Branches Surprise is a Christ-centered homeschool co-op community, that offers academic and enrichment classes, sports activities and clubs. We meet on Wednesdays near the Loop 303 and Grand Ave. We seek to create a close knit community where families feel they belong and are supported. We do this through a co-op (cooperative) model, where each family contributes in some way. For more information, please see our FAQs page.
STATEMENT OF MISSION
Our mission is to build a Christ-centered co-op community, with a grace-filled culture, that equips, supports, and encourages homeschooling families and proclaims Christ’s leadership over all aspects of our lives. We desire to bring together homeschooling families who love God and want to share the knowledge of Jesus Christ with the next generation, by providing academic and enrichment classes, sports activities, and clubs from a Christian worldview, as well as opportunities for mentoring and friendships. Our teachers love God and communicate Biblical teaching and Christian values to our students.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe that the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. For purposes of doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our governing board is Branches’ final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person to reflect His image as either male or female; but that each person is by nature a sinner, and alienated from God.
We believe that salvation and reconciliation come only from God, by grace; that God in love gave His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sin, thereby purchasing the redemption of those who believe in Him.
We believe that marriage is prescribed by God as a sacred, covenant relationship between one man and one woman, symbolizing the union of Christ and His church, and all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage is sin.
We believe that every Christian, through the power of Jesus Christ, is called to live a life set apart that will bear fruit to the glory of God, and sinful behavior, or even advocacy of sinful behavior, dishonors God and should not be encouraged.
We believe that God loves every person and therefore we need to treat others with the compassion, love, kindness, and dignity that He shows us.
STATEMENT OF EDUCATION
We believe that it is the parents’ role and responsibility to educate their children individually on topics of a sensitive nature, including:
Out of respect for each family’s decision on when and how to teach these matters to their children, all teachers, volunteers, parents, and students are discouraged from discussing these topics with other children at Branches unless in a clearly defined class.
GUIDELINES & STANDARDS
Branches is a cooperative program. All member families must do their part to help Branches succeed. Member families must sign up for the appropriate amount of job credits. All member families must have at least one on-campus job. A job that is off campus can be done for the maximum amount of 3 job credits toward parent job requirements. See FAQ's for more job credits info.
Branches is not a drop off program. A responsible adult must be present to care for your child(ren) at all times. In an emergency or unusual situation, like illness, you can have another parent care for your child. A Temporary Guardianship Form must be filled out and turned into the Snackbar before you leave campus. Otherwise, all parents are expected to stay on campus at all times.
All member families must sign up for volunteer jobs to participate in Branches. Each location has different requirements for the type and number of volunteer jobs needed. All volunteering adults must have successfully completed a background check through the company recommended by Branches; have read and agreed to abide by the Statements of Mission, Faith, and Education, the Guidelines and Standards, and the Code of Culture; and be approved to work at Branches.
Parent jobs must be covered at all times. If a floater is needed to cover a parent job, then you must contact the floater coordinator on your campus.
A floater can be used up to four times a semester. If a parent is missing more than four times a semester, they must find their own replacement with a friend or family member that has successfully completed a Branches background check; has read and agreed to abide by the Statements of Mission, Faith, and Education, the Guidelines and Standards, and the Code of Culture; and be approved to work at Branches. As a cooperative it is imperative to fulfill your parent job requirements.
All floaters are needed each week. They are required to check in and respond to the floater coordinator via text or in person for each hour they are signed up to work. If a floater is missing more than four times a semester, they will also need to find their own replacement, with a friend or family member that has successfully completed a Branches background check; has read and agreed to abide by the Statements of Mission, Faith, and Education, the Guidelines and Standards, and the Code of Culture; and be approved to work at Branches.
Class fees must be paid by the due date. Failure to pay, or make special payment arrangements, by due date will result in membership suspension. Member families with a remaining balance will not be allowed to register for the next semester’s classes. Special payment arrangements cannot be made to extend payment past mid-semester.
Parent teachers, assistants, and floaters must show up, be on time, and remain in the classroom for the entire class period.
Students must show up on time and remain in class for the entire class period. If a student needs to leave, they are required to get permission from the teacher before they do so.
Parents need to monitor their children when they are not in class.
Volunteering member teachers must fill out the teacher application form in order to teach a class at Branches. To maintain the integrity of our mission and Christian identity, all teachers must affirm in writing that they desire to further the mission of Branches, their personal beliefs are consistent with the Statement of Faith, and they will act consistently with the standards set forth in the Guidelines and Standards and Code of Culture.
Children are encouraged to wear the Branches t-shirts.
Branches does not have a formal dress code, however modest dress and the covering of all private areas is required.
Biting or aggressive behavior in class will not be tolerated. If you have a child that has issues with biting or aggression, that child will need to have a one on one aide to help them. The parent will be responsible for finding the aide.
Cheating, stealing, bullying, drug use, profanity, obscenity, sexual immorality, personal appearance or conduct contrary to one’s biological sex, dishonor to the Word of God, disrespect to the leadership of the group, or continued disobedience to the established standards of this group will not be tolerated.
Branches is a nut-free campus
It is the personal responsibility of each member to be aware of those sick around them and to abide by the Branches’ sick policy for class days, special events, field trips, etc.
If any member of your family has had these symptoms in the last six days OR has been in contact with anyone with these symptoms in the last six days , please stay home:
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher
- New persistent cough accompanied by a sore throat, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
If any member of your family has had these symptoms in the last 48 hours OR has been in contact with anyone with these symptoms in the last 48 hours, please stay home:
- Cold like symptoms including sore throat, congestion, runny nose, and sneezing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
* Exceptions to the “whole family must stay home” policy for minor illness is made on a case by case basis by each Branches campus.
If any member of your family OR anyone you have been in contact with, has had a positive COVID-19 test (within the last 14 days), you must watch diligently for symptoms and remain home from Branches events for a minimum of six days.
The purpose of this sick policy is not to punish those who are sick but to try and keep our whole community healthy and able to continue to meet together in person. We understand that sometimes teething will cause an elevated temperature, being outside in the heat can cause vomiting, or seasonal allergies produces a long lasting cough. We are trusting everyone’s best judgement to use these guidelines along with your personal family knowledge to determine when your family should stay home.
Please see each campus’s COVID-19 Response Plan for more details pertaining to your
individual campus logistical guidelines related to COVID-19.
If a member family does not follow these guidelines, they may not be able to return to Branches the following semester.
The purpose of the Branches Code of Culture is to promote a thriving environment where families feel safe and happy, and are empowered in their homeschooling journey. All parents and children are encouraged to:
B – Blessing
- Be a blessing by having a grace-filled attitude.
- Be a blessing by treating others with kindness, compassion, dignity, and respect.
R – Responsible
- Be responsible by working hard in volunteer jobs and classes.
- Be responsible by keeping the campus and outdoor areas clean.
A – Adaptable
- Be adaptable by having a positive attitude no matter the situation.
- Be adaptable by jumping in to help where needed.
N – Noble
- Be noble by introducing yourself to someone and making a new friend.
- Be noble by having a servant’s heart.
C – Considerate
- Be considerate by actively listening to your teachers and parent helpers.
- Be considerate by showing up to your jobs and classes on time.
H – Helpful
- Be helpful by remembering your items when you leave.
- Be helpful by looking for ways to solve problems.
E – Encouraging
- Be encouraging by vocalizing the good in those around you.
- Be encouraging by lifting up each other in times of need.
S – Safe
- Be safe by thinking before you act.
- Be safe by being aware of your surroundings.