Family Handbook

Payment of registration fees means that you acknowledge and agree to the policies specified here. Please read this page carefully and contact the Board if you have questions or concerns!

Registration fees are non-refundable.

 

Academic Year

The academic year at HSOBX comprises two 15-week semesters. Each semester has 14 weeks of classes and a one-week break. The fall semester begins the first Tuesday after Labor Day, taking a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. The spring semester begins the first Tuesday in February, taking off the 9th week for Spring Break.​ All important dates can be found on the calendar page on this website.

Co-op Hours

HSOBX meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-2:30. We have four class hours per day: two class hours before lunch, a lunch hour from 11:30-12:30, and two class hours after lunch. Class ‘hours’ are 55 minutes long, ending at 25 minutes after the hour. Students are asked to help their instructors with setup at the beginning of the day, cleanup at the end of every class, and break down of tables and stacking of chairs at the end of the day.

Age Groups

HSOBX offers classes for six age groups: 4-6 years old, 6-8 years old, 8-10 years old, 10-12 years old, 12-14 years old, and high school aged (14+).

Class Sizes

Small classes are important to ensure the quality of our offerings. Classes for ages 4-8 have a maximum enrollment of 8 students, with the exception of Play & Learn, which has a teacher and an assistant, and a maximum enrollment of 12. Classes for ages 8-10, 10-12, and 12-14 have a maximum enrollment of 10 students, and high school classes have a maximum enrollment of 12 students. Some group performance-type classes like theater and choir have multiple teachers and maximum enrollments of 20.

Enrollment in Classes

Please see the Registration Page for detailed information on how to enroll in classes at HSOBX. Registration announcements for each semester will be posted on the Facebook group and Facebook page, and important dates are also listed on the website Calendar. Family registration and class selection requests are submitted via online forms on this website. Please carefully read class descriptions, teacher biographies, and the class schedule before making your class requests.

Class enrollments are (with provisos listed below) done on a first-come, first-served basis, and class rosters are compiled by the HSOBX registrar. Class selection requests should be directed to the registrar, not the instructor, and only students who are on a roster are permitted in the classroom.  

Eligibility for early or priority enrollment is defined as follows:

  • Instructors may pre-enroll their own children in their own classes.
  • Board members may pre-enroll their children.
  • Teachers may pre-enroll their children for the hours they are teaching.
  • Continuing students have priority in multi-semester classes in which they were enrolled the previous semester.
  • Continuing families have a one-week window to enroll in classes before returning families may enroll.
  • Returning families, (families that have previously attended HSOBX but are not currently enrolled in classes), have a one-week window to enroll in classes before new families may enroll.
  • Students who are younger than the minimum age listed for a class may not enroll unless the student has the written permission of both the instructor and a Board member, and that enrollment is subject to a 24-hour hold at the beginning of the enrollment period.
  • Students who are older than the maximum age listed for a class may enroll, but are subject to a 24-hour hold at the beginning of the enrollment period.  
  • It is the responsibility of the parent to forward the instructor’s written approval to the registrar.

Notification of Class Schedules and Add/Drop

Class rosters will be published on the Facebook group 1-2 weeks after the enrollment window opens. At any time during the registration period, families may request additional classes via an online Add/Drop form once the rosters have been published. In the case that a class is fully enrolled and has a ‘waitlist’ of students who requested that class in excess of the size limit, those students may choose to remain on that waitlist until the end of the drop period, at which point waitlists expire, or add another open class for that hour. Students may not both be on the roster for a class AND on a waitlist for any one class hour. Students may drop classes without penalty via the Add/Drop form throughout the registration period; after the second class meeting families are responsible for tuition payment in full for the semester. Should families exercise the drop option prior to the deadline, instructors will issue a prorated refund of tuition. Instructors prepare and buy supplies well in advance of the beginning of the semester; we ask that families view placement on a class roster as a commitment to the instructor. After the second week, students need teacher and board permission to add a class.  No students may add any class after the eighth week.

Registration Fees

Families need to register with HSOBX every semester.  
Registration fees are:

  • $50 registration first or single child, $5 for each additional child enrolled in classes.
  • $25 for child(ren) enrolled in a second day of classes.

Students cannot be placed in classes until the registration fee is paid. There is no registration fee for a girl coming only for Girl Scouts. Registration fees can be paid via PayPal(payhsobx@hsobx.org) through the Registration form. If you need to pay by check, please contact our treasurer to make arrangements. Registration fees cover supplies (such as garbage bags, light bulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, and soap), facility use, our damage fund, liability insurance, website and domain registration, and assorted other operational expenses.

Tuition Payments

Tuitions are due on the first day of classes. Tuitions may be paid as a one time payment or in 3 (monthly) installments. Subsequent installment payments, if applicable, are due on the first Tuesday of the following two months of the semester. By registering for a class, you are agreeing to pay for all the classes of the semester, not just the ones you are able to attend, even if your student stops attending a class altogether. Payments are made directly from families to instructors; checks should be left in the instructor’s folder, and cash payments should be made directly in person and recorded in the receipt book we keep in the file box on the front table. Some instructors also allow PayPal payments. A family may not register for classes if their tuitions from the previous semester have not been paid, and may lose the option for installment payments if their payments were significantly late the previous semester.

Returned Checks

Should one of your checks be returned for insufficient funds, you are responsible for any bank fees in addition to the amount of the check. After two checks have been returned for insufficient funds, HSOBX and/or HSOBX instructors may revoke check writing privileges and require cash or PayPal payments.

Board Responsibilities and Authority

The Board of Directors of HSOBX consists of five homeschooling parents and/or instructors at HSOBX who share a commitment to providing the best educational opportunities we can for the families in this community. We also have a responsibility to the Coastal Unitarian Universialists Church to serve as caretakers of the property during co-op hours, and to ‘give back’ to our generous hosts as much as we can. On occasion, a question will arise not covered by the policies outlined in the Family Handbook or the Teacher Handbook. In this case, the Board reserves the right to improvise policy, and asks that all involved parties abide by that decision.

Supervision of Students

Except in the case of teens 16 or older, HSOBX is not a “drop-off” program.

A parent, guardian, or authorized “surrogate” must be on-site with the student participant at all times. If the responsible parent is leaving church grounds for any amount of time, s/he should designate a responsible adult in his/her absence and fill out the necessary information on the “Parent Sign-Out” sheet in the binder at the front of the social hall. (If the responsible adult is bringing your child(ren) to HSOBX, s/he may fill out the sheet instead.) In the case that one of your children or a teacher needs you, we need to be able to quickly determine that you are not on site, find the person looking after your children in your absence, and contact you if need be via cellphone. If you do trade parenting duties with another parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that the surrogate has the necessary information and authority to make decisions in case of an emergency. Letters authorizing medical decisions can be left in the binder.

When playing outside, all children under the age of 11 must have a parent or responsible adult outside with them. Children under the age of 6 should be in view of that responsible adult at all times. Teens may venture off church property during class and lunch hours only with a parent’s permission. “Off church property” means at a sufficient distance that younger children are not tempted to follow.

Teen Drop-Off

After attending HSOBX for at least one semester and after approval by the Board, students aged 16 and older may drive or be dropped off for Tuesday and Thursday classes.  

The HSOBX Code of Conduct can be viewed here. A copy of this document must be signed by the parent, the student, and a Board member to be eligible for drop-off. Approved students must sign in and out using the “Teen Drop Off” sheets in the binder at the front of the Social Hall.  

Public Displays of Affection

Teens who couple up must honor our community’s learning environment and the proximity of small children. While hand-holding is acceptable outside of class periods, kissing, sexual behavior, and intimate touching, are out of place anywhere on the grounds. Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect for others at all times. At the first violation of this policy, students and parents will receive a warning. At the second violation, students will receive a one week suspension. At a third violation, students will be suspended for the remainder of the semester.

Use of the Nursery

The nursery is managed by a parent volunteer. This nursery supervisor is responsible for opening the nursery, toy maintenance, and locking up, in addition to caring for teachers’ children while they are teaching. You may not drop off your child in the nursery. If your child makes use of the nursery, you need to be present to provide direct supervision to your child or make an arrangement with another parent who will provide direct supervision. Please clean up after your own child. This includes toys, but also lunch, snack, and craft cleanup. In the unlikely event that your child breaks a toy, please notify the nursery manage (to be determined) immediately and make arrangements to replace it. The nursery is to be used by children age 5 and under. If an older child is in the nursery, he or she may be asked to leave at the nursery supervisor’s discretion. Children may not come in and out of the nursery alone; they need to enter and leave with a pa

Facility Usage

Eastminster Presbyterian Church is collaborating with HSOBX to provide space for our program at significantly below the usual facility rental rate. While using the space, please keep in mind Eastminster’s generous subsidy of our program. We do not want a negative impact to Eastminster due to our presence here. While present at HSOBX, we ask all families to respect these guidelines:

  • All parents are responsible for cleaning up after their own children.
  • All adults are asked to volunteer for at least one job on the volunteer sheet.
  • The stove is not available for our use, but the microwave may be used for heating drinks and food.
  • There are many in our community with food allergies. Please clean up all food after lunch, and wash your child’s hands, particularly if s/he will be in class with a friend with allergies.
  • The Play & Learn class and the Nursery are to be nut-free at all times.
  • Food and drink may not be brought into the Sanctuary.
  • The Sanctuary is not to be used
  • Students may not climb the trees or run behind the bushes, should respect the church’s landscaping and plants, and may not run through the parking lot .
  • The entryways, the hallways, and the staircases must remain clear.
  • All students are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct while at HSOBX.

Please direct any problems/requests to a Board member, and not to the church staff.

Communication

HSoBX has several systems of communication: this website, for detailed information on registration, teachers, and classes; our public Facebook page for at-a-glance information and announcements; our private Facebook group for currently enrolled students and families to exchange information, check for homework posts from teachers, and share photos.

The Facebook group is for currently enrolled students and families only. At the start of each new semester, families who are not continuing will be removed from the group, and new families will be added. If your Facebook profile name is not the same as your name appears on our registration form, you will need to contact our communications director (communications@hsobx.org) for assistance in being added to the group.

Teachers may use the Facebook group to connect with students about assignments and class updates. Any parent who chooses not to be on Facebook will be missing a significant amount of information, and is responsible for communicating with instructors.

School closings

In the case of inclement weather or regional emergencies, HSOBX will post closings on the Facebook page and Facebook group.

Conflict resolution

HSOBX recognizes that whenever people are working and learning in groups, conflicts will arise. Should a conflict arise involving your family we ask that the following procedure be followed:

  1. Wait 24 hours.
  2. Speak to the other person involved directly and in person in a private setting.  For an issue with content or behavior management within a class, please speak with the teacher first. Messenger, Facebook, text messages, and emails can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and are not helpful in resolving differences.
  3. If you cannot resolve the issue directly, please write an email to a Board member to set up a meeting to discuss the situation in person. The Board may then facilitate a meeting to resolve the issue. The Board will attempt to hear all sides of the story before any action is taken.

Right to terminate/refuse registration

Repeated failure to comply with the policies outlined here may result in a family being asked to withdraw from the HSOBX program without refund of registration or class fees. HSOBX administrators reserve the right to refuse registration at their discretion.

Insurance Requirements

HSOBX’s liability insurance policy requires us to check the full names of all adult participants against the Virginia State Police Sexual Offender Database records.