SAFE Family Handbook

The following descriptions, statements and declarations are taken from SAFE’s online website,, and excerpts from the Sumter Area Family Educators By-Laws, in addition to the Holy Bible (KJV)

The purpose of Sumter Area Family Educators (SAFE) is to offer information and support from a distinctly Christian perspective to families interested in homeschooling in Sumter, SC and the surrounding areas. SAFE recognizes homeschooling families as those who legally homeschool under the provisions of SC Code SECTION 59-65-40, SC Code SECTION 59-65-45, and SC Code SECTION 59-65-47, and those families with children under the compulsory age.  Though our faith will often be evidenced in our activities, our aim is not to be a para-church or evangelistic organization. We will be active in political reform, that supports the individuals’ right to home educate their children. We will also provide information on spiritual, curricula, and practical matters. From time to time, we will offer activities for the educators and students which will be designed to enhance and support the educational process.  We also encourage mutual support amongst our members. 

Sumter Area Family Educators goal is to provide an opportunity for home educators to fulfill their mission as parents to carry out God’s direction stated in Deuteronomy 6:5-9; 24-25 (KJV Translation): “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words , which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He hath commanded us.”

SAFE is a ministry for families who feel led by God to educate their children at home. We are committed to provide support, encouragement and fellowship to home educators so that they can reach and disciple their children for Christ. We are here as a resource for families to educate their children in accordance with South Carolina State Law.

Statement of Faith:

We Believe:

  • The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are God’s infallible Word, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. These Testaments are our supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice. (II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:21)
  • God has existed from all eternity in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17; John 14:16) God the Father is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power. He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; He hears and answers prayer; and He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh being fully God and fully man. We believe He is God’s only begotten Son, born of a virgin, and sinless in life. We also believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, His high priestly intercession for His people, and His personal, imminent, and visible return to the world according to His promise. The Holy Spirit came forth from God to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, baptize, comfort, and seal forever those who believe in Jesus Christ.
  • All men are sinful by nature and choice and therefore deserving of God’s just condemnation. (John 3:18)
  • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the atoning sacrifice which provided for the payment of man’s sin debt. (Hebrews 10:8-10; I John 2:2; Romans 4:25)
  • Salvation is offered as a gift, free to sinners. This gift must be responded to in individual faith, not trusting in any personal works, but in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ alone. (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; I John 1:9; II Peter 3:9; Titus 3:4-7)

Membership Options


  1. Basic Membership: this membership will be for those families who wish to participate in the following activities including, but not limited to field trips, middle and high school socials, park days, photos in the yearbook, Fall Ball, Prom, high school graduation, field day, and other events provided by SAFE.
  2. Basic Membership requires families to fill out, sign, and submit the following forms: Family Information Form, Emergency Card, and the Family Handbook.
  3. Basic Membership Fee will be as follows: $35


  1. Full Membership: this membership will be for those families who wish to participate in everything that the Basic Membership offers, as well as, participating in Co-op Classes and Club Day.
  2. Full Membership requires families to fill out, sign and submit the following forms: Family Information Form, Emergency Card, and the Family Handbook.
  1. Full Membership Fee will be as follows: $50

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration is not final until ALL paperwork has been completed, signed, submitted to a SAFE Board member and ALL fees paid. Membership is pending SAFE Board approval.

Membership Disclaimer – All new families will enter a probationary period of two (2) months.  After this time, your membership will be evaluated.  SAFE reserves the right to refuse or terminate membership at the discretion of the SAFE Board of Directors.  Possible reasons for refusing or terminating membership may include, but are not limited to:

  • Suspension or expulsion of student from previous school
  • Parents or students involved in same-sex relationships
  • Students with a criminal history or on probation
  • Member families who are not current with all fees
  • Member families who openly practice, encourage, or promote lifestyles and/or social or ethical issues that are contrary to the Statement of Faith of SAFE.

Dress Code:

Anyone, whether male or female, (students, teachers, parents/guardians, guests) attending a SAFE sponsored or affiliated event – including Co-op/Club Day – is required to observe the following Dress Code guidelines:

  • Shorts, dresses, and skirts must measure no higher than mid-thigh
  • No exposed midriffs
  • No inappropriate logos/messages on clothing
  • Tennis shoes should be worn for gym time and outdoor activities for safety reasons
  • Jeans need to be appropriate (be careful with the low ride style). Slits and holes in jeans must not be higher than mid-thigh.
  • No strapless shirts/dresses.
  • No undergarments should be visible on anyone, male or female. Sheer tops must have a top underneath that meets all other shirt requirements.
  • No plunging neck lines. No cleavage should show when standing, sitting, or bending over.
  • Neither leggings nor workout pants can be worn as pants unless they are worn under a dress, skirt, or tunic style top.
  • One-piece swimsuits for girls (or a 2-piece covered with a t-shirt) and swim trunks for boys at water events. ***Modesty is important.***

School Pictures and Yearbook

SAFE schedules school pictures at least once a year for students. These pictures will be included in our yearbook. It is our goal to have as many students represented as possible. Students of all ages, birth through 12th grade, are included in the yearbook. This is for ALL SAFE students, not just those that attend co-op/Club Day.  


Yearbooks for the current school year may be pre-ordered beginning in the spring of the current year for delivery in the fall of the next school year. This allows for all the events of the school year to be included in the yearbook, such as the 9th-12th grade Prom, Fall Ball banquet and high school graduation. Yearbook ads are also available for purchase. These help us to keep the cost of the yearbook at a reasonable rate.

Field Trips

SAFE plans several field trips each school year. If you have a suggestion for a possible field trip or would like to plan and lead a field trip, please contact the SAFE Board. Please remember that wherever you and your children go, you are not only representing SAFE, but all home school families. Please act accordingly. Make sure to review the following guidelines with your family/group before each field trip and emphasize the behaviors and responsibilities that are expected of each person.

General Guidelines for Field Trips

  • SAFE sponsored field trips are for SAFE members only unless otherwise announced or prior approval has been given.
  • Please sign up and pay related fees by the stated deadline.
  • If you are not able to attend but are signed up, please contact the SAFE Field Trip Coordinator.

 Note that fees are not refundable once payment has been made to the destination.


  • Discuss and rehearse appropriate behavior with your children for the field trip. Do not assume that they will know to whisper quietly if needed during a performance or know not to touch priceless artwork or other exhibits.
  • Explain any rules applicable to the place being visited and enforce them appropriately during the field trip.
  • Make sure everyone is neatly and appropriately dressed and is properly groomed.
  • Please refrain from chewing gum, eating, or drinking while on the field trip except during specified breaks for snacks or meals.
  • Be prompt. Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early.
  • Watch your children closely at all times. If you must tend to one child’s needs, ask another parent to help watch your other children.
  • Respond appropriately and without anger should your child misbehave or act inappropriately.


  • Always be courteous and polite.
  • Respect others who are on the trip with you.
  • Stay with your parent or designated adult – no running ahead.
  • Always obey your parent/teacher and follow all rules for the location of the trip.
  • Listen carefully to any instructors and instructions on the trip.
  • Raise your hand before asking a question.
  • Touch display items and exhibits only when permitted.
  • Be helpful as you observe areas where you could help other students.
  • Be patient as you wait your turn.
  • Be cheerful without complaining.
  • Be thankful to those who helped on the field trip. Thank the person who conducted the class or tour.

 (Copyright 1999 The Teaching Home)

Remember: Please be on time to all field trips. If you sign up for a field trip, BE THERE. If there is a reason that you can not attend the field trip, let the field trip contact know with as much advance notice as possible. There will be NO REFUNDS for cancellations made after payment has been paid to the destination of the trip.

Co-op & Club Day Guidelines

Our co-op instructors are SAFE parents or past SAFE parents that have a desire to teach. Sometimes there are community members with expertise or experience in a particular area that offer to instruct a class as well. On rare occasions, the SAFE Board may allow an older high school student with exceptional skills to instruct a non-academic class. Once a student is enrolled, he/she is expected to complete the requirements as outlined by the instructor.

Each family that attends Co-op Classes/Club Day is required to have a parent or responsible adult on campus for the duration of the day’s activities. 

Each adult is expected to actively participate by helping with classes, watching the halls, helping with restrooms, setting up /taking down the tables and chairs in lunch area etc. If you don’t have an assigned task for the duration of time your student(s) are in class, you must go to the front/foyer area at the beginning of each class period that you are free. LOOK FOR YOUR CO-OP/CLUB DAY COORDINATOR.

You will then be directed to areas that need adult help OR supervision.

The success of our co-op depends on the willingness of our parents to volunteer and serve.

Remember, co-op stands for cooperative, it takes us all!

Parental Supervision

Parents are required to attend activities with their children. If a child is dropped off without a parent’s supervision, the parent will be called to come pick up the child. If you need to miss a day, you may ask another parent attending classes to be responsible for your child for that day only.

You MUST NOTIFY the Co-op Class/Club Day Coordinator and/or a member of the SAFE Board via phone call or text message stating who will be responsible for your student(s).

Class Supervision/Instructors

Each class must be supervised by at least two adults. We require instructors and co-instructors/helpers to sign a Commitment/Statement of Faith form at the beginning of each school year. This form is at the end of the handbook and available from a SAFE Board member.

(All instructors must also have a form signed by their pastor or other minister in their church stating that they attend church regularly and are members in good standing)

Instructors are required to use due diligence in selecting publications, websites, and movies in their class(es) to insure that they uphold conservative Christian standards in line with the SAFE Statement of Faith. If students are required to give speeches or presentations in class, those speeches must be preapproved by the teacher for appropriateness. SAFE welcomes ideas and suggestions for classes that may be offered. Anyone who is interested in instructing a class should complete a class form and contact the SAFE Board of Directors.

Please be prepared to describe the class idea – including subject, curriculum, supplies needed, maximum/minimum number of students, grade level preferred, and co-instructor/helper. Anyone who would like to co-instruct/help with a specific class should also contact the SAFE Co-op/Club Day Coordinator and/or a SAFE Board member to provide the time they are available and grade level preferred.

Parental Responsibility

When a student is enrolled in a SAFE co-op class, the parents/guardians are agreeing to give the instructor authority over their student for a designated period of time. Co-op classes are offered by SAFE  as a resource tool to help parents better educate their children. Parents/guardians are responsible to see that their student is completing assignments for SAFE Co-op/Club Day classes in a timely manner as well as those for the subjects being taught at home. Parents/guardians should communicate with the instructors about their child’s participation and progress in the classes.


Students enrolled in SAFE Co-op/Club Day classes will be expected to attend every class unless they have a legitimate excuse. If a student is sick, the parent/guardian should call/text the Co-op/Club Day Coordinator AND THE INSTRUCTOR to let them know the student will not be in class that day.  If a family vacation is coming up or the parent/guardian is aware that a student will be absent because of some other activity, please speak to the instructor before the class and arrange for work to be done ahead of time or made up when the student returns. If a parent is unable to attend Co-op/Club Day, they are to notify the SAFE Co-op/Club Day Coordinator to approve another adult to be responsible for their student(s).


Students are expected to be respectful, to model Christian behavior and follow the guidelines given in the SAFE Handbook. All property at Sumter First Assembly of God must be treated with respect. We are guests of Sumter 1st A.G. and must act accordingly. Parents/Guardians: If you had students as guests in your homes, what behaviors would you find unacceptable? Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior.

Please no running in the halls or lunch area and no horseplay in the buildings.

Please keep restrooms tidy. Clean up after yourself and your children.

Do not be wasteful of resources. Damages incurred by a student, parent/guardian are the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

STUDENTS are not to be outside of the church buildings on campus at any time without being in the care of a responsible adult. Playing in the parking lots (unless taking part in a teacher planned activity) and going into neighboring properties are expressly forbidden.

Profanity is not ever allowed from students or parents/guardians.

Parents who do not control their children will receive three warnings. If there continues to be a problem, a parents/guardians will be required to meet with the board to discuss the matter. Problems that are not resolved will result in expulsion of that family. If a student is disrespectful, disobedient, unruly or violent while at SAFE Co-op classes/Club Day, he/she will be removed immediately from the activity and his/her parents/guardians will be contacted.

If it becomes apparent that a student is involved in illegal or immoral behavior such as the use of drugs or alcohol or promiscuous behavior on or off campus, they will not be allowed to attend classes or other functions. If upon returning to SAFE activities this behavior continues, they will be expelled from SAFE membership.

To assure the safety of our SAFE families and minimize damage to the facility, students will not be allowed to have in their possession while on the church property, or at any off-campus SAFE sponsored activity, any item deemed by the SAFE Board to be dangerous or destructive. Items including but not limited to the following: guns, knives, tasers, pepper spray, rope, chains, sticks, fireworks, etc. If a student is found with any such item, the item will be immediately confiscated and retained until the end of the day’s activities. Repeat offenses will lead to further action by the SAFE Board. If a student endangers the health or safety of any other student, member, instructor, or staff member, the student will be subject to immediate expulsion.

***Legal Concealed weapons on campus must be secured in the vehicle until  Sumter First Assembly of God leadership has granted approval for the weapon to be brought on campus.***

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: .” Philippians 1:27a

Note: Students who have graduated high school are not allowed to “hang out” during Co-op classes/Club

Day or on campus. They may however, take part in no more than 2 classes with the class instructor and SAFE Board approval.

They are allowed to sign up to help with classes, but first must be approved by the SAFE Board and the instructor of the class.


If Sumter County Schools are closed due to inclement weather, any classes, field trips, or other SAFE planned events will be cancelled.

Summary of Requirements to Participate in Co-op Classes

To make sure that our Co-op/Club Day students receive quality educational experience, the following guidelines will be enforced. Failure to comply with any of these may result in the loss of Co-op/Club Day privileges.

  1. Sumter Area Family Educators is not responsible for any accidents or injuries occurring on the property of Sumter First Assembly of God or any functions associated directly or indirectly with SAFE.
  2. Consistent attendance – attending classes faithfully helps to develop consistent patterns for students.  Inconsistent attendance may result in the loss of Co-op/Club Day privileges.
  3. Completing assignments on time – participation is not limited to class time. Outside activities, including homework assignments given by the class instructor, are expected to be done by all students in a timely manner. Your instructor has taken time to plan and prepare your lessons. Be respectful and honor him/her by following through on your assignments.
  4. Be on time for all classes – our time on Tuesdays is limited and the instructors have prepared their lessons to cover the materials that need to be presented during each class to keep the class on schedule for the year.
    1. Instructors should arrive a minimum of 5 minutes before class time starts.
    2. Instructors must start class on time and dismiss no earlier than 10 minutes before the end of that class period.
  5. Bring all materials needed for class each week, including paper, pens, pencils, etc. as outlined by each instructor at the beginning and throughout the year.
  6. Parent participation – this may vary depending on the needs of the class. Includes providing materials needed by the student for the class, helping in the classroom as needed by the instructor, making sure your child is on time for class each week and has all assignments completed on time, and other actions as may be needed by the instructor.                 
  7. SAFE Dress Code – Anyone (Students, teachers/parents) attending a SAFE event or SAFE affiliated event is required to observe the SAFE Dress Code Guidelines stated above. 
  8. Behavior – Students are expected to model Christian behavior and follow the guidelines given in the SAFE Family Handbook. All property at Sumter First Assembly of God must be treated with respect. Damages incurred by a student/parent/guardian will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
  9. Grading – Certain co-op classes, especially high school level courses for credit, will be graded.         Grading criteria will be determined by the individual instructors and semester grades will be submitted to the parent/guardian of each student. Parents/guardians should contact their child’s instructor if they have questions about the grading for their student’s class.
  10. Students attending without a parent/guardian – Students, thirteen years of age and older, are required to sign and follow the Club Day Guidelines. If a student that has been granted permission to be dropped off does not adhere to the guidelines for conduct and behavior during Co-op/Club Day  activities ,then they  will have their parent/guardian notified and potentially have this privilege revoked.
  11. Weather – If Sumter County Schools are closed due to inclement weather, any classes, field trips, or other SAFE planned events will be cancelled.

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