HOW Operating Guidelines

Homeschoolers on Whidbey 

Operating Guidelines:

Article I  Organization

Section 1.  The name of the organization shall be “Homeschoolers on Whidbey,” or “HOW.”
Section 2HOW will operate as a non-profit organization.

Article II  Statement of Purpose

Section 1.  HOW is an inclusive homeschool organization serving a diverse spectrum of homeschool styles and philosophies.  Its purpose is to offer support and information for those of all interest levels and areas pertaining to home-based instruction (herein referred to as “homeschooling” as defined by RCW 28A.225.010 [1985, amended 1993, 1995]).  It seeks to provide a means by which members assist one another in the adventure of educating their children at home.  It is not associated in any way with any private or public school system or any alternative program under public or private school systems.

Section 2.  Specific purposes:

   a.  HOW endeavors to facilitate and disseminate information, resources, curriculum ideas, and testing information via website and regular meetings.

   b.  HOW provides an opportunity to support, nurture, and encourage homeschool families by sharing experiences, problems, and methods. 

   c.  HOW’s network of families facilitates educational experiences for parents and children such as classes, field trips, small group activities, and social outings.  The organizers or teachers of these activities are responsible for their content, which may not necessarily reflect the views of HOW.   

   d.  HOW may serve as a source of public relations and community awareness for homeschooling.  This support will not constitute legal advice nor does it claim to be representative of all homeschoolers.

Article III  Statement of Policy

Section 1HOW makes every effort to maintain an atmosphere that is congenial toward and accepting of a wide spectrum of methods and philosophies of homeschooling, and attempts to avoid exclusively endorsing any individual curriculum outlets, private tutors, businesses or organizations which cater to homeschool families.

Section 2.  The list of the HOW members is a confidential list and is published strictly for and by HOW members.  It is not to be duplicated in any form, and cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Section 3.    All members must sign HOW’s approved liability release for all activities and field trips sponsored by HOW and participate in these activities at their own risk.  The HOW liability release will be signed annually with the HOW membership application.

Section 4.  Members will have priority at all field trips, classes, and events.  Guests of members must sign a liability release form for all field trips, classes, and events except for monthly meetings.

Article IV  Membership

Section 1.  Membership shall be renewed annually.

Section 2.  Each Membership shall consist of a family unit or individual.  Groups (i.e. day cares, co-ops, etc.) may not join HOW.

Section 3.  The Steering Committee or its appointed committee may refuse an applicant membership or terminate a membership for cause including, but not limited to, unpaid dues, ineligibility or misrepresentation.  In any event, notice shall be given in writing to the applicant or member and the cause shall be stated in the notice.  Within 30 (thirty) days of notice of rejection or termination, the applicant or member may, in writing, request a review of this determination.  Such review shall be conducted in a closed meeting by a Board of Review composed of three (3) persons who are members in good standing and are selected as follows: (1) one person appointed by the Steering Committee, (2) one person appointed by the applicant or member requesting review, (3) one person appointed by the previous two appointees.  The decision of the Board of Review may be appealed within 14 days to the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee will respond in writing within 30 days.  The determination of the Steering Committee will be final.

Article V  Dues

Section 1The annual dues of HOW will be determined by the Steering Committee.

Section 2.  Members in good standing are those whose annual dues are paid and who are compliant with the HOW Standard Operating Procedures.

Article VI  Steering Committee

Section 1.  The Steering Committee shall determine plans, establish HOW policies, and perform duties seeking the general welfare of the organization.  The Steering Committee shall retain the right to review all persons representing the organization (including, but not limited to, classes, programs, and speakers).

Section 2.  The HOW Steering Committee shall consist of three (3) Administrative Offices and the standing committee chairmen.

Section 3.  Steering Committee Voting

   a. Voting members of the Committee shall be members in good standing and shall consist of all Administrative Officers of HOW and standing committee chairmen which may include: Activities, Field Trips, Library, Information Support, Meetings, Membership, Newsletter, Publicity and others designated by the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee retains the right to add or delete standing committees as needed and to appoint chairmanships.

   b. Votes may be cast by proxy.

   c. 25% of Steering Committee members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of general business at a Steering Committee meeting, not including spending.

   d. 51% of Steering Committee members shall constitute a quorum for the matters involving monetary funds.

   e. In case there isn’t a quorum at a Steering Committee meeting, the members present will decide and then announce their decision to the rest of the Steering Committee, who will have seven (7) days to dissent.  In the absence of dissent, after seven days the original decision will be enacted.

Section 4.  Decisions made between Steering Committee meetings

   a. Every effort shall be made to plan in advance sufficiently that all decisions concerning HOW involvement or funds are discussed at a Steering Committee meeting before committing to the involvement or the funds.

   b. If a matter of great interest or importance arises on short notice with insufficient time for discussion at a Steering Committee meeting, then the following procedures apply:


     (1)  The proposed plan of action will be presented to the entire Steering Committee via email as early as possible.  The Steering Committee members will have seven days to comment or disapprove the plan.  In the absence of dissent after seven days, or upon the reconciliation of differences between interested members, the plan will be carried out.

     (2)  The Treasurer must be consulted in advance for all matters concerning finances and projected expenses.

Section 5.  The Steering Committee may also consist of nonvoting members who shall be chairpersons of any committees formed by the Steering Committee (i.e. special events or fund raising) that are commitments of less than a year.

Section 6.  Vacancies.  When a vacancy on the Steering Committee exists, positions will be posted on the website.

Section 7.  Resignation, Termination, and Absences.  Resignation from the Steering Committee must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Committee member or Officer may be removed for cause including, but not limited to, the violation of Standard Operating Procedures, by a majority vote of the Steering Committee.

Section 8.  The Committee shall meet no less than on a quarterly basis at a place and time specified by the Steering Committee Coordinator with thirty (30) days advance notice.  Either (1) the Steering Committee Coordinator, (2) the Secretary or (3) 50% of the Steering Committee may call additional meetings as needed.  The initiator of these meetings will make his/her best effort to notify Committee members.

Section 9.  Steering Committee meetings are open to all interested HOW members.

Section 10.  The term of office of all Steering Committee members will begin July 1 of the current year and end June 30 of the following year.

Section 11.  Administrative Officers

   a. The Administrative Officers’ purpose is to offer administrative support to HOW.  The Administrative Officers shall consist of the Steering Committee Coordinator, Secretary, and Treasurer, who shall be members in good standing of HOW.

   b. Only one individual per membership shall be an Administrative Officer at any given time.

   c. The Steering Committee will appoint the positions of the Steering Committee Coordinator and Treasurer.  All candidates shall have been compliant with RCW 28A.225.010 (1985, amended 1993, 1995) for at least one year and demonstrate organizational skills and experience that would support the welfare of HOW as determined by the Steering Committee.

Section 12.  Duties of Officers

   a. STEERING COMMITTEE COORDINATOR shall preside over Steering Committee meetings using parliamentary procedure.  S/he will schedule regular and special meetings of the Steering Committee and determine the agenda for Steering Committee meetings seeing that all records pertaining to HOW are made, kept and filed.  All records will be turned over to his/her successor by the termination of office.

   b. SECRETARY is responsible to keep records of all proceedings of the Steering Committee, to keep a file of documents, records, communications, and other matters of HOW business.  S/he is to keep minutes of the meetings and perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary, which are assigned by the Steering Committee Coordinator or Steering Committee.  All records will be turned over to his/her successor at termination of office.

   c. TREASURER shall have control and disposition of funds for HOW and shall keep an account for these funds.  S/he shall submit a proposed budget each year to be amended and approved by the Steering Committee.  The Treasurer will provide a written monthly income/expense report to the Steering Committee.

Article VII  Monthly Support Group Meetings

Section 1.  Monthly Support Group meetings will be held September through May, unless otherwise noted on the website, or cancelled due to weather conditions.

Section 2.  Monthly Support Group meetings are open to present, past, and prospective homeschooling families, and the general public unless otherwise restricted to members only.

Article VIII Fiscal Matters

Section 1.  The fiscal year of HOW shall begin July 1 and end June 30.

Section 2.  The Treasurer’s proposed budget will be amended and approved by the Steering Committee at the annual business meeting.  Expenditures that exceed the approved budgeted amount by 10% must be approved by the Steering Committee.

Article IX  Amendments

Section 1.  The Standard Operating Procedures may be amended, altered or repealed only by the majority vote of the Steering Committee at any regular or special meeting of the Committee.

Section 2.  Ratification.  The proposed amendments shall undergo a 30-day written disclosure to entire membership via website.  Ratification may occur by a majority vote of the Steering Committee.