As many of our long-time co-op members have seen, Discovery Days grows larger every year. This semester, more than 90 families are represented by our co-op and there are more families currently on the waiting list who would love to join. Each Discovery Day Friday, we hold 83 classes, as well as four sessions of nursery care and four sessions of Moms’ Group. A variety of support roles are also involved at each Discovery Day, in addition to a lot of administrative work that takes place behind the scenes outside of our co-op meeting days.
As the Co-op has grown in size, the requisite amount of administrative management has also grown. This management has become very time-intensive to members of the leadership team, whose first priority needs to be to their own families and homeschools. In order to maintain smooth functioning of Discovery Days without detracting from the homeschools of those managing the co-op, the following changes are being implemented:
(1) Discovery Days will now operate on a full school year basis rather than on a semester basis. At registration time in May, families will be registering their students for the entire next school year, not just for the fall semester. Students will remain in the same classes for the full year; they will not change classes for second semester. This change will greatly reduce the amount of administrative work required by the leadership team, as the lengthy class submission and registration process will only take place once each school year rather than twice. This change will mainly impact two areas for member families – class submissions and payment schedule:
Class submissions – since students will be registering for a full school year of classes, this means that classes submitted must be for an entire school year as well. Each class submitted will need to encompass the fall and spring semester. Many of our classes are already structured this way, so for many teachers, nothing will change in this regard. Two substitute lesson plans for each class will still be due at Orientation in August. At the start of the second semester in January, each teacher will need to still have two substitute plans on file for each class, so if any from the first semester were used, they will need to be replenished for the second semester. Payment of class fees to teachers will take place the same as they are currently; ie four times in the school year dependent upon appropriate substitute lesson plan submission.
Payment schedule – since registration will be for a full school year at a time, our payment schedule will need to be for a full school year at a time, as well. Payment will be able to be made in three parts: 1/3 of your total will be due when you receive your invoice at registration in May; 1/3 will be due by July 1st, and the final 1/3 will be due at Orientation in August. Your invoice total will reflect class fees for the full school year, as well as administrative fees to encompass both semesters. As in the past, class fees are determined by each individual teacher and delineated in their class submission form. The administrative fee structure will be as follows: $10 custodial fee per family, $12 registration fee per family, and $36 building fee per child. These administrative fees are the same amount each family has already been paying; they will just all be billed at one time rather than half of these amounts at the start of each semester.
(2) Class sessions will be shortened from the current length of 55 minutes each to only 45 minutes each. The co-op will begin at 9:45 a.m. and end at 1:45 p.m. A 30-minute lunch period will still be included just as in the current co-op schedule.
(3) Families will no longer be able to register to attend only two sessions. You must attend either three or four sessions. If you choose to only attend three sessions, you will be required to assist and/or teach for all three of those sessions (teachers of two classes are still only required to work those two sessions in which they are teaching). In order to have a free session to attend Moms’ Group or visit with others in the co-op, you will need to attend all four sessions. To clarify: teachers of two classes will not be assigned to work anymore than those two sessions of their classes. Teachers of one class will still be assigned to assist in some way for two sessions in addition to their teaching session. Non-teachers will be assigned to assist in some way for three sessions.
(4) In order to maintain your place in the co-op for the next school year, each family will be required to formally notify us that you plan to return to co-op. This notification will take place during Class Submission time in one of two ways: If you submit a class or two classes to teach, that is the only notification we need. If you are not submitting any classes to teach, but intend to remain in the co-op in an assisting or support role, you will need to submit a Returning Participant Form. The link to this form will be provided at the same time that class submissions begin, and your form will have to be submitted during the same weeks in which classes are being submitted. If we do not receive either a class submission or a Returning Participant Form from you during that time period, we will assume you are not returning to the co-op and we will invite in families from the waiting list to fill your position in the co-op.
It is the belief of the leadership team that these changes will positively impact the Discovery Days Co-op and enable it to keep functioning smoothly while at the same time not placing undue burden on those in administrative roles. If you have questions regarding any of these changes, please feel free to discuss them with a member of the leadership team.
Thank you for your part in making Discovery Days a wonderful co-op for all families involved!
Discovery Days Leadership
Kim Willis – Financial Administration
Lynn Webb – Registration & Records
Angie Wagoner – Communications
Dana Snyder – Planning & Special Events
Elizabeth Shealy – Class Submission Administration
Jody Meyer – Substitute Administration
Angela Sigmon – Building Coordination