Policies and Information
Eddy County Home Educators (ECHE)
Eddy County Home Educators (ECHE) Policies and Information
What is a Homeschool Co-Op?
A homeschool co-op is a co-operative effort between homeschooling parents to provide activities and opportunities for their children that might be otherwise difficult to provide at the family level. Parents and children participate together.
The ECHE’s mission is to provide quality, encouraging activities and opportunities to our children in a morally and ethically conducive homeschool environment.
ECHE is guided by a volunteer leadership team of parents of homeschoolers. All classes will reflect a morally and ethically conducive perspective as demonstrated by the Judeo/Christian faith.
The leadership team (Board) shall include, but is not limited to:
A President: to set agendas and conduct Board meetings, provides leadership to the Board of Directors, chairs meetings of the boards, calls for special meetings of the board, encourages board’s role in strategic planning, appoints chairpersons of committees in consultation of other Board members, helps guide and mediate Board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns, monitors financial planning and financial reports with Treasurer, plays leading role in fundraising activities, sits as ex officio member of all Committees, informally evaluates the effectiveness of the Board, to be the head contact for the organization, and evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission.
A Vice-President: assists the President, performs Presidential responsibilities when the President is not available, works closely with President and other staff, chairs committees as designed by the Board, participated closely with the President to develop and implement officer transition plans, ensures that insurance policies and HSLDA obligations are fulfilled, performs duties as designed by the board.
A Treasurer: oversight of the finances of the organization, administers the fiscal matters of the organization including selection of bank, reconciling bank statements, and managing cash flow, provides annual budget to the board for member’s approval, provides financial statements for Board’s review, gives regular report to the board of key financial events, trends, concerns, and assessments of the organization’s fiscal health, completes or ensures the completion of the IRS and state reports in a timely manner, keeps calendar of filing requirements and deadlines (works with secretary to ensure these are accomplished on time.) and develop and enforce strong internal controls and financial management policies.
A Secretary: communication and keeping organization’s important documents, develops and distributes a board calendar before the start of each year, assembled and updates the board’s binders, gives proper notice of any meetings, distributes the meeting agendas, records minutes of board meetings, ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting, is familiar with legal documents to not applicability during meetings, works with Treasurer to meet all required annual filings, maintains records of the organizations records.
A Board Member at Large: regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings, makes serious effort to participate actively in committee work, volunteers for and and willingly accepts assignments and complete them thoroughly and on time, stays informed about committee matters, prepares for meetings, and reviews and comments about minutes and reports, is an active participant in the committee’s annual evaluation and planning efforts, participates in fund raising for the organization.
The Election Process: Members in good standing can be nominated for an office eligible that year. Officers (except the President) are eligible to run for different offices. They will be nominated in March, and voted on in April in order to begin preparations for the next year with the board. Nominations by board members presented to group after individuals apply by March 1, with the Elected Board Members taking office in June. Years for election of officers will vary, with the President, Secretary, and Board Member at Large to be elected on even years, and the Vice President and Treasurer to be elected on odd years. A board member can be dismissed at a group meeting after board has reviewed grievances as outlined in the bylaws. This will require three out of the five board members to vote in favor of dismissal. A dismissed or resigned board member will be replaced by nominations made from board members election process following the nominations. If a board member resigns, other board members will temporarily fill the position until the next board meeting where nominations can be made and followed with elections. If a board of 5 is not available, the board can run as is for 6 months, then hold an election at the next time 5 can be arranged. Board members agree to follow the bylaws, policies, and code of conduct.
A member in good standing is defined as dues and fees current, agrees to policies, bylaws, and code of conduct, helps out regularly in co-op, attends group meeting at least once during the school year, and participates in one fundraiser per year. Parental volunteering is expected for membership for all periods per session (or month), from September to May. Members can volunteer by teaching, leading an activity or class, co-leading, plan/help with parties and fund-raisers, planning field trips, being on a committee, helping with small children, hallway duty or some other way each week. Parental involvement is essential for the Friday activities.
*A parent/legal guardian is required to be present whenever a student is involved, by signing the permission slip arrange for another member to bring them during emergency situations. There can not be “drop offs” for insurance and security reasons.
1. Teaching/Assisting: Activities/classes must have two adults present. If you must be absent for something you are in charge of, find a replacement for yourself and notify the scheduler of your replacement. If you are having a chronic issue as an activity leader(more than 3 instances of tardiness and/absenteeism), please contact the scheduler to work out a solution so commitments are kept. If a solution is not found, the Board can call a review for future determination of leadership. Please be aware that purchases made based on commitments to lead an activity affects the budget.
2. Communication: ECHE members use the Band app for communication about outings, classes, member polls, signups, questions, decisions and other group needs. This is for the safety of the group. Our Facebook page is where we interact with the community at large to inform, and interact with our group. We will post two public play days a month and public field trips. Parents are expected to keep themselves informed, and attendance at the Co-Op meetings/assemblies and participation in Band are vital as they are the primary means of communication between members and leadership.
3. Membership Meetings: New business voted on at the minimum 4 meetings a year are new decisions that affect the group as a whole ( ex; location or time change, policy bylaw or code of conduct change, any large issue that needs to be enacted, and providing a treasurers report. Would not include regular or common business like scheduling classes.) Members who cannot attend group meetings can phone or email their input and voice their position. These will be brought to the meeting as part of the meeting discussion. Votes in the meetings will be by those in attendance of the meeting. Each household gets one vote. Meeting agendas will be posted 7 days in advance, and meeting minutes posted quickly after in the file section of Band. For meetings that are planned more quickly for time sensitive issues, we will strive to post the meeting agendas with 3 days’ notice. Interaction with members is imperative at meetings to ensure a cohesive thought process with the group as a whole. Each member of ECHE is required to attend at least one group meeting per year. If this is not feasible, then membership may be revoked. There will be 2 minutes per member at the end of the meeting to share thoughts or suggestions.
4. Committees and Committee Policy:
A. Committee members commit to showing up in some capacity to each committee meeting. Committees may decide if one member is not active enough to be helpful and request a replacement.
B. Communication between committee members should be efficient and respectful of others time, we recommend afternoon hours to be respectful of homeschool and family responsibilities.
C. The committees shall be formed with no less than 3 people, with a board member as committee chair. The President is an assumed member of each board.
D. The committees shall have the freedom to choose how they want to organize their duties, and proceed with them according to established yearly budget planning . Which is currently, 2 fundraisers per semester, and 4 parties per year ( back to school bash, end of year/awards ceremony, Christmas and Easter).
E. Plans and any monetary transactions need approval from the board. Committee chairs report plans at next available board meeting, where it will be read into the minutes. Our goal is to oversee but not get in the way of wise planning.
F. All collection of monies will be handled by the Treasurer, the Vice President, or the President, and a witness in some capacity in groups of three.
Ideas presented by members will be referred to the appropriate committee for discussion and planning (read page 28 of the Little Board Book)
5. Donations: Donations are accepted through the board and discussed for usage according to budget needs for orderly distribution. Treasurer provides a receipt and an accounting through the budget.
Please be considerate; if you have a class that is frequently messy, please pick up as you go. Everyone is required to leave a space, “Cleaner than it was” before we arrived. Food will stay in the eating areas, food for classes will stay in the classroom and carefully cleaned up.
We use our written Code of Conduct for conflict resolution. For issues that affect the group, the Board discusses decisions together. Issues that are individual in nature will be treated discreetly. Some discussions are best by phone or in person for clarity and members are encouraged to do so.
General Information and Registration
We require every family to enroll at least one child aged 3+ in order to register with ECHE. The activity schedule will be released before registration. We will provide a link or notification to you. If the activity requires additional fees, they will be non-refundable as activity leaders will purchase supplies before the session begins.
A. Registration Fees: There are costs associated with running our amazing co-op. To hold your family’s place, we require a nonrefundable fee of either $50/twice a year (February and August), or a non-refundable fee of $75 annually. This fee can be paid to the Treasurer by cash or check, or online by PayPal. This will go to cover the costs of the building, insurance, and other costs of running the co- op. Members complete registration by filling out the registration form, other startup documents, and paying their fee.
B. Other Fees/ Costs: Most classes require a supply fee, which is paid directly to the Board or budget committee. Classes with high supply costs, such as crafts, may have higher supply fees. These costs will be listed on the activity descriptions, as well as a brief accounting of the materials activity leaders will be providing for this fee. Please check each fee before registering to avoid surprises later. For activities not arranged at the start of the year or for the second half of the school year, those fees are due one week before it begins, unless you make other arrangements directly. If there is not enough participation to support a particular plan, it will be the board’s discretion to cancel the class or proceed with a funding solution.
C. Guests: Guests can visit two member events per year as part of deciding if they would like to be a member. They will need to fill out appropriate paper work when they sign in.
D. Activity Selection: When choosing, please read the description carefully, if you have any questions or concerns please ask the activity leader in person or via Band chat as changes are sometimes more difficult than they appear and can affect the ramifications of the group as a whole. Activity leaders will be need to know the number of children signing up, and supplies. This will be needed by July 20th for the first half of the year, so the schedule can be arranged. Member registration will be held from August 1st until August 20th, so that there is enough time to purchase supplies before the school year begins and the budget can be planned. Prorated classes for newcomers will be determined on a case by case basis. Random workshops throughout the year will be posted with enough time to garner registration and payment.
E. Tax Exempt Usage: Tax exempt transactions are made by board members or the budget committee and done according to budget allowances. Abuse of tax-exempt status can result in ECHE losing its tax-exempt status for the entire group. Our group is not a tax deductible expense for members.
Guidelines for the Group :
1. We plan to start on time.
2. Co-Op participants are responsible for and will be asked to pay for any damages they cause to the building, grounds, or equipment.
3. Please use Village Square Chat inside Band for odds and ends, and outside promotions.
4. Children under three are not covered under the insurance policy because they are not considered students.