MDHSA Co-operative Schools for Kindergarten through 12th Grades
While many families join MDHSA for the field trips, First Friday assemblies and other activities and support, some families also take part in the co-operative schools (co-ops).
These “schools” meet weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the co-op and provide support to parents and supplemental educational experiences to school age children from kindergarten to 12th grade. They typically meet about 3 to 3 1/2 hours and have 3 class periods, depending on the co-op and a parent usually teaches one class, helps in another class and attends a parent’s meeting for the third hour. A new member is a helper the first semester, thus not being required to teach until s/he is more comfortable in his or her second semester.
Co-Op is for families with children that are K-12th grades. We do also provide a nursery and 3-5 age classes for younger siblings while the parents teach. These classes are listed in the co-op details below.
This is a wonderful way for kids to meet other kids and for moms to meet moms and share information and receive support. In each of our co-ops, you will attend a “mom’s meeting” which is one of the best things about co-op! We have four distinctively different co-ops so be sure to read all the information to understand the differences and your responsibilities. Below you will learn how to get started and information about each of the three co-ops.
There are currently four Co-Ops offered by MDHSA:
- Co-Op South (Five Forks, PA—Waynesboro area)
- Co-Op North (Chambersburg, PA)
- Co-Op West (Mercersburg, PA).
- Co-op Berea (Newburg, PA)
Each Co-Op is quite different in structure. Please read about each program in the “Co-Op Details” section before committing to attend any of the Co-Op’s.
NOTICE/Required by PA Law:
Because of recent Pennsylvania Child Abuse law changes, effective January 1, 2015, all parents who are participating at a MDHSA co-op, or are teaching a club or children when the parent is not present must have child abuse clearances. Please apply for your clearance before you apply for the coop. MDHSA must receive your clearance as soon as possible. If we do not receive your clearance by the first day of co-op, neither you nor your child will be able to attend. Please read the Clearance Notice below.
How to Get Started In an MDHSA Co-operative School
Membership in the Local Support Group is REQUIRED for participation in the MDHSA Co-Ops. Please visit the “Membership Info” page for details on becoming a Member and to sign up online to be a member. When you sign up to me a member, even though you click the checkbox for co-op that you plan to be in this semester, you are NOT registered with co-op until you sign up with that co-op individually.
Be sure to read the above information about child abuse clearances and file for your clearances as instructed.
Once you are approved as an MDHSA Local Support Group Member, you will receive an email with details on accessing the Members Only section of the website. This is where, as a member, you may retrieve and print the Co-Op Registration Form for those co-ops that use it, or sign up online for those co-ops that use an online registration form. Please DO NOT gives this registration form to others. It is only for MDHSA paid members.
You should register for the co-op as soon as the decision has been made to participate, as classes fill up very quickly. Once a Co-Op has begun classes for the semester, no other Members may be accepted / admitted into the Co-Op.
While visitors are certainly welcome to attend a Co-Op for a day, if invited by a current MDHSA Member, please be aware that you will not be allowed to join any Co-Op until the next session (semester) begins. Admission is available for Fall and Spring Semesters.
Always refer to the current Co-Op page for the most up-to-date information.
When joining a Co-Op, please realize that EACH ADULT is making a commitment to teach or help through that ENTIRE Co-Op session. If a family drops-out unexpectedly, an existing participant has to cover those classes for the adult that left. This adds a great burden for those Members of Co-Op, since everyone is already committed to teaching or helping in other classes for that session and there likely will not be anyone available to teach your class.
Co-Op South (Five Forks, PA)
Co-op South is held on Tuesday mornings during two 15-week semesters, fall and spring. The fall semester begins on the first Tuesday after Labor Day, and the spring semester begins in January. To conclude both semesters a “Showcase” is featured which is a time for teachers and students to exhibit what their class has learned and done during the semester. Fall showcase is held the evening of the 14th week and the spring showcase is held on the morning of our 15th week together.
Each weekly session runs from 9:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and consists of a 15-minute opening time and three 1 hour class periods for elementary children and two 1 ½ hour class periods for Jr./Sr. High students. Classes are offered in the following age groups: 4-5 year olds, 6-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds as well as Jr. and Sr. High classes. A nursery and preschool class is offered for younger siblings. There are at least two class choices offered per period for 6 to 12 year olds and 4 or more offered per period for Jr./Sr. High. Participating families register and pay a $50 fee for every semester in which they choose to attend. Only children whose parents or legal guardians are members of MDHSA may register for Co-op. Daycare children of participating members may also attend Co-op for an additional fee. (If you are a daycare provider, you will pay a flat rate per semester no matter how many daycare children you are bringing.)
Because it is a Co-op, the parents do the teaching. The first semester you participate in you are not required to teach, you are simply assigned as a “helper” during two of the class periods. This gives you a chance to get the feel of Co-op and see how the set-up works. The remaining class period is your time to attend our parent’s meeting. Each parents’ meeting is run by a facilitator and is a time for the parents to get together and talk about a variety of homeschooling issues and concerns. In many ways, it is a support group for homeschooling parents.
Registration deadlines are as follows:
Fall semester – July 1st for returning members, August 10th for first time participants
Spring semester – November 15th for returning members, December 15th for first time participants
Please understand that classes are on a first-come-first-serve basis so they may not get 1st choice for classes if you wait.
A list of classes offered for the semester will be mailed to you along with a Student Registration Form. When you receive these forms, your child(ren) should select classes for each period and return the form by August 15th (fall) and December 20th (spring). Approximately two weeks before the beginning of the semester you will receive a list of classes for each child and an assignment schedule for yourself.
Co-Op North (Chambersburg, PA)
Co-Op North meets every other Tuesday. We have 2 semesters, a Fall and a Spring, each consisting of 8 co-op days and a showcase. Each Co-Op year begins in September and runs until the end of April. Showcase is held the Friday evening after the last Co-Op day. Each session runs from 9:15a.m. until 12:30p.m. Three class periods are offered for students ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13 & up. Nursery is provided for children ages 2 and under.
We also go on field trips throughout the year and have several fun mom’s only events.
Membership fees are $30 for the semester. There are also class fees for the individual classes.
If you would like to participate in Co-Op North, please completed your Returning Parent Registration and $30 registration fee by July 1st, $10 late fee after that; registration closes on July 7th for returning member. New members just joining have until July 31st to register, with the understanding that classes are on a first come, first filled basis (so they may not get 1st choice for classes if you wait.). No new members will be accepted after Aug 1st; registration will reopen, for the spring semester, in December.
BEFORE YOU REGISTER please be sure to have all of your needed clearances. Registrations received without the proper clearance will be rejected and refund, minus a small fee.
A list of classes offered for the semester will be e-mailed to you along with a link to the Student Registration. When you receive this, your child(ren) should select their classes for each period. Please be sure to pick a class for each period for each kid! You must submit your choices and pay the class fees by August 5th. Approximately two weeks before the beginning of the semester, you will receive a list of classes for each child and an assignment schedule for yourself.
Co-Op West (Mercersburg, PA)
Co-Op West (Cove Valley Youth Camp near Mercersburg, PA) meets on Thursday mornings during two 10-week semesters. What is unique and fresh about Co-Op West is that it is located at a camp whcih provides the participants the opporunity to teach and learn in an outdoor and/or mountain cabin setting. Nature studies and outdoor sporting opportunities are numerous. The Fall semester begins on the second Thursday after Labor Day and the Spring semester begins on the third Thursay in March. Both semesters feature a “showcase” on the 10th week which is a time for teachers and students to exhibit what their class has learned during the semester. Each weekly session runs from 9:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and consists of a 15-minutes opening time and three 60-minute class periods. Classes are offered in the following age groups: 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years, and 12 and up. There is also a nursery for infants and toddlers.
Participating families register and pay a registration fee for every semester in which they choose to participate. Only children whose parents or legal guardian are members of MDHSA may register for classes. (Day-care children of participating members may also attend Co-Op for an additional fee). Parents do the teaching, but, the first semester you participate in Co-Op you are not required to teach; instead, you are assigned as a “helper” during two class periods. The remaining class period is your time to attend our parents’ meeting.
If you would like to participate in Co-Op West, you must postmark your completed Registration Form and registration fee no later than July 15th for the Fall semester and no later than February 1st for the Spring semester. New members just joining have until August 10th and March 1st to send in the Parent Registration Form with the understanding that classes are on a first come first filled basis (so you may not get 1st choice for classes if you wait). Once we receive your registration, a list of classes offered for the semester will be mailed to you along with a Student Registration Form. When you receive these forms, your child(ren) should select classes for each period. You must then return the form along with any class fees that may be listed (some classes have fees, some do not, depending on the supplies being used). Approximately two weeks before the beginning of the semester, you will receive a list of classes for each child and an assignment schedule for yourself.
Co-Op Berea (Newburg, PA)
Co-Op Berea meets every other Tuesday. We have 2 semesters, a Fall and a Spring, each consisting of 8 Co-op days and a showcase. Each Co-Op year begins in August/September and runs until the beginning of May. Showcases are held the Friday evening after the last Co-Op day. Each session runs from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Three class periods are offered for students ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13 & up. Nursery is provided for children ages 2 and under.
We also go on field trips throughout the year, have family events, and several fun mom’s night out events!
Membership fees are $30 for the semester. There are also class fees for the individual classes.
If you would like to participate in Co-Op Berea, please complete your Parent Registration and $30 registration fee by July 1st, $10 late fee after that; registration closes on July 7th for returning members. New members just joining have until July 31st to register. No new members will be accepted after Aug 1st; registration will reopen, for the spring semester, in November.
BEFORE YOU REGISTER please be sure to have all of your needed clearances in process. Clearances must be complete and submitted to MDHSA BEFORE the first day of co-op, so please apply for them right away.
Berea was a town that Paul and Silas visited, in Acts 17. They preached the gospel to it’s people, and the Bereans studied the scriptures and believed. They were a studious Bible believing people, and that’s what we want to be also! This is what Acts 17:11-12 ESV says, “11b they (the Bereans) received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.” We hope you’ll join us for lots of fun learning and encouragement!