General Co-op FAQs:
How much is a BCHE membership? And what does it include?
Even though only BCHE members can participate in our Co-op, paying for a membership does not guarantee a spot in the Co-op. Additionally, Co-op registration fees are totally separate from membership dues. Even without the Co-op, however, the $30.00 BCHE membership remains an excellent value. With it your family has access to lots of benefits, such as a parent support network, a secure online forum, BCHE parties for all ages, field trips, clubs and events (such as Field Day). And, if you help out in the organization by doing a Service Task, the following year when you renew your membership, you can receive a $10.00 discount on your dues.
How many students are allowed to register for each co-op class?
In kindergarten and under, we try to limit the class size to 12. In the elementary and middle school grades, we limit the class size to 15, and in the high school grades, we typically allow up to 18. We offer a nursery/classes for all ages through high school.
How long is each class? When does the co-op meet?
The co-op meets on Thursdays from 9:30 to 12:30 for nursery through middle school, and the high school classes will meet as late as 2:30pm. Each class lasts for one hour; therefore, each student (ages three through 6th grade) will receive three one-hour classes each Thursday during co-op. The high school class lengths vary due to what is being offered each session. The Enrichment Co-op will meet for two eight week sessions - one in the fall and one in the spring. Since the high school offers for-credit classes, they will usually meet for a total of 32 weeks over the entire school year.
Will I have any choices for the classes that my student takes?
Three year old and four year old students do not have a choice in their classes. Kindergarten through sixth graders have a choice between two already set "paths." Six through eighth grade students have a choice between two classes for each hour and a half of co-op. We have two group options for sixth graders. These students may choose to participate in a 5th/6th combined class or choose from the options for the middle school classes. High school students may select classes upon availability.
Once we have put class offerings up onto the Co-op Matrix on the website, you can see what these are by clicking beside the red word “CLOSED.”
When does registration open?
Registration opens during the month of June, and registration occurs through the website only, so you must have online access in order to complete the registration process. Teachers register their children first and then, one week later, the general membership is allowed to register until the classes are full - usually 15 students. If one of the classes is filled, parents will have to register for the other option as we do not have waiting lists. The exact day and time for registration will be sent out through emails and listed on the website calendar. It is your responsibility to ask any questions before registration opens. Classes usually fill up quickly, so please be aware that registration occurs on a first-come, first-served basis.
Should I register my unborn baby?
Yes. Please remember to register all your kids, including babies who will be born and who will need a slot in the nursery during the co-op year.
How will I pay for the classes and what are the fees? And what is your refund policy?
BCHE encourages the use of Paypal at registration checkout, but you may mail in a check to the Co-op Treasurer. The fees may slightly vary each session due to the cost of curriculum (usually in the upper grades), facility rental fees, and/or supply fees for an individual class such as science or art. But since we desire to keep our cost as low as possible, we try to never charge more than $25 as a basic cost for each individual student attending (this amount only applies to the elementary and middle school classes.) Payment for the full year is due at the time of registration. Refunds for cancelled registration are not given.
High school classes will cost more due to the specialized curriculum and supplies, longer weeks of attendance, and gaining high school credits. High school teachers are also paid an additional monthly stipend directly from the student's family. We feel that the fees are very reasonable for the quality of classes that we are able to offer; therefore, we do not offer any sibling discounts. That being said, we do not want economic difficulty to be a hindrance to any family wishing to attend. If the registration cost is a hardship to your family, please contact the Co-op Director to discuss possible alternatives. Payment is due at the time of registration for all registered classes. If you are placed on a waiting list, you must pay for all registered classes at the time of registration. If at a later date your student is moved off of the waitlist and into the class, you will need to go back online at that time and pay for the newly added class. High school fees and payment deadlines occur on a different schedule. Consult the BCHE calendar for all registration and fee deadlines.
Are students required to bring any "basic" supplies?
Every student is required to bring a "supply kit" which should contain pencil, sharpener, pen, eraser, age–appropriate scissors, glue stick, bottle glue, colored pencils, markers and/or crayons.
Is there a co-op orientation?
Yes, each session we will have a General Co-op Orientation at the co-op venue. Watch for email updates as to where and when these will occur. Attendance is mandatory for orientation as it guarantees that all participants are aware of the facility guidelines and rules set forth by BCHE. It is also an opportunity for students and teachers to meet and become acquainted with the layout of the facility.
Can I attend the co-op if my child has an allergy?
Yes!! Westwood has a strict no peanut/no nuts policy. We follow the same guidelines as our facility, so the co-op is a peanut/nut free zone. Occasionally, teachers or classes will have snacks as part of the curriculum or study, but these are carefully chosen because no nuts are allowed inside the building. After you have registered, please send the Co-op Administrator a separate email listing any allergies that your child has, and please make sure you have listed and updated any allergies your child has on your profile page on the website. Each teacher in your child's class will be aware of those allergies and avoid any possible contacts. Students are encouraged to bring a snack within the snack guidelines, so if you have additional concerns, please communicate these to the Co-op Administrator in advance. Students in the preschool and kindergarten classes will have a snack/play time each week. It is up to each parent to send snacks that follow the rules set forth by BCHE and the Westwood facility.
Do I have to stay with my child at the co-op, or can I leave?
Our co-op is not a "drop-off" co-op for the younger grades and non-credit classes. One parent or guardian is expected to stay with the child for the entire three hours of co-op classes. The parent will be assigned to help in different classes during two of the hours, and hopefully be able to have a "free" hour on site for the third hour. You may make requests to the Co-op Coordinator for where you desire to serve; however, placement is not guaranteed. Students 8th grade and up who are taking high school classes for credit may be dropped off and attend without parental supervision.
Can I choose just one or two classes for my child to attend or do I need to register for all three?
This question basically means - Do I need to stay all day or can I pick and choose which hours/classes I want my child to attend? Due to parental participation and our commitment to quality classes, we require that you attend all 3 hours of co-op for nursery through middle school. There is a lot of time and energy that goes on behind the scenes of co-op to ensure its success. We need your commitment to participate as well as your child’s. For high school classes, you may choose to register for as many or as few classes as you like.