DIPLOMA PROGRAM NOTE: STOP! If you wish to register your student for the Diploma Program, you are on the wrong page. Go to the “Diploma Program” tab and click on the “Getting Started” page. You do not have to be a member of our Local Support Group to be in the Diploma Program or CVS and you do not need a password. Confused? Email email@example.com.
Welcome to the MDHSA Local Support Group!
IMPORTANT: Please read the Membership Information (below) completely before submitting the Membership Application! You can find the “Membership Application” link at the bottom of this page.
***YEARLY MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE***
We hope you will join our group and reap the benefits of partnering with others who are committed to home education! See below for:
- Membership Types – This must be read before completing the Membership Application
- Before You Join – This must be read before completing the Membership Application
- Photos of Children – Policy
- MDHSA Member Services
- When to Join
- Membership Dues
- Membership Approval and Password
- Grandparents Joining MDHSA / Assisting with Homeschooling
- Receiving Your Newsletters
There are two types of Membership in MDHSA: Full Membership and Associate Membership.
The type of Membership that you will have is based on whether you agree with the excerpt of our Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Purpose. You can read these items by clicking on that tab.
There is no difference in how each type of Member is treated, and they are both welcome to participate fully in all activities. However, Associate Members may not serve as officers, vote on policy matters, or be Members of the Co-Op Committees.
To become a Member of MDHSA, both husband and wife (or the custodial parent or legal guardian) must read the Statement of Purpose and check the appropriate box on the Membership Application. GRANDPARENTS JOINING MDHSA – SEE #8, BELOW.
On the Membership Application, you will be asked to “CHECK” the statement:
I/we are affirming that I/we have read the “Before You Join” section in the Membership Info tab for the current year’s Membership.
(Please do not just check the box if you have read it in the past! Please read this information each year to confirm that there are no changes that are important to you!)
As much as we love to have folks join and support MDHSA, we want you to be sure that the Organization is right for you. You do not have to agree with all the following. However, these are non-negotiable items, and it is important to be aware of how MDHSA stands on these issues. Here are some things you should know about MDHSA before joining.
- We are a Christian Organization founded in 1986. We have a Statement of Purpose and Faith. This means that you and your children will be in contact with Christian homeschoolers in our group.
- Our Statement of Purpose states that we are here to support all homeschoolers, not just Christian homeschoolers. Thus, you and your children may be in contact with others who do not share your faith. This is a good opportunity to teach children your values and discuss the differences in your faith and that of others.
- Our Associate Members may not agree with our Statement of Faith and Purpose. However, we ask them to not actively oppose our Statement of Faith and Purpose in an official manner.
- We are not a church; we do not actively “evangelize” as a group. What an individual Member does in his/her interactions with other Members is between him/her and the Lord, not MDHSA.
- We have prayed and said the Pledge of Allegiance since 1986 in our Co-Op classes. We may pray audibly to God and to Jesus at an activity or Co-Op. We Pledge the Allegiance to the US flag and the Christian flag. We ask those who oppose these activities to simply remain quiet or leave the room. We will not criticize you for not engaging in these activities, and we will not force you to participate in these activities. Conversely, please do not try to force any of our Members to stop participating in these activities.
- We may ask our Members to contact legislators or others to support homeschooling in PA or nationally in a limited manner that is outlined in our incorporation documents. You will not be required to do any of these things. Participation is optional for Members.
- MDHSA was founded in 1986 to support homeschoolers. Charter/Cyber school students are not homeschoolers; they are public school students. MDHSA welcomes those families to become Members of MDHSA, but the main emphasis of support is to homeschoolers because MDHSA is a homeschool support group. See the information on this website concerning Charter/Cyber schools.
- Any organization is made up of a variety of people with many different personalities. However, if an individual or his/her family continues to cause friction or continuously oppose MDHSA policies, that individual’s Membership may be terminated with no refund. Please be gentle when expressing your opinions, remembering that the purpose of the Organization is to provide for all of the Membership. Be prepared to compromise, or in the interest of unity, forfeit your “right” to do it your way.
- The Organization is made up of volunteers who are all homeschooling their own children. Do not expect more from these volunteers than you are willing to give of yourself. Do not expect to be accommodated for your particular needs continuously. If you are going through a difficult time in your life that leaves no room to volunteer, then it would be better if you did not volunteer than to be unable to make good on that commitment.
3. Photos of Children – Policy:
MDHSA families sometimes submit photos of their children and other children at MDHSA activities to one of our public venues, such as Facebook, the MDHSA website or an MDHSA newsletter. Rarely, there may be a professional photographer taking photos. Since it is impossible for everyone in MDHSA to know your child personally, if you do not wish to have your child’s photo on a public MDHSA venue, you must make sure your child walks away from any photo taking at an MDHSA activity by anyone, professional or otherwise, and make your wishes known to anyone who inadvertently takes a photo of your child. If you do not do so, other parents or photographers and MDHSA will assume that you are giving permission for your children’s unidentified photos to be used publicly and the photographers and MDHSA are released from any responsibility. Anyone submitting a photo with a child’s name must obtain permission from the parent. If a photo with a name is submitted to MDHSA, it will be assumed that the parent gave permission. If you do see a photo of your child on an MDHSA public venue that you want removed, please contact the person who took the photo and/or the venue (FB coordinator, webmaster) to have it removed.
Please Click HERE to see what services MDHSA provides.
5. When to Join:
The MDHSA Membership Year runs from June 1 through May 31 of each year.
- Registrations for the new membership year begin April 1 for new and renewing members. Membership will be effective June 1 of the current year through May 31 of the next year. New members will be unable to get onto the MDHSA website until June 1. Please read the newsletter and co-op information below.
- Pro-rated Memberships are those who register to become members between December 1 and March 31st for the membership year that expires May 31 of the same year. (We do not take registrations for the outgoing year after March 31, except for the graduation ceremony exception below.) For example, if one joins on March 15, membership will expire in two months on May 31. You may register online but you must MAIL your payment of $20 payable to MDHSA to Pro-rated MDHSA Membership, 32 W. Main Street, #5, Waynesboro, PA 17268. You will receive your newsletter by e-mail only. There is no postal mail option for pro-rated memberships.
- Grad Ceremony Pro-rated Membership: The graduation ceremony is open only to MDHSA members, Diploma Program students and Credit Verification Service(CVS) students. If you are not in the diploma program or CVS you may become a member of MDHSA to participate in the ceremony. If you have not registered to be a MDHSA member before April 1, and would like to become a member in order to participate in the graduation ceremony, do not fill in an online membership form. That will cost you the full year‘s membership fee. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and MDHSA will e-mail you a membership form with a prorated membership fee.
Please note that if your membership expires on May 31st, you may participate in the Graduation Ceremony that is the very next month (but not the next year unless you renew your membership!).
6. Membership Dues:
- The MDHSA Membership Year runs from June 1 through May 31 of each year. Dues are paid per year. If you are a RENEWING MEMBER experiencing financial difficulties, payment plans may be available to you. Contact the MDHSA office for details. The fees are the same for new and renewing members.
- Membership fee is $35—All members automatically receive the newsletter by e-mail.
- Membership fee is $40 — If you check on the member form that you wish to receive the newsletter by mail in addition to receiving it automatically by e-mail, it i$5 extra or $40.
- Pro-rated members-$20 For those joining after December 1 of the Membership Year. See “When to Join” for information concerning Pro-rated membership.
- Codes—These are for MDHSA renewing members only who have earned discounts by participating in a particular fund raiser. They will have been given the codes prior to renewing. If you are a renewing member and participated in a fund raiser this past year and are to receive a discount, and have not been notified of the code to use, please email the office.
7. Membership Approval and Password:
After submitting your Application online, you will receive an e-mail stating that you have signed-up to join MDHSA.
Your Membership Fee can be paid online via Pay Pal, OR you may mail a check for your Membership Fees to the MDHSA Office. Please indicate in the “memo” area that is for a membership and for what year (eg. 2013-14 . After it has been determined that your payment has been made, your Membership will be approved, and you will receive an e-mail providing you with the Password to the Members’ Only section of the website, as well as the Password needed to access the MDHSA Resource Center.
You will then be able to print your Membership Card, which indicates that you are an “educator,” and may be used to receive discounts at various locations. You will also have the opportunity to join the forum, access the Membership Directory, MDHSA Handbook, Co-Op Registration Forms, and more.
8. Grandparents Joining MDHSA / Assisting with Homeschooling:
IMPORTANT: Please review the GRANDPARENT CLAUSE to learn who the Grandparent Clause applies to and how Grandparents and/or Parents (in these situations) are to join MDHSA and complete the Membership Application.
9. Receiving Your Newsletters:
The membership year runs from June 1 to May 31. Newsletters are printed from August through June of the next year.
The first newsletter to be published in the new membership year will be in August. If you join before July 15th, you will receive the new membership year’s August Newsletter. If you join MDHSA any time after July 15th of the new Membership Year, your Newsletters will not be sent to you until the month after you have joined. However, you will be able to access them by logging in on the Membership area of the website to view the previous months’ newsletters. Please do not share the newsletter, as this is one of the benefits of being a member of MDHSA.
All members automatically receive the newsletters by e-mail. If you desire to have the newsletter ALSO sent to a snail mail address, it is an extra $5 or $40 for the full membership year. We encourage you to receive it by e-mail only as it incurs more expense and it requires more effort on the part of our VOLUNTEER newsletter editor to print hard copies, add labels, and take them to the post office and mail them. Pro-rated members receive the newsletter by e-mail only, not postal mail.
Although the Membership Year runs from June 1 to May 31, current members will receive their final newsletter for the year in June. New members, who register before July 15, will receive the June newsletter by e-mail only, NOT postal mail, if they register before July 15, as a courtesy in case there are upcoming summer activities. There are no newsletters in July and January.
Renewing Members: As of April 1st, once you are approved as a Member, you may log into the members support group section of the website to retrieve and print the Co-Op Registration Forms when they become available. You will use the outgoing year passwords to get on to the website until June 1, but the new membership year’s password that was sent to you to get to the co-op forms.
New Members: As of June 1, once you are approved as a Member, you may log in to the Local Support Group Member section of the website to retrieve and print the Co-Op Registration Form. Even if you join before June 1, you will not be able to get onto the website until June 1st.
Please DO NOT give this form to others. Violators may lose their Membership with no refund. All Members must go to the Members Only section themselves to retrieve the Registration Form with their own password. If renewing members do not have internet access, they can sign up for membership at the library or at a friends computer and to retrieve the co-op registration form. Co-Op should be contacted as soon as you decide that you are interested in participating, as classes fill up quickly. Once a Co-Op has begun classes for that semester, no other Members may be accepted into Co-Op. If a Member invites you to visit a Co-Op once classes have begun, please be aware that you will not be allowed to join until the next Co-Op session begins. For Co-Op North, this will be the next fall. For South and West, the sessions begin in the fall, ending in December, and begin again in the new year, ending in late spring. Please check the Co-Op page for more information.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT REGISTRATION FOR THE DIPLOMA PROGRAM. For Diploma Program Information, visit the Diploma Program Tab. Next, go to the Purchase tab and click on Publications and order a Diploma Guide, read it, and then register.