Am I committing to anything by filling out the enrollment form?
No. The enrollment form is simply a registration form that gives us basic information about your child/ren should they choose to take a class. It does not commit you to a membership, but it is required for any involvement in the co-op. The $50 fee covers the cost of us creating a database, inputting the information, keeping it current, and making it accessible should the need arise (e.g., in the case of a medical emergency).
Is the $50 enrollment fee per child, or per family?
The enrollment fee is per family and is one-time only.
My child is enrolled in the Fossil Distance Learning Program. Can I use my Fossil funds to pay for co-op membership and/or classes?
No. Fossil does not allow funds to go to a cooperative.
Do I have to pay a membership fee for each child?
No. One membership fee covers the entire family.
If I want to sign up as a part-time member at first, can I switch it to a full-time membership for the second semester? Or vice versa?
Yes! Each semester is an independent entity.
Is the membership fee the only expense to the co-op?
Some classes may have additional material fees (e.g., art). These fees are usually $5-10, and will be listed on the class description.
Do I have to do volunteer four hours per child, or per family?
We ask that one person from each family volunteer four hours total per week, regardless of the number of participating children in that family.
Will teaching a class cover my four hours of required volunteer time?
Not quite. Members are responsible for completing as many volunteer jobs as necessary to reach four hours. The primary jobs are teaching a class (worth 2 hours), assisting in a class (worth 1.25 hours) or supervising free play time (worth 45 minutes). A limited number of additional volunteer jobs are available upon request for those with scheduling challenges; the value of those jobs will be determined by the volunteer coordinator.
If I am not a member of Cascadia, can I still teach a class?
Yes. We offer a small number of paid teaching positions, particularly for topics that lack a member teacher. Alternatively, non-members may teach a class in exchange for their child taking a different class. If a non-member wants to teach a class and have their own child be in the class, there will be no charge for that child.
Can I still belong to the co-op if I am unable to volunteer?
Cascadia Learning Cooperative is a parent-founded and parent-run organization, so parental participation is critical to the success of the cooperative. Please talk to Melissa and/or the volunteer coordinator if you need help brainstorming creative solutions to volunteering.
If I don’t want to teach, how can I fill four hours of volunteer time a week?
Parents are the primary teachers at Cascadia, so parental participation is crucial to the group’s operation. However, there are options for volunteering outside of teaching. Primary non-teaching positions are assisting in classes and supervising free play times, but feel free to discuss other possibilities with the volunteer coordinator.
Is a block the same as a class?
No. A class is 75 minutes long, whereas a block includes the class AND 45 minutes of free time (see schedule for details). We include free time in our class blocks as a way to promote community building and social bonds.
When do I drop off and pickup my child/ren?
Parents may drop off and pickup any time within the designated free time periods.
Could my child be on the grounds if they are not in a class?
All children present must be enrolled in a class block, unless they are accompanied by a parent/guardian and not interfering with active classes. Children 12 and older may sign up for a study hall, however they MUST come prepared with a work plan for the duration of the study hall period and materials. Children may sign up for ONLY one study hall each day.
How are co-op blocks scheduled?
Cascadia is organized into two semesters: one 12-week fall semester, and one 16-week winter/spring semester). Co-op members must join for the entire semester. Most class offerings will change each semester. We anticipate that most classes will be offered for one semester only, although a few may run for the full year. Some classes are offered for mixed ages and others are age specific. We strive to offer one or two options per child per block every session.
Are the age groupings listed in the schedule flexible?
Yes. The age ranges for the classes are recommendations. There are many bright homeschoolers who are working above grade level. That said, maturity and social interaction are important components of the classroom environment. Parents are usually the best judges of their child’s abilities, but please be sure that your child is able to function academically AND socially at the age range designated for the class. Contact the teacher beforehand if you have questions about appropriate placement.
Can I drop my 6 year old off for classes?
No. Parents of 6 year olds must be on-site, but not necessarily in the classroom unless requested by the teacher. To be dropped off, children must be seven and older.
If I am a member, is my child required to register for a certain number of blocks per term?
No. You child/ren can register for as many or as few blocks as they want.
Can I get a refund for an individual class?
Refunds can be issued through the first week of classes. After Friday at 5PM of the first week of classes, refunds will not be issued because at that point, enrollment for a replacement student will not be possible. Registration fees are not refundable.
What is the adult/child ratio?
We aim to keep class size between 5-15 students. All 6-7 year old classrooms will have a teacher assistant.
If my child misses a class, can s/he make it up?
No. Class dates are as advertised. If the instructor cannot teach a class, a substitute will be found.
Can I sit in on my children’s classes?
Please do! We promote a family learning environment, and encourage parents to sit in on classes.
Can I take my younger children into the classroom?
Younger siblings of registered students are welcome in the classroom as long as they are not disruptive to the class, and a parent or guardian is present. There is a room on-site where parents with younger children can wait while older children are attending class.
Do you offer financial assistance?
We are entirely member-funded, so at this time we cannot offer financial assistance. If you are not able to participate due to financial constraints, please contact Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
Is there an opportunity to exchange extra volunteer hours for some of the membership fees?
Not at the moment. We do our best to keep our overhead low but we do need to pay for rent, insurance, and administrative fees. Feel free to contact Melissa to brainstorm resourceful ways to reduce fees.