PHC Policies and Procedures
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
2 Corinthians 8:21
The Parkridge Homeschool Community support group is a ministry of Parkridge Church in Coral Springs. We desire to fulfill the church's purpose of "Changed Lives" for our Savior, Jesus Christ. This ministry was formed to reach out to homeschooling families in our community and encourage them in their efforts to educate their children at home. To achieve these goals, the group meets monthly to pray for and encourage one another, share methods, curriculum, ideas, and to plan group wide events and field trips. By encouraging parents to have a personal relationship with Christ and to use materials based on traditional Biblical Christian principles, the Support Group’s Mission is consistent with that of the church.
Over the past few years many homeschooling families have organized group events to support and encourage one another. After much prayer and consideration and with the blessing of Parkridge Church, it was decided that an official group would start under the ministry of Parkridge Church in August 2001. The goal of the group is to continue in prayer, support, and encouragement to homeschooling families in NW Broward County.
Parkridge Homeschool Community will be led by a Steering Committee of 3-8 members, with 1 or 2 members serving as chairman or co-chairmen. All leaders must:
· be an ACTIVE member of Parkridge Church
· have been homeschooling at least 2 years
· commit to attend all monthly meetings
· commit to accept leadership responsibilities
Policy-making is accomplished by the Steering Committee, and the existing committee appoints new committee members. Because of the need for advice and direction, the Steering Committee may at its discretion, allow advisory members to attend meetings although they will not be allowed to vote. Advisory members are by invitation only of the Steering Committee.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME A MEMBER?
Prospective and homeschooling families in good standing with Florida County School Board of Education are candidates for membership.
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
· MONTHLY MEETINGS – Are held on the first Tuesday of each month from September through May (with the exception of holidays, major Parkridge Christian Academy events or activities). Prospective members are welcome to attend. All meetings are held at Parkridge Church and will begin promptly at 7:30 pm. Steering Committee members will be introduced at our first meeting. Each meeting features current announcements, a monthly activities calendar, topics of interest, prayer, and fellowship. Meetings are for parents only. No childcare is provided.
· GROUP E-MAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS – All prayer requests, announcements and recommendations that come up during the month between meetings will be forwarded through e-mail twice weekly. Because we are a ministry of Parkridge Church, we only advertise by email those faith-based/religious events, studies and classes offered by Parkridge. The Steering Committee reserves the right to accept, reject, or edit all entries submitted.
· RECOMMENDATIONS OF SERVICES – PHC leadership relies on the recommendation of its members for homeschooling classes and services offered in the community. All recommendations sent out to the group must meet the following four criteria: 1) must be homeschool or family related, 2) must be personally referred by a PBH member and this member should have used this service or know personally this service or its provider and 3) the PHC member as the referring party is willing to be contacted with any questions regarding this service by providing your phone number and email address with the recommendation. 4.) Homeschool Services will only be emailed twice during the year.
· MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY – Our directory consists of names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of members along with the names, ages of their children, and curriculum used. Membership directories are available online. PLEASE respect the privacy of our members and DO NOT use the directory for solicitation purposes. Anyone violating this policy may have membership and website privileges revoked.
· SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE FROM EXPERIENCED HOMESCHOOLERS – Monthly meetings, group events, and field trips are great opportunities in which to meet people and glean valuable information from those who have gone before you.
· ESTABLISHED NETWORK OF ANNUAL ACTIVITIES AND FIELD TRIPS – As a member, you may participate in and facilitate any of the events and activities offered. Minimal fees may be required for some events which must be paid in advance and is not refundable post the sign-up deadline. Please note that ONLY MEMBERS are allowed to participate in events organized by the group. Because of liability, you may NOT invite non-members to these events. Instead invite them to our monthly meetings and encourage them to join PHC.) Please remember that visiting friends and family members are also not allowed to participate, due to liability reasons. Volunteers coordinate all approved activities and field trips and many volunteers are needed to provide these enriching activities. Volunteering in some area of service is a requirement of membership.
· AVAILABILITY OF EVALUATION AND TESTING – The homeschool law states you must file an annual evaluation with the county for all children ages 6-16. You may choose between a standardized test or a personal evaluation. We will have a list of state certified teachers who have offered their services in this area. A group testing sponsored by PHC will be available in the spring of each year. Evaluation and testing fees are additional and are not included in our annual membership. More information will be provided as the year progresses.
· PROMOTION CEREMONY– This annual event for grades K-12 in May/June features a ceremonial presentation of promotion certificates followed by a time of celebration.
· GRADUATION CEREMONY - This annual event in May/June features a special commencement for graduating seniors This event requires the investment of many volunteer hours and group expense, but we joyfully serve those who have volunteered in our group for at least two years and are completing their homeschooling journey. All graduate participants must be active PHC members for two complete school years (October 1 through June) prior to graduation (Junior and Senior years) and serve at the graduation ceremony one year prior to graduation.
· OTHER BENEFITS – Include but are not limited to, a yearbook (additional cost), Winner’s Circles Incentive wheels (coupons), and corporate used curriculum sale.
· LETTER OF INTENT – A Letter of Intent must be sent the first year you begin homeschooling to the superintendent, and only needs to be sent once. Your completed letter should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Superintendent of Broward County Schools within 30 days of starting your program. A Letter of Termination must be sent to the superintendent when terminating your homeschool program, enrolling your child into public or private school, graduating the student, or moving from Broward County. According to the FPEA and the Florida’s compulsory-attendance law, Florida Statute 1003.01, a child turning 6 before February 1st of the school year is subject to compulsory attendance and must attend school regularly. For more information, see Starting Point at www.fpea.com.
· MEMBERSHIP in Florida Parent Educators Association (Optional) – Membership in PHC enables you to join FPEA at a discounted group rate during designated dates only. Please see the FPEA form for details. The FPEA is a statewide homeschool support group that serves and connects Florida homeschool families. FPEA keeps you informed about homeschool issues through the Almanac five times per year, an advance copy of the FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention Program, plus a copy of The Guide to Homeschooling in Florida whenever there is a major revision. Other benefits include discounted registration for the annual FPEA Homeschool Convention in Orlando in May, discounts from national and regional merchants, discounted membership to Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and more. They also publish, Starting Point: an Introduction to Homeschooling in Florida, which is available on their website (www.fpea.com).