Getting the Right Fit!
Mission and Vision
My mission is to create an academic structure that best provides for the spiritual, academic, recreational and artistic needs of our children. Living in Sullivan County, I have always been inspired by the multitude of skills and the resourcefulness of the people that live here. This is undoubtedly borne out of the tremendous love for the natural beauty and ruggedness of the land we call home. As a teacher, I have always wished for greater hands-on opportunities for my students, so that they will be well-equipped to lead a life of independence here. Even in the early stages of imagining a Christian school, I thought, what a blessing it would be to our children to have lessons or demonstrations from caring adults that work in other fields. Plus, variety is the spice of life! Children absolutely adore having a new person come to teach them about their hobbies or professions. Providing a sense of adventure to the school day is a sure way to drive their curiosity.
Choosing the Right Legal Structure
My mission is also to serve our community. I recognize that we are living in challenging times. I have listened to the educational concerns of parents, and I understand the struggles we all have between working and providing for our families. I want to provide a classical Christian education that working families can both afford and fit into their busy schedules.
By giving consideration to the financial circumstances of our community, I was led to research all of the K-12 educational institutions allowed to operate in New York. After researching and consulting with other private schools and homeschooling organizations, I quickly understood the importance of choosing a "least-restrictive structure." In essence, the more regulated the school, the higher its operational costs will be.
Historically, there have been two legal designations that have worked very successfully in our area for small and private K-12 educational institutions: homeschool cooperatives and unregistered, non-public schools. Both allow tremendous freedom in the choices of curricula.
Unregistered, non-public schools are typically affiliated with churches. This designation is technically recognized as a true school by New York State regulations. They first undergo a petitions process with the Commissioner of Education, and then incorporate with the Department of State. They then obtain approval for their curricula. Once approved as a school, they are required to maintain and submit a variety of student records. They must also meet specific insurance and safety requirements.
A homeschool cooperative is recognized as a parent-driven organization. The cooperative's objective is to provide tutors to assist them with the homeschool education of their children. The tutors are typically the parents themselves that collaborate to schedule specific instructional lessons. Homeschooling laws in our state also allow parents to hire or designate outside tutors to assist with their children's education. Under this designation however, if any one tutor provides more than fifty percent of your child's, that tutor or organization must incorporate with the state as a school. A homeschool cooperative requires the commitment of the parent on some level to contribute to instruction.
I would be honored to run whichever option works best for meeting the needs of like-minded parents. In a brand new venture such as this, I believe it will be truly important to stay flexible and allow God to grow a school that works best for our community. Given what I have come to understand already, pursuing a homeschool cooperative would be the most advantageous way to get a classical Christian education established again in Sullivan County!
A homeschool cooperative is by far the most flexible and affordable option for now. It avoids many of the regulatory expenses and labor associated with running a school. It also gives us the opportunity to create a unique style of instruction that captures the flavor of our community...
My responsibility to you will be to provide your children with daily spiritual and academic instruction, typically in the mornings until lunch-time. I will need help from you for the other fifty-one percent of the day. And there is no limit to the ways in which you can participate! If there is a subject in which you shine, by all means come and teach it! In the afternoons, we will need help with providing art, music, physical education, and many other extra curricular activities. In a homeschool cooperative, we will also have great scheduling flexibility. We can have tutors come every day, once a week, or to do a two week module for example. And perhaps there is a professional or retired professional you know for special lessons or field trips.
Please see the Collaborate page for more information and ideas on how to be involved!