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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 is 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.

Our Objectives

  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 classroom experiences 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 provide information and materials in accordance with a Biblical worldview.

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 allow us to use their facilities, but are not involved in our classes nor provide supervision or oversight of any kind.  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 you must be:

  1. 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.

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 objectives of the co-op and to the philosophy of homeschooling.

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 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. Parents are expected to have supervision over their children while they are not in class. Please do not allow children to go outside unattended. During the lunch break or if your child does not have a class scheduled, parents must accompany their children.
  6. We request that families be supportive of the objectives 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), and to provide sincere feedback or suggestions as needed.
  7. We also ask for your prayers.

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. Please do not use the coat racks that are near the church offices, but instead use the coat rack that is located off the gym/lunch room.
  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. They are expected to come to class on time and prepared.
  6. Children may not go outside unattended. During the lunch break or if your child does not have a class scheduled, parents must accompany their children.
  7. Students are expected to dress modestly. No skin or revealing clothing permitted.
  8. Public displays of affection during co-op are not permitted.
  9. Any behavior not in accordance with the objectives of the Homeschool Group is not permitted.

Expectations of Teachers

  1. All teachers commit to teach one or more classes and agree to begin and end their classes on time. Classes are 55 minutes long and end 5 minutes prior to 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 the appropriate Board or Committee member as soon as possible and provide lesson plans for the class.
  4. Teachers agree to support our objectives and endeavor to meet these goals through their classes.
  5. Teachers are expected to have two adults (teacher & volunteer) present in their classroom 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. When leaving your children in the nursery, please 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

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 of running errands, getting lunch, etc., as The Learning Tree is NOT a drop-off co-op. 

Visitor Policy

For the safety of our famlies, we ask that all non-registered member vistors 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.

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.
  • 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.