We require homework and give feedback, evaluations, and grades where appropriate, but we recognize that your students’ education is their parents’ responsibility. When figuring credits, approximately 5-6 hours per week is about one standard high school credit. (For instance, a writing class and a literature class, each requiring 2 – 2 1/2 hours of homework per week would amount to one credit of English.) Any grades we give are not binding, but our tutors put a great deal of effort into their assignments and evaluations, so to just ignore them, giving your own grades, would not really be ethical. We recommend that you use evaluations to write up your own assessment for a progress report on your student’s home education. You are the ones with the constitutional right to homeschool, as well as the responsibility for communication with the school department, college transcripts, etc. We provide what we refer to as tutorials.
Unfortunately, we need to address cheating and plagiarism, including cutting and pasting homework answers, which is dealt with firmly and immediately, earning a zero. Because we meet only weekly and do not want to spend too much class time administering exams, tutors often send exams home for parents to proctor. Please follow guidelines for this very carefully. If we grow haphazard in this area, we not only encourage our students to cheat, but we compromise the integrity of our program and of the grades your students earn.
If your students have not completed their courses successfully from the previous year, please don’t register for classes without talking with the tutors. In a sense, even as the year begins, we consider every student “on probation”, and where there is academic difficulty, we will work with you for solutions, occasionally suggesting other options, recognizing that Good Company is not a good fit for every family.
We have no set system of discipline set up because every issue is a bit different, and as much as possible we are dealing with people, not rules. Although emergencies happen, we are assuming that students will come to class prepared and will be respectful of each other, of the tutors, other adults, and of the building that is generously made available for our use. You can expect the same kind of preparedness and respect on the part of the tutors.
While we have no formal dress code, students are expected to dress modestly. If in doubt about clothing, take the safe route. Students dressing immodestly will be corrected and/or asked to go home to change. Tops should adequately cover, even when young ladies are bending over and moving around. Shorts should come to at least halfway between top of the leg and knee. Please no short skirts/dresses or underwear showing, and no offensive slogans.
Although none of us is making a general judgment regarding displays of affection, we think that the best policy for a building full of teenagers is a conservative one. Therefore we ask that boys and girls refrain from “public displays of affection”: hand-holding, hugging, etc.
Please do not bring weapons to classes – we know that some of our students are used to carrying jackknives, but please, do not bring items that are considered weapons to classes – even if you are not intending to use them as such. If you think you have an exception to this rule, please ask permission first.
The use of inappropriate language, critical and disrespectful words toward tutors and other students, as well as vulgarity and profanity, is handled individually by tutors; however, our policy is definitely “no toleration”.
Students are welcome to wait in the building if they have breaks between classes, only if they can be trusted to quietly socialize or do some other work. Parents should let us know on the registration form what we can expect. However, they must remain in designated areas of the building and keep from disturbing classes. On your registration form please indicate the hours your students will be in the building, but not in classes. Class days at Good Company are times when students enjoy being together, sitting, talking, playing. WE LIKE THAT! – However, there have been times when there are dozens of “socializing” students – to the disruption of the classes, so we need to manage that free time. We’re sure you understand. Please DO NOT drop your child off early or leave them after their classes are finished unless you intend to be there helping with supervision. We know they are “good kids who won’t cause any trouble,” but sometimes it’s just too much young energy to manage. Thank you for understanding.
The Physical Space
Good Company is very grateful to New Covenant Christian Fellowship and Hope Church for graciously allowing us the use of their buildings, and we expect our students to be very respectful of that privilege. However, they have not given us free reign to help ourselves to supplies, cabinets, etc. The buildings are available because of the generosity and support of these churches, and we want to honor that and also lighten the load of those cleaning at the end of the day. The churches cannot be expected to clean up after us or repair what we break. Please remind your students regularly to clean up after themselves and be respectful of the buildings and those who make them available to us. Trash can go in designated baskets, and items for recycling should be rinsed and put in the bins rather than being thrown in the trash. Those showing disrespect to property just might be given a work detail. Also, the church does not have the space to store lost-and-found items, although we do keep one bin. Please remind your children to write their names in books and on possessions, and to check carefully for them before leaving the building.
The Parking Lot (Attleboro)
In order to avoid conflict with the neighbors, we ask that students never go across boundary lines into the surrounding yards. If a ball or frisbee goes out of the yard, it must stay there (and the neighbors may toss it back when they see it). Students should also be reminded regularly that it is a parking lot, not a playground, so there are always cars coming and going and they should always watch for cars, and play in the designated place, rather than between parked cars. We create systems for dropping off and parking at high traffic times, so we don’t create traffic jams. Please follow procedures. Although we ask that you not park on the side street beside the building, there may be times when there is no parking available in the lot. On-street parking is legal throughout Attleboro as long as you follow the ordinances, keeping off people’s grass, etc.
Of course, in all this, what we are saying is that respect for people is most important. Tutors are the authority in their classes, and students should respect them by honoring that. Although we teach every course from a Biblical worldview, we have a variety of students from varying backgrounds. Not only is it possible to get along and respect one another, there is great benefit that comes in the process of trying to understand others who perhaps think differently. If you are looking for a place where everyone thinks the same way, and students always conform to the expectations, Good Company is not where you will find it.
So… what if there are problems? There will be as there have been – that is one thing we can guarantee! As in the rest of life, the Biblical way is always the best. We do not want to ignore issues nor do we wish to let them get bigger than necessary. Would you please, if you have an issue, go directly to the person involved? Will you encourage your students to do the same? If it is not resolved, go to someone who can help – perhaps a tutor or the administrator. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and even your complaints; by God’s grace, conflict and disagreement can accomplish much good. If we can teach our children biblical problem-solving, that may be more important than all the best classes we can offer. Over our nineteen years, we have had relatively very few big problems, but Good Company, through its administration, reserves the right to dismiss a student or ask him/her not to return if it does not seem in the best interest of the student, the family, or the Good Company program.