TERMS OF SERVICE
Homeschool First Policy Manual
Homeschool First hopes to aid every member in becoming a whole person. To that end, we offer community events, so that we may build relationships; academics, so that we may build knowledge of ourselves and our world; and service opportunities, so that we may contribute to the people around us.
Who We Are and What We Do
Homeschool First of Lynchburg, VA
P.O. Box 11281, Lynchburg, VA 24506
Our foremost purpose is to serve each other in all things. Our other purposes include offering classes for preschool through high school, field trips, social events for our members, themed “sanity” meetings for moms, and get-togethers for dads. We would like to offer city-wide events such as science fairs, spelling bees, and geography bees.
- Submit a completed application
- Agree, as a family, to the Code of Conduct and sign the agreement
- Each family must pay the yearly dues
- Find a place to volunteer to serve the group
- Plan to attend the mandatory yearly membership meeting and vote
Benefits of Membership:
- Access to classes
- Access to field trips
- Access to support events
- Free or reduced rate for Homeschool First City-wide events.
The group will be led by a board consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and five team leaders (Classes, Field Trips, Events, Facility, and Webmaster). Each leader will be elected to office for two year terms on a staggering schedule.
- Will be specifically responsible for registration/approval of new members.
- Will be financial officers for the Homeschool First bank account.
- Will be the registered agent of the corporation.
- Will preside over Board and Member Meetings
- Will be responsible for signing checks.
- Will be responsible for the overseeing of day to day operation.
- Will assist with registration/approval of new members.
- Will be responsible for managing the private Member Facebook page and the public Facebook page.
- Will be responsible for signing checks.
- Will take minutes at every meeting and assist in communication when necessary.
- Minutes will be posted to Homeschool First Leadership Facebook page and Homeschool First website.
- Will report on previous meeting’s minutes.
- Will maintain the Homeschool First bank account,
- Will present the annual budget to members.
- Will manage the online accounting for families, recording cash and check payments, making sure that teachers are reporting those payments.
- Will be an official signer on the HSF Bank Account.
- Will not sign checks for payments.
- Will be responsible for maintaining the website.
- Will assist teams with their duties related to the website.
- Will coordinate communication between Board and membership via the website.
- Will assist in the overall advertisement of Homeschool First.
- Overall management of the group
- Running the annual meeting
- Handling large issues that affect the group as a whole
- Meetings will be held at least quarterly
There are also four teams to help organize various activities. Each of these teams will have a leader and several team members. Every team leader will deliver a report on that team’s work at the yearly official member meeting.
This team will organize classes for preschool through high school. The team will be responsible for maintaining the classes portion of the website, scheduling, and communication with the teachers.
This team is responsible for the maintaining of our current facility and for locating the next facility when the group has to create a new group. Maintaining the facility involves having a team of volunteers to help clean and organize the facility.
This team will conceive, organize and publicize all events for the group. Events include “sanity” meetings, social events like ice cream socials, simple dances, spelling bees, science fairs and whatever else the group decides to create.
This team will create field trips for the following categories: Historical, Natural, Service, Fun, and Occupational. These are not the only categories accepted. The team may create new categories.
This team will consist of a leader and one person from each of the other teams. Each person will be in charge of maintaining her team’s piece of the website. The leader will make sure that the website is kept up-to-date and add pages as necessary with the help of the webmaster.
Members are expected to attend the mandatory yearly membership meeting and vote.
Members that do not attend the Annual Member Meeting will not be permitted to renew their membership until membership opens to new members. The date for accepting new members will be set by the Homeschool First Board.
The Treasurer, President, and Vice President will be listed on the bank account. Only the President or Vice President can sign checks.
Code of Conduct
- Every family must volunteer in at least one of the following ways:
- Be on a team that coordinates one of the functions of the groups
- Help clean our facility on class days
- Help with one of the major events, like the science fair or spelling bee, etc.
- Help to monitor the play spaces and halls
- Volunteer in the nursery
- Every family must keep an eye on their children when we are gathered for classes, events, or field trips.
- Please be willing to help out our teachers by volunteering in classrooms, when necessary, or helping with their children, if asked.
- Serving each other is the heart of our group. Please look for ways to serve each other.
- Yearly membership dues will be due by June 1st of each year.
- There will be a $10 late fee after June 2nd of each year.
- Refund Policy: Full year membership dues may be refunded, minus a 10% administration fee, until the Monday of the first week of classes. After that date, no refund will be available. Half year membership dues are not refundable.
- Teachers will be paid in cash or through Paypal via the website. This situation is an implied contract between parents and teachers, and parents are responsible for paying their tuition in full each semester before registering for the next semester’s classes. Families will not be allowed to register for the next session unless all teachers are paid in full or otherwise compensated.
All fundraisers must be pre-approved by the board. Application for fundraising must include how the raised money will be spent, the type of fundraiser, and who will participate in the fundraiser. The board can approve fundraisers through email if requests are received and there is no imminent board meeting. Requests for fundraisers must be complete, and received by a board member at least 30 days in advance. Any board member can bring a fundraiser request to the board.
Homeschool First will not cover expenses beyond the budget of the team associated with the fundraising. This means if the fundraiser does not sell enough to cover expenses the deficit will come from that team's budget. The board can use their discretion when approving fundraisers for parties that do not have a budget (i.e. a class wishing to raise funds for specific cause).
Recurring fundraisers must include all requested dates.
Reports are required to account for all expenses and amount raised. A written report of the fundraiser must be provided when the money is turned in, and a report will be provided to the board at the next board meeting by the board member that is associated with the fundraiser.
Money needs to be turned over to one of the depositing authorities with the written report within a week of fundraiser end
A check will be issued at the time the money and report are turned in to any party that needs reimbursed. If the money raised is for a specific purchase or donation, a check will be issued for that purpose within 7 days of money being turned over to depositing authority.
- Our group must leave the facility that is hosting us cleaner than we found it and in good repair.
- Our children must stay on the facility property unless leaving with a parent or as part of an organized group or class.
- We will have periodic volunteer work days, depending on our host facility. Families are highly encouraged to attend and contribute.
Dress and Speech Code:
- Dress code – respectful, modest, no underwear showing, no vulgar images/phrases on clothes.
- Speech code – please speak respectfully to each other, no name calling, no profanity, cursing, or vulgar speech.
- Children must be respectful of all the adults in the group.
- No member may attend classes or events while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Children will not be permitted to bully, punch, kick or, in any way, intimidate another child.
- No running, yelling, or throwing, except where allowed, i.e. gymnasium area, playground
- Children must respect any adult who is in authority in the group, i.e a hall monitor, gym monitor, teachers.
- Students will remain on the facility premises, at all times, unless in the company of a parent/guardian or as part of an organized group or class.
- No Stealing. No vandalism. No wanton destruction of property.
- Parents are responsible for monitoring and disciplining their own children. If the parent is not available, a person in authority may have the child delivered to the parent.
For failure to comply with the Code of Conduct, refer to the conflict management section.
- Parents are required to give at least 1 hour of volunteer time on Fridays. A list of volunteer positions are available for sign up on the HSF website.
- Do not bring your child if running a fever (temp of 100.4 F or greater) or vomiting in the 24 hours before class.
- Inclement weather cancellations will be called based on common sense and our host facility. Cancellations for weather will be posted on the website and the facebook page by 7:30 am on the day of any scheduled event or classes.
- HSF will have scheduled make-up days added to each term.
- If a teacher misses a class, the make-up day may be used for that class, but only if the make-up day isn’t used for a weather related cancellation.
- Classes will dismiss 10 minutes before the start of the next class.
- Semesters will be 14 weeks.
- Children must remain in class until dismissed or removed by their parent. Parents of preschoolers and early elementary students must come to collect their children at the end of class.
- Classes must be dropped within twenty four hours after the completion of the second class meeting. This allows for new students to be added in a timely manner. Any classes dropped after 12 am on the first Friday of classes, or 12 am on the first Tuesday of two day per week high school classes, will be charged for the first month of tuition. The first tuition payment is not refundable. Failure to drop within the 24 hours of the second class period will cause the class fees to remain the responsibility of the parent for the rest of that semester.
- Any class registration after the start of the semester will require teacher approval.
- Families that register for two day a week high school classes will have an additional $20 registration fee per semester to cover the additional cost of insurance. This fee is payable to Homeschool First by check or cash and is not refundable.
- Class Submissions: New Class Submittals are due by February 1st for Fall Classes and October 1 for Spring semester of the following year. If interested, please submit your class via the HSF webpage. Classes will be considered based upon known interest, ages served, and time considerations. Anyone wanting to teach a class must submit her/his curriculum to the Classes Team to be reviewed for:
- A complete class description, including world view of the curriculum, and class policies.
- Scheduling considerations for age and space.
- Desires of members based on need/request.
- Submission of a Class Proposal or Teacher Application does not guarantee approval.
- A teachers member account (either family or teacher only account) must be in good standing for their class to be added to the schedule.
- Existing HSF teacher’s submissions will receive first consideration. Feel free to contact any member of the classes team if you want to discuss an idea!
- Members are always given priority when considering class submissions. However, class proposals will not be considered until the member's family has been with HSF for at least one semester.
- Non-family member teaching applicants will be subject to an interview process and background check before consideration.
- Classes submitted after the deadline for each semester will not be considered until the following semesters.
- Class policies are set by teachers and may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Discipline (ie. time-out, parent meeting, etc.)
- World view
- In-class prayer
- Cancellation/Substitute policy: If you need to cancel a class due to illness or unplanned emergency, please follow the procedure discussed during the Anual HSF Teachers Meeting.
- Teacher Age Policy: Any Teachers under the age of 21 must have a parent volunteer present at all times in Class. This policy includes substitute teachers. This volunteer can be a student’s parent or any other parent member of Homeschool First.
- Teacher Responsibility:
- Teachers are not to lock or block classroom doors at any time.
- We, as teachers, have a responsibility to leave our rooms better than we found them each day that we use them! Part of that goal is making sure that your class is respectful of the turnover time between classes. That time is for both the departing and incoming teacher. It is not extra cleaning time! It is the teacher’s job to make sure that they allow for enough cleaning time at the end of each of their sessions. If your class produces a good amount of garbage then please bring the bag up to be disposed of.
- Art Teachers: Please be conscientious of the floors in the art room. You are welcome to store whatever cleaning supplies you are comfortable working with in the Art Room for you or your students to use. The facility team is not responsible for cleaning these spaces. They take care of the common areas.
- Late Policy:
- It is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure that classes begin on time. Teachers should plan to arrive on site 10-15 minutes before classes begin. If they have their own children to get situated before class, then that time might be greater.
- The ten minutes between classes is there to allow for set-up. Set-up should not extend well into the class period. Please prepare as much as possible before class time.
- If a teacher is going to be tardy for class, then they need to notify their class team member AS SOON AS THEY ARE AWARE of the situation. We will assign a responsible adult to keep the students safe and in the classroom until that teacher arrives.
- Two tardies in one semester will result in that teacher’s classes not being included in the following semester schedule. They may be reconsidered again in the future.
- Teachers are independent business owners and are not employed by Homeschool First. Teachers own their own classes and have the right to make their own policies for their class. Teachers have the right to accept or deny any student enrolled in their class. Teachers are bound to follow all applicable Homeschool First By-Laws, Policies and Code of Conduct.
Homeschool First recognizes that whenever people are working and learning in groups, conflicts will arise. These conflicts may occur between instructors, staff, facility representatives, and/or members. Should a conflict arise we ask that the following procedure be followed:
- Wait 24 hours and see how you feel before acting.
- Speak to the person directly in a private setting. For an issue with content or behavior management within a class, please speak with the teacher first.
- If you cannot resolve the issue directly, speak to one of the board members (names can be found on the website) who will facilitate a meeting to resolve the issue following listed Disciplinary Guidelines (list will be provided at your request). The board will appoint three available board members to create a conflict resolution team for that specific issue. Please contact us in person, during co-op, or by email (found on the website under “Contact Us”).
- If a resolution still cannot be achieved, then the aggrieved parties may seek an outside mediator, which will be at the parties’ own expense.
- Should a serious offense occur, or an offense that disrupts the regular routine of Homeschool First the board may remove a member family. If any disciplinary action is being considered the family will be notified via their email address on record and invited to participate in a hearing on the matter before the board. The hearing will be held within 14 days of notification via email on the matter, and will require at least 2/3 of the board to be present. If at least 5 members of the Homeschool First board determine the family in question may pose a risk in participating in activities they will not be allowed to return to Homeschool First classes or events until after the status of their membership has been determined by the board. At such time, the board will decide if the family is allowed to remain a member or if their membership will be revoked. A vote of at least ¾ of the board present at the meeting will be required to revoke membership. The family in question may choose not to be present for the meeting, however the family will be required to abide by any decision made by the board.