Compass Handbook 2017-2018
Welcome to Compass classes and thank you for making Compass part of your family’s homeschooling! These policies are taken from the 2017 Compass Family Handbook. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to stop by the Front Desk and speak to the Compass director, program manager or program assistants. As an alternative, inquiries can always be sent to email@example.com.
- Compass Classes PoliciesCompass Homeschool Enrichment offers an innovative selection of core courses as well as enrichment classes for homeschooled students! Classes are taught in small groups by professional instructors who are subject matter experts and teaching experts. Classes are designed to be hands-on, experiential instruction with many opportunities for student involvement and interaction.
Last minute, same day, and late registrations are accepted. Students may register for additional classes on the first day of the quarter if space is available. Registration may be done online or in person at the Front Desk. Tuition for last minute registration must be paid by cash, check, or credit card.
A La Carte
In order to offer the greatest flexibility possible to homeschool families, Compass classes are offered a la carte. Students can take one class, multiple classes, non-consecutive classes, classes during alternating quarters, etc. Families are not obligated to take a full schedule or full year. Some classes may have prerequisite sessions. Use care when registering for classes to ensure that you have signed up for the right session(s), confirmed the day(s) of the week, have met the prerequisites, and that classes do not overlap during the same hour.
Age/Grade Level Definitions
Compass Homeschool Enrichment understands and celebrates that one 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 may encompass work across a range of conventional grade levels. Grade levels referenced in the course descriptions are based on a student’s age-corresponding grade if enrolled in traditional school without grade-skipping. 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.
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 contact the Director to discuss your child’s needs before registering.
Minimum/Maximum Class Size
Minimum class sizes are set based on instructor’s contracted rates 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 wait list will be kept for other interested students.
The tuition fees are comprised of contracted instructor rates, prorated facility rental costs, material or supply fees (if any), and variable program overhead expenses. Tuition fees are non-negotiable.
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.
Class Material/Lab/Supply Fees
Classes that have material, lab, or supply fees will be identified in the online class description. Material, lab, and supply fees are typically payable in cash or by check to the instructor or the instructor’s company. Compass keeps as master list of fees and payees at the Front Desk.
Payment methods accepted for course tuition include cash, personal check, cashier’s check, electronically issued bank check, or online payment by PayPal. Online payments can be made regardless of whether or not the user has an established PayPal 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 (“bounced check”).
An administration fee of $6.00 is added to each class at check-out ($12.00 for semester-long classes or $24.00 for year-long classes) The administration fee helps defray transaction fees and accounting efforts.
Early registration discounts and other promotions may be offered. Additional discounts are not offered for multiple classes or registered siblings. Payment for class registrations made during the early registration period must be received by the lesser of one (1) week or by the end of the early registration period, otherwise, discounted prices cannot be honored.
Some classes will have homework or other assignments or activities that the student must prepare before the next class. While grades will not be given, assignments may be reviewed or incorporated into subsequent classes. In order for the student to keep up with the course material, obtain the greatest benefit from the class, and to be respectful of the instructor’s and other students’ time, all homework should be completed. 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.
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 or through open registration before the start of class, or the withdrawal is made after the start of class, no portion of the tuition will 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.
If a class is cancelled due to instructor conflict or failure to meet the minimum enrollment, the affected students may select an alternate class option or request a full refund for tuition plus the administration fee paid for that class.
Students are expected to attend classes that they have registered for. Teenagers, despite having a Teen Form on file, and regardless of age, are expected to attend classes if they have been dropped off and are on campus. Being dropped off and allowed to self-supervise is not authorization to skip classes and “hang out.”
In the event of a planned or anticipated absence, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org in lieu of calling by phone. When received in advance, the absence will be noted and forwarded 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 except in the case of an instructor’s absence.
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.
Parents are asked not to bring students to class if they have had a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other symptoms of contagious or communicable illness within the last 24 hours.
- Waitlisted Class FAQs
Please note that as classes become full, a wait list is created. Please add your child’s name to the wait list if you are interested in the course, as openings sometimes become available. You will not be asked to pay anything in order to be on the wait list. Closed classes with a wait list are displayed alphabetically on the registration page after open classes.
- What does the “Join Wait List” button mean? The “Join Wait List” button indicates that a class is full and has reached its maximum enrollment. Additional students cannot enroll in the class unless an enrolled student withdraws from the class.
- How many people are on the Wait List? The “Join Wait List” button does not indicate how many students, if any, are waiting for an opening in the class. In some cases, joining the wait list may put your child first on the list to be contacted if a space becomes available. In most cases there are 2-5 students on the wait list, but popular courses may have 8-10. If you would like to know how many students are on a wait list, please contact the director.
- What are my child’s chances of getting in a wait listed class? It is difficult to know what the chances are of being able to place a student from the wait list in a class. The administrator can make a judgment based on the number of students on the waitlist and the payment status of the enrolled students. If you have an alternate or back-up class choice for your child, you are encouraged to register for that class, and you will have an opportunity to switch out of it if the waitlisted class becomes available. Signing up for another class does not change your position on the waitlist.
- How soon will I know if my child gets in his/her wait listed class? Depending on how early you placed your child’s name on the wait list and how many students are ahead of him/her, it could be weeks or months before you hear anything about the wait list. Many changes, such as a job relocation or a last minute decision to enroll in traditional school, occur just weeks or days before the start of a new quarter. Therefore a wait listed family might not hear until a short time before classes are scheduled to begin.
- When there are multiple students on the wait list, how do you pick who is offered an open spot? When you add your child’s name to the wait list, he/she is added to the database with a date and time. When a space becomes available in a class, it is offered to students on the wait list by e-mail in the order in which they were added to the wait list.
- Do I have to pay for a wait listed class? No, you do not have to pay any fees for a wait listed class unless a space opens and you decide to enroll your child in the class.
- I put my child’s name on the wait list during the early registration discount period. Will I still get the savings if a space becomes available at the last minute? Yes, if you added your child’s name to the wait list when the early discount was in effect, you will pay the discounted amount if a space becomes available.
- If I register my child for another class and a space becomes available in his/her first-choice, wait listed class, will I have to pay the class change/withdrawal fee? No, if a space becomes available in a wait listed class, and your child is enrolled in an alternate or second choice class in the same hour, you will not be asked the pay the $35.00 class change/withdrawal fee. However you would be asked to pay any difference in the cost of the class. Conversely, if the wait listed class costs less than the registered class, you would receive a refund for the difference.
- Is there anything I can do to bump my child ahead on the wait list? No, there is nothing that can be done to “bump” a student to the front of the wait list line. The best approach is for a family to select and register for an alternate, back-up class choice.
- High School ProgramHigh school classes are taught at Compass on Wednesday only, Friday only, or Wednesday/ Friday in a 4-quarter, 30-week academic year. Classes are offered a la carte by quarter, semester, or year-long so homeschool families can mix and match to achieve high school goals
Compass believes it is the homeschool parent’s responsibility to plan a course of study, craft the student’s transcript, and award grades. It is the parent’s responsibility to determine how each Compass class fits into his/her child’s overall portfolio. A Compass class that one family identifies as a core requirement may be considered an elective element by another family, or simply an enrichment activity by another. It is the parent’s responsibility to determine how a Compass class will be “packaged” with other opportunities such as small group classes, online courses, independent study, dual enrollment, work-study, individual or group projects, internships, travel, reading lists, volunteer work, etc., to complete a high school credit.
Award of Credit Hours+
It is the parent’s responsibility to track the number of hours spent on a topic of study and award the corresponding Carnegie credit hours for high school. Compass makes no representation about the hours spent in class as compared to typical credit hour unit. Alternately, the homeschool parent may take the approach of awarding high school credit for work accomplished in a subject. In this approach, the homeschool parent determines the amount of work expected and how much each Compass class contributes to that goal. See the referenced article by the HSLDA organization discussing the credit hour approach versus the work accomplished approach of homeschool high school work (https://www.hslda.org/highschool/docs/EvaluatingCredits.asp).
Grades will not be awarded in Compass classes. Instructors of high school level classes will provide qualitative feedback on each student’s performance, understanding of the subject, class participation, portfolio progress, areas for improvement, etc., so the homeschool parent can award a corresponding grade.
Since Compass does not provide a complete high school solution, student transcripts are not maintained by Compass. Parents are encouraged to keep their own portfolio such as a record of the class description, instructor name and qualifications, weekly instructor e-mails, schedule/hours, class syllabus, table of contents from any textbooks, papers written, projects produced, and any other relevant work for purposes of developing their child’s own portfolio and transcript.
Compass high school classes are not designed to mimic courses offered at a typical public high school. A Compass high school class with a similar name as a typical public high school class may cover different scope and sequence in a different number of classroom hours.
Some Compass high school classes need prerequisite knowledge or minimum skills. Other classes also have expectations about a student’s anticipated workload outside of class, projects, homework, etc. Please read class descriptions carefully for this information. In order to get the full value out of the course, students should complete assignments made by the instructors.
Year Long Courses/Payment
For year-long high school classes, parents may opt to pay the tuition in two installments. The first half would be due at the time of early registration, and the second half of the tuition would be due by August 31. There is a $25.00 administrative fee added for the two-part payment. Registration and first half payment is an implied contractual agreement to pay for the balance of the class. Failure to pay the second half of the tuition by the due date will result in complete forfeiture of the first half paid. Payment for quarter-long and semester long classes is due at the time of registration.
High School Instructors
Compass makes no representation that its courses are accredited or that instructors hold any teaching licenses or professional certifications, although some do. Parents are responsible for reviewing the online profiles of each instructor to evaluate his/her qualifications to provide instruction and meet the individual student’s educational needs.
Younger Students in High School Classes
For classes noted as 9th-12th grade or for high school students, accelerated 8th grade students (grade if enrolled in traditional school by birth date and age 13 by September 30) may register for the class subject to the Age/Grade placement guidelines in this handbook. 8th grade students (13 years old) must be socially and emotionally mature enough to participate in high school level discussions and complete high school level readings and workload.
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 given only to the class instructors for course related communication. Please register with an e-mail address that will be checked on a regular basis. Teachers of high school classes may request parents’ permission to e-mail teens directly.
Make sure Compass has your current e-mail address and that the Compass e-mail, email@example.com is on your “safe” contacts list.
Compass Family Profile
Starting fall 2017, Compass is introducing a new website with Family Profiles. A Family Profile is the means of setting up an online account, much as you do with most other internet providers. Compass families will log into the system with a user name and password to gain access to their account. In this account, your family’s details will be stored. All data for family contact (address, phone number), children (name, age, grade), and emergency contact information will be entered in the Family Profile. Once your profile is complete, you will never need to enter this information at registration again! When a family has a current profile and is logged in, registration will be faster and simpler, and the parent will only need to “check” the box indicating which child is assigned to which class. Starting in September, an important step in registration will be logging in, verifying your family’s information, and making sure your information is correct before registering.
The Compass Family Profile feature will also show you the current classes your child has registered for and will give you the option to print your schedule at home prior to the start of classes. Student schedules will no longer be printed out and provided in hard copy on the first day. In addition, two routine forms that Compass uses will now be online. The Parent Proxy Form and the Teen Drop Off Form will be located on the Family Profile tab of the Compass website. These will be submitted online instead of printing, signing, and returning paper copies.
Cell Phone Numbers
If you are going to leave campus while your child (age 8 or older) is in class, please check to make sure that your current cell phone number is correct on the sign-in sheets.
Wi-Fi on Campus
Parents and students are welcome to use the Guest network. No password is needed.
Check the large bulletin board on the easel in the lobby for announcements of upcoming events, classes, and special programs! Compass families are welcome to post their own notes to connect with others for playdates, fieldtrips, car pooling, items for sale, etc. Index cards are provided for community announcements.
Follow Compass on Facebook for additional announcements including last-minute openings in classes and weekly photos.
Subscribe to get general e-mail announcements from Compass, such as details about registration and special programs on the homepage of the Compass website.
Candid photographs and/or videos will be taken in classes and around campus. As part of all online registrations, parents accept and acknowledge the mandatory photography waiver which states, “I understand that pictures or videos of my child(ren) may be taken and used for promotional purposes by Compass or educational partners of Compass. Any such image(s) will not contain names or any identifying information.”
Electronics in Class
Compass does not allow students to use electronics such as phones, tablets, or hand-held video games during class unless the Instructor has specifically allowed use of such device for classroom work.
Students may not use electronics for entertainment, game-playing, or texting during class; however, they may use such devices before or after class. During class, electronics should be stored out-of-sight, such as in a backpack or purse.
If an Instructor finds a student using electronics in class: (1) First occurrence in a quarter: Instructor should verbally remind student of the policy. (2) Second occurrence in a quarter: Instructor should take the device away from the student until the end of the class period. (3) At the third offense in a quarter, Instructor should take the device and turn it in to Compass Administrators. The student’s parent will have to retrieve the device from the Front Desk.
- Parents and Siblings on Campus
Parents/Guests in Classrooms
Because of space constraints in the classrooms, parents, aides, and siblings cannot be accommodated in the back of individual classes. In order to prevent disruptions to classes and keep exit ways clear, parents and siblings may not congregate in the hallways while waiting for a student. Parents and siblings cannot wait on the steps outside of Room 5 because this is an emergency egress for the neighboring Montessori school.
Parent/Sibling Waiting Areas
Parents and siblings may wait in the common areas such as the Social Hall and Outdoors including the unfenced playground, grassy lawns, picnic tables, benches, and established paths in the woods (when accompanied by an adult). Parents and siblings may wait in the Quiet Study areas and Lobby, subject to activity, food, and noise limitations in various areas. Adults may wait in the parent-only lounges, and parents can take very young siblings to the Nursery.
The Social Hall is the main dining space in the Program Building. Food and drinks are allowed in this room. This space is also for parents and children for seated play (games, crafts, drawing, etc), collaborative instruction, school-type work, computer work (with headphones). Regular conversation is permitted. Screaming, shouting, running, or physical play are not allowed in this room because of the proximity of classrooms. Parents and siblings may not access items stored in church cabinets or the small church kitchen off the Social Hall.
Parent Lounges 9B and 10B (in the Program Building) These are adult-only lounges with upholstered chairs/sofas. These rooms are appropriate for quiet work, reading, and computer/phone work (with headphones). Food and drinks are not permitted in these rooms (water is allowed). Conversation must be maintained at a whisper level because of the shared wall with classrooms.
Parent Lounge 11 (in the Program Building) This is an adult lounge, but children ages 8 and above may use the room with a parent for quiet, individual work such as reading, crafts, drawing, or computer work (with headphones). Food and drinks are allowed in this room. Regular conversation is permitted. Screaming, shouting, running, or physical play are not allowed in this room because of the proximity of classrooms.
Parents may take infants and toddlers under age 3 to the small church nursery in the Upper Building. Maximum occupancy is 6 infants/toddlers at one time, and parents must be present at all times in the Nursery. This room is appropriate for nursing and bottle feeding, but solid food and snacks are not permitted in the nursery. There is a toddler-sized toilet and tables for diaper changing. Parents are asked to place soiled diapers in the trash cans in the next door restrooms instead of in waste baskets in the nursery. Parents whose infants/toddlers use the nursery are asked to put away toys and clean up messes at the end of each child’s playtime and at the end of the day. If an accident happens in the nursery that requires cleaning supplies, please let the front desk know.
Program Building Quiet Study Area (in the atrium space outside of Rooms 9/10) This area seats 12-14 people and is suitable for quiet work, reading, and computer/phone work (with headphones). Food and drinks are not permitted in this area (water is allowed). Conversation must be maintained at a whisper level because of the shared walls with classrooms.
Upper Building Quiet Study Area (in the space between Atrium C classroom and Upper Building kitchen). This area seats 10- 12 people and is suitable for quiet work, reading, and computer/phone work (with headphones). Food and drinks are permitted in this area. Conversation must be maintained at a whisper level because of the shared walls with classrooms.
This small room in the Upper Building can accommodate 3-4 adults for silent meditation or prayer. Older children may use the room when accompanied by an adult. Food and drinks are not permitted in this room, and users are asked to keep their visits to around 15 minutes to allow others to use the room.
A single toilet, unisex restroom is located in the lower level of the Administration Building. This can be accessed from the stone patio near the side yard of the Program Building. This restroom is available for parents needing to assist children in the restroom, adults needing to assist disabled or elderly adults, or for individuals who are not comfortable with the male or female designated restrooms. This unisex restroom is not to be used as a shortcut, quick stop for children who are on the playground. The general Compass population is expected to use the Men’s and Women’s restrooms in the Program Building Lobby or the Sanctuary Building hallway, adjacent to the Music Room.
Compass regularly has special classes for siblings under age 5. For example, look for the Little Hands Family Music class, Nature Quest outdoor exploration, and Soccer Shots for preschoolers.
Selling/Services at Compass
Compass rent and insurance cover only Compass-led classes and activities. Compass parents, students, and siblings are not permitted to hold money-making activities or perform paid services while on the Compass campus. For example, parents may not perform paid babysitting or paid tutoring services in the lounges, study halls, Social Hall, playground, empty classrooms, etc. Compass instructors are unable to provide individual tutoring services on the premises before or after their scheduled classes. Because of space constraints and the inability to accommodate everyone, parents with catalog-type businesses (Avon, Tupperware, etc) and anyone selling homemade wares are asked not to exhibit and sell items at Compass except for designated sales of used curriculum and the annual spring marketplace.
This restriction does not extend to individual, one-on-one transactions, such as a parent selling a used textbook to another parent. If a parent or student would like to publicize a homeschool related business or service, such as tutoring or lessons, he/she may post an ad, limited to the size of a 3″ X 5″ business card on the community section of the bulletin board. Alternatively, a parent or student who offers tutoring services or lessons may provide an 8-1/2″ X 11″ flier for Compass to keep in its referral notebook.
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 (Social Hall, study areas, hallways, restrooms, playground, etc) in addition to classrooms. Compass has zero tolerance towards bullying of any type or any 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.
Compass shares the UUCF facility with a Montessori school, church staff members, and other members of the community, and we must ensure that the conduct of Compass students, siblings, parents, and staff does not interfere with the others who use the premises. The following clarifications to “appropriate conduct” are to ensure student health and safety and to maintain and protect the facility.
Children’s behavior on the playground and church grounds should not impact people who work at the church, attend the Montessori preschool, are in Compass classes, or affect the serenity, beauty, and maintenance of the grounds at the church. Despite the safe and comfortable environment, the UUCF property is not a park, but is instead a place of worship and a place where people work!
- See the attached aerial diagram showing permitted play areas.
- Consistent with existing Compass policies, all children under age 13 must have a designated adult with them when on the playground or grounds. Adults are expected to supervise the children and be watchful of where children are and what they are doing at all times. Supervising adults are expected to be proactive in stopping inappropriate or potentially dangerous behavior such as running with sticks and climbing trees.
- Children may go on established paths on the church property as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
- Children should not play behind the Program Building, around the administration building, or around the Sanctuary Building.
- Children should not play in the woods because of ticks, poison ivy, yellow jacket nests, etc. In general, the tree line is the boundary of permitted play areas.
- Children should not play in the traffic circle or parking lot.
- Children should not drag sticks, logs, branches, or debris onto the playground or lawns as these cause maintenance problems for the church staff. Children should not pick flowers, berries, or plants because they belong to the church and are part of the landscaping. Children should not kick playground mulch onto the sidewalk.
- Children cannot go into the fenced Montessori playground or under the overhangs of the Montessori wing of the building. Children may not play in front of or around the entrance, walkway, or doors to the Montessori school or impede parents, students, or staff arriving or leaving the Montessori facility. Compass children should not interact with the preschool children at the Montessori school.
- Children cannot go into the wooden stick-built shelter constructed and maintained by the Nature Quest class. Only those enrolled in Nature Quest may use the structure during their scheduled Nature Quest class under the supervision of their naturalist instructor. +
- Teenagers, despite having a Teen Drop Off Form submitted online, and regardless of age, may not go into the woods, on wooded paths, or behind buildings without an adult. With a current Teen Drop Off Form submitted, teens are limited to playing, studying, or hanging out in the Permitted Play Areas as shown in the aerial diagram below.
Children’s indoor behavior should not impact students in classrooms, safety in the buildings, or adversely affect others’ experience and comfort in the buildings. Like outdoors, all children under age 13 must have a designated adult with them when they are not in class, including while in the Social Hall or study areas. Adults are expected to supervise the children, and be aware of where children are and what they are doing at all times. Supervising adults are expected to be proactive in stopping inappropriate or potentially dangerous behavior such running or shouting in the buildings.
- Children may not run indoors.
- Children must wait quietly outside of a classroom until the next class begins. Talking in the hallway outside a classroom is disruptive to the students still in class.
- Parents and siblings may not sit or stand in the hallway outside of classrooms 1-5 while their child is in class. Gathering in these areas interferes with exiting requirements dictated by the Fire Marshall.
- Children may not yell and scream in the stair wells. Children may not misuse the stairs by jumping down half-flights, walking on the edge outside of railings, climbing or standing on railings, running, or engaging in other rough play on the stairs.
- Children may not use the elevator unless accompanied by an adult.
The following areas are off limits to Compass students, parents, and siblings at all times:
- Sanctuary (except for scheduled performances)
- Administration building
- Montessori school wing and fenced Montessori playground
- All cabinets, bookcases, closets, and storage rooms
- Church-owned books, games, and supplies
- Church-owned office equipment, appliances, and electronics
Students are expected to speak to each other, parents, and instructors in a courteous, respectful manner at all times. Cursing/swearing (i.e. using obscenities, profanity, racial/sexual slurs) with the intent to insult or intimidate someone, using derogatory or threatening language will not be tolerated and will be treated as a conduct violation.
Students are expected to come to classes and events dressed appropriately for an educational setting. Specific expectations include:
- Shorts and skirts must be no shorter than a student’s fingertips as measured by his/her arms held at sides with relaxed shoulders.
- Shirts/tops must be full length and may not be cropped to show bare abdomens. Low-cut shirts or tops with narrow “spaghetti” straps are not permitted.
- Clothing should cover all lingerie and undergarments.
- If clothing has to be “adjusted” (i.e. pulled up, pulled down) to cover properly, it is not a good choice to be worn at Compass.
Public Displays of Affection (PDA)+
Students and adults shall refrain from inappropriate Public Displays of Affection (PDA) while on campus. Compass is a family environment with participants and family members of a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and all behavior must be rated “E” for everyone. Being overly affectionate in an educational setting can be distracting, possibly offensive to others, and is generally in poor taste. The expression of feelings towards one another is a personal concern between the two individuals and thus, should not be shared with others in the general vicinity. PDA includes any physical contact that may make others in close proximity uncomfortable or serves as a distraction for themselves as well as onlookers. Some specific examples of PDA include, but are not limited to, any peer-to-peer kissing on the lips, hand holding, cuddling, fondling, inappropriate touching, rubbing/massaging, caressing/stroking/petting, and excessive hugging.
Consequences for violating campus rules are below:
- First offense: Compass staff will walk child to find his/her parent.
- Second offense: The child will be required to go inside (if outdoors) or sit aside (if indoors).
- Third offense: The child will be asked to leave for the day.
- Fourth offense: The child will be asked to leave the Compass program for the remainder of the term.
For an act or behavior that Compass deems to be an overt or egregious violation of a conduct or behavior policy, and of a serious nature, Compass, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to escalate a violation to the equivalent of a third or fourth offense without notice. +
- Drop-Off/Supervision Policy
For insurance reasons and program records, an adult* 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 sign out and indicate that the student 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 leave the premises 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.
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.
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.
If your child is 7 or younger:
- Student must be walked in and signed in by an adult* each day.
- An adult* must remain on campus for the student at all times in case a need arises.
- 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*.
If your child is 8-12 years old:
- Student must be walked in and signed in by an adult* each day.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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*.
If your child is 13 or older
- 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) there is a Teen Drop Off form on file.
- The parent and teen student must sign a “Teen Drop Off Form” at the beginning of the year (or after the 13th birthday) which allows the student to be dropped off and remain unaccompanied on campus. The form is available in the back of this handbook and at the front desk. Without this form on file, drop off and supervision for students ages 8-12 should be followed for teens.
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 for indoors, outdoors, and permitted play areas. Compass does not provide aides or monitors. The supervision policy applies to waiting siblings in addition to students who are enrolled in Compass classes.
Multiple Aged Children
In families with children of multiples ages, we ask that parents follow the supervision policy for the youngest child.
Who are these adults*?
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 Proxy 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 allowing the other parent(s) leave campus. Parents are solely responsible for selecting, coordinating with, and obtaining acceptance from a Parent Proxy. Parent Proxy forms are electronic and available online through the Compass Family Account. Parent Proxy forms should be submitted online prior to leaving your child in the car of another adult. A parent should submit a different form for each adult that may be left responsible for his/her children.
Older Students Responsible for Younger Siblings
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 requirements of the Teen Form. If a teen is taking responsibility for a younger sibling, the family must have a signed teen form on file. Students age 8-12 cannot be the “responsible adult” for younger siblings.
- Compass parents, instructors, and staff cannot park in spaces designated for church staff members
- Drivers should park only in designated parking spaces and may not park in the traffic circle.
- Drivers are asked to follow one-way directional arrows in the parking lot.
- Vehicles must have official, state-issued handicap tags or stickers to be able to park in accessible parking spaces.
- Parents may want to send lunch or snacks with their children. Include a drink since there is only a water fountain and no drink vending machines on campus.
- Compass has snacks such as granola bars, candy, cookies, and crackers for sale at the Front Desk.
- Complimentary tea and coffee is available only for parents and teachers at the Front Desk.
- Students, parents, and siblings may eat and drink in the Social Hall, Outdoors, Lobby, Quiet Study Areas, Family Lounge 11, and Upper Building Family Lounge (open in winter only).
- Food and drinks may not be consumed in classrooms, hallways, Parent Lounge in Room 9B, Parent Lounge in Room 10B, the Meditation Room, or the Nursery. Students who are hungry in class should excuse themselves to eat in the Lobby, Social Hall, or Outdoors.
- Water in lidded or refillable bottles may be consumed in all areas.
- 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 snacks at Compass.
Guests on Campus
The playground, Social Hall, and Common areas are for use by currently registered Compass families. Current Compass families are asked not to invite other homeschool friends to meet up at Compass for lunch or playground time. The Compass lease extends only to registered students and their families. The facilities and amenities cannot accommodate additional, unregistered guests of Compass families. If you have a homeschool friend that you think would enjoy Compass classes, please invite them to meet at the Front Desk for a tour with Compass administrators. If you would like to meet up with a non-Compass family in the area, please see the Local Area Directory section of this handbook for nearby parks, library, and restaurants.
Pets on Campus
Pets cannot be accommodated on Compass grounds or in buildings. Some parents, students, siblings, or church members may have allergies to pets or have a fear of them. Compass is unable to clean up after pets. Some pets may interfere with the work of service dogs on campus, which are allowed by law. If your pet has come along on a “ride” to pick up a student at Compass, please do not leave the pet unattended in the vehicle without water and air conditioning. Temperatures in closed vehicles can quickly soar to 20-30 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature, and pets can die in minutes. If you need to walk your pet for exercise or a bathroom break, please see the Local Area Directory section of this handbook for nearby parks.
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.
Sale/Free Homeschool Items+
Due to space and storage limitations, “for free” and “for sale” homeschool materials can not be sold/placed in the Social Hall, lounges, lobby, or tables around campus. Families are encouraged to save these materials for the annual spring Used Homeschool Curriculum Sale.
Coats can be hung on the coat bar located across from the Front Desk.
Lost and Found
A Lost and Found bin is located near the Front Desk. Please check here for missing items. Stray items that are not claimed will be donated at the end of the quarter.
For safety reasons, “wheelie shoes”, roller skates, roller blades, scooters, and skateboards cannot be used at Compass.