Drop of Grace Christian Co-op

Policy Handbook 2016-2017

John 14:6 “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me.

Table of Contents

What is Drop of Grace?............................................................................... 2

Statement of Faith…………………………………………………………….3-4

Admission Policies and Procedures ………………………………………....5

Registration/Tuition Policy……………………………………………………..6

Class information...........................................................................................7

Organizational Policies..................................................................................8

Security…………………………………………………………………….…....9

Dress Code ................................................................................................ 10

Behavioral Expectations...............................................................................11

Co-op Academic Expectations.....................................................................11

Co-op Discipline Procedures.......................................................................12

Unexcused Absences Policy……………………………………………...….12

Medical/Health Policy...................................................................................13

What is Drop of Grace?

Welcome to Drop of Grace Homeschooling Co-op!  A unique Christian cooperative learning organization providing field trips, classes and support to home-educating families.  Carlee wanted a cost-effective, SUPER organized and pre-planned school year readily available for the families in the greater Knoxville area.  Her plan to open it up to a community of both Christian and non-Christian families is just a first step towards connecting these children for a terrific chance to share our  love for the Lord.  Drop of Grace is unlike many local co-ops, through on-site classes and field trips students will enrich experiences, and gain professional guidance on various subjects in the areas of academics, arts, agriculture and life experiences.  She believes in using this co-op ONLY as a supplemental tool in student’s academics, leaving the core education in the hand of their parents.  Drop of Grace Homeschooling Co-op holds true to a Biblical-based view of God’s truth.  Truth is defined by one source as “sincerity in action, character and utterance”.  The words spoken by Jesus in John 14:6 “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me.” became the foundation for this adventure. So Jesus is the truth and the word, and as a Christian, Carlee believes that every word in the Bible is true; this is the foundation upon which she lives.

“Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes.  When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.” ~Francis Schaeffer

Statement of Faith 

The statement adopted by Drop of Grace Homeschool is limited primarily to Christian doctrine.  For our purposes, a Christian is one who has heard the word of truth, Gospel (Colossians 1:5), as summarized in the statement below, and who has responded to that message in genuine repentance and faith.  He confesses with his mouth and believes in his heart that Jesus is Lord, that He died for our sins, and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9,100).

  1. We believe the Bible is God revealing Himself to us – His own inspired, inerrant, and infallible testimony of Christ, a perfect treasure of divine instruction for life. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
  2. We believe there is one and only one living and true God – infinitely holy, eternal, all-powerful,and all-knowing, revealed perfectly as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and thus deserving our highest love, reverence, and obedience. (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30).
  3. We believe in the deity of Christ (John 10:33), His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35), His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26), His miracles (John 2:11), His vicarious and atoning death (1 Corinthians 15:3; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9), His resurrection (John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:4), His ascension to the right hand of God (Mark 16:19), His personal return in power and glory (Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11).
  4. We believe that man represents God’s crowning work of creation – made in His own image and given the freedom of choice, initially innocent of transgression yet falling as a race into a nature of sin from which freedom through forgiveness is only possible by god’s grace. (Genesis 1: 26; Romans 3:10-28)
  5. We believe man’s needed forgiveness is offered freely to all who personally receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection secured eternal redemption for each believer.  There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Christ.  Salvation is the ultimate purpose of God, secured by election not inconsistent with man’s free will and setting all true believers into a love relationship with Him in Christ by which they are held firmly for eternity in a state of grace (John 3:16-19, 5:24, : 28-29; Romans 3:23, 5:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5).
  6. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to convict, teach, guide, and empower the believer to perform good works and live a godly life (Romans 8:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18).
  7. We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning:  the uniting of one man and one women who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4).  We believe that God’s command is that there be no sexual intimacy outside of or apart from marriage between a man and a women.
  8. We believe that God wonderfully made foreordained and immutably created each person as either male or female in conformity with their biological sex.  These two distinct yet complementary genders together to reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27).

Our Statement of Faith is not exhaustive of all our beliefs.  The Bible, as the infallible Word of God, speaks with absolute authority of mankind and is the unchanging foundation for all belief and behavior.

Admission Policies and Procedures Policies

Drop of Grace Christian Co-op does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, nationality or ethnic origin in the administration of its admission policies or other co-op policies. At least one parent must be a professing Christian who is part of a worshipping body of believers. Drop of Grace Christian Co-op has the right to positively affect the co-op climate by refusing admission to, or removal from, the co-op any student or family whose influence would be detrimental to the goals or the reputation of the co-op.

Procedures:

1. Both parents read the Drop of Grace Christian Co-op Handbook.

2. Pray for the Lord’s guidance for your family’s educational decisions.

3. Request, Complete, and Return the Application for Admission via email correspondence to carleesparks2711@gmail.com.

4. The co-op leadership, Carlee Sparks, will contact the parents regarding the decision concerning acceptance.

5. Submit signed Enrollment Agreement upon Registration.

Registration/Tuition Policy

The family registration fee helps to cover the co-op’s operational costs. Class fees are paid directly to the Carlee Sparks and go toward the teacher’s services and expenses for materials. These fees will cover your child’s spot in that class for the entire school year. To alleviate financial burden, applicants registering on the registration date have the option to break payments for classes into two equal installments which will be paid on the following dates: 1st payment April 28th or May 2nd (at registration) 2nd payment: July 29th. Further registration details:  The registration fees are non-refundable and are due upon registration, and need to be paid in cash, PaYPal or card.  Class fees are paid directly to the Carlee Sparks via cash , PayPal or card.  There is a 2-week grace period after registration to drop a class for a full refund, this does not apply to the registration fee.  This grace period only applies for the registration date. Late registrations which occur after the registration date of April 28th or May 2nd, require payment in full with no grace period for class fee refunds.  All class fees are non-refundable after the two week grace period expires. Drop of Grace is a one-year program and commitment. If you decide to withdraw before that commitment is over, due to the reliance on parent helpers, there will be $20 drop fee to help cover your area of responsibility upon leaving. Mandatory Attendance (at least one parent) is required for Orientation on July 29th, 2016. If you are unable to attend due to extreme extenuating circumstances, please submit in writing to Carlee Sparks for approval for a separate consultation for orientation. This meeting is critical and failure to attend orientation or communicate with the board may result in dismissal from Drop of Grace.

Class Information 

Drop of Grace offers a variety of both academic and enrichment classes for grades pre-k through 6th grade with exceptions for other ages.  Families may choose to enroll their student/s in only one class or several.  We also offer special add-on classes to help support our homeschooling families who have at least one student enrolled in a minimum of 1 regular class. These classes include; baking classes, dance classes for girls, photography lessons, various private instrumental lessons, and voice lessons. These special add-on classes are only available to families who have students enrolled in regular classes.

Organizational Policy LEADERSHIP

The responsibilities required to keep this organization operating smoothly from week to week will be shared by both the member families and Carlee Sparks. This is a voluntary position that exists to:  administer teacher s earches;  process registration;  account for financial records;  organize class/work schedules;  facilitate communication among all co-op participants;  organize and direct additional co-op activities.

SERVICE RESPONSIBILITIES

 At this time, it is necessary for a PARENT from each family to help chaperone ONE co-op class per a month.  This is not a big commitment since most of us will be present for these co-ops.  I will post sign-up sheets at the registration.  After I have made the schedule I will post to website and FB page.  If a substitution is needed please contact Carlee Sparks AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Drop of Grace is a one-year program and commitment. If you decide to withdraw before that commitment is over, due to the reliance on parent helpers, there will be $20 drop fee to help cover your area of responsibility upon leaving.

Security

All students must be checked in via the sign-in folder by a parent or parent approved adult listed on the student information card.  All students must wear their lanyards or stickers identifying them as a student and being checked in for the day.  All teachers and helpers must wear their lanyard.  Identification will be required if an adult is not known to the desk monitor.  All guest visits must be prearranged with Carlee Sparks.  Visitors may check-in at the desk to obtain a visitor’s badge or lanyard.  All students must check-out upon leaving for the day via the teacher.  Current emergency contact information must be provided at all times.  Wear Drop of Grace shirts on all co-op days and fieldtrips. Important – please make sure all lunch areas are cleaned up after lunch.  

Dress Code

WHAT NOT TO WEAR  To promote the most respectful and least distractive learning environment, Drop of Grace follows a modest, gender-appropriate, conservative dress code. The following are not permitted:  Skirts or dresses shorter than the top of the knee (when standing)  Shorts shorter than mid thigh  Sleeveless tops (including tank tops of any kind)  Clothing that reveals the midriff (sitting or standing)  Sheer or skin-tight clothing  Low-cut tops  Clothing with inappropriate or offensive pictures, slogans or language  Ragged-looking clothes with holes or other obvious signs of distress  Visible undergarments  Excessive unnatural hair color  Pierced jewelry other than women’s/girl's’ earrings.  Anything that could be considered “distracting” should be avoided. Students or participating adults who disregard this dress code policy will be asked to either leave, wear the school t-shirt, or change clothes at the discretion of Carlee Sparks, Drop of Grace leadership. An incident report will be placed in the family file.

WHAT TO WEAR Modest Clothing. Always wear the Drop of Grace Shirt.

Behavioral Expectations

Co-op leadership must require exemplary conduct and accountability for behavior. All participants in Drop of Grace Christian Co-op will be expected to adhere to the following code of conduct:  Demonstrate the love of Christ and display thoughtfulness and respect toward other students, teachers, and parent volunteers at all times.  Exhibit respect and care concerning church property which has been graciously provided for us.  Neither food nor drinks will be allowed in classrooms apart from special teacher permission.  Any damages incurred by student must be paid for immediately.  All electronic devices are prohibited UNLESS needed for specific classroom activities as directed and approved by the teacher. Otherwise, these types of devices should be put away until a specific class/teacher requires.  Cell phone use: students may carry cell phones but cannot use them for calls or texting during class—they must be silenced. Violation of this rule may result in confiscation, requiring parent retrieval.  All participants including students, teachers, and parent helpers, are expected to be on time to class or scheduled duty.  Carlee Sparks distributes a calendar to all co-op members well in advance, letting you know which days will be school days and which days are co-op holidays. Since we meet only once week each month, any absenteeism will have a negative impact. We understand that there will be absences due to illness, etc. We also understand that we are homeschooling and need some flexibility. However, being in the co-op is a privilege and a commitment. Carlee Sparks asks that you plan and choose carefully any days you MUST be out. (see Unexcused Absences Policy) Leaders and teachers cannot be responsible for students on campus after the dismissal of classes.  

Co-op Academic Expectations

Drop of Grace Christian Co-op is purely tutorial and supplemental and in no way replaces the parents’ primary responsibility to educate their child(ren) at home. Parental supervision and participation is the key to each student’s success! In order to ensure the most positive learning experience at Drop of Grace, please assist your children in adhering to the following policies:  After class each class, please check to see what monthly assignments need to be completed at home.  Parents, please supervise the study and completion of coursework objectives and assignments throughout the month. Students are expected to complete assigned coursework and come prepared for each class.  It is extremely important for students to attend class and to arrive on time in order to receive the utmost benefit and to eliminate any disruption to the learning process.  Excessive incomplete work, absence, or tardiness may result in disciplinary action/dismissal. Probation. (The purpose of Academic Probation is to help the student refocus and to achieve success) ** Parents of students with learning disabilities or special needs must make teacher aware of need for a modified teaching plan. Parent must meet with teacher before the first class period. **

Co-op Discipline Procedures

Each teacher has the authority to enact his or her own specific class rules concerning behavior and/or homework policies. In general, however, if an adult corrects a student, and he or she responds in a respectful manner with a prompt return to proper conduct, then no further action will be necessary. If the student is disrespectful or does not correct the inappropriate behavior, or if the offense is more serious in nature (i.e. inappropriate language, fighting, destruction of property, inappropriate PDA-public displays of affection, etc.), then the incident will be documented by the supervising adult, a copy will be sent home with the student for parent signature, and the copy will be placed in the family file. The following additional options may be implemented:  Parent notification via email or phone call if parent is not on location. Student removal from classroom (will stay with adult monitor)  Leadership meeting with parents and student to discuss incident and a plan of action to correct unacceptable behavior. Teachers and/or board members reserve the right to permanently dismiss students from classes if the situation cannot be resolved. Extreme offenses may result in the immediate dismissal from co-op participation altogether. Finally, if a parent has a concern about how a teacher has handled a situation with their child, it is critical that the parent contact the teacher in person to clarify the context of the problem and work toward a resolution. Carlee Sparks is willing to help with mediation on unresolved issues, but it is important to follow appropriate protocol by contacting the teacher first.

Unexcused Absences Policy 

Students who have a total of 3 unexcused absences per semester may be dismissed from the class. In the event of an extreme circumstance, such as illness, please notify your teacher for an excused absence.

Medical/Health Policy 

Co-op leaders/teachers are not permitted to dispense any medication to students other than the leader’s or teacher’s own child. It is the parent’s responsibility to administer his or her child’s medicine, prescription or otherwise. Please refrain from bringing children to co-op who have had a fever or any other contagious symptoms within the last 24 hours. If we see that your child has any of these symptoms you may be asked to take your child home. If a child has significant allergies or other special medical conditions, please inform each of his or her teachers.