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2022-23 GRACE Co-op Handbook

Table of Contents:

(Table of Contents is under construction, thanks!)

Overview

What is GRACE Co-op?

Who can participate?

When and Where are classes?

What kinds of classes are offered?

How do I register?

Family Pre-Registration (Required!)

Student Registration

Overview

What is GRACE Co-op?

Dictionary: Co-op -- noun : a business or organization that is owned and operated by the people who work there or the people who use its services.

Each parent is part of the GRACE Co-op team providing a group learning experience for our children. As an all-volunteer team, every parent takes ownership and responsibility for the success of the program. (The co-op leadership team just organizes it!) For every hour a parent spends preparing/teaching a subject, if they share it with multiple children, they should get a multiplied return on their time investment in what their children receive from the other teachers. 

As homeschool parents, we feel that God has called and enabled us to homeschool our children. We feel that cooperatively we can provide educational opportunities that may not be possible on our own.

Who can participate?

Only current members of CCCHG can register for GRACE Co-op. All Co-op attendees must read and abide by the terms set out in the handbook and must be approved members of CCCHG.  Primary Parent must meet all CCCHG Membership requirements.

To register for GRACE Co-op you must have at least one participating school age child who is 5 on or before the first day of classes and no older than 19 on or before the first day of classes.

Nursery and preschool classes are provided for younger siblings of co-op attendees. Children that you do not have legal guardianship over (ie: children that you babysit) are not permitted on campus during co-op hours.

If an adult (ages 21 and up) wishes to volunteer their time to our co-op by teaching or helping in a classroom, they can make a request to the Co-op Director to seek approval for participation and/or class topic. If approved, they must fill out all required member documents and pass a background check. They do not have to pay the membership fee or fill out the family pre-registration form.

It is a privilege for our members to be allowed to teach a class at our co-op program, meaning the opportunity to teach or help is not a guarantee. If you are not able to fulfill your responsibilities to participate in our program, as determined by yourself or the leadership team, you will be offered the option to participate and pay the opt out teacher and helper fees. 

When and Where are classes?

Each year we have a spring and fall term.  Each term has between 10-12 weeks and we meet once a week for classes, and so far its been on Thursdays.  We usually have three one-hour class periods, then lunch and recess, which is a great social time for parents, as well as children of all ages. The actual co-op dates, times and class schedule will be posted on the group website each term.

            We meet at Cornerstone Baptist Church: 1100 W Highland Blvd, Inverness, FL 34452.

What kinds of classes are offered?

We each use our own strengths and interests when deciding what to offer. We have had classes in the past such as choir, drama, art, sports, P.E., track & field, creative writing, ballet, yearbook, Spanish, French, preschool program, needlework, geography, science, finance, horses, environmental science, think-tank, recorder ensemble, etc. It depends on what the kids want and what the parents decide to provide. The classes change each term, although occasionally a class may run for 2 terms, or have an ongoing program that runs term to term.

How much does it cost?

No Tuition* - We keep our classes free (no tuition or teacher fees), as we each have valuable skills that we are sharing with the group. (*Occasionally we may choose to bring in an outside resource – an instructor not from our group -- to enhance our program, and there are usually tuition fees with these classes.)

Materials Fees - We do allow actual materials fees to be charged -- these fees are only to cover consumable materials used by the students, or supplies that the students keep. Also, a nominal fee for printing/copies is allowed, if necessary. The materials fees are due the first day of co-op in CASH. If a class does require a specific book for each student or supplies, the teacher should try to buy/order in bulk for that class to keep the cost-per-student low.

GRACE Co-op Program Fee - There is a per-term, per-family fee that we collect to pay for the facility and other administrative costs of running the co-op program.  See the Fees and Costs page on our website.

How am I required to help?

If each parent will teach one class, it is enough for a high quality program. When you first join our co-op, you are exempt from teaching, we want you to come see what its all about and get comfortable with the process. (We believe you'll see and agree it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is to “teach a class”). We would just have you help with another teacher, or help in the preschool. (Moms with little babies will be given special consideration in assigning them as a helper if you speak to the co-op director prior to the term beginning.)  When you are required to teach and don't know where to start, we have MANY courses already prepared that you could just borrow and teach. We also have great ideas for 2 new teacher-moms getting together and sharing a teaching experience, “low prep, low pain", -- these are lots of fun! 

All parents (1 per family) will either teach or help in one class period, then be assigned as a helper for another class period by the co-op schedulers. 

If you are not comfortable teaching or can't teach or help due to special circumstances or leadership best sees fit, we offer an opt out fee for teaching and helping. 

To see more about who is required to teach, see the Family Pre-registration section below.

What else do I need to do to make this a success?

The planning process is VITAL to make sure we have classes the kids WANT, and to make sure that there are enough kids interested in a class to offer that class. If you are interested in participating in Co-ops in an upcoming term, you will need to at least get in on the planning of our class offerings, both to see what your kids want, and to see where you want to serve. There is no obligation if you find it’s not something you want to get involved in. Watch for the planning emails when they start (usually in late July-August for the fall term and late December-January for the spring term) and reply!

Ask your kids what they would love to learn or participate in, the sky's the limit!!! Google "homeschool co-op class" and you'll be amazed at what other co-ops are offering! Our co-op can be anything we make it as well!

Communication:

All co-op related emails will either be posted under the Admin or Co-op Class Program Message Board on our website. It is mandatory that you click to receive these notifications on your member profile or you will not be “in the know” on important co-op planning and updates throughout the term.

Check your email! Don't forget to CHECK REGULARLY throughout the term FOR EMAIL UPDATES from teachers or staff. There may be additional supplies needed for your child for their class, or other preparation info. This may change with each session. Make it a point to check a night or two before the next class. Teachers, please post supply or homework requests as soon as possible to give parents time to prepare or shop for items needed. Last minute may not be possible for some families. All Teachers will receive a roster with their students' names and their parents’ email addresses. This is to be used for co-op class business ONLY. This is how you can communicate any updates or concerns about the class privately without everyone in our co-op seeing the post on the message board.

It is your responsibility to check the website for emergency cancellations, the leaders will post it on the website no later than 8am if at all possible.

How to Register:

To participate in GRACE Co-op, there are 2 registration phases -- Family Pre-registration, and Student Registration.  You must complete both parts by their individual deadlines. 

Part 1: Family Pre-Registration (Required!) 

All members wanting to participate in co-op will have to complete the Family Pre-Registration by the deadline posted on the website, and any members not pre-registering by that date will not be able to register for Co-op.

You will be required to sign that you reviewed the provided child safety training materials, as well as the GRACE Co-op Handbook before you can complete the Family Pre-registration form.  Then, you will complete the online form with one of the 3 options below:

  1.  By providing a class to add to the schedule. 
  2.  By qualifying for a teaching exemption.  All teaching-exempt families must still complete the online Family Pre-registration by the deadline, and we will still be finding a place for you to help.  The following are qualifications for exemption from teaching:
  • Moms with babies UNDER 1.
  • First term co-oppers.
  • Those with extreme circumstances, as determined by the leadership team, may qualify for a temporary teaching and/or helping exemption(Scheduling conflicts including work days, your other student(s)' school schedule, etc. do not fall under extreme circumstances.)  Submit your request in writing to the Co-op Director at least 10 business days before the Family Pre-registration deadline.  This will ensure time to evaluate your request and provide an answer.  If declined, you will still have time to submit a class or pay the opt-out fee.

3.  By signing up for and paying the teacher opt-out fee:  This a fee-based option you can choose in order to be exempted from teaching if none of the other exemptions apply to you, see "Co-op Teacher Opt-Out Program” below.

How to Submit Your Class:

To help you take the leap, we allow NEW Teachers (the first term a parent is not exempt) to co-teach with another NEW Teacher for one class period if they don't want to teach alone.  You are welcomed to find a teaching buddy on your own, or we will help you find a good fit!

All RETURNING Teachers must provide a class on their own.  A helper will be assigned to them, but they are the teacher.

Each parent who is required to teach must prepare a quality class to offer to the program. If leadership becomes aware that class time is not being utilized to it's fullest potential, then the teacher may lose their privilege to teach in the future and would have to pay the Teacher Opt-out fee in order to participate in the co-op program. Examples of this would be if the class regularly finishes the planned activities with much of the class time remaining, or it becomes obvious that little to no planning went into the class lesson. We want to offer a quality program and many teachers spend several hours planning the classes that your children have registered in, please return that same respect as you teach their children. 

If your class gets canceled due to low signups (it may be canceled if we run out of space and your class has lower signups than the others that period or if you have 4 or less students) then you may be required to help all three periods the first term this happens (or you could choose to pay one helper opt out fee and help 2 periods while still having a free period). Please consider this a learning experience as to what classes in our co-op are usually popular and what age groups they may appeal to. If a class you are offering gets canceled again in future terms then you may be required to pay the full teacher opt out fee in order to participate in co-op, which must be paid in full upon finding out that the class was canceled.  Co-op Admin have inside information about what the kids are wanting, and what kinds of classes usually get canceled, and will try to offer suggestions and guidance ahead of time to help you avoid this situation.

If you have a child between the ages of 16-19 who wishes to teach a class, they can teach under the direction of their parent. The parent must be a CCCHG Member and the parent and child must be registered participants of co-op. The parent must be listed as the teacher and the child can be assigned as a "student helper". The parent is still responsible for overseeing the planning and classroom behavior and is still responsible for fulfilling al of their other co-op  responsibilities. The student helper will not count as an adult regarding the 2 adult rule, so another adult besides the parent would still be assigned. This would fulfill the parent's teaching requirement.

All course information will be provided by parent teachers in the online Family Pre-registration form during Part 1 of the Co-op planning cycle.  You will list your class materials fees, age range for class, class size limit (minimum 12 students unless there is an approved safety reason), required materials or textbooks, days you will be absent, helper and scheduling requests (ie. I request a specific person as my helper, please schedule my class for 1st period, I need a TV in my classroom, my class will take place outside at the pavilion, etc..).

Once the schedule is live on the website and registration is open, you may not change your mind and then add a materials fee or required materials and textbooks. Also, if you have not initially required additional classroom days outside of co-op days before registration opens, these must be optional and must not interfere with successful completion of the class. (A night performance of a play that is prepared for all term by the students must be announced before registration opens). Parents must know these things before deciding to register their children in your class.

How to Opt-out of Teaching :

Our co-op class program has always been a group effort, with each parent being required to add something to the schedule in order for their child(ren) to participate and benefit from the efforts of others. That's the only way we have been able to ensure we have enough classes to accommodate all the kids that want to come. We do understand that some parents just aren't comfortable teaching a class. However, we have never found a way to accommodate those who do not want to teach, as the co-op leadership team recognizes that everyone's time is equally valuable, and cannot in good conscience require something of one member and not the other. (We will continue to offer temporary teaching exemptions for first-term co-op participants, moms with babies UNDER 1, and based on extreme circumstances, as we have always done.)

With those thoughts in mind, we have instituted the “Co-op Teacher Opt-Out Program”. This option allows a parent to essentially “purchase” the free hour that belongs to another parent, who will then teach a class for them. The opt out teacher fee is $160 per term, which is to be paid to the CCCHG treasurer by the “paying parent” by the Family Pre-registration deadline. The co-op leadership team will secure a replacement teacher as described further down.

'Sound like a lot of $$$? Consider the below. . .

  • If the paying parent has but one student attending co-ops, that comes to approx $5 per class/per day for their child to attend classes. (If they attended an average pay-per-class co-op this would be comparable, as all the teachers would be paid by the parents.) If they have more than one student attending, that number is divided to an even lower amount. (If you have 3 kids its only $1.65 for each class your child attends – prepared classes no less!)

  • For the teacher that has to fill that slot, that comes to about $7 an hour for 1 hour of preparation and 1 hour of class time per week for and 11 week term. Many teachers spend much longer than that in prep-time each week, so the reality of this is that they will probably make less than that per hour, and that amount is not even minimum wage.

  • We have to make sure that it is worthwhile for another mom to give up her free, relaxing, social hour and take on the significant extra workload.

The fine print for the Paying Parent:  

You are required to pay the Teacher Opt-out Fee in advance before close of Family Pre-registration, as well as complete the Family Pre-registration form. You will have to send a check made out to CCCHG directly to the co-op treasurer. This ensures that the paid teacher will be able to plan and prepare, purchase supplies and the class can be added to the schedule along with all the other classes, with no risk of being canceled. There will be no exceptions to this being paid by the Family Pre-registration deadline, (check for this date on the “Co-op Dates and Deadlines” page), due to the huge ripple effect a class cancellation would cause, both to the new teacher, the schedule, and to the students who are registered.

  • If not paid by the deadline, and if you have not offered to teach a class, and are not otherwise exempt, you will not be able to attend co-ops.

  • There is no guarantee that the classes your child wants from any preview list of classes will be available, or will be offered during 3 separate class periods, one or more could possibly overlap, and there is the possibility that a class could be canceled BEFORE the deadline.

  • There will be no refunds based on the finalized schedule or for any other reason after the deadline. This is the only way this can work. Thanks for your careful consideration, and for your understanding.

  • Paying parents will still be required to help one class period, but will then have 2 class periods free.  All other co-op guidelines and duties will still apply. The paying parent must still stay on site during their free class periods, they just have 2 now instead of one.

For the Paid Teacher:

The qualifications to be considered as a paid teacher are as follows:

  • That parent must have taught a class at co-ops for at least 2 terms in the past.
  • They must be a current teacher this term and have already submitted their required class to meet their own requirement, and not be exempt for any reason.
  • They must agree to offer a quality class similar in prep-time and content as the majority of other co-op classes. (ie: not a duck-duck goose class, or study hall, etc.)
  • They should submit one or more classes that they are willing to teach, with a brief description, age, fees, etc. for each. The more options submitted, the more likely they will get a paid position if any are available. Currently, the additional classes can be entered in the "additional info/comments" field at the bottom of their family pre-registration form.

Paid teachers will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • A class they are offering fills a gap in our schedule.
  • Dependability of the teacher from past experience.
  • First-in-line based on submission date.

Paid teachers will be paid at the end of each of the term by the co-op treasurer. The teaching fee is divided by total number of co-op weeks, and must be earned by being there and teaching each week you wish to get paid for. 

Materials fees are separate and can still be collected from students as usual for bonafide supplies for the students.

In summary, we have avoided any payment-for-teaching situations in the past, by simply requiring the same amount of contribution from each participant. But, we do know that there are families that may not be participating due to the teaching requirement. Our aim is to make a way for all to participate, as was requested by several members, and we hope we have come up with a fair solution. If any members feel that this is excessive, or if any members would teach someone else's class for free in addition to their own, those members are certainly free to work it out among themselves after the fact by the paid teacher simply refunding their pay to the paying parent once they earn and receive it.  All "substitutions" of teachers must go thru the listed scheduling and registration procedures above, including payment of the opt-out fee, no exceptions.

Helper Assignments:

  • Each Parent, regardless of teaching status, is required to serve a second hour as a registered helper. 

  • If you are uncomfortable or unable to help, you may pay the helper opt out fee of $80 per term. 

  • Each parent must be fully present and assist the Teacher when they are in a classroom as a registered Helper.  If leadership becomes aware that the helper is not assisting the teacher and is doing the following, but not limited to: playing on their phone, leaving the room frequently, chatting with other adults or helpers in the room, sitting down in the corner and not offering assistance when it is needed, keeping their children who are not age appropriate in the classroom with them, etc. they may lose their privilege to teach or help in the future and would have to pay the Teacher and/or Helper Opt-out fee in order to participate in the co-op program. If you do not know how to best help the Teacher, please ask the Teacher or the Co-op Director.

  • Helpers will be assigned to classes AFTER student registration closes.   If you see a class on the schedule that requires a certain skill and you possess that skill (ie. reading music, knowing a foreign language), please let the Co-op Director know that you have that skill and are willing to help in that class.

  • If you have a request of where you would like to help, you may submit that request (in writing such as email or text) to the Co-op Director during the registration period before registration closes. However, please realize that ultimately you will be assigned where there is the greatest need. We usually have 50+ families participating in Co-op and if every parent submitted a request, there is absolutely no way that every request would be able to be honored and each class still have sufficient help.

  • The class helper position can be substituted with administrative duties or standby-helper duties at the discretion of the Co-op Director. 

  • The Co-op scheduler will assess how many helpers each class needs. We may offer a nominal fee to members who give up their free hour to help extra when help is needed. 

  • Students ages 14 and over are allowed to be a student helper in a classroom where the children are ages 5 and up upon approval from the Co-op Director. The student will be listed as a student helper, their parent does not have to be helping in the same classroom. This does not count as the helper duty of the parent. (Students ages 16 and up are allowed to help in a classroom where the children are ages 3 and up. Students ages 18 and up are allowed to help in a classroom where the children are 0 and up.)

  • Part 2: Student Registration

Once you have filled out the Family Pre-registration form, you will be allowed to register your children for classes once the the class schedule is finalized and posted. You must choose to sign up for co-op classes offered in order to participate in the co-op.  Each child should be registered for one class 1st period, one class 2nd period, and one class 3rd period. All students ages 0 and up who are on the premises must be registered, this is for safety and scheduling reasons. If you have a student that does not see a class they want to take for a particular period, they must be registered in “Study Hall”, "Student Helper" (if applicable) or “Attending with Parent”. If you are assigned as a teacher/helper in a class, your children must be registered in an age appropriate room OR Study Hall, they cannot be “Attending with Parent” as you are fulfilling your duties that period. Occasionally we have an extra room and the Study Hall students can do independent work in there, otherwise they will need to stay with the parent during this time if their parent is on their free period or near the help desk where the Leadership Team can supervise them.

Please read the class description to view any materials fees, supplies or textbooks that may be required for the class BEFORE registering your child for the class. All materials fees are due in CASH on the FIRST day of co-op.

Please review the age and/or grade requirements that the teachers have listed for the classes they are offering. Many times if a class says “8-10 years old” and you have a 7 or 11-year-old that would love the class, you can request an exception for your child to be registered in the class. Take into consideration the work load, reading level and maturity level that the class may require and use your best parental judgment before requesting that your child be able to register in that class. All K-12th grade level exceptions must be approved by the Co-op Director and are not a guarantee. If you register your child for a class that is not being offered to their grade level without Co-op Director approval, your child will be removed from the class and they will be asked to pick a different class. Please do not go through the teachers for approval, if they need to be contacted, the Co-op Director will contact them. The teachers have already taken into consideration the skill level and maturity that their class will require and we want to honor the work they have put into their class and their judgement. If you register your child in a class that is not listed as being offered to their grade level and there are children on the wait list that are that grade level, your child will be removed to allow in the child/ren that the class is intended for and you will have to pick a different class for your child that period.

The nursery is for ages 0-2, preschool classes are for 3-4 year olds, and other classes are broken up at the teacher’s discretion. In most cases 2 year olds will not be approved to join the preschool class when requested as they do not have the skill set or focus to learn the same academic and art skills as 3-4 year olds. If you feel that your 2-year-old is advanced and ready for this type of work and concentration, you are welcome to do short teaching lessons in the nursery with them. Also, please keep in mind that this decision was also made because the preschool room does not have a changing table and preschool students must be potty trained and able to go to the bathroom with little to no assistance. All 0-PreK grade level exceptions must be approved by the Preschool Coordinator or Co-op Director.

We will have door signs with the classes and periods on them and will post them during setup before classes each morning. Please bring a copy of your child's schedule with you on the first day so you will know where to take them. We won't be able to look up all the class info for all the students in the 5 minutes before classes start.

Attendance Policy

When you arrive at co-ops, all attendees must be checked in. See admission procedures below.

If at ANY time during the day you decide to leave the premises, you MUST go to the sign-in desk and tell the Safety Coordinator that you are leaving. If for some reason, you come back again, check in with the Safety Coordinator at the sign in desk upon your return. Due to safety procedures, and to ensure smooth operation of our program, we must know and be able to keep track of who is there at all times. Even during your free period, you should still be on the property, available to step in if we need a class covered or easy for us to find you in case there is a medical emergency, potty accident, etc. with one of your children. If you wish to go sit in your car or walk around the building for exercise during your free period, you MUST tell the Safety Coordinator at the sign in desk.

We do not offer drop-off service of any kind. A parent or legal guardian must be on the premises at all times.  If you leave for any reason, you must take your children with you. Do not plan not to be there and expect to leave your kids, this includes appointments, providing transportation for someone during co-ops, running to the store, fast food, etc. These are not urgent, nor unexpected. This policy is for the protection of your children, leadership, and other parents. In the future, if we change the structure of our co-ops to allow your children to be here without you, it will probably require special licensing and increased fees, paperwork, procedures, etc.

The exception to this is if your spouse or child's grandparent is fulfilling your co-op duties and responsibilities in your absence. They will be able to check in as a visitor and must follow visitor protocols (see below) while filling in. This should be done on a rare occasion and would have to have prior approval from the Co-op Director. If there are questions or concerns about this, or concerns about them filling in teaching, your backup teacher may be able to do that part, and again, the co-op schedulers will be able to best re-arrange duties if needed.

If you will be Absent:

IF YOU ARE TEACHING A CLASS:  

Directly call your assistant teacher who is listed as your backup teacher and let them know what to do to fill in for you,

Then email, text or call Co-op Director Becca White, 352-634-4195.  The reason for this call is so we can make sure your helper has help in your class, as 2 or more adults must be in the room at all times, and some classes require more help due to the nature or size of the class. The Co-op leaders are handling administrative tasks and will not be free to fill in for you.

As a teacher, you should have easy back-up plans in place for your helper to take over teaching the class in case of your unexpected absence. If you can have this substitute plan printed out ahead of time and given to your helper, that would be great. At a minimum, save it on your computer and try to email it to them as soon as you know you will be absent, even if it is the morning of.  Short notice is better than no notice!  We know unexpected things come up, but let’s do our best to prepare for them in advance so no helper is left taking over a class with no notice or materials. In the end, the children are the ones who suffer when this happens.

If you are absent more than 20% of the term (planned or unexpected) we reserve the right to limit you to the Teacher and Helper Opt-Out Fees for future terms as we have to do what it takes to help this program run smoothly and be a blessing and not a burden to the members.

IF YOU ARE SCHEDULED FOR BREAKFAST BAR:  Don't forget to see if you need to have someone cover for you if you are scheduled to bring something for the breakfast bar. You will not be excused from these, it is your responsibility to find out when your make-up day is by contacting the Co-op Director or Breakfast Bar Coordinator.

IF YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD WILL MISS CLASS:  Please, as a courtesy, let the teacher know as soon as possible so they won't have to add the expense of copies, materials, etc for your child.

PLEASE KEEP ABSENCES LIMITED:  Please make your appointments on a different day of the week if at all possible and keep absences limited to true emergencies/sicknesses. We only meet once a week and we want to make it a priority to let our children have quality classes and fellowship. With commitment and communication, we can make sure every week is one that our kids look forward to!!

Nursery and Preschool Policy

  • The nursery is available for children of teachers and helpers only during the class hours that they are scheduled to be elsewhere. Please do not leave your children in there unless you are teaching or helping that class period and in this case they must be on the official roster. When leaving your children in the nursery, please label all your child's items (diaper bag, sippy cup, etc.).

  • Only adult females should ever escort preschoolers or toddlers to the bathroom and should take them into the women’s bathroom and stand outside the stall. If they require more assistance than this, the class Helper should ask the person at the Help Desk to get the child’s parent. Check the stalls before and after the preschoolers enter and exit them for safety and sanitary reasons. Never be in the stall or alone in the bathroom with a child.

  • No one under 18 can be a helper in the nursery and no one under 16 can be a helper in a preschool class. The student helpers may not pick up/lift/hold a child that is not their sibling. 

  • No men/boys are allowed into the nursery as this is also our nursing area.

  • CLASS TRANSITIONS: For the younger students, the parents must come take them to their next class, or they will be taken/picked up by their teachers, please make sure this transition is working as you would like for your little ones during the first few weeks. There is no way we can orchestrate this in an official way, we'll all just have to make it work. At the end of the last class, please hold these younger students until their parents come for them. Teachers of last classes, we'll bring your kids to you. Our goal here is no lost/wandering little ones. The older kids can be released to go to their next class.

Co-op Fees

You are required to be an approved member of  Citrus County Christian Homeschool Group (ie. Paid Membership Fees, background check completed) if you wish to attend co-op classes.

Materials Fees

None of the teachers have received group funds. I know our parents are resourceful, and I hope are able to use up some materials they already had sitting around, but we want everyone to be aware of how all this really happens! If your child's class does have a materials fee, that will be collected IN CASH by the co-op treasurer on the first day of class so the teacher can purchase the rest of the supplies for the term. Teachers, please keep track of your expenditures, and remember to refund any monies at the end of the term that were not used in purchasing materials for each child. Please keep your receipts for supplies until after the last class day, in case a parent has a question of the appropriation of the materials fees that were collected.

The Treasurer will hand out all materials fees no earlier than the 2nd week and no later than the 3rd week of co-op and will be required to sign a receipt acknowledging that they received the funds in full.

Teachers must pay the materials fees for their children that are registered in their class and it will be returned back to you when you receive your class fee funds from our Treasurer. This is the only want to keep the books balanced so to speak.

Once co-op has started, if your child wants to switch classes, you will be required to submit a Drop/Add request to the Co-op Director. Upon approval, you will then be responsible to pay the Treasurer any materials fees for the new class and the materials fees you already paid for the class you are dropping will not be refunded if you are switching classes at any time after the first week of co-op. 

If you do not pay your co-op program fee and materials fees by the end of 3rd period on the first day, you must:

  1. Pay the full amount in cash the 2nd day of classes including a $10 late fee.

  2. If not paid by the end of the 2nd day of classes, your approval to continue participation in co-op will be determined on a case by case basis and/or additional late fees may incur. 

Supplies

Please send the usual supplies for your children's classes, ie: notebook, paper, pencil, etc. They will probably receive handouts in most classes, so a folder is necessary. We really are going to learn some cool stuff in these classes and the basic supplies are truly necessary. PLEASE LABEL ALL BACKPACKS, NOTEBOOKS, FOLDERS, ETC as it is a true strain on the co-op team to lug around unclaimed items for weeks on end until someone notices they lost something. We do post items under lost and found weekly.

Stewardship and Use of Property at Cornerstone:

Stewardship

Cornerstone has provided us with a beautiful and spacious indoor and outdoor area to use. There may be other activities going on at the same time on other parts of the property, so please don't allow your children to wander inside or be outside the designated outdoor play areas during designated times.

This is a borrowed facility, and we are responsible for leaving things as we find them. There are game tables, musical equipment, and other various forms of equipment in several of the rooms, these will be covered and are not to be used by our group. Please instruct your children ahead of time not to touch these. Please ask them to stay away from the stage area. Some of that equipment is very expensive. Outside, please make sure your children know ahead of time not to climb on or pull on basketball goals, nets, soccer goals, etc.

Also, ask your children to use only the side entrance door, and to please stomp the sand out of their shoes before entering if they have been in the play lot. Please do not roll strollers through the grass and sand area on your way in- this usually tracks in huge clumps of mud and sand. The cleanup team thanks you ahead of time!! Also, please do not drag scoot tables across the floor. If you need to move a table and/or chairs, you must pick them up and ALWAYS put them back how you originally found them when you are done.

Reminder that we are not allowed to use sidewalk chalk at the request of church staff, and also that children are not allowed in the parking lots, especially the one they always want to scooter down between the parked cars. Fun, but not safe, sorry.

Along those same lines, we cannot under any circumstances leave the building anything but CLEANER than we found it. This has always been our strict standard. Again, it goes a long way towards being invited back, and is just the right thing to do. This goes for the building, parking lot, grass area, pavilion, etc. Leadership is usually the last to leave and winds up doing anything and everything that was left undone. Thank you to those families that have started helping with this end-of-day final "touch-up" as well, we appreciate you! A good rule of thumb is to have each student pick up 3 pieces of trash before leaving after lunch. Please do not drop food and leave it, as someone does have to come behind and pick that up.

Facility Liaison

One of our leaders is the Co-op Facility Liaison, and they handle ALL issues with the Cornerstone Church staff in regards to the building or grounds. They know what agreements we have with the church and what we are paying to use. PLEASE DO NOT circumvent this relationship and contact church staff for co-op issues without coming to co-op leadership FIRST. Please only be in rooms assigned, and do not move equipment, change air setting, etc. We need to know anything we changed when we arrived in the morning so we can reset it when we leave; all changes and requests must go thru our Building Liaison. When the Cornerstone staff re-evaluates the use of their facilities by various groups, we want to be the group that they invite back as we make it easy on them and don't repeatedly disrupt their day with questions and needs by multiple members, or leave things out of place.

Damage to Property

We do not have a backup fund for damages that could result from unauthorized/improper use of property.

If a parent or child damages something, the parent will be held liable and not the group. PLEASE stress the rules to your children, and help others by reminding them of these rules if you see an action or activity that could result in damage to person or property.

Use of Supplies

Do not use anything that you did not bring with you, such as supplies, utensils, cups, items in cabinets, craft supplies, etc. These belong to the church and are not offered to us for use. We bring our own supplies for whatever we are each in charge of. Paper towels and restroom supplies of course can be used.

Lost and Found

Check, check and recheck for items you may have accidentally left behind. PLEASE LABEL your kids bags and notebooks, so at least we'll know they are OUR group's lost and found and not the church’s members' items. Any items left behind that we know for certainty belong to our members the leadership team will take home until the following week, and they can be retrieved by the owner the following week for a $1 fee which goes directly to end-of-year fund. The reason for this is that we typically have MANY items left behind and it becomes quite a chore for the leaders to tote them back and forth. Members are NOT permitted to call the church or go up to the church to look for lost and founds. If one of our 150+ people leaves something every week and we are bothering them during non co-op times to get into the building, we will lose use of the building. If you leave it behind and a leader didn't grab it, unless it's a medically necessary item, it will need to remain there until the following week.

Use of Property

We are only approved to use the Cornerstone facility for educational purposes. We have to be careful we don't compromise, or even appear to compromise the not-for-profit nature and standing of the Cornerstone property. The Cornerstone pastors are in and out of "our" area and parking lots, etc very frequently, and walking through with other ministers, etc. as well. If you have a business and some of your customers are at Co-ops, please find a nearby meeting place off of the Cornerstone property for payments and drop-offs. Maybe you could do a quick meet-up at the recycle lot catty-cornered to the Cornerstone "rock" sign right after co-ops and have all co-op customers pick up there, then everyone can come back for lunch. Its literally across the street -- a 5-minute detour in the day. Your business or product may just happen to be small, but businesses grow, shoppers like to gather around, etc. More importantly, we want to keep it fair for all members across the board. That being said, If you have a school book or something someone is buying from you mom-to-mom, (infrequent, not a business, not recurring) that’s fine to switch from car to car at co-ops. Please be sensitive to the intent here, we do not want to jeopardize our future use of this facility. We would be homeless!

On Site Fundraisers

Several moms have asked about doing fundraisers. A group-wide, group-sponsored fundraiser may be possible if the need arose. We would have to establish a group need for the fundraiser, and we would go through the Cornerstone main office for approval to conduct one on their property. Again we try to keep things fair for all members across the board, so we would let all interested members "put their hat in the ring" and try to find a fair way to choose which method of fundraising we will use. Please do not post, solicit, or conduct any non-approved fundraisers at Cornerstone.

Parking

Please park in designated parking spaces (along the driveway), and not in the field that is near the building. The nursery and preschool use this area, and also kids like to congregate here after the last class. This rule is strictly to keep our little ones safe.

Entry and Exit Procedures

We want parents AND children to use ONLY the side door (nearest the big grass side field), not the door on the end nearest the parking lot. We understand that it is more convenient to bring supplies in the end door, but kids see adults using it and it quickly becomes a swinging door. Again, the safety of our little ones is our concern here. The co-op leaders and many other teachers have carried hundreds of pounds of supplies down to the side doors over the years, so we ask you to join us in this sacrifice of convenience to ensure the safest environment possible.

The end doors are a fire exit ONLY from 8 am to 1 pm. No Exceptions, unless you have a bonafide handicap. The approved, side-door entrance is also where the Sign-In Desk is located.

The registered participant is the one who is assigned co-op duties and they should have already been background checked when joining CCCHG as the primary parent. If for some reason, this is a different parent they must also have a background check and fill out all required paperwork to become a registered participant at co-op.

Upon Arrival at Co-ops, each adult must check in at the Sign-In Desk outside of the Co-op Entrance.

Registered Participants

When you check in you will be marked as present and receive your Registered Participant Badge from the Sign-In Desk Attendant. NO ADULTS can enter the building without a badge. See below for Visitor Procedures and Badge Requirements. Do not forget to turn in the Registered Participant Badges when you leave co-op. There will be a replacement badge fee of $3, so please don’t take them off and set them down or give them to your kids to turn in.

If one of your registered children is not with you that day you must put their name on the absent list located at the Sign In Desk. For safety purposes, we have to have 100% accountability of each human on the premises each day.

Non-Registered Participants (Pre-approved visitors, spouses or guest speakers)

If a spouse or guest speaker would like to accompany you, they must be approved AHEAD of time to be added to the visitor roster and will be asked for ID at the sign in desk prior to getting their visitor badge, OR, the registered participant can vouch them in at the sign-in desk if they arrive together, or they can wait and we will have you come to the door.

Spouses and Guest speakers must remain with a registered participant and wear their visitor badge at all times. They will be escorted to and from classes.

In ALL cases, anyone but the primary (assigned) parent and registered students must sign in and wear a Visitor Badge at all times. Again, this is to ensure that regular attendees are all at-ease knowing that someone they don't recognize is actually supposed to be there. These procedures are for a spouse, grandparent, or guest speakers only. Any other guests (potential members) that want to come see what co-op is like, must pre-arrange a visit personally with co-op Leadership, as we have information to give them and will arrange the best time that we can show them around.

Other visitors will only be considered for official purposes, and are not permitted without PRIOR approval from Co-op leadership, please not the night before.  Please give us enough notice of your request to consider the nature of the "visit", see if it fits a need of the co-op program and to obtain approval from teachers if necessary, etc. Our co-op families expect our group members to be there around their children, but not other people that they were not expecting. Co-op is a closed CCCHG member event.

Safety Procedures

Yellow Folder

  • Each class room will be given a yellow folder at the beginning of each term and that folder stays in the classroom for all three periods. This yellow folder contains directions and safety protocols for fire drills, tornado drills, and what do in the event of an intruder. It is the responsibility of each Teacher and Helper to familiarize themselves with these procedures. We will perform scheduled quarterly drills.

  • Attendance sheets for all three classes will be in the yellow folder and it is the responsibility of the Teacher or Helper to take attendance at the beginning of every class.

  • At the end of third period, leave this folder on the table in the classroom or return it to the Safety Coordinator. The folder for the outside classes will be left at the Sign in Desk out front and is to be returned there after each outside class for the next outside teacher to pick up.

  • Outside Classes

    • For outside classes the Teacher or Helper should wait outside the front door with the roster in hand to take attendance. After attendance has been taken, they are to lead the class to the outside area where class is to be held. Children are not to wander down to the pavilion by themselves. If a child needs to come back in the building for any reason during class, an adult should escort them back to the building and then back to class if need be. All outside classes are not to be dismissed until the Teacher or Helper has walked them back to the front door and taken a head count. Class should never be released from the pavilion. This does mean that you will have to end class 5 minutes early to give you time to walk them back.

    • All Teachers and Helpers for outside classes should keep their class in an area manageable to be viewed by them at all times. We do not want any children wandering away from class or near the parking lot. Hide-and-seek type games are not allowed as the Teacher would not be able to see the children at all times.

    • We trust God’s protection over our little ones, but we must still our due diligence to keep them safe. Always keep your eyes out for suspicious persons or vehicles when outside and report all suspicious behaviors to the Front Desk Attendant who will then contact the Safety Coordinator.

During Setup and Clean up

Many of our participants have small children, and are still pulling their fair share, trying to lug a toddler under one arm while carrying tables or class materials. More important than how our classes go, keeping these little ones (and big kids as well) safe is our highest priority. You may be asked to keep an eye on the toddler room for a few minutes so groups of moms can load their stuff into their cars before lunch, or during setup. This has been a hardship in the past on the moms of little ones. It’s almost impossible to schedule for these kinds of needs, so please be open to last minute taskings- and feel free to offer your service if you notice a need.

During Classes

  1. No child will be allowed to leave the building from 9:30 - 12:30 unless with their parent.  No exceptions. If you want your child outside running an errand, etc., you must come to the door with him/her and release them. Someone manning the doors may not know you or your child, so please be patient as they try to do their job in keeping all of our kids safe. PLEASE inform your child of this procedure, and ask them for their cheerful cooperation.

  2. There will always be one scheduled attendant at our designated entrance during co-op time, and the extra set of doors will be posted as "closed, use other entrance", this will direct non-co-op persons who may be visiting the church for some other reason to the other church office entrance.

  3. There should be a minimum of 2 adults “on duty” in each class setting (indoor and outdoor) at all times. A student helper does not fulfill the 2 adult rule. Any non-member such as a visitor or guest speaker does not fulfill the 2 adult rule. 

  4. Teachers and Helpers are ultimately responsible for maintaining a safe and peaceable learning environment within their classroom at all times. Please do not allow continued disruptions even if they are not of a negative nature. 

Where Everyone Should Be

  1. From 9:30 - 12:30, all children are to be registered in a class or study hall, or with their parent. ALL CHILDREN PHYSICALLY PRESENT MUST BE LISTED ON A ROSTER AS TO THEIR LOCATION, THIS INCLUDES INFANTS. All persons must be "documented" in case of a fire or other evacuation so we can account for the safety of ALL individuals without sending someone back into a potentially dangerous situation. If you are free one period and physically supervising your child that entire period, EVERY co-op day, then they would be registered as "Attending With Parent". If they go into the study hall area and you are not with them, they must be listed on that roster. This is JUST for safety.

  2. Parents should be either teaching/helping, in the nursery with their little one(s), or in the Parent break area. This prevents disruptions to classes in session. Sometimes there is no extra room for a break room, and if so, please be mindful of the conversation level in the halls as the noise carries through the building. Usually there is a class in the large meeting room during all 3 class periods, so the unused area in this room will be reserved for quiet, reading moms, and school-working study hall students. All chatting must be done in the snack bar area/main hall. If parents are going to be outside during their allotted free time (away from front door area, such as sitting in their car, or walking the property out of site, please notify the check-in desk so we can find you in case you are needed for a situation with your child). Again, be in the building, or on-site with a note at the check-in desk, or at your assigned work position.

  3. If you are assigned as a stand-by helper, check in at the Help Desk or with the Co-op Director to get your assignment. Under the event that no teachers or helpers are out that day for you to fill in for, you will be assigned as extra help to a class in need or tasked with administrative duties. This is not a free period. If the Co-op Director is in a class, it is your responsibility to either find them and ask where help is needed if not previously discussed or go to each classroom and assess which ones needs the most help.

  4. If the Teacher only has one Helper and one of them needs to step out of the room, please ask someone at the Help Desk to find another member to step in in their short absence until they return. This is when we need to exercise flexibility and even if it is your “free hour”, you may be asked to step into a room for a moment to give the Teacher or Helper a bathroom break while helping us still maintain our standard of 2 adults in each class at all times.

  5. At lunch and recess, students must be in the designated lunch and play areas. They are not permitted to be indoors, in the parking lots, or wandering, etc. The lunch area will be under the pavilion outside; In case of rain, we will remain in the building for lunch. Please instruct your kids to stay out of the pond, the creek, and in-view and not over the "ledge" on the far end of the field, and have them stay on the pavilion side of the driveway/parking lot, not the co-op side door field. By asking all students to follow these guidelines, we'll help ensure the safety of our younger ones. The older kids need to understand that though they can safely walk thru the parking lot, a little one following them out may not be able to keep themselves safe outside. We have found more than one toddler wandering down the parking lot area alone.

Discipline Procedures

If a child is being uncooperative, disruptive, or disrespectful during class, the following procedures may be followed:

  1. The child will be spoken to by the Teacher.

  2. If the behavior continues, a member of the Leadership Team must be notified immediately will be asked by the Teacher to observe class.

  3. The child may be asked to sit out of the class for a period of time and may be taken to their parent for the remainder of the class.

  4. If the child repeats the unacceptable behavior the following week, the parent may be required to stay in the class with the child.

  5. If the child continues with the unacceptable behavior, they will be removed from the class until a meeting can take place between the teacher, parent, and child and at least two members of the Leadership Team to discuss whether the child can return to class, or will need to sit out the remainder of the session. Please keep in mind that these are guidelines and leadership can decide at any time that the child must leave immediately and is not eligible to attend future events.

  6. Please not that if a parent feels the need to discipline THEIR OWN CHILD (in particular the nursery and preschool-aged children), they should not do it in front of the other children, but rather do this in private.

Student Responsibilities

Any breaches of the following rules may result in immediate and permanent removal from the co-op program and/or group membership at the discretion of the leadership team.

  1. Do not bring pocket knives or weapons of any kind to Co-op.

  2. No child will be allowed to leave the building from 9:30 - 12:30 unless with their parent. No Exceptions.

  3. No rough housing, horse playing, or any other physical play that could result in injury. Physical violence of any kind, including threatening and/or physically intimidating behavior, will not be tolerated. Any person exhibiting this kind of behavior will be excused from co-ops, including lunch/social time and any other CCCHG sanctioned events.

  4. No bullying, teasing, or jokes that could be perceived as offensive.

  5. No using bad or crude language, or slang that could be offensive to others.

  6. No wandering around the building, you must be in your scheduled class or in transition to your next scheduled class at all times.

  7. Be on time.

  8. Be prepared. Bring supplies, books, and homework. Homework is not optional unless stated, please make sure your student arrives prepared for their next class by completing any out-of-class assignments given.  If a student is consistently not preparing and not participating with the rest of the class assignments, and it becomes a distraction to other students, they may be permanently removed from the class in order to preserve the level of learning environment the other students and the teacher are expecting. This is not an “ability” issue, it is an “effort” issue. We kindly remind parents and students that your child got one of the seats in that class and another child may not have been able to take it due to no more open seats.

  9. Be quiet in the halls between classes—absolutely no yelling or running. Go straight to your next class unless meeting up with your parent. No loitering in the hallways or bathrooms in between classes.

  10. Maintain a positive, learning, and respectful attitude towards the teachers, parents, leaders, and other students and their property. If a student is not following behavior guidelines, they will be reminded once, and then one of the leaders will be called to sit in and assess the situation, and will decide whether the child can stay in class, or will take them to their parent for the remainder of the class period so as not to disrupt the class any further.

  11. Do not bring toys from home into the classroom as they create an unnecessary distraction.

  12. Work together and encourage one another in words and actions.

  13. Class participation and maximum effort is expected and all assignments should be completed on time.

  14. We get one hour together per week per subject, and one over-talkative or disruptive student is very damaging to the co-op experience of the teacher and the other students. Do not disrupt class.

  15. Be a Christ-like role model for the little eyes and ears that are always paying attention.

  16. High school students are expected to assist in setting up classrooms and returning them to their original state at the end of class.

  17. Members must wear helmets when on outdoor equipment such as, but not limited to ripsticks, bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller blades, etc. They are also required to wear helmets when engaging in outdoor sports that normally require the use of helmets, such as baseball. 

  18. Electronic Devices - Music, Cell Phones, Laptops, tablets, iPods, CD or MP3 Players, other music players and electronic gaming devices must be left on silent/vibrate in student's bag/purse from 9:30 – 12:30, and may not be used during co-op hours. However, such devices may be used under a teacher's supervision during class time if allowed with the teacher’s permission (ie. yearbook class). Internet content must be appropriate. Parents will be held responsible for what their students are viewing online. Please instruct your student to the sensitivity of this matter. Content acceptable for some families is problematic for others. This includes websites containing violence, improper language and other inappropriate content. Parents may consider parental control software which is provided free of charge by most internet providers. CCCHG reserves the right to terminate any improper electronic activity.

Note: Due to limited Internet connections and band-width, teachers have priority for Internet access. There may be occasions where all others are asked to be offline to ensure that class needs are met.

Inclement Weather and Cancellation Policy:

In the event of threatening inclement weather, the leadership team will make the decision by 8am as to whether or not classes will be canceled. It will be posted on the website and the leadership team will start a phone chain. These decisions will follow those of the local school districts weather cancellations for situations including, but not limited to tornado, flood, and hurricane watches and warnings.

In the event of less threatening inclement weather all outdoor classes will meet indoors during co-op hours. If there is lightning spotted outside, all outdoor classes should come inside for immediate shelter and shall remain indoors until no lightening has been spotted for a minimum of 30 minutes. Under the metal roofed pavilion does not count as adequate shelter during an electrical storm.

Uniform and Dress Code

If there is a uniform or dress code for your child's class, please don't forget those. Changing facilities and time are minimal, so the fewer wardrobe changes needed, the better. Please come as ready as possible for your classes. If it is hot outside, please have any children participating in outside sports wear appropriate P.E. attire, including shoes, and have a bottle or cup for water with them. We may be out on the pavilion and there is only a sink for refills.

All parents, students, visitors, and guest speakers are required to adhere to group dress code guidelines at all times, unless in an approved alternate uniform for a specific activity. Please check necklines, shirts and shorts lengths, etc, and be respectful of the other members who are expecting that they or their children will not have to see more than they bargained for. The CCCHG Dress Code that each family agreed to follow upon joining the group is the standard, it can be found under the CCCHG Vision/Guidelines tab at the top of the left menu bar on the website and in the Member Handbook. If you are not in compliance with the CCCHG Dress Code, you will be given notice with the part of the code needing attention highlighted, and you will need to make an adjustment or leave to change.

End of the Co-op Day Responsibilities

As soon as the last class period ends, and before visiting with friends, or eating lunch, please remove ALL belongings from the building so our cleaning contractor can get to work. This includes parent/teacher "conferences", etc.  Please meet down at the pavilion, or at least out on the front patio for discussion.  If classes end at 12:30, the building should be empty by 12:45.  The cleanup personnel are excited to join the rest of us for lunch and social time, and can't get their work done with a building full of excited and often chatty kids and parents. Thanks for your help in this area.

Do not forget to pick up what is left on the free wall of any items you brought!

Third Period Teacher Responsibilities -

The last teacher in each room is responsible for sweeping, emptying the trash, and tidying and cleaning tables, boards, counters as needed.  Please designate some of these task to your helpers. We have been instructed that we should NOT scoot tables at any time, it damages the finish on the floor. Please PICK UP tables to move them. Additionally, it is very important to the Sunday school teachers that we leave the tables and chairs exactly as found. In each room, they have provided us with a photo of how the room should be set up, and it is posted near the door. This is a MUST.  Someone will come around at the end of 3rd period, and will sign off weekly that these tasks have been accomplished before the last teacher/helper is allowed to leave.  This will ensure that we leave the classrooms the way we agreed to with our cleaning contractors. 

Fun Stuff for Parents:

PARENTS COFFEE FUND: Sign up for unlimited coffee and tea all term long, its only $3 (yes, that's three dollars!) for the entire term!  (And yes, we have half and half and flavored creamers!)  This is paid separately in cash on the first day of classes.

PARENTS' SNACK BAR: Sign up to partake in a breakfast/snack bar all term.  This is $2 (yes, two dollars) for the whole term for plates/napkins/forks, and then you sign up to bring in one dish to share for just one week, and all term long you have a nice treat/breakfast waiting for you upon arrival at co-ops. (Sorry, this is not for students to partake in, that would be impossible!)

MOMS' SECRET SISTER: Sign up for the secret sister program at the bottom of the class registration chart, see all details and get your form filled out online so you can be part of the drawing on the first day of co-ops. This is LOTS of fun, you may be sorry if you skip it and don’t see a pan of brownies, a beautiful potted flower, or a goodie basket with your name on it all term long! Each term is 3 months long, we ask that you bring your Secret Sister in one gift each of the months (equaling 3 small gifts total that cost no more than around $5) and you may leave her cards and prayers throughout the 3 months as you wish. You will have the opportunity to reveal yourself to you SS at the end of the term.