Handbook (Purpose, Mission)

Page Contents:
  1. Who We Are
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Statement of Faith
  4. Guidelines for Teachers
  5. Rules and Regulations
  6. Code of Conduct for Students
  7. Email Policy
  8. Bringing Guests to Coop
  9. Enrollment
  10. Handling Conflict

Who We Are

The ACES Homeschool Coop stands for Academic and Christian Education for Students. ACES Homeschool Coop falls under the umbrella of the New Life Homeschool Family Ministry of New Life Church. The mission of the New Life Homeschool Family Ministry is to mentor and support families who homeschool their children in Woodbury and in the surrounding community, so that the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified in our families, in the church, and in our community.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the coop is threefold: (1) to supplement subjects taught at home, (2) to provide encouragement and fellowship for homeschooling families within New Life Church and beyond our church family, and (3) to provide ways in which we can reach out to our community.

Statement of Faith

  1. THE WORD OF GOD: We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and having supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
  2. THE TRINITY: We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
  3. GOD THE FATHER: We believe in God the Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayers and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
  4. JESUS CHRIST: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary, atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth.
  5. THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
  6. REGENERATION: We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and believe Him to be their Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
  7. THE LAST THINGS: We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the eternal peace and joy of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.
  8. THE CHURCH: We believe in the universal church: a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church: consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
  9. THE ORDINANCES: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Guiding Principles: 

  1. The Gift of God’s Authority in Our Lives: God is eternal. He has always been and will always be. (John 1:1-2) All of creation, including human beings, has been lovingly designed and created by God. (John 1:3) It is God who creates, and sustains life. (Acts 1:28)
  2. The Gift of God’s Word: The Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.We believe that “all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament, is the infallible Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and without error in the original manuscripts (2 Peter 1:21). Because the Bible is true and the standard of truth, it is good and the standard of moral goodness (Psalm 19:7-11)
  3. The Gift of Marriage: We believe that marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19: 4-5). We believe that God created man and woman equally in His image, importance, and value, and in God’s love and wisdom, they were given unique and complementary roles in marriage as a picture of Christ and the Church (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:22-31). The only appropriate place for sexual activity is within the safe and loving commitment of the marriage relationship, as it was designed by God to be a gift to a husband and wife as the most intimate means of physical affection and the means of bringing children into the family. Any sexual behavior that deviates from the Biblical standard is harmful to people, sinful and offensive to God. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, 13, 18-20) (Romans 1:26-27) (Matthew 15:19)
  4. The Gift Of Family: We believe that children are a gift from the Lord! Each child is a blessing and a joy and it is the responsibility of the parents to raise the child to know the Lord. (Psalm 127:3-5) We believe that God has given the primary responsibility of discipling and teaching children to parents (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6: 1-4; Proverbs 22:6; Psalm 78:1-7). As a co-op we exist to supplement the teaching parents are doing with classes that families find beneficial and enjoyable to have in community.
  5. The Gift of Being Human: Every human being, at every stage of life was created in the image of God, this includes the unborn baby (Genesis 1:26). God has created two equally beautiful and valuable genders, male and female. Biological gender is a part of the God-given identity of each person and should be respected (Genesis 1:27).

Guidelines for Teachers

We do not hire teachers at ACES. Instead we work together as volunteers in community to share our gifts with one another. Hence, all members, except first-year members, are required to teach or contribute in a significant way to the running of the co-op.

As a ministry of New Life Church, we need to ensure that Biblical teaching and modeling is characteristic of our co-op. All teachers are expected to model Christian conduct in the classroom. All teachers are under the supervision of the co-op leadership team. Teachers will need to request approval of subject materials and curriculum prior to purchasing. Without exception, science curriculum must always have a Biblical foundation. The leadership team has the right to reject any material that does not align with the mission and values of New Life ACES.

Guest teachers or speakers can provide a unique learning opportunity for students. If a teacher would like to invite a guest, the guest must be under the supervision of the regular co-op teacher.  Each guest teacher will teach only on occasion, will not teach a substantial part of a class, and will not be paid. The regular co-op teacher is responsible for conducting due diligence on the background and qualifications of the guest teacher.

Please note: fathers are not considered guests. Fathers are welcome to visit the co-op and invited to teach when possible. In previous years, fathers have taught classes in: Woodworking, Constitution and Financial Peace.


Rules and Regulations

  1.  Parents must read and agree to the Handbook and sign Commitment and Waiver Forms.
  2. A parent from each participating family has to be present while a child from the family is attending the co-op and to contribute to the co-op as a teacher or helper.
  3. Families should arrive promptly so that classes can start on time.
  4. Families are expected to make every effort to attend the co-op every week and, in the event that they can’t, to give advance notice. It will be the parent’s responsibility to make arrangements for a substitute teacher or helper.
  5. Parents must go over the Code of Conduct section below with their children and all students are expected to adhere to it.
  6. Teachers must meet the requirements outlined in Guidelines for Teachers section above.
  7. Parents and Teachers should handle conflict within the co-op as described in Handling Conflict.
  8. We are guests of Embrace Church. All participants are expected to treat the property of Embrace Church with care and respect.
  9. Though we wish we could help with special requests for monitoring individual students in group settings at co-op, even for educational purposes, we cannot have someone outside of co-op families come to ACES to monitor one child out of respect and privacy of the other children and families in the class and co-op.
  10. Both adults and students are expected to dress modestly and decently. Clothing should cover the body from shoulder to at least mid-thigh. Shirts should not contain profanity or send messages contrary to the beliefs of the co-op. Shoes should be comfortable and appropriate for gym class.

Code of Conduct for Students

  1.  Abide by Christian standards in your actions and in your speech, showing kindness, responsibility, and honesty.
  2. Show respect toward adults, fellow students, and property.
  3. Refrain from disruptive and distracting behavior during class. This includes the use of cell phones, electronic devices, toys or other personal items that are not needed for class. Personal items may be taken by the teacher or parent helper if not put away when asked and will be returned to a parent at the end of the coop day.
  4. Cooperate with teachers and helpers during class and clean-up.
  5. Stay only in designated rooms.

Email Policy 

  1. Members are expected to not use the ACES email list to send spam, junk, or unnecessary email.
  2. To avoid cluttering up members’ inbox with email, members are encouraged to send their announcements to Stephanie Kieszek by Sunday evening, for inclusion in the Monday weekly email. An announcement can be included in the official weekly ACES email if
    1. it pertains directly to ACES, or
    2. it pertains to homeschool matters that are consistent with ACES policies and vision, or
    3. it pertains to needs of ACES members.
  3. Announcements that don’t satisfy any of the three conditions above should be sent as a personal message. However, please respect our group’s privacy by not including our email group in your bulk email.
  4. Teachers may email their class individually.

Bringing Guests to Co-op

In general, only children who are registered in the co-op are to attend our classes. However, on the rare occasion that a co-op family is temporarily ministering to another family by babysitting their children, an exception can be made. Please contact a member of the leadership team when this happens. After receiving approval, the parent needs to contact each teacher for permission for guests to attend co-op classes. Each teacher is free to tell you that he or she cannot allow your guest in class, in which case your guest is to stay in Study Hall.


As much as we would like to accommodate all interested families, we will close enrollment when the classes have reached a maximum size.  Priority for enrollment is as follows: (1) returning coop families (2) New Life Church families (3) all other families, on a first-come-first-served basis. After enrollment closes, a family may ask to be put on a waiting list.

Handling Conflict

Conflict is inevitable and should be expected. These guidelines for resolving conflict are based on Biblical principles. All member families must agree to them.

  1. We should teach our children both compassion and forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-22). We need to view our cooperative as a place where our children can learn to resolve minor conflicts largely by themselves, and where they can learn to practice both compassion and forgiveness.
  2. In cases where a conflict pertains to the cooperative as a whole (i.e., if the root of the conflict is a pattern of behavior that is characteristic of the cooperative as a whole), the issue should be brought up to the leadership team and should be resolved by them.
  3. In cases that are isolated, that do not characterize the cooperative as a whole, and that cannot be resolved by the children themselves, the conflict should be resolved primarily by the parents of the children involved (Matthew 18:15). Conflict should be resolved in a non-confrontational way and in private. Furthermore, the analysis of the issue should be based on first-hand information rather than on third-party accounts.
  4. If (3) does not work, then the leaders need to be informed and need to step in (Matthew 18:16-17).
  5. The issue should be dealt with quickly. Let’s not let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26).
  6. The goal of resolving conflict should be reconciliation rather than vindication or punishment.
  7. Parents and teachers should regularly remind children of the Code of Conduct that they signed.

*Additional note: The information in this Handbook is not exhaustive and is not a comprehensive list of all the policies, procedures, and practices that apply to members of New Life ACES Co-op. It does not cover every situation that may arise from day to day. For this reason, New Life ACES Co-op has the right to change, alter, rescind, delete, discontinue, supplement, and/or deviate from the Handbook provisions and take whatever actions, at any time, with or without notice and in its sole discretion that the Leadership Team of New Life ACES deems appropriate.