Q: Are you religiously based?
A: No. We do not restrict our membership to any religious affiliation.
Q: What about refunds?
A: We have a no refund policy for membership and classes. Once you sign up for a class we purchase materials and supplies based on that commitment and lock-in your place in the class.
Q: Do I stay in the classroom with my child?
A: That depends. We embrace varying levels of parent involvement with their learner and unless otherwise noted on the class description, it is up to the parent’s discretion if they choose to be in the activity with the learner or not. Parents are welcome to sit in with their learner or leave the room.
Exceptions to leaving the classroom:
1) The class description notes parent assistance is needed, typically based on age for safety reasons.
2) A request from the facilitator has been made for you to attend class with your child. Our facilitators and volunteers are not trained to handle severe emotional and behavioral issues. If your child is unable to navigate classroom and playground settings without your assistance please do not leave them.
Q: Do I have to stay on campus?
A: Yes, unless another adult will take responsibility for your kids in your absence. We are a family program where individual families come together and meet in a public place, therefore you remain responsible for the care and safety of your child while they are on campus whether you choose to remain on campus or not.
It is up to your discretion to leave campus and you certainly may do so, however you are required to designate a Parent on Duty (POD) who will be the responsible party for the learner in your absence. Note: New members are required to remain on campus 2 times before they can assign a POD.
Q: What grade levels do you serve?
A: We serve learners 5-17. Sometimes we also have offerings for younger learners or parents. We do not use grade levels. Our activities are offered in multiple and mixed age ranges. There is no testing, grading, or credit.
Q: Do you teach core curriculum and subjects?
A: Not as traditional academic classes. Many of our subjects incorporate academic content. As a matter of fact, most of our classes are cross curricular. However, we use a practical or fun based approach and students are not required to "demonstrate mastery" to complete the class. We encourage families to review the available classes together and allow the learner to select the classes they are interested in participating in.
Q: What happens with my under school aged children while older siblings are in class?
A: You are welcome to have them with you. We often have a designated place on campus for parents and younger kids to hang out. Sometimes we even offer classes for kids under 5. Sometimes our community partners even offer special programs for them when we are off campus, but wherever we are the whole family is welcome!
Q: My kids aren’t school age yet but I have already committed to homeschool. Can I participate in Open Skies?
A: We do allow a limited number of memberships for families who have made a decision to homeschool and have only younger children. We do this to help provide community for those families who are looking for like-minded folks because we know first hand that finding other homeschooling families in this age range is a challenge! This is available only to those families who are committed to a homeschooling life, and after a personal interview these families are welcome to become a part of the community with full access to our campus, park days and social activities, and anywhere we gather as a group. If this is your family's situation please contact DeeDee Putzel to discuss possible membership.
Q: Is attendance required?
A: No. Our in person classes are drop in, so it's no problem if you can't make it. For any traditional classes, it is a courtesy to inform the facilitator if you are going to miss a class.
Q: Can I facilitate a class?
A: Open Skies classes, workshops, field trips and social opportunities are led by Community member parents and youth as well as people outside of our membership. A passion for the subject matter is a high priority for consideration because we know passion is contagious and it stokes the interest of others.
We also love to see facilitators who enjoy learning right alongside those in their class and leading just a few steps ahead in relation to the subject matter or relative to the age of those involved in the class. Studies show there's a connection in learning when the facilitator of the subject is going through the process at a level close to the one learning it. This is the magic of peer learning!
We have opportunities for online, in person, and outdoor classes.
If you have any questions or want to discuss possible classes, feel free to contact Janeen Guynn.
Q: When can I register?
A: We offer three 8-week stand-alone trimesters, plus a summer program. Our business model allows you to register virtually any time of the year, while also offering you the freedom to do something different during the year without the pressure of a yearlong financial obligation.