The most up-to-date version of all Compass policies and FAQs can be downloaded in PDF format here: Compass Family Handbook-August 2016
1.0 A La Carte: In order to offer the greatest flexibility to homeschool families, Compass classes are offered a la carte. Students can take one class, multiple classes, non consecutive classes, alternate quarters, etc. Families are not obligated to a full schedule or full year. Several classes will be offered all year, in four quarter-long terms, and other classes may have prerequisite sessions. Use care when registering for classes to ensure that you have signed up for the right session(s), have met the prerequisites, and that classes do not overlap during the same hour.
2.0 Age/Grade Level Definitions: Compass Homeschool Enrichment understands and celebrates that a benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility to blend and customize instruction based on a student’s needs. We understand that the definition of a student’s grade may be blurred and encompass work across a range of conventional grade levels. Grade levels referenced in Compass course descriptions are based on a student’s age-corresponding grade if enrolled in traditional school. Some students may be able to perform the academic work at an advanced grade level, and Compass grade level designations represent a 2-3 year range to account for this.
When placing a student in a class, his/her emotional and social maturity and ability to conduct himself/herself in the classroom must also be considered. Students may not register for a Compass class more than one year beyond or below (+/-1) the listed grade level without permission from the Director. As an example: A mature, academically advanced 4th grade student may register for a class labeled 5th-7th grade (1 year beyond) without permission of the Director. Alternatively a 4th grade student working slightly below grade level could register for a class labeled for 2nd-3rd grade (1 year below) without permission of the Director. The exception to this policy is any class whose lower grade limit is kindergarten (K). Students enrolled must be age 5 by the start of the class. Four-year-olds cannot be enrolled in a kindergarten class.
3.0 Minimum/Maximum Class Size: Minimum class sizes are set based on instructor’s minimum fees and cannot be lowered without impacting the cost to all registrants. Maximum class size is set by the instructor’s preference and/or physical capacity/occupancy of the classroom. In the event that maximum enrollment is met, a waiting list will be kept for other interested students.
4.0 Tuition: The tuition fees are comprised of negotiated and contracted instructor rates, prorated facility rental costs, material or supply fees (if any), and variable program overhead expenses. Tuition fees are non-negotiable.
5.0 Classroom Supplies/Materials: From time to time, an instructor may have recommended materials, texts, or supplies for the classes. A list of these items will be posted with the course description or e-mailed to registered families within two weeks of the start of classes.
6.0 Administration Fee: An administration fee of $6.00 is added to each class at check-out. The administration fee helps defray transaction fees , enrollment, and accounting efforts.
7.0 Payment: Payment methods accepted for course fees (tuition, administration, and/or materials fees) include cash, personal check, cashier’s check, electronically issued bank check, or electronic, online payment by PayPal. PayPal online payments can be made regardless of whether or not the user has an established account. The user may check out as a guest using a credit card. A user with an established PayPal account can use a credit card, PayPal balance, bank account, or Bill Me Later deferred payment program. A $35.00 fee will be assessed for any checked returned by the bank for insufficient funds (i.e. “bounced check”).
8.0 Discount: Early registration discounts or other promotions may be offered. Additional discounts are not offered for multiple classes or siblings.
9.0 Refunds/Withdrawal from a Class: If a student must withdraw from a course before the start of the first class, and the class had been full, and the seat can be filled by another student, the tuition paid will be refunded less a $35.00 processing fee. If the seat cannot be filled from the waitlist, through open registration before the start of class, or the withdrawal is made after the start of class, no portion of the tuition can be refunded. Any request for withdrawal or change of classes must be made in writing by e-mail or fax. Refunds will not be given for change of mind, change of schedule, change in personal circumstances, or inappropriate placement in a class. Refunds, if due based on the above criteria, will be processed within 45 days of the start of the quarter.
10.0 Cancelled Class: If a class is cancelled due to instructor conflict or failure to meet the minimum enrollment, the paid tuition will be refunded in full plus the administration fee, if any, paid for that class.
11.0 Absences: Students are expected to attend classes they have registered for. In the event of a planned or anticipated absence, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The absence will be communicated to the instructors. There is no need to call to report an absence. Refunds cannot be given for absences and missed classes, and make-up classes will not be offered.
12.0 Inclement Weather: In the event of inclement weather, Compass Homeschool Enrichment will make an announcement by 7:00 am on whether to close or cancel a portion of the day’s classes. Compass does not strictly follow the lead of Fairfax County public schools (FCPS). A closure or delay of FCPS does not automatically mean that Compass will close or delay for inclement weather. Instead, the Compass director and staff will evaluate weather and road data and make an independent determination. This decision will be posted on the “News and Announcements” section of the website home page, on the Compass Facebook page, and by e-mail to all enrolled students and instructors. See the program calendar for scheduled weather make-up days in quarters 2, 3, and 4.
13.0 Conduct: Students are expected to conduct themselves with appropriate classroom behavior. Parents, siblings, and guests are expected to conduct themselves with behavior appropriate to an educational setting. Appropriate behavior is expected in all common areas (lunch room/study area, hallways, restrooms, etc) in addition to classrooms. Compass has a zero tolerance policy towards bullying of any type or physical aggression. Students who are disruptive or engage in bullying will be asked to leave the class or the program. A student asked to leave a class or the program due to inappropriate behavior will not receive a refund for remaining classes.
14.0 Communication: Families must register with a parent’s current, active e-mail address. E-mail will be the primary mode of communication to advise families about classes, registration, assignments, cancelations, schedule, and program opportunities. E-mail addresses will be furnished only to the class instructors for course related communication. E-mail addresses will not be shared or distributed for any other purpose. Please register with only an e-mail address that will be checked on a regular basis.
15.0 Assignments: Some classes will have homework or other assignments or activities that the student must prepare in advance of the next class. While grades will not be given, assignments will be reviewed or incorporated into subsequent classes. In order for the student to keep up with the course material, get the greatest benefit from the class, and to be respectful of the instructor’s and other students’ time, all homework should be completed as assigned. A conference may be requested with the parent, instructor, and program director if a student routinely or repeatedly fails to complete assignments or is uncooperative or non-participative for in-class work.
16.0 Sign In/Out: For insurance reasons and program records, an adult* (per section 19.6) must walk students into the program building and initial a sign-in log indicating that the student is in attendance and that the emergency number on file is current. When picking up students at the end of classes, an adult* must park and walk into the building to initial that the student has been signed-out and is leaving for the day. Students should not be dropped off in the parking lot, traffic circle, or left to walk in unaccompanied, nor should students exit the building without being signed-out by an adult*. For convenience, parents who are going to remain on site have the option to “pre-sign” students out by initialing the ‘Out’ column at the time of check-in.
17.0 Pick-Up: Students attending class during the final period must be picked up promptly at the end of class. Parents are expected to be in the building prepared to sign their children out, at or before the class end time. In other words, parents should be early in anticipation of the end of class. Tardiness at pickup cannot be accommodated. Compass does not have any staff to provide child care or supervision after classes, nor does Compass have extended room rentals after classes. Any parent arriving more than 15 minutes late to pick a student up at the end of the last class will be billed a fine of $15 for the first occurrence, and $25 each for the second and subsequent occasions.
18.0 Parents/Siblings Remaining on Site: An adult is expected to remain on campus for students age 7 and under (per section 19.1). Adults and siblings may wait in the Social Hall or designated parent lounges or quiet study areas. Adults and siblings are also free to use the wi-fi service, grounds, lawns, paths, or picnic tables while students are in class. In order to prevent disruptions to classes and keep exit ways clear, parents and siblings may not congregate in the hallways while waiting for another child. Because of space constraints in the classrooms, parents, aides, and siblings cannot be accommodated in the back of individual classes.
19.0 Drop-Off Students/Supervision: Some students may be dropped off for Compass classes without an adult remaining on the premises subject to the sign in/out and pick-up policies and several additional stipulations. Students (age 8+) who are dropped off must be mature enough to excuse himself/herself from class, go to the restroom, and return to the classroom without disrupting class. Students (age 8+) who are dropped off must also be mature enough to transition from one classroom to the next without assistance. Compass does not provide aides or monitors to assist children using the restroom or changing classes.
19.1 If your child is 7 or younger
19.1.1 Student must be walked in and signed in by an adult* each day.
19.1.2 An adult* must remain on campus for the student at all times in case a need arises.
19.1.3 Student must be signed out by an adult* each day and walked to the car. Students may not leave the building and go the traffic circle or parking lot unaccompanied by an adult*.
19.2 If your child is 8-12 years old
19.2.1 Student must be walked in and signed in by an adult* each day.
19.2.2 After signing in, the adult* may leave campus as long as the student is in class and a current cell phone number is on file.
19.2.3 If the student has a break between classes, arrives early, or plans to stay after classes to play/socialize, an adult* must be present to supervise the student during this non-class “down time.”
19.2.4 Student must be signed out by an adult* each day and walked to the car. Students may not leave the building and go the traffic circle or parking lot unaccompanied by an adult*.
19.3 If your child is 13 or older
19.3.1 Students ages 13+ may be dropped off in the traffic circle, walk in, sign themselves in, wait, study, eat, or play between classes, sign themselves out, and walk out to the traffic circle or parking lot to be picked up if (a) the family is comfortable with that arrangement, (b) the student is capable, understands and accepts all rules, and (c) has an authorization form is on file.
19.3.2 The parent and teen student must sign a “Teen Drop Off Form” at the beginning of the term which allows the student to be dropped off and remain unaccompanied on campus. The form is available at the Front Desk. Without this form, drop off and supervision for students ages 8-12 should be followed.
19.4.1 Students ages 12 and younger must be supervised by an adult* who is nearby and can see them when they are on the playground, in the social hall, study areas, or on the church grounds. The adult* must make sure that student understands the Compass rules including restrictions on the fenced Montessori playground, play near the administration building, Montessori entrance, traffic circle, and woods. Compass does not provide aides or monitors in these areas.
19.4.2 The supervision policy applies to waiting siblings and guests in addition to students who are enrolled in Compass classes.
19.5 Multiple Aged Children: In families with children of multiples ages, we ask that parents follow the supervision policy for the youngest child.
19.6 Who are these adults*?
19.6.1 The adults* who are dropping off, signing in, and supervising children can, of course, be parents, or designated adult family members, friends, nannies, neighbors, or they can be “Parent Proxies.” A Parent Proxies is a trusted adult selected by a student’s own parent to supervise his/her child in the parents’ absence. Parent Proxies must be willing to take responsibility for sign-in/sign-out, transportation, and/or on-site supervision of someone else’s child. Most often these are pairs or small groups of homeschool parents who take turns remaining on campus to supervise several children while the other(s) leave campus. Parents are solely responsible for selecting, coordinating with, and obtaining acceptance from a Parent Proxy. Parent Proxy forms must be signed and are located at the Front Desk.
19.6.2 Teen students age 13 and up can serve as the “adult” for younger siblings to walk into the building, sign in, supervise on playground, social hall or quiet study areas, sign out, and walk out to the traffic circle or parking lot to be picked up if the teen meets all of the expectations for supervision and teens in sections 19.3.2 and 19.6.1 above, and if the family has a signed teen authorization form on file.
19.6.3 Students age 8-12 cannot be the “responsible adult” for younger siblings.
20.0 Illness: Parents are asked not to bring students to class if they have had a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, or any other symptoms of contagious or communicable illness within the last 24 hours.
21.0 Special Needs: Compass classes are not designed to serve students with special emotional, social, psychological, or physical needs, although some accommodations may be possible. If you have a child with special needs and you think he or she can keep up with the pace of the work, the teacher’s expectations, and behavioral expectations, please contract the Director to discuss your child’s special needs before registering.
22.0 Religion/Faith: Compass Homeschool Enrichment Program is an inclusive, secular program with no religious affiliation. This program is not sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, its Board of Directors, or staff.
23.0 Building Use: Compass Homeschool Enrichment Program pays to rent specific areas in Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (UUCF). Compass students, parents, and siblings are asked to treat the building and property with care and respect while on campus.
23.1 Students, parents, and siblings should move through the hallways and outdoors knowing that other classes and activities are taking place and people are working in adjacent areas. Loud talking, shouting, running, and disruptive behavior should not be used.
23.2 Parents, and siblings may use the Social Hall or outdoor areas (unfenced playground, lawns, paths, benches, picnic tables) during Compass classes.
23.3 Students may not play in the woods, in the traffic circle, around the UUCF administration building, or around the UUCF sanctuary building.
23.4 At all times, the following areas are off limits to Compass students, parents, and siblings: sanctuary building, administration building, Montessori school wing, fenced Montessori school playground, and all cabinets, bookcases, closets, and storage rooms containing UUCF books and supplies, all UUCF office equipment, appliances, and electronics.
23.5 UUCF is a nut-free facility due to parishioner’s allergies. Compass families are asked to refrain from bringing any peanut or tree nut- containing foods for lunch or snack at Compass.