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Handbook

The Learning Tree Homeschool Group

Handbook For Members

The Learning Tree Homeschool Group depends on the active involvement of our member families to ensure program delivery.  This Handbook is a guide to help our member families understand these expectations and to ensure each family meets the expectations of a member in good standing.

About Us

The Learning Tree Homeschool Group provides homeschooling families with Christian-viewpoint based enrichment and supplemental classes in a group setting. All homeschooling families are welcome. Classes and activities are organized by homeschooling parents for their children.  Each session we actively seek input from member families regarding the types of classes desired, and work with our members to identify teachers of good character to serve as instructors. The Board is responsible for organizing the overall class schedule, managing parent and youth volunteers, and finding active parents to take the lead on our many social, educational, and community oriented activities.

Statement of Purpose

  1. To provide support and encouragement for homeschooling families by offering group classroom experiences, particularly in areas where subject expertise, expensive supplies, or a group setting is preferable.

  2. To provide experiences and a community that will help to prepare students to bring the light of Christ into a secular world, through the cultivation of knowledge, love of God, and love of neighbor.

  3. To foster a community of support, respect, kindness, encouragement, and spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  4. To encourage and support God-honoring relationships within our community. We affirm that since God created marriage to mirror the love of Christ and His Church, and that it was ordained to be between one man and one woman in a lifelong relationship, therefore sexual relationships before or outside of that marriage relationship are not in accordance with God’s plan. We believe that God created male and female with distinct characterizations which should be honored and upheld. 

  5. To provide information, materials, and a community in accordance with a Biblical worldview that will support and supplement, but not replace, the training and education that God authorizes parents to provide for their children.

 

Our Host Church

The Learning Tree Homeschool Group meets at Reynoldsburg Church of the Nazarene, but we are completely autonomous from the church. The church assumes no liability regarding the Learning Tree Homeschool Group or its activities. The church graciously allows us to use their facilities, but is not involved in our classes nor provides supervision of any kind. In respect for our host church, each time we use their building, we endeavor to leave it in better condition than we found it. All members are responsible to help, by cleaning up after themselves and respecting all church property.

Please do not call the church or send correspondence to the church regarding The Learning Tree Homeschool Group.

 

MEMBERSHIP

Membership Requirements

In order to qualify for membership in The Learning Tree Homeschool Group:

  1. You must be an actively homeschooling family with at least one child being homeschooled.

  2. If your child is not of homeschool age, as space permits you may participate in our pre-k programs if you are actively considering homeschooling your child.

  3. You must pay your Session Membership Dues.

  4. To maintain membership, each family must have at least one child enrolled and attending Learning Tree Co-op while in session.

  5. Membership exceptions are granted for some select course teachers, as they are often sought out for their experience. However, the teachers we seek are supportive of the purpose of the co-op and to the philosophy of the primary role of parents in home education.

  6. Members must agree to respect and abide by the group Statement of Purpose. While understanding that some participating members or students might not personally affirm these beliefs, the Biblical Worldview will be respected and upheld at all group activities and gatherings by students, parents, and teachers, regardless of personal belief.

 

Membership Communication

The primary form of communication between members and the Learning Tree Homeschool Group is email. Members should expect to check email regularly during the session and close to registration dates for important updates.

Additional information is available on the website, on a Learning Tree member (closed) Facebook group, and via the weekly newsletter updates. Make sure Learning Tree emails and Homeschool Life emails are not going to spam or junk mail folders.

 

Membership Registration Priority

Class registration priority is given in the following order:

  • Board Members
  • Teachers
  • Returning Member Families
  • New Member Families

Students who meet the minimum age requirements have priority in ALL classes.

Class registration for students follows an "Age on First Day of Classes" policy.  This policy is enforced as follows:

  • All classes are established with a preferred age range and grade range.
  • Age/grade ranges follow common age/grade practices for public schools in the US (e.g. a freshman in high school is 14 turning 15, a Kindergartner must be 5 to enroll).
  • The students must meet the minimum age ON or BEFORE the first day of class in order to register for the class.

Enrolling a student who does not meet the minimum age requirement:

  • AFTER registration for the session closes, within a day or two, verify there is still space in the class you wish to enroll by viewing the class description online.
  • Contact a Board member with your request.
  • The Board member will contact the teacher, and then notify you if your request can be accommodated.

 

EXPECTATIONS

Expectations of Families

  1. Families must read and agree to the policies in this handbook.

  2. No refunds will be given for dropped classes.

  3. Parent volunteers are essential to the success of the cooperative. Volunteers help with setting up and cleaning up, assist in the classrooms, staff the nursery, and monitor the doors, halls, and study room. Each family is expected to provide volunteer hours during the semester. See below for more details.

  4. Committee Sign up: To maintain membership, all families are expected to sign up for and participate on one committee, in one area of that committee. Committee sign up will take place during class registration. You will find the committees listed on the registration grid. To obtain more information concerning specific committee duties, please contact the committee chair directly. For those with special circumstances who need help finding a committee that fits your family, please contact the board at [email protected].

  5. If you have a child with food or other allergies that they could encounter in a class, parents must notify their child’s teachers of the allergy, the reaction, and what to do if a reaction occurs. You MUST communicate allergies to the teacher personally.

  6. Parents are expected to have supervision over their children while they are not in class, including during lunch time. Children under 12 are not to go outside unattended but must arrive and leave with his or her parent or guardian. During the lunch break or if your child does not have a class scheduled, parents must accompany their children.Teens may be in groups of 3 or more in the Gathering Room or outside the building but remaining on church property, without parents during an unscheduled hour or during lunch, with parent approval. 

  7. Members may not register children for classes who are not direct family under their family membership (the member must be the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian). Members who babysit non-family children during the co-op day must keep the child with them and under their direct supervision at all times.

  8. We request that families be supportive of the purpose of The Learning Tree Homeschool Group and contribute to its success, by encouraging students to be prepared for their enrichment classes, to be prompt for class (students and parent volunteers), to be respectful of the church facility and staff, and to provide sincere feedback or suggestions as needed.

  9. We also ask for your prayers as Board members and teachers earnestly seek to follow God's direction for our group.

 

Expectations of Students

  1. We are blessed with the use of Reynoldsburg Church of the Nazarene’s facilities and need to be aware that church affairs are being conducted during class time. Therefore, please proceed quietly in the halls and use only the gathering room entrance to the church. Students must treat the building/facility, all church property, and the church staff, with utmost respect. 

  2. Students are required to be in areas designated for Homeschool Group use at all times. Those students who do not have a class to attend are expected to be in the Gathering Room or a study room with something quiet to do.

  3. Students are expected to be on time for class. Late arrival disrupts the class and is unfair to everyone involved. Habitual tardiness may result in dismissal from the class.

  4. No use of electronics is permitted in the classrooms. All cell phones and hand-held games are to be turned off.

  5. All students are to be respectful and cooperative to teachers, parent volunteers, and other students, treating others as we wish to be treated. 

  6. Students are expected to come to class on time and prepared.

  7. Children may not go outside unattended (with the exceptions noted in the Expectations of Families #6). During the lunch break or if your child does not have a class scheduled, parents must accompany their children.

  8. Students are expected to dress modestly. No skin or revealing clothing permitted.

  9. Public displays of affection during co-op are not permitted.

  10. Any behavior or conversations not in accordance with the Statement of Purpose of the Homeschool Group is not permitted.  "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

 

Expectations of Teachers

  1. All teachers committing to teach one or more classes agree to arrive in time to begin and to end their classes on time. Classes are 55 minutes long and end 5 minutes prior to the next class.

  2. Teachers are expected to thoroughly prepare for their classes and have a weekly outline available for member families to review upon request. The church copier or other supplies are not available for use by members of The Learning Tree Homeschool Group.

  3. Teachers who experience a family emergency or sudden illness are expected to contact a Board member as soon as possible and provide lesson plans for the class.

  4. If you are planning to serve food/treats in your class, you must inform parents in the class description prior to registration, and then again during the session prior to serving food. This will allow parents to choose whether or not to risk the potential allergen exposure or provide a snack for their child that would be safe.

  5. Teachers agree to support our Statement of Purpose and endeavor to meet these goals through their classes, including respecting the beliefs of: a literal Biblical account of the creation, the fall of man, humanity’s redemption through Jesus Christ’s atoning death and resurrection for salvation, and the Biblical view of marriage. Teachers might not personally hold all the same views, but they must agree to respect and not contradict or disparage those beliefs in their classes, to students, or to member families. If a curriculum desired to be used promotes views contrary to our Statement of Purpose, teachers agree to leave out the content not in accordance with those beliefs. 

  6. Because all people are created with value and worth beyond measure, teachers will endeavor to treat each student in a respectful way that honors their Creator. (Matthew 7:12)

  7. Teachers must have two adults (teacher & volunteer) present in their classroom during class time. If a teacher’s volunteer needs to take a young student to the bathroom, leaving only one adult present, the classroom door must be left open at all times. Bathroom breaks for students should be discouraged during class time. 

 

POLICIES

Volunteer Policy

  1. This is your homeschooling group. The success of this endeavor depends on the input and cooperation of all participants.
  2. All families are expected to provide volunteer hours. Every effort will be made to accommodate each family’s individual needs, but our first priority is to staff the session in the best way possible.
  3. You are there, not only for the teacher’s aid, but also because we are committed to a two-adult per classroom situation. Because of this, it is essential that you be on time.
  4. Each teacher is in charge of what is required of his/her volunteer.
  5. If it is necessary to miss a week, it is your responsibility to find your own substitute. The procedure used to find a substitute is:
    1. Call the float volunteer
    2. Call a substitute from the list of members
    3. Call the volunteer chair to inform them of who will be your substitute
    4. In an emergency situation ONLY, contact a board member at 614-526-8584

We understand that last minute things happen (illness, car trouble). In this case you can call a board member first. 

  1. Unexcused violations of volunteer time may result in your family being dismissed from the co-op.
  2. Volunteer positions include: hall monitor, nursery helper, classroom volunteer, cleaning person, gathering room monitor, or float (fills in positions as needed).

 

Attendance Policy

All teachers are responsible for the students listed on their class roster.  For this reason attendance is necessary to ensure the safety of the students.  If a student does not report to class, the teacher may notify either a board member or the parent.  Parents must notify teachers if their child will not be attending class.  Failure to communicate more than two absences might result in dismissal.

 

Illness Policy

  1. Teachers and nursery workers should be advised of any allergies or other chronic condition.
  2. For the protection of your child and others, we ask you not attend Homeschool Group classes or activities if he/she appears ill. This includes:
    1. a fever within the past 24 hours
    2. vomiting and/or diarrhea within the past 48 hours
    3. skin infection or rash
    4. any eye infection/pink eye
  3. If your child becomes ill during a class or activity, you will be notified.
  4. Teachers do not administer medication to a child.

 

Nursery Policy

The nursery is available for children of teachers and classroom volunteers during their class time. Please do not leave your children in there unless you are teaching or volunteering.

Nursery volunteers will not be responsible for diaper changes, so please be sure to notate on the nursery sign-in sheet where you will be located in the building while your child is in the nursery, in case a diaper change is needed. When leaving your children in the nursery,  label all your child's items (diaper bag, sippy cup, etc.). We will have labels available to label your child as well!

 

Sign Out Policy

The Learning Tree is a cooperative group and is NOT a drop-off program. For parents to leave the building while child is at co-op (STUDENT MUST BE IN A CLASS), a signed medical release form must be completed and filed with the Board. There is a sign out sheet you need to complete before leaving, and you must designate another adult who will be at co-op as a responsible party for your children. Signing out should be considered temporary or occasional, for purposes such as running errands or getting lunch. Unless it's an emergency situation, do not schedule appointments requiring you to be off-site during co-op hours. 

 

Visitor Policy

For the safety of our families, we ask that all non-registered member visitors on co-op days notify the Board ahead of time, and then bring the visitor to the attention of a Board member upon arrival. If circumstances do not permit visitors on the day a parent requests a visitor to come, the Board will contact the member to let them know.

 

Student Discipline Policy

Students choosing to disregard Student Expectations inside or outside of the classroom may receive a warning. If unacceptable behavior continues, one of the student’s parents may be required to accompany the student to classes and remain with them as long as deemed necessary by the teacher or Board.

If there is a behavior problem or the student does not choose to participate in the class, the teacher may institute the discipline policy as listed below:

  • 1st incident - The child is removed from the class by the volunteer or teacher and is taken to his/her parent. The child does not return to this class on that day.
  • 2nd incident - The child is removed from the class by the volunteer or teacher and is taken to his/her parent. The child does not return to this class on that day.
  • 3rd incident - The child is removed from the class by the volunteer or teacher and is taken to his/her parent. The child does not return to this class for the remainder of the session and a refund will not be given for the class.

 

SAFETY

In the Event of Fire

  • Fire escape routes are posted on the doors of each classroom.
  • Teachers and parent volunteers are expected to escort the class to the parking lot.
  • The meeting place is at the back of the parking lot against the fence. Parents can meet up with their families there.

 

In the Event of Bad Weather

  • We will follow the Reynoldsburg Public School closing schedule during times of inclement weather. If Reynoldsburg Public School is on a two hour delay, please pay attention to your email for a final determination of class cancellations. We will not delay our start time.
  • If 1 week of classes are canceled due to inclement weather, we will extend the session calendar by 1 week or replace a break week with the make-up week.
  • In the event more 2 or more weeks of classes are canceled due to inclement weather, we will adjust to a shorter session schedule.

 

In the Event of Unexpected Cancellation of Classes

Families will be notified through email and The Learning Tree Homeschool Group closed facebook group.

 

Allergies

Allergies can be quite serious, and we must be careful to ensure student safety for those with food and other allergies that may cause a reaction.

Parents: If you have a child with food or other allergies that they could encounter in a class, please notify the teacher of the allergy, the reaction, and what to do if a reaction occurs. You MUST communicate allergies to the teacher personally.

Teachers: If you are planning to serve food/treats in your class, you must notify parents prior to serving food. This will allow parents to choose whether or not to risk the potential allergen exposure or provide a snack for their child that would be safe.