FAQs

GENERAL INFORMATION

Q:

Is RSA a faith-based homeschool program?

A:

No. RSA is an inclusive, secular program that welcomes families and students of all religions, personal beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds. Although our school meets in various church locations, we are not affiliated with any church or location, and are grateful for their caring and open-minded support of our diverse community.

 

Q:

Is RSA a cooperative?

A:

RSA is an Educational Cooperative because it is operated by our members. We are a private, non-profit organization, but do not have any full time employees.  We have an Executive Director who is paid a small part-time salary, and we pay for a service to help with our accounting and taxes, but all other aspects of RSA are completed by our members families as volunteers. Daily operation of our large school, along with planning, scheduling, recruiting and choosing instructors, organizing events, recitals, shows, fund-raising, marketing, location coordination, etc are all accomplished by our very talented and hard-working parents and students. We are proud to be such a successful educational organization, and credit the many dedicated parents and students of our community for our success.

 

Q:

Who are your instructors? Do parents teach classes?

A:

RSA is an educational cooperative, but is unlike many cooperatives for homeschoolers where the parents take turns teaching classes. Our instructors are recruited from all over Hampton Roads. They are chosen for their expertise, education, knowledge, skills and abilities in a particular subject area.  Instructors are chosen who love what they do and are able to share that passion with our students.  You will sometimes notice paid instructors who also happen to be parents of homeschooled students who attend RSA.  They are not chosen because they are family members; they have had to apply for these positions along with other applicants. All instructors who have children attending RSA also meet all of their RSA membership responsibilities, such as signing up for volunteer tasks and assisting with day-to-day operations.


 

Q:

Do children have to take a class each period or are they able to just attend the classes and periods they are really interested in? If that is the case, what do other students generally do between classes if there is space in between?

A:

Students are not required to take a class each period.  Parents (who are required to remain on-site on Thursdays) usually set up at a table in our large gathering space, and bring lunches, laptops, etc. During breaks and at lunch time, students can usually be found hanging out with their friends.  We have students of all age groups--preschool through high school--and they enjoy their "down time" with each other as much as they enjoy the classes.  

On Tuesdays, classes are offered for older students at a separate location. Parents are not required to attend with their students and may drop them off.  Please contact us at rsatidewater@gmail.com for further information on how to set up a Tuesday schedule for your teen.

Q:

Can I drop my children off at RSA for classes on Thursdays?

A:

No. For insurance purposes, a parent or responsible adult must be onsite when a student under the age of 18 is present on location at RSA.

Q:

Can I drop off my teens for classes on Tuesdays?

A:

Tuesday classes are part of a drop-off program for teens aged 14 and up.  Teens must sign in when the arrive, and sign out when they leave. They are expected to be responsible and respectful of the facility, volunteers, instructors, and other students. Attending without parental supervision is a privilege reserved for teens who are ready for this special program.

 

Q:

What is RSA's weather-related closure and delay policy? How do closures and delays affect instructor payments?

A:

CLOSURES AND LATE OPENINGS

RSA bases its decisions on the public schools in the City of Suffolk and Isle of Wight County.

  • If either Suffolk Public Schools or Isle of Wight County Schools are closed, Renaissance School will be closed.
  • If either Suffolk Public Schools or Isle of Wight County Schools are opening late, CHECK YOUR EMAIL for an announcement. (This is a change from previous years.  Often, public schools delay opening in order to allow ice to melt, fog to disperse, or temperatures to warm up. Since RSA begins later than public schools, a late opening on their part may not result in a delay or closure for RSA.)

INSTRUCTOR PAYMENTS

For the first weather-related cancellation of the school year, instructors will still get paid.  For any subsequent weather-related closings, instructors will pro-rate their monthly fees.

INSTRUCTOR PAYMENT INFORMATION

Q:

When and how do I pay the instructors after I sign up for classes?

A:

Payments are made on a monthly basis directly to the instructors. RSA is not currently set up to accept monthly instructor payments online.  Many families pay by check; checks are placed in the instructor's mailbox at the front desk.  Some instructors accept PayPal; please check with them if that is your preferred option.

If paying by cash, please give it directly to the instructor; do NOT leave cash in instructor mailboxes.

Q:

If my child misses a class, do I still have to pay the instructor for that week?  

A:

Yes, you are still required to pay the instructor even if your student misses a class.

Q:

If an instructor misses a class, do I still have to pay him or her?

A:

If an instructor misses a class (for example, because of illness or travel), he or she will either pro-rate the payment, or schedule a make-up class/lesson.

In the event of a school closure because of inclement weather:  instructors will be paid for the FIRST such closure.  Subsequent inclement weather closures will result in pro-rated class payments.

Q:

My child wants to drop a class.  What do I need to do?

A:

Parents must provide 30 days' PAID notice to instructors; see the Drop Form on the Home page.

Q:

My child has dropped a class.  Are supply fees refundable?
 

A:

No, supply fees are not refundable.

Instructors must be given thirty (30) days' paid notice if your child is dropping a class (please see the Drop Class link on the website).

STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES

Q:

Do you have any social events or field trips for homeschoolers?

A:

RSA has a yearly formal dance for teens and various social, fundraising, and community service events in which families can participate. There are occasional group trips with discount tickets to theaters, shows, art events, and more. Events are planned by instructors, volunteers, and families, and we are always open to new ideas for fun events for homeschoolers!

 

Q:

Does RSA have events for teens and for graduating senior homeschoolers?

A:

Yes. We have a friendly and active group of teens at RSA who help to develop various social activities. RSA also has a teen formal dance, a graduating senior recital and art exhibit, social activities for seniors, and a graduation ceremony and graduate exhibits as part of our variety show at the end of each year. RSA also has a Teen Leadership program.

Q:

What is a Teen Leader?

A:

Teen Leader positions are created in order to assist our teens in developing leadership skills, working toward future career goals, learning how to work on a team, networking, and developing references toward college applications and/or vocational plans. Teens can either apply or be nominated by RSA instructors, parents, or other students for a Teen Leadership position. They must be 14 years or older,  be members of RSA for at least one year, and demonstrate responsibility and good conduct as a student in order to be considered.

Teen Leaders will have the opportunity to positively impact their RSA school community. They will be eligible to serve on adult volunteer teams, assist the administration staff, and use their creativity, knowledge and skills to help make RSA a better program. Each teen leader will be given responsibility and challenges according to their individual goals, and will receive mentoring to assist them in meeting their goals. One teen will be be chosen each year from our teen leaders to serve as a Board member for our non-profit organization.