Friday, September 27, 2013

Administrative Changes

I, together with a few other families, started INCH in 2006, and in a relatively short time the group has grown tremendously. If you have attended any activities during the year, you have seen how large and diverse a group we have. We have had some activities with more than 100 people in attendance. This is wonderful.

With such growth, however, comes a lot of challenges on the administrative side. Over the past few years, there has been much discussion about various ideas to help make our group even better. We have discussed issues from safety to privacy to time and efficiency (a great deal of time goes into the behind-the-scenes management of the email list, calendar, and website, most especially the email list that currently has over 90 families on it) to civility as well as various members’ levels of commitment to the group. The concern over these issues has been growing steadily over the past few years.

Therefore, we have some changes we are making with the hope that we can streamline our efforts and also address all of these concerns. For the first time we are asking members to read and agree to a set of group rules. The complete agreement will go out in a future email, but here are a few details of which you should be aware.

For the first time we are asking each family to pay an annual registration fee. This will be a nominal fee required to stay on the INCH membership list. This fee will give each family access to the private email list and group emails, private calendar of events, and our new opt-in directory. Each INCH participant will also receive a membership card/student (or teacher) ID, if you desire.

Group list maintenance will happen twice per year on September 10 and March 10. These will be the only times that we will be adding people to the list. Anyone who wishes to be added between these times will be placed on a waiting list until the following registration date. (This year, we are giving everyone more time to review the updated INCH information and comply with the changes – you have until September 30th).

As always, we ask each family to make at least one contribution to INCH each year. This can be a class, fieldtrip, other activity, or some sort of supportive role (park days reminders, parents' night out organization, etc.).

I will continue to maintain the list. Mark F. will continue to keep our calendar and website updated.

Dave J. will be responsible for welcoming new members, including fielding emails with questions about how INCH works, what types of activities we conduct, general homeschooling inquiries, and anything else of that nature.

Sherri B. will field all questions related to the INCH membership agreement and registration fees. She will also be in charge of maintaining our INCH directory. This will be strictly opt-in, with each individual family deciding which information will appear on the directory. Families are not required to be on the directory.

Becci S. will make and distribute the INCH membership/ID cards. These cards will be available after the registration deadline has passed.

We are in the process of updating our website to reflect all of these changes.

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