(Updated August 2016)
For a description of the registration process, along with registration and financial policies, go here.
Before our semester begins, please review the following responsibilities together as a family.
- Children should never be left unattended. We will have volunteers to help guide children, but it is still the parent’s responsibility to watch their child(ren) and/or know where your children are.
- If you must leave the premises without your children, you must designate a friend to take responsibility for your child. There will be a sign-out sheet in the common room for this. Signing out to another responsible adult is mandatory for insurance purposes.
- Children may not go out to your car or the parking lot by themselves.
- People must wear shoes. (This is a rule that comes from Dunedin Community Center).
- Children not in classes may not disrupt classes in session. Please be sure to plan to keep kids occupied.
- ALL areas of the facility, including the outside property, must be respected at all times.
- Be respectful to Dunedin Community Center (DCC) employees and listen to their directions/instructions.
- Parents should direct their children away from non-HOP designated hallways in the Dunedin Community Center. DCC-run classes may be in session and should not be interrupted.
- ALL HOP members must be respected at all times. Bullying or fighting will not be tolerated. Adults are encouraged to gently help children resolve interpersonal issues.
- All families should read and adhere to our Policy on Bullying and Harassment and report all violations to The Planning Team.
- Children should be equally respected. No yelling, shaming, or punishing while at HOP.
- Please remember that our teachers take great pride in teaching our children and they ask that you try to attend all 12 classes unless there is illness in the family. Teachers need to start their classes on time, so please be respectful and make sure your child(ren) are in class on time.
- Please arrange to pick up your children who are age 6 and under after each class ends and help them to get to and from classes.
- Our teachers are not permitted to use any punitive systems in the classroom.
- Both teachers and students should be treated respectfully and kindly at all times.
- Parents, along with members of the Planning Team, are welcome to sit in on classes.
- Teachers must arrive before class begins and be ready to teach on time. Teachers are expected to teach each of the 12 weeks of classes unless there is an emergency or illness. If teachers need to miss a class due to illness or emergency, or if they will be delayed due to an unavoidable situation, they should notify us immediately by texting or calling a Planning Team member and/or posting on our current semester’s Facebook Page. Teachers should make arrangements with parents of students by offering to reschedule the missed class or giving parents a refund for that class. No substitute teachers are allowed unless approved by the Planning Team beforehand.
- Unplanned teacher absences: If a teacher has an unplanned absence, they may offer a make-up class or give a refund for that class. Make up classes may be scheduled before or after HOP or during lunch. If a teacher has given at least 2 make-up options and parents do not accept, the teacher does not need to give a refund. However, if there are additional absences, teachers must give refunds for classes, when parents have refused make-up sessions.
Policy on Bullying and Harassment
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 ’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.
Weather (and Other) Emergencies
In (very rare) extreme weather emergencies or other emergencies, the Planning Team may be forced to close HOP due to safety. These types of closures are things that are generally not under our control and happen only when the Planning Team feels strongly that it is the best decision. If this type of closure occurs, the Planning Team will do their best to reschedule the class/day missed, although sometimes this may not be possible due the building scheduling or other issues. In these types of rare cancellations, refunds may not be possible. The Planning Team seeks to avoid these types of closures if at all possible. To be kept abreast of weather related emergencies and other important announcements, please be sure you join our registered-only Facebook group at the beginning of each semester, and check the group before coming to HOP each week.
Illness in the Family
Please be aware that some of our members have health issues such as compromised immune systems. Please be respectful of this and please stay home if you or your child/children are sick. HOP will always inform its members if we suspect a serious illness has been brought to HOP.
HOP Lice Policy
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 talk to a HOP administrator and let us 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.
We know parents want to be involved with their children. It’s why you are working hard to homeschool them. For HOP to run smoothly, it is imperative that all families are involved in running HOP so that the responsibility is shared. We need each family to volunteer his or her time over the 12 week semester. Each registered family volunteers for one spot, which is a total of about 3 hours of volunteer time per semester. Once your family has determined your class schedule, please fill in the volunteer form for the times that work best for you. This is on a first come basis, so you may not get the time slot that is easiest for your family. If volunteering presents a challenge for your family, please contact us. (Families who already serve in one of the following roles are exempt from further volunteer requirements: teachers, cooperative class coordinators, volunteer coordinators, and the Planning Team).
There is a community room where everyone is welcome to hangout together during non-class hours and during lunch. We all love being with our kids, and they love being around each other without being divided into age groups. We want to provide an atmosphere where we can chat, make new friends, nurse our babies, play with our kids, and just relax and have fun. You are welcome to bring any board games or toys each week. Our community room has it’s own bathroom, a sink and a refrigerator.
Our HOP location, the Dunedin Community Center, has several open areas where children are free to play and socialize when they aren’t in class. One area is the fenced playground, which is adjacent to our community room (see above). There are also a few tables in the hall near the pool table where students can quietly talk/play games. Students can also play pool (billiards) by requesting and signing out pool cues from the front desk (allowed during class periods, but not during lunch). Our outdoor space includes a basketball court, open field, another playground area and a covered pavilion. Parents need to continuously supervise children in these locations.
There will be a lunch break from 12:05-12:40. You can pack your own lunch or there will be pizza, drinks and snacks available for purchase. There will be a pizza sign-up sheet at the information table every week. Please sign up for pizza by 11:00 a.m. We also allow families to sign up for pizza the evening before each HOP day by posting on a thread in our registered-only Facebook group. The profit from snacks and drinks sold in our community room, along with pizza sales, helps pay for our insurance and other costs to run HOP. The Dunedin Community Center also has an area where snacks can be purchased. You may use the lower shelf of the refrigerator in our community room to refrigerate your lunch if you wish.
Please look around after lunch and throughout the day to see if there is any trash outside where kids may have eaten or food on the floor around tables. We do need help with things like picking up trash, sweeping, and tidying the rooms.
Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group
Our community Facebook group is used for disseminating immediate information on events as well as varied homeschool discussions. You can find the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Homeschoolersofpinellas/ and request to join.
Once you join our main Facebook group and register your family for classes, you will be invited to join our registered-only Facebook Group for the current semester. It is a secret group used for families that have registered for classes during the current semester. This group allows us to communicate important information to registered families, such as teacher absences, class cancellations, last minute teacher requests, or issues with the weather. When you register, you will be emailed to join if you would like. While it is optional, we highly recommend joining and checking the group before HOP day each week. If you choose not to join the current semester’s Facebook Group, you will miss important and timely announcements.
All members agree to the use of photos, including ones of minor children, in marketing materials, on social media, and on the HOP website.