Shepherd Homeschool Co-Op

Shepherd of the Hills Christian Homeschool Co-op exists to encourage and support families who are educating their children at home, particularly those who are doing so following Christian principles and in accordance with our Shepherd of the Hills Articles of faith.

We are a volunteer-run ministry of Shepherd of the Hills Church striving to enhance the home education experience of families while representing the homeschooling community in a manner that honors Jesus Christ.

As a volunteer-run ministry, we need every family within our membership to be actively involved in at least one, but possibly two days a month through teaching and/or assisting in the classroom. As a cooperative effort, members also work together on a cleaning rotation throughout our sessions.

Families are encouraged to discuss ideas with Shepherd of the Hills Christian Homeschool Co-op leadership. Leaders will strive to remain open to suggestions, within reason, and supportive of the efforts of its members.

Schedule of Events

Annual Schedule:
The co-op will meet for two, 16-week sessions: one in the fall and one in the spring. Precise begin and end dates will be provided as these may change according to the needs of the co-op. Meetings will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Wednesdays. We offer class for grades K-5.

Learning Experience:
In addition to regular session classes, shared learning experiences serve to enhance the home education efforts of our members. These experiences are based on parent/student/course/family interests and can include: field trips, cultural events, special events, community outreach efforts and organized recreational activities.

Daily Schedule:

9:00 AM

Sign in / announcements / welcome

9:15-10:15

Instruction

10:15-11:00

Snack / recess

11:00-11:45

Lab / hands on learning activity

11:45-12:00

Closing / pack up / sign out

Drop-Off, Pick-Up, & Other Safety Procedures

Drop-Off:
Due to COVID-19 safety measures, all children will need their temperature checked prior to being admitted to class. Parents must remain with their child during this time. For the safety of others, children with fevers above 100.4 and/or who have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 will not be admitted for 14 days.

Pick-Up:
The first parent/guardian to arrive at the end of the day, will need to ring the doorbell outside the locked doors to be let in. The doors at the end of the hall and at the top of the stairs will be locked during Co-op hours for safety.

Parents/ guardians will need to sign their child out of class prior to said child’s release.

Due to the legal complexities of modern family dynamics, children will only be released to authorized parents/guardians and a photo ID may be required.

Other Safety:

Upon entering the classroom, children will be required to wash their hands with soap and water. This will be repeated prior to leaving at the end of the day.

While passive measures like handwashing, hand sanitizing, distancing of chairs and/or work stations, etc. may be implemented, social distancing may not be possible at all times.

Masks may be worn as parents and/or students decide, however, because exemptions to mask requirements have been provided by State and Federal authorities, and organizations are not mandated to challenge those claiming exemption, children will not be forced to wear masks against their and/or their parents’ wishes.

Parent and Student Expectations

Since God has commanded us to respect our parents, parent-teachers and leaders, students are expected to show consideration by listening and closely following any instruction or direction given by leadership, parent-teachers and assistants.

Since God has commanded us to love one another as He loves us, students are expected to treat all members of the co-op with kindness and respect, encouraging one another to do good deeds. We know we all have different rules and standards within our families and aim to work together cohesively during our sessions. If parents feel their student is not being treated kindly, we encourage you to first reach out directly to the other parent. If resolution is not made or if you feel this will affect the nature of the co-op’s purpose, please address it with a leader.

Since God has assigned us to be good stewards of all the blessings He provides, students are expected to show care and concern for their own and other’s belongings, all materials for use in the class, and the furniture and surroundings of the church in which we are guests.

If a student becomes disruptive to the class so as to hinder the parent-teacher’s ability to conduct the day’s activity, the parent-teacher may contact the parent to resolve the situation, up to, and including, asking the student be removed from the days’ activities.  Continuous disruption may result in being removed from future meetings and/or events.

Absence and Illnesses:
Please remember your participation is vital to SOTH Christian Homeschool Co-op. We do realize absences happen, so please advise the co-op coordinator of any planned absences.

In the event of a sudden absence because of an emergency or illness on a Wednesday morning, please contact the co-op coordinator directly, or call the church office at 610-754-6446.

We appreciate the dedication of all our parents, however if you or your child is sick with fever, cough, sneezing, or other contagious symptoms, please remain at home. Students must be symptom and fever free for 24-hours before returning.

Communication:
We use the following to communicate within our group: email, text messaging, and Facebook. Please check your email regularly for leadership communication throughout the session as well as updates from parent-teachers. We will maintain a private Facebook group for current members only. This will allow our members to freely share information and pictures with each other.

Cancellations:
In the event of inclement weather, Shepherd of the Hills Christian Homeschool Co-Op adheres to the decision of the Boyertown Area School district (www.boyertownasd.org) where any delay or closure of the school district on a Wednesday morning will cancel our co-op for that day. The church also has the right to cancel co-op based on weather concerns as well as church usage changes. If co-op is canceled for a week, our session will extend a week.

Snack Time:
Snack and bathroom breaks are planned for all ages within the second hour class. Food and beverages are to be provided by the parent and should be labeled with the student’s name. Please prepare a peanut-free snack that is easily consumed within 10 minutes and ensure that beverage containers are small and not made of glass. Because of severe allergies, please do NOT bring any products containing peanuts or peanut butter. If such a snack is inadvertently packed, an assistant can find a leader for an alternative snack.

Children With Allergies:
For the safety of your child, parents/guardians are required to provide a signed copy of the "Authorization for Emergency Care for Children with Severe Allergies" form, detailing any allergies, food or otherwise, from which their child suffers, at the time of enrollment or when the allergy is diagnosed. This form must be completely filled out by the child's physician and parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and must be updated every six months or more frequently as needed. In addition to this form, parents/guardians must provide a copy of any additional physician's orders and procedural guidelines relating to the prevention and treatment of the child's allergy. This form can be obtained by request from Director.

Parents/guardians must also execute a "Release and Waiver of liability for Administering Emergency Treatment to Children with Severe Allergies" form. This form releases Shepherd of the Hills Christian Preschool from liability for administering treatment to children with severe allergies and taking other necessary actions set forth in the "Authorization for Emergency Care for Children with Severe Allergies" form, provided Shepherd of the Hills Christian Preschool exercises reasonable care in taking such actions. Any medication required to treat an allergic reaction must be provided in accordance with the Medication Policy detailed herein.

Parent-Teaching/Assisting

Participation:
The number of co-op families participating each year will determine how many classes will need to be taught or assisted. At a minimum, each participating family is required to teach/lead two classes per month. Parents may also be asked to participate as a class assistant. This role is to fill in for unexpected absences or sudden changes. An assistant should be prepared to assist immediately in a class at the request from the leadership team.

Parents may stay on the church property and visit Chronicles Bookstore, the Parlor the library, or outside in their vehicle or the prayer garden during class time, but access to the co-op room will be limited to those directly involved with that day’s activities, unless of emergency.

Background Checks:
Pennsylvania requires every volunteer working which children to complete the state required volunteer checks. It is the responsibility of each member to provide evidence of the appropriate clearances along with their annual application.

Class Outline
A class outline from each parent-teacher needs to be submitted 1-2 weeks prior to the date of their scheduled class. If a parent-teacher is unable to attend their scheduled day it is their responsibility to communicate with the leadership team to find a replacement.

Supplies:
Parent-teachers may submit a list of supply needs 2 weeks before class, for items or supplies not available in the supply closet, up to $30 per class, to be purchased by the church. Unused supplies purchased by the church remain property of the church and will be available for future needs.  Parent-provided supplies may (but are not required to) be donated to the church for future class use.

Membership Information & Forms

Families wishing to participate in the Shepherd of the Hills Christian Homeschool Co-Op must read and agree to the Articles of Faith of Shepherd of the Hills Church, found herehttps://www.soth.church/about-us/what-we-believe

Please download and complete the following forms and submit to Shepherd of the Hills Church.

Co-Op Agreement & Registration Form

Severe Allergy Information Form

Release and Waiver of Liability for Administering Emergency Treatment

All adults involved with co-op activities will be required to submit proper background clearances using the link provided in the section below, provided and paid for by the church. We do not currently accept past clearances.

Background Screening Process

Per Federal and State laws, background checks are required for all volunteers who work with children and youth. This process is free of charge to volunteers. To start the background check process, simply click the following link to submit your information: https://ministryopportunities.org/shepherdofhills

If you are unsure if your clearances are active, please contact the church office.

*Shepherd of the Hills Church uses the third-party company Protect My Ministry for all screenings. Your information for background checks is secured using industry standard encryption. Shepherd of the Hills will not process any background check without your consent. You will be prompted to provide consent when submitting your information at the link above.

About Shepherd of the Hills

Shepherd of the Hills is a loving, friendly church located in Bechtelsville, PA (Pennsylvania), serving Berks, Montgomery and surrounding counties.

Contact Us

527 Hoffmansville Road
Bechtelsville, PA
19505

610-754-6446

info@soth.church

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