminal background check is required for all employees (regardless of position) and “volunteers” as defined above. If an individual declines to obtain a background check, s/he will be unable to work with children.

A disqualifying offense that will keep an individual from working with children will be determined by OVCHE Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis in light of all the surrounding circumstances. Generally, convictions for an offense involving children and/or for offenses involving violence, dishonesty, illegal substances, indecency and any conduct contrary to our mission will preclude someone from being permitted to work with children. Failure to disclose a criminal conviction on the application form will also be a disqualifying event.

The background check results will be maintained in confidence on file at the OVCHE co-op chairperson’s home.

Two Adult Rule

It is our goal that a minimum of two unrelated adult workers will be in attendance at all times when children are being supervised during our programs and activities. Some youth classes may have only one adult teacher in attendance during the class session; in these instances, doors to the classroom should remain open and there should be no fewer than three students with the adult teacher. We do not allow minors to be alone with one adult in any sponsored activity.

Restroom Guidelines

Children five years of age and younger should use a classroom bathroom if one is available. If a classroom bathroom is not available, workers should escort a group of children to the hallway bathroom. They should always go in a group, never taking a child to the bathroom alone. The workers should check the bathroom first to make sure that it is empty, and then allow the children inside. The workers should then remain outside the bathroom door and escort the children back to the classroom. If a child is taking longer than seems necessary, the worker should open the bathroom door and call the child's name. If a child requires assistance, the workers should prop open the bathroom door, and leave the stall door open as they assist the child.

For children ages 5-7, at least adult should accompany a group of 2 or more same-sex children to the bathroom. The worker should check the bathroom first to make sure that the bathroom is empty, and then allow the children inside. The worker should then remain outside the bathroom door and escort the children back to the classroom.

Children ages 8 and older may go to the bathroom unattended by an adult, but should be accompanied by a same-sex peer.

For the protection of all, workers should never be alone with a child in a bathroom with the door closed and never be in a closed bathroom stall with a child. Parents are strongly encouraged to have their children visit the bathroom prior to each class.

Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse

For purposes of this policy, “child abuse” is any action (or lack of action) that endangers or harms a child’s physical, psychological or emotional health and development. Child abuse occurs in different ways and includes the following:

  • Physical abuse – any physical injury to a child that is not accidental, such as beating, shaking, burns, and biting.
  • Emotional abuse – emotional injury when the child is not nurtured or provided with love and security, such as an environment of constant criticism, belittling and persistent teasing.
  • Sexual abuse – any sexual activity between a child and an adult or between a child and another child at least four years older than the victim, including activities such as fondling, exhibitionism, intercourse, incest, and pornography.
  • Neglect – depriving a child of his or her essential needs, such as adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care.

Childcare workers may have the opportunity to become aware of abuse or neglect of the children under our care. In the event that an individual involved in the care of children at OVCHE sponsored events becomes aware of suspected abuse or neglect of a child under his/her care, this should be reported immediately to the OVCHE Board of Directors for further action, including reporting to authorities as may be mandated by state law.

In the event that an incident of abuse or neglect is alleged to have occurred at an OVCHE sponsored program or activity, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. The parent or guardian of the child will be notified.
  2. The OVCHE volunteer or worker alleged to be the perpetrator of the abuse or misconduct will immediately be placed on leave pending an investigation and instructed to remain away from the premises during the investigation. He or she should be instructed to have no contact with the victim or with witnesses.
  3. All allegations of abuse should be reported to the civil authorities, and the organization will comply with the state’s requirements regarding mandatory reporting of abuse as the law then exists. The organization will fully cooperate with the investigation of the incident by civil authorities.
  4. The insurance company will be notified, and the organization will complete an incident report. Any documents received relating to the incident and/or allegations will immediately be forwarded to the insurance company.
  5. The organization will designate a spokesperson to the media concerning incidents of abuse or neglect. The advice of legal counsel will be sought before responding to media inquiries or releasing information about the situation to the members of the group. All other representatives of the organization should refrain from speaking to the media.
  6. Any person who is not found innocent of the alleged abuse or misconduct will have their OVCHE membership immediately terminated.

Teenage Workers

We recognize that there may be times when it is necessary or desirable for babysitters (paid or volunteer) who are themselves under age 18 to assist in caring for children during programs or activities. The following guidelines apply to teenage workers:

· Must be at least age 14.

· Must be under the supervision of a non-related, screened adult and must never be left alone with children.

Children who are observed by our workers to be ill will be separated from other children and the parent or guardian will be contacted to request that the child be picked up for the day.

 

Accidental Injuries to Children

In the event that a child or youth is injured while under our care, the following steps should be followed:

  1. For minor injuries, scrapes, and bruises, workers will provide First Aid (Band-Aids, etc.) as appropriate and will notify the child’s parent or guardian of the injury at the earliest convenience.
  2. For injuries requiring medical treatment beyond simple First Aid, the parent and/or guardian will immediately be summoned in addition to the event coordinator, member of the board of directors, or co-op committee member. If warranted by circumstances, an ambulance will be called.
  3. Once the child has received appropriate medical attention, an incident report will be completed in the case of injuries requiring treatment by a medical professional.

Training

OVCHE will provide training on this child protection policy to all new childcare workers and will strive to provide opportunities for additional training classes or events on an annual basis. Workers must participate in the OVCHE annual teacher training as part of the annual membership meeting, or the scheduled make-up training, as well as, complete a certified Sexual Abuse Prevention training course within 1 year of assuming worker duties.

 

IX. Youths’ Expected Conduct

All participating Youth (10 years old and up) and their parent(s) or guardian(s) must read and agree to the following:

• I have read and agree with the OVCHE Mission Statement with a Purpose.

• I have read and agree with the OVCHE Policies, Procedures, & Expected Conduct.

• My behavior will be honoring to family and OVCHE at all OVCHE meetings, field trips, special events and activities (which will hereto forward be referred to as OVCHE functions).

• I will dress and behave modestly at all OVCHE functions. Modesty is defined as behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid offending others. I will refrain from being rude, vulgar, and improper.

• I will behave respectfully and appropriately with members of the opposite sex at all OVCHE functions.

• I understand that the OVCHE Board of Directors has the discretion to determine the guidelines of all of the above.

 

Submit payment for $35( checks made payable to "OVCHE") to our treasurer: 

                                         
OVCHE
P.O. Box 561
St. Clairsville OH 43950
 
**You can not be approved until payment is received. If payment is not recieved within 60 days your application for membership will be removed**