Frequently Asked Questions
Who runs HOP?
HOP is a co-op that functions on the principle that all attending members must pitch in and help HOP to run smoothly when the co-op is in session. We also have a Planning Team that volunteers their time to work on things such as registration, the website, teacher recruitment, scheduling, and finances. You can read more about our Planning Team members HERE.
What are the costs of attending the HOP Co-op?
All families that take classes at HOP must pay a $35/semester family fee. We do not make a profit from this money. The majority of that money goes to renting our wonderful facility and paying liability insurance costs, which we must pay for every person present on HOP days. Any remaining money goes to general business expenses, website costs, gym equipment and general supplies used at the co-op. Occasionally, HOP will use this money to sponsor events for our members.
After paying the $35 semester fee, families pay the cost of each class they choose to register for. You can register your children for as few or as many classes as you like. Teachers set their own class fees, so the classes vary in price. We even have cooperative classes, which are only $5, but require parents to take turns in teaching classes. (If you have an idea for a free cooperative class and are willing to coordinate the class, please click HERE for more information about how to do it.)
What kinds of classes do you offer?
HOP classes change each semester and cover a wide variety of topic areas. HOP Co-op is an interest-led and student-driven community. Before each semester, we ask our families to tell us about their interests and the classes they are interested in taking. Our Planning Team attempts to meet those needs by sourcing instructors from both the outside community and from parents (and students) who want to teach. Check HERE for our prior semester’s list of offered classes. If you have an idea for a class you’d like to see us have, contact the Planning Team to let us know.
What is a Cooperative class?
Cooperative classes are classes in which the parents (and sometimes the students) take turn teaching a class. The number of classes the parent would be responsible for teaching varies depending on how many students are in the class. In most cases, the parent would teach 1 class per child registered for the class. The class is assigned a class coordinator. The class coordinator submits a class idea and oversees the class registrations. The coordinator will be paid $5 per student and will be responsible for signing up the other parents and making sure everyone follows through. In some cases, the coordinator may need to step in to teach if another parent is absent. The absent parent will need to reimburse the coordinator for any expenses incurred. The coordinator is NOT required to be in each class.
Can I teach at HOP?
We are always open to new instructors and class ideas that meet the needs and interests of our families. Please see our TEACH WITH US page for more information.
What age groups are welcome to take classes at HOP?
Our classes are aimed at a wide range of ages, generally from age 2 to adult. Please read our class descriptions to see the age range of each class. If your child has special needs or you need to discuss age ranges, please contact the teacher directly. If your child has special needs, you may want to discuss the situation with the Planning Team so that we know how to best support you over the course of the semester.
Can I drop off my child for classes at HOP?
No. HOP is not a drop-off program. You MAY NOT leave the premises when your child is at HOP unless you sign out your child/ren to a responsible adult. If you need to leave while your child is in class, you may designate another adult to take responsibility for your child and then sign the sign-out sheet in our common room.
I have a toddler in the family. Help! How can I make this work?
We love children of all ages at HOP! We understand that it can be a challenge for families to answer the needs of multiple age groups. We try to make it as easy as possible for families with little ones. One wonderful aspect of our new location at the Dunedin Community Center is that there is a fully fenced playground located right outside the door closest to our Common Room. Families with small children may enjoy playing outside while older children are in classes. Additionally, we usually offer some classes that are specifically aimed at younger age groups. (If you have an idea for a class, please let us know!)
Is HOP faith-based or secular?
HOP is a secular co-op. That means that our co-op is not connected to any religion or faith-based system. We do not offer classes that include religious instruction, shared prayer, or faith-based content. (Classes may reference religion when it has to do with history or culture, from an educational standpoint, but not in a way that proselytizes.) That said, we welcome people of all faith backgrounds and aim to foster a community that supports tolerance and understanding for people with differing beliefs.
My child has an interest that is not covered by one of your classes. How can HOP help?
Before each semester, we ask our families to tell us about their interests and the classes they are interested in taking. The Planning Team attempts to meet those needs by sourcing instructors from both the outside community and from parents (and students) who want to teach. If you have an idea for a class you or your child would like to take, please contact one of our Planning Team members and let us know. We try our best to meet the needs and interests of our members when we can.
What happens when a teacher is sick and unable to teach a class on a HOP day?
We ask our teachers to do their best to teach every one of their 12 weeks of classes each semester. If illness or an emergency occurs that prevents a teacher from coming to class, it is usually announced on the current semester’s Facebook page as soon as we know about it. When possible, teachers will try to reschedule the missed class, or they can offer a refund for that class. Families should contact teachers directly to work out a solution when a teacher misses a class.
One of our family members is sick and I’m not sure if I should attend HOP. What should I do?
If you are sick, please stay home. That goes for both members and teachers. It is much better for the health of all if you keep the germs at home. Just please let us know as soon as you know you are not coming. You can post on our HOP FB page for currently enrolled families (Not the main page. The one for the semester that you are attending). By letting us know, your child’s teachers (or your students) will know not to expect you.
What is your policy on Lice?
If your family discovers you are affected by lice, please notify a HOP Planning Team member immediately so that we can let our families know to check their own children. In order to protect the child who has lice, please do not post directly to the group. Please be sure to follow a thorough treatment protocol and be sure to remove all lice/nits before attending classes again. Continue to check the heads of your entire family for 14 days after treatment to be sure that you have successfully removed the lice.
About other children: If you suspect another child may have lice because you have seen them, please let one of the Planning Team know. We will ask the parent to please check immediately. We are happy to talk with anyone that has concerns and encourage you to come to us if you do.
My child is nervous about attending a class without me accompanying him/her. What should I do?
Parents are welcome to sit in on their child’s classes as needed. While some students are comfortable on their own right away, we understand that some children may need their parent’s presence in the classroom. We encourage parents who are in the classroom to ask teachers how they might be of help and to lend a hand as needed. We also ask parents who are with younger siblings to be especially attentive so that siblings are not interrupting the class or distracting students and teachers. Please note: The Dunedin Fine Arts Center sometimes offers classes for us during HOP. We do not rent space nor do we have a contract with the Fine Arts Center. As such, you must adhere to thire policies while attending classes there. This may mean that they require children to be dropped off and a parent may not stay with them. Please read the class description carefully for all Dunedin Fine Art Center classes.
Why am I required to volunteer at HOP?
HOP is a true cooperative. No one gets paid to run HOP. Each and every parent is expected to lend a hand by signing up for a volunteer role in order for HOP to run smoothly and to create a thriving cooperative community. We need you – without the time and energy of actively participating parents, HOP would not be successful. The benefit of participating is that our children get to see how the helpfulness of all contributes to a community that we can all be proud of!
My child is shy/having trouble making friends. What should I do?
Talk to us. Bring it to our attention. The members of the Planning Team are here to help, and we can help by dialoguing with other students and teachers to help students feel more included. We can help facilitate introductions and suggest inclusive activities that can smooth the way for students that are struggling to make connections. But we may not notice what is going on if you don’t talk to us.
How do you handle bullying incidents at HOP?
HOP does not tolerate bullying or harassment of students, families, teachers, or staff (including the Planning Team). This includes conduct that is based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion or any other distinguishing characteristics. Our Policy on Bullying and Harassment covers conduct at co-op, online, and at other HOP-sponsored events. HOP’s Policy on Bullying and Harassment contains details on what constitutes bullying or harassment, what actions may be taken when it occurs and how to report incidents to the Planning Team. If you are aware of bullying or harassment taking place, please report it to an adult teacher and/or the Planning Team as soon as possible. To read our entire Policy on Bullying and Harassment, click HERE.
Can I drop a class or add a class after the semester has begun?
Please see our Drop/Add policy on this page http://hopfamilies.com/about/how-to-register/.
We do allow students to drop classes after attending the first class of the semester if the child realizes the class is not a good fit for them. The deadline to drop a class and receive a refund (minus materials fees) is 12:00pm on the Monday following the first day of classes (check the current semester’s schedule for the exact date). This allows the student to try one class to decide if it is a good fit. An exception to this policy would be, once the regular registration period has ended, families will not receive refunds for dropped classes if the drop puts the teacher below the minimum number of required students for the class. Please be aware of this exception before registering. If you decide to stop attending classes after the drop period has passed, your family will still owe the full fee for each registered class. If you are paying for your classes by splitting the payment, you will still owe the second payment even if you are no longer attending the class.
You may add a class at any time during the semester, with instructor approval, although add-ons will be at the teacher’s discretion and not all teachers pro-rate their classes.