(If your student desires to participate in the Diploma Program or Credit Verification Service (CVS) program, click on either of those tabs for information. The information below is only for those who want to be Members of the MDHSA Local Support Group located in Waynesboro, PA. One does not have to be a Member of MDHSA to participate in the Diploma Program).
Welcome to the MDHSA Local Support Group!
IMPORTANT: Please read the Membership Information completely before submitting the Membership Application! You can find the “Membership Application” link at the bottom of this page.
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
- MDHSA Member Services
- When to Join
- Membership Dues
- Membership Approval and Password
- Receiving Your Newsletters
1. Membership Types:
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.
2. Before You Join:
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 time to teach children your values and discuss the differences in your faith.
- 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 allows 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. MDHSA Member Services:
MDHSA currently offers the following services to its Members. These services are supplied wholly or in part by Member Dues. Renewing members may consult the MDHSA Membership Handbook for a detailed overview of these services.
- MDHSA Website with improved features and functions
- Member Directory
- Small Business Directory
- Monthly Newsletter
- Graduation Ceremony
- Resource Center (library)
- Insurance: Property, Liability, Workman’s Comp
- Standardized Testing for 3rd, 5th, & 8th Graders (This service is no longer provided, but MDHSA offers an alternative and information.)
- Workshops and Conferences
- Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Group Discount
- Evaluator Listing
- Homeschool Formal
- Homeschooling Legislative Updates
- Free Law Guide
- Membership Card
- Co-operative school
- And More!
4. When to Join:
New / Renewing Members -
- After March 30,you should purchase a Membership for the NEXT Membership Year.
- After March 30, if you need to apply for Membership in order to participate in the MDHSA Graduation Ceremony -Please read the required information (below) and…. -Visit the Graduation Ceremony Tab of this website for details -E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a Membership Form for the Graduation Ceremony
5. 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.
- New Members: Membership fee is $50. This fee includes a New Member Assessment fee of $10.
- Renewing Members: Membership fee is $40. PLEASE NOTE: If your Membership lapses for a period of three years, you will need to re-join the Organization as a “New Membership,” and will be charged the Assessment Fee again.
- Prorate Membership: For those joining after January 1 of the Membership Year, the Membership Fee is pro-rated as follows:
- Renewing Members: $20
- New Members: $30 (Includes the New Member Assessment Fee)
All members receive the newsletter by email. If you check on the member form that you wish to have the newsletter by email you will receive a reduction of $5 in your member dues. There is no Newsletter discount for prorated Membership.
6. 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.
7. Receiving Your Newsletters:
Newsletters are published during the months of August through December, and February through June. Although the Membership Year runs from June 1 to May 31, you will receive a courtesy Newsletter in June. You will begin receiving the Newsletter within a month of your Membership being approved (except for July and January since no newsletter is published those months).
If you join MDHSA any time after July 15th of the Membership Year, your Newsletters will not be sent to you until the month after you have joined. Please see the Members Only section of the website to retrieve a copy of the Newsletter.
Once you are approved as a Member, you may visit the Members Only section of the website to retrieve and print the Co-Op Registration Form. 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.