Handbook (Purpose, Mission)

Page Contents:
  1. Who We Are
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Statement of Faith
  4. Establishing (or Strengthening) Families
  5. How We Choose the Classes We Offer
  6. Guidelines for Teachers
  7. Rules and Regulations
  8. Code of Conduct for Students
  9. Email Policy
  10. Bringing Guests to Coop
  11. Enrollment
  12. Serving Each Other
  13. Handling Conflict
  14. Five Oaks Facility Usage Policy

Who We Are

The ACES in Homeschool ACES Coop stands for Academic and Christian Education for Students. Homeschool Aces 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.

Hence, Homeschool ACES Coop is more than just a cooperative that meets for classes. It is an establishing tool for families—encouraging husbands and wives in their God-given roles, parents, both singles and couples, in training their children, and children in honoring their parents.

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.

Establishing (or Strengthening) Families

The Bible clearly states that families, particularly fathers, have the responsibility of bringing up their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We who are able to homeschool believe that when we teach our own children at home, we are in a unique position to personally give our children an education that stresses the Faith and emphasizes a holistic Christian worldview that, we prayerfully hope, would prepare them to be Christian citizens and leaders who would then pass on the Faith to our grandchildren.

The homeschool moms, but not the dads, are able to meet regularly for prayer and encouragement during the coop. The Homeschool ACES Coop shall be a means for the networking, support, and mentoring of homeschool fathers, with the goal of further equipping of homeschool fathers so that they, in turn, can better lead and minister to their own families. Towards this end, the dads of families in the Homeschool ACES Coop shall commit to meeting, to the fullest extent that their schedules allow, at New Life Church 4 to 5 times a year, the dates will be published on the events calendar.

The dads will spend time in fellowship, encouragement, prayer, and studying God’s Word during these meetings. The moms will meet for parallel studies that support and complement what the husbands are learning. These will take place during the Moms Group times at coop. A wrap-up couples’ dinner will be held at the end of each school year as well

How We Choose the Classes We Offer

The coop board chooses which classes to offer according to the following guidelines:

  1. Our teachers should come from our coop families and adhere to the Guidelines for Teachers listed below. We will not be hiring teachers.
  2. Since we can have only four class periods, we need to offer classes that are better taught in a group setting than in our individual homes.

Guidelines for Teachers

We need teachers, and we need every member to contribute. Hence, all members, except first-year members, are required to teach or contribute in a significant way to the running of the coop.

We do recognize that each parent has abilities and skills to teach his or her own children and to contribute to the coop. However, as a ministry of New Life Church, we need to ensure that Biblical teaching and modeling is characteristic of our coop. So while the coop board entrusts the choice of curriculum to each coop teacher, the coop board reserves the right to review the topics covered and materials used in each class. All teachers are expected to model Christian conduct in the classroom. All teachers are under the supervision of the coop board.

Teachers at the Homeschool ACES coop will be parents, grandparents, or adult children of the coop families. Guest teachers can teach at the coop but only under the supervision of a regular coop teacher. Guest teachers need not be parents, grandparents, or adult children of coop families. Each guest teacher will teach only on occasion, will not teach a substantial part of a class, and will not be paid. The regular coop teacher is responsible for conducting due diligence on the background and qualifications of the guest teacher.

 

Rules and Regulations

  1.  Parents must read 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 coop and to contribute to the coop 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 coop 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 to 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 coop as described in Handling Conflict.
  8. Mothers are expected to attend Moms’ Group.
  9. Fathers are expected to participate in the dads’ meetings as described in Establishing Families. Families with fathers who never attend the dads’ meetings, never respond to reminders nor give reasons for their absence, will be denied enrollment the next year unless the father meets with two men from the coop board to explain their absence and to give reasonable assurance of future attendance
  10. We are guests of Five Oaks. All participants are expected to treat the property of Five Oaks with care and respect. All families will adhere to the Five Oaks Facility Usage Policy.
  11. Though we wish we could help with special requests for monitoring individual students in group settings at coop, even for educational purposes, we cannot have someone outside of coop families come to ACES to monitor one child out of respect and privacy of the other children and families in the class and coop.

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 Jennifer Sikorski by Sunday, 6:00 pm, for inclusion in the official weekly email. An announcement can be included in the official weekly ACES email if
  3. it pertains directly to ACES, or
  4. it pertains to homeschool matters that are consistent with ACES policies and vision, or
  5. it pertains to needs of ACES members.
  6. 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.

Bringing Guests to Coop

In general, only children who are registered in the coop are to attend our classes. However, on the rare occasion that a coop family is temporarily ministering to another family by babysitting their children, an exception can be made. If after exhausting all other options, including staying home from coop, the parent is left with no recourse but to bring them to coop, please contact Paula Gramer. After receiving approval, the parent needs to contact each teacher for permission for guests to attend coop 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.

Enrollment

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.

Serving Each Other

As we try to serve one another during times of need, we want to be careful that we do not take away from a member’s church the privilege and joy of meeting that family’s needs. Instead we want to extend help as needed (e.g., meals during illness, etc.) by coordinating help through your church family. When the need arises, an ACES board member will get in touch with the church contact you have provided so we can coordinate help through them.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Board and should be resolved by the Board.
  • 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.
  • If (3) does not work, then the leaders need to be informed and need to step in (Matthew 18:16-17).
  • The issue should be dealt with quickly. Let’s not let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26).
  • The goal of resolving conflict should be reconciliation rather than vindication or punishment.
  • Parents and teachers should regularly remind children of the Code of Conduct that they signed.

Five Oaks Facility Usage Policy

Clean-Up Procedures

  • Vacuum room, if necessary. (The vacuum is in the restroom opposite Room 208.)
  • If food is served, bag up garbage and put in large trash bins in the kitchen.
  • Wipe tables with disinfecting wipes. (A container is in each classroom.)
  • Return tables and chairs to original location or set-up.
  • In the gym, return equipment to storage rooms and check for items that may have been left behind by families.

Other Guidelines

  • The coop is allowed to use only the reserved rooms.
  • The coop needs to vacate the premises by 1:00 pm except during special events.
  • If the facility is left unclean and in disorder, the coop agrees to forfeit the security deposit of $100.
  • In the event of any damage to the facility or church property, the coop agrees to forfeit the security deposit and pay any additional costs incurred repairing the damage.
  • No food and drinks are allowed in the Worship Center.
  • No church property is to leave the facility.
  • No helium balloons are allowed.
  • Only light-colored drinks are allowed.
  • The playground equipment may be used only with adult supervision.
  • When hanging things on the wall, use only blue painter’s tape.
  • Street shoes are not allowed in the gym. Wear proper gym shoes so no black scuff marks are left on the floor.
  • Do not leave exterior doors wide open.