Catholic Community Co-op Classes Field Trips Curriculum Support Park Days Independent Learning
 

Q:

Who are we?

A:

Good Shepherd Catholic Homeschool Community and Skye Chase Cooperative are ministries of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

Q:

Who is the co-op for?

A:

The Skye Chase Co-op Program is designed for those families who are home educating their children. The co-op program should act as a supplement to your homeschool and allow your student to learn within a group setting.

Q:

What are our goals?

A:

The goals for this program are to provide a group environment for our children to learn about and explore God’s creation; to help parents raise academically and spiritually strong children; and to encourage families to grow in their love for each other and God.

Q:

What is our Statement of Faith?

A:

As stated in the Apostles’ Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

In communion with the Catholic Church and the Holy Father, we seek to raise our children in communion with this faith.

Q:

What are the fees?

A:

There is a $150 fee per student per year with a maximum family fee of $450. This fee covers art supplies, science supplies, math kits, classroom needs, special events such as holiday parties and art fair, and our annual yearbook. Leadership Members of the cooperative will be given a credit for one student for their yearly service. Program fees are due at the class sign-up day during the first week in August. New families also pay a one-time fee for background check of $35 per adult volunteer.

Q:

What is the parent participation requirements?

A:

The co-op runs exclusive on “PARENT POWER.” There are a wide variety of classes offered by moms, dads, grandparents, and friends that selflessly sacrifice their time and efforts for the benefit of the children in our community. Participation in the co-op is a nine-month commitment, and depends upon the active participation of all members to ensure a positive experience for all families. One parent from each family needs to remain on-site during the program.

Q:

What is the schedule of the co-op?

A:

First Semester: Mid-September through Mid-January (12 weeks)

Second Semester: Mid-January through Mid-May (12 weeks)

Q:

What does a typical day look like?

A:

9:00 - 9:30am Mass
9:30 - 10:00am Assembly and Family Presentation
10:00 - 12:30pm Instruction (Three 50 Minutes Periods)

Our day will begin with Mass at 9:00, followed by a group assembly at 9:30. Then the children will be divided into age groups for instruction from 10am to 12:30pm. These classes will be divided into three 50 minute time periods. Class descriptions are available in a separate document.

Q:

How do parents help?

A:

Parents and students are expected to attend co-op meetings every Friday, except in cases of sickness, travel, or a family emergency. Parents help for two periods during the morning and have one period off in the Parent Support Room. We ask all families to be careful not to schedule appointments or other activities during co-op mornings since an absent teacher or student can be disruptive to the program. If a family has a sick child – but there are other school-age children in the family that are well – parents may leave these children to attend their homeschool classes, while the parent remains at home with their sick child. 

Q:

Are parents required to take any training or classes?

A:

Yes, new volunteers are required by the Arlington Diocese to take the 4-hour child safety class, VIRTUS training, in order to work with children. You can find out more information about this training at www.virtusonline.org. The training sessions are offered several times during the year and you can register online. This training must be completed before our first day of class in September.

Q:

Is there a lunch period and recess?

A:

Yes, there is an optional lunch and recess time after the program from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Students may stay and eat lunch together between 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. If students will be staying for lunch, please have the student bring their lunches from home with all utilities for the students to eat their lunch. There is no microwave or refrigerator available during the program. There will also be an opportunity for recess outside after lunch.

Q:

Are there afternoon clubs?

A:

Yes, club time is from 1:30-3pm and is open to the entire Good Shepherd Catholic Homeschool Support Group, not only co-op members.

Q:

Is there a uniform?

A:

As we start our day together at Mass each week, the students wear a uniform that consists of navy blue pants and a white shirt for boys. Navy pants, skirt, or jumper and a white collared shirt for the girls.

Q:

Is there an application?

A:

Yes, we have an application or new families can request membership through our website.  Upon return of a complete application, we will send a confirmation the application has been received. We will notify the parents if there is space available starting the 2nd week in June.

Q:

Are there age requirements for students?

A:

Students participating in the Friday morning enrichment classes must be six years of age and enrolled in a first grade homeschool program. This reserves kindergarten, preschool, and nursery spaces for families who are home educating school-age students.

Q:

Do families need to be catholic to join the co-op? 

A:

All families are welcome to join the cooperative. Parents and students are not required to be Catholic. In order to build a community of faith, we ask that all instructors review the Statement of Faith above and not offer any materials during the program that would contradict with this statement. Also parents should have a willingness to have their student exposed to the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church in various ways throughout the program.

 

Q:

How will my student be placed in classes? 

A:

Class selection is made during the first week of August. If there is room in a class, it is possible to transfer to another class with instructor permission during the school year.

Q:

Are there attendance requirements? 

A:

Students enrolled in the cooperative are expected to be present and on time. The co-op runs on "Parent Power." So it is important for our families to be in attendance on Fridays. Due to liability concerns, students are not allowed to be dropped off at the program. If your student is at Good Shepherd, one parent or VIRTUS certified adult from your home needs to be with them. If the parent needs to leave GSSC during the school day but plans to return, the student should be brought with the parent. Families should limit their absences to five (5) per school year.

Absences: If a student or family needs to be absent from GSSC, for any reason, the parents should contact the scheduler by note or phone as soon as possible. We will gladly cooperate with families taking their children from GSSC for vacations, field trips, or family celebrations. We recommend that prior to any planned absence, the parent should contact at Board Member and the teaching assistant.

-- Students and parents are encouraged to talk to their student's instructors to determine if there is any missed material.

-- If you are a lead instructor, please work with your assistant to cover your classes during your absence.

Tardiness: Students are expected to be in class on time. Each school day begins promptly at 9 a.m. Tardiness is a disruption to the class and to the student. Continued and chronic tardiness may result in withdrawal from the program. As a courtesy to the instructor and students, please have your students arrive on time. If your family's schedule has a conflict with our start time of 9am or dismissal at 3pm, please make an appointment to see one of the Directors for further discussion.

Withdrawal: Parents are responsible for the full year’s program fees. In the event of early withdrawal, program fees will not be refunded.

Q:

Are visitors allowed?

A:

Visitors are welcome at the cooperative. However, they should stay with one of the leadership members or VIRTUS adult sponsoring them for the duration of their visit. If a grandparent or visitor would like to obverse a particular student or class during their visit, please contact the scheduler to see if the sponsoring adult can be substituted as an assistant in these class/es. We will try to accommodate this request.

Q:

What is the student code of conduct and discipline policy?

A:

We understand that this is a maturing process and these guidelines provide a framework for which each parent, teacher, and student may assess his growth in these areas.

DISCIPLINE POLICY: We want to resolve all problems using the biblical principle outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother over. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, ‘that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”  Disruptive students will be asked to leave the classroom and will be brought to their on-site parent for the remaining of the class period. They may rejoin the next period if the parent believes the student will no longer be disruptive. Parents and teachers should discuss discipline issues directly to help each student be successful in the class environment.

Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy – all parents and students must also follow the GSCC policies, especially the Code of Conduct and our Facility Usage Policy, and Diocese of Arlington policies.

Q:

How should I communicated with the leadership members or teachers?

A:

The leaders of the co-op welcomes constructive communication from parents at any time. The following guidelines will help to direct communication in the most productive way. In seeking to solve a problem or misunderstanding originating in class, students and parents should work first with teachers, then the Directors, if needed.