STUDENT & PARENT HANDBOOK
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: SHINE Christian Homeschool Co-op is organized to provide supplemental educational support and group activities for children. It is intended to complement the home educator’s curriculum with elective classes as well as core classes to enhance our children’s studies in a Christian environment. SHINE Christian Homeschool Co-op is not meant to be the sole source of your child’s education.
- Membership is open to all local home educators who are in agreement with, and have signed, the co-op handbook and guidelines.
- Membership is reserved for active or committed future home schooling families only.
- Each family’s oldest child must be old enough to be enrolled in the three year old class or above by each semester.
- The parent attending co-op each semester must pass a background check.
- One parent from each family must commit to teaching a class, assisting in a class, and/or helping with setup or clean-up and/or other duties as determined to serve the co-op. All parents should expect to work all four periods.
- A parent must be present at all times during co-op. In the event that you should appear to have an unassigned hour, you MUST remain at co-op in the designated parent break area with expectations of being used to fill in where needed when requested by the Director.
- If you absolutely cannot attend co-op one week, you must have prior permission from the Director for your children to attend with an adult who will be responsible for them while they are at co-op. This can be a grandparent or another co-op parent. If you leave to run an errand or get food, another adult must be left in charge of your children and the Director must be notified.
- In rare instances, a family may desire to participate in co-op but the parent(s) may be unable to attend co-op each week. Should that occur, the family may petition the Board for permission for their children to attend with another responsible party. The attending party will still be responsible for fulfilling the point requirements.
- A student that is at least 16 years of age may attend the co-op without a parent in attendance. The student will be expected to pay the family registration fee, any class fees, and earn 2 points based on our point system. Younger siblings of the student will not be allowed to attend unless the parent attends and earns the 4 points for the family.
- While it is not required to be a Christian to attend, by attending you acknowledge that Christian beliefs and values will be taught and upheld at SHINE. Teaching against Christian beliefs and doctrines is not permitted. Our classes are Bible-based, creation-based, and follow the basic principles of Christianity.
- You permit the use of any photographic images or video taken during co-op events or activities that feature your or your child(ren) to be used in co-op publications, print or advertising material, or websites.
- Since our co-op is a volunteer organization, it will only perform well when we all work together.
- Our point system is to encourage all members of co-op to actively participate. This keeps our costs and liability low. We require each family to earn at least four points each semester. A student that is at least 16 years of age and attending the co-op without a parent will need to earn two points each semester.
- Points will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis until the needs of the co-op are met. While we do our best to accommodate your requests, all parents must work as assigned, unless there is a physical problem that prevents you from performing your duties.
- Some parents may be assigned more duties that exceed their four points. Any extra jobs that need to be filled will be dispersed as equally as possible until the needs of co-op are met.
- If you are assigned to help in a class, you are expected to actively assist the teacher. Playing on your phone, class prep for your own class, or other activities that take your attention away from class are prohibited.
- Mothers with babies under one year of age may elect to serve in the nursery with their babies for the first two full semesters of the baby’s life.
4 Serve on the co-op board
2 Teach one co-op class
1 Co-teach one class
1 Assist in the nursery, pre-k, or kindergarten class for one period
1 Assist in a 1-12th grade class for one class period
1 Serve on the set up crew
1 Serve on the clean-up crew
1 Serve during lunch/recess time
- Planned absences- No more than two planned absences for a maximum of two class days per semester. It’s okay to travel, but if you plan to be out more than two class days per semester, this is not the semester to participate in co-op. Teachers may have no more than one planned absence per semester.
- Unplanned absences (sickness/family emergency)- Children or adults that have been sick (fever, diarrhea, vomiting, flu symptoms, etc.) within the 48-hour period prior to co-op will not be allowed to attend co-op that week.
Teachers: If you are unable to teach in your scheduled class:
- Notify your assistant (or if your assistant is not available, another replacement) to ensure that they will be able to teach the class and arrange for the transfer of any needed materials.
- Have a lesson prepared in advance that may be presented by the assistant.
- Notify the Director that you will not be in attendance that day and that your helper is ready to teach.
Helpers: If you are unable to help in your scheduled class:
- Contact the Director BEFORE co-op and let her know you won’t be there. Call or text especially if you don’t know of your absence before Thursday morning. We will take care of filling your positions.
- Notify the teachers in your class of your absence.
- The teacher is the authority in the class. Students are expected to treat their teachers with respect and courtesy and give them their obedience and attentiveness.
- No physical violence or bullying of any kind (hitting, slapping, biting, taunting, name calling, etc.) will be tolerated. If your child continues this behavior after being corrected by the teacher or by a board member, your entire family may not be permitted to return to co-op.
- No talking loudly or running inside the classrooms or hallways.
- Do not bring items to class that are not related to the class.
- Parents are responsible for their child(ren)’s behavior. If there are any damages to co-op or property caused by a child, the parents are financially responsible for replacing items.
- Co-op is a place for learning and developing Godly relationships. Students should set an example for their younger siblings and other students. No evidence of special or romantic relationships, no public displays of affection, and no inappropriate touching or conversation will be permitted.
- Cell phones are not to be used by students during co-op hours or by adults during class time. The exception to this is if an adult works an on-call job or there is a family emergency.
The following steps will be taken in dealing with a behavior issue:
- 1st time- the student will be spoken to by the teacher or helper.
- 2nd time- the student will be removed from class and will spend the remainder of the class period at the administrative desk. If need be, the parent will be brought to sit with the child. The teacher will contact the parent to discuss the child’s behavior. In the unlikely event that the behavior of the student continues to be a difficult issue, the board will take the steps outlined in the By-Laws.
- No corporal punishment will be administered by any adult that is not the child’s parent, legal guardian, or the approved responsible party that brings the child(ren) to co-op each week. Any adult found practicing corporal punishment on a child or physical discipline in any way will be immediately and permanently dismissed from Co-op.
Every adult and child that attends co-op must wear a co-op issued name tag on their front shirt collar/pocket or around their neck on a lanyard at all times. In the event that a name tag is lost, the family will be charged a $2 replacement fee. Nursery children may wear their name tag on their back shirt collar or diaper bag/backpack.
Our main methods of communication are through our private Facebook group, email, and Remind via text. You must be set up to receive at least one form of communication. Please check these regularly in order to stay informed. You will be responsible for the information given. Email addresses are to be used only for the dissemination of co-op/homeschooling information and events.
- Guests, family members, and children are welcome to visit co-op. Please request permission for guests visiting more than one time.
- Inform your guests that there may not be supplies for them in certain classes.
- Have your visitors sign in at the sign-in table and get a name tag. Please have them return the visitor name tag when they leave for the day.
- Siblings of co-op students are welcome to visit during public school holidays but they must remain with a parent or join an age-appropriate class.
Regarding other members/children:
- If anyone has a concern about the behavior of any adult and/or child involved in the co-op, or a co-op member is observed continually breaking the guidelines or by-laws, he or she should first approach that adult or parent (if a child) privately, in a Christ-like manner.
- If the matter cannot be resolved privately (the adult and/or child denies the behavior or the behavior continues), this concern can be brought to the attention of a board member. The board member will notify the Director of the issue, then the board member will approach the person privately or together with the person who voiced the original concern. However, the Board will not step in unless the situation has been attempted to be resolved privately between the two parties first.
- If the matter still cannot be resolved to the Board’s satisfaction, the Director and any designated board member, with the prior approval by majority vote of the Board, may ask the adult and/or child not to return to the program that semester, or if the behavior is severe, permanently.
- The Board’s decision may be reviewed at any time by the Board at a called meeting of the Board upon the request of:
- a. any Board member,
- b. the original complainant, or
- c. the removed person.
- This meeting shall be private, involving only the Board, the removed person, and the complainant or complainants involved in the original situation.
- We are happy to accept feedback, questions, and concerns regarding co-op business. The following are the official steps to submitting a concern or suggestion.
- Submissions must be emailed to the director and must come from the original party that has the concern or suggestion. No concerns made through a third party will be addressed.
- The Director will review concerns and questions and address them judiciously in a reasonable manner. If the situation warrants, the Director may consult with other Board members.
- There will be a nonrefundable family registration fee due online at the time of registration each semester. This fee will be used to pay for rental and facilities fees for the use of the building, supplies and equipment for co-op, board-approved co-op celebrations, parties, or activities, the co-op’s website, background checks, and anything else the board deems necessary or beneficial to co-op.
- Some classes may have fees. Those will be paid at our in-person orientation a week or two before co-op begins. You will pay the teacher directly for these classes. You may pay via check or cash.
- If your child drops or transfers from a class after you have paid the teacher for the semester, you will not be eligible for a refund. If your child is dropped from a class for failure to pay the class fee in full you will not be eligible for a refund of any monies paid for that class.
- Co-op parents are prohibited from profiting financially from any class they teach. All fees that are set for each class shall only be used for supplies. If money is left over at the end of the semester the funds may be used to purchase food/materials for a class party.
- Community teachers are permitted to set a reasonable class fee to cover their time and expertise not to exceed $50 profit per class, per student, per semester. If supplies are needed community teachers may add a supply fee of up to $10 to their $50 compensation; however, the total for the class may not exceed $60.
- Classes are formed by parents or other adults volunteering to teach a specific topic.
- Teachers must be prepared, punctual, and faithful to all classes that they commit to teach.
- All class fees are subject to approval by the Board. Because we are a co-op, no co-op member may profit from the class fees and/or co-op related fees (testing, certifications, extra-curricular activities, or functions). All non-consumable items purchased with class fees become the property of the co-op for future use.
- Sometimes the co-op does not need all the classes submitted, and we may determine that we will only use the classes needed for that semester. We also may combine classes or ask a teacher to teach a class during two periods depending on the needs that semester. Turning in two class forms doesn’t automatically mean a parent will earn all their points that way. We still have to ensure all the needs of the co-op are met.
- Any class funds left over at the end of each semester may be used on an end-of-semester class party or refreshments.
- Teachers may have no more than one planned absence per semester. Failure to repeatedly show up on time and prepared to teach may result in teaching privileges and/or co-op membership being revoked.
- As available, and when financially needed, members may petition for a scholarship, to be approved by the co-op board.
- The Director will announce before registration opens each semester when members may submit a request for a scholarship.
- Your oldest child must be at least 5-years-old by the start of co-op to qualify for a scholarship.
- These will be given on a first come, first served basis with the Board’s discretion and will only be applicable for the family registration fee.
- All class fees must be paid.
- Members are only eligible for one scholarship per year (once every two semesters).
CHANGE OF VENUE:
In deciding where co-op shall be held, the Board shall consider the needs and best interests of the co-op. A 2/3s majority vote by Board members is required to pass a change in venue. The Director will publicly announce any change of venue after any such decision has been made.
DENIAL/TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:
We expect everyone in the co-op— adults and children alike— to behave in ways that endeavor to enhance our children’s studies in a Christian environment and to promote general Christian fellowship, benevolence, and camaraderie. We expect the adults to be the examples in this area, treating students and other adults with respect, courtesy, and kindness, according to Biblical principles, putting aside gossip, slander, malicious behavior, or any other non-Biblical forms of interaction and communication directed at any co-op member or the Board. Non-biblical actions of members or non-compliance with the by-laws or guidelines can be grounds for termination of membership by a majority vote of the Board, effective immediately after the vote is made. If a member’s membership is terminated, the co-op member will be notified by the Director or another designated board member.
The Board shall be made up of members consisting of an President/Director, a Secretary/Treasurer, a Building Coordinator, a Special Events Coordinator, and grade-level coordinators as deemed necessary by the Board based on the current needs and enrollment of the co-op.
ALL BOARD MEMBERS SHALL:
- Have at least two (2) years of home education completed prior to being considered.
- Have been an active member of SHINE Co-op for at least one (1) full year (2 semesters).
- Be an active member, in good standing, of a Christ-centered, Bible-believing church.
- Agree to and sign SHINE’s Christian statement of faith.
- Conduct his or herself in a manner worthy of Christian leadership, with humility and dignity, in accordance with Biblical principles. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9)
- THE DIRECTOR will handle all administrative duties of the co-op. He/she will have general oversight of all aspects of the co-op. He/she will oversee teacher and class selection, schedule classes, place students in appropriate classes, make all parent work assignments, and be responsible for preparing co-op each semester. He/she will work closely with the other board members regarding their duties.
- THE SECRETARY/TREASURER will prepare the minutes of board meetings in writing to be delivered to all board members and prepare and submit a financial statement each year to be presented to the board. He/she will take care of the finances of the organization. He/she will keep account of all monies received, make deposits, pay all expenditures, and manage the bank account and petty cash. He/she will assist the Director in keeping all co-op documents up to date and assist the Director in preparing for each semester as well as manage t-shirt or special orders.
- THE GRADE-LEVEL COORDINATORS will be sounding boards for both parents and teachers. In the middle of the semester they will begin to actively seek teachers to fulfill classes for the upcoming semester. Status reports are to be given to the Director concerning class submissions. Each grade-level director will concentrate on his/her grade/age levels. They will oversee appropriate scope of learning for each class, help determine grade/age cut-offs, and assist teachers in ideas for curriculum and offer guidance as needed. They will seek ideas from the parents as to how their children can best be served. There will be up to three (3) coordinators as determined by the needs of the co-op enrollment: the Primary Coordinator will oversee the nursery, pre-k, and kindergarten classes, the Elementary coordinator will oversee classes for grades 1-5, and the Secondary coordinator will oversee classes for grades 6-12.
- THE BUILDING COORDINATOR will assign duties to those co-op members on the set up and clean-up crews each semester, oversee the set up and break down of each classroom, make sure the building is returned to its proper order, manage the volunteers for co-op set up and breakdown; and maintain a communicative relationship with a building liaison as needed and report information to the Director.
- THE SPECIAL EVENTS COORDINATOR will plan and manage all field trips, enrichment activities, and co-op events including family night, end of semester parties, moms' night out, and more.
TERMS OF OFFICE:
- Each board member shall serve until they wish to step down.
- A vacancy in any Board position will be filled by the Board for the unexpired portion of the semester.
- Any member of the Board who is unable or unwilling to fulfill his/her elected duties may resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the Director.
- Any board member may be removed by a simple majority vote of the Board, when, in its judgment, such board member has been found to be in confessional or ethical noncompliance with the statement of faith, statement of purpose, or bylaws of the organization.
- When a Board position is deemed necessary and vacant, the Board reserves the right to privately present the open position to a co-op member(s) first.
- If the Board chooses to pass on privately offering an open board position to a co-op member, or the request is denied, the Director will publicly announce the open position. Interested co-op members may submit a request to be considered for the position. All requests to be considered for open board positions must be emailed to ShineChristianCoop@gmail.com. The Director and other Board members will take a reasonable amount of time to consider the member’s qualifications. If the co-op member is deemed to fulfill all of the requirements of a Board member, their submission will be presented at a Board meeting.
- New board members will be voted into office by existing board members at a Board meeting. A unanimous decision is required to carry a vote for all new board members.
- These by-laws may be changed at any time by the board members. Co-op members will be notified within 30 days of any by-law changes.