Homeschool Strings Parent and Student Handbook 2023-2024


Central Kitsap Homeschool Strings offers weekly instruction in violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp for students ages 8 and above, for all ability levels, from beginner to advanced. Classes meet Tuesdays at the Central Kitsap Church of Christ.

11898 Central Valley Rd NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370


HSS also offers a summer camp the last week of August at the Central Kitsap Church of Christ. Camp meets daily, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am -2:30 pm and attendance is mandatory for beginning students. If you are new to HSS and have played your instrument for less than two years, please consult with one of our teachers for an audition to determine if you are required to attend camp. The registration fee for camp covers the cost of classes, prizes, and music. Instrument rental may be available (but is not guaranteed) for an additional fee for the week of camp on a first come, first served basis. Guitar and harp may or may not be offered at camp.


This handbook is provided to acquaint parents and student musicians with our policies and procedures. In addition to this handbook, other communications are distributed to students during class, via email, and by other means. HSS holds musicians responsible for relaying information to their parents. Parents are encouraged to check with their musicians after each HSS day.


HSS will not share information about students or families without permission. However, a photo/video release is part of the registration form, giving HSS permission to take and use photographs/videos of students. HSS may use these in multimedia presentations, videotapes, books, supplemental products, and related advertising material including brochures, websites, and social media. Students’ names will not be attached to their image on HSS materials.


Registrations must be turned in before the assigned deadline. Full payment of registration fee must be made to finalize the registration process. Tuition fee can be paid at the time of registration or no later than October 1st of the current school year. Exceptions may be made by the HSS Directors on a case by case basis. Please contact the admin if you would like to split your registration into two payments. 

Note: Parents are welcome to participate in a class with their student at no registration charge, provided the parent is willing to support the teacher as needed.


HSS has a limited number of violins and violas available for purchase. HSS will provide instrument exchange days for members to sell and buy instruments, but due to limited storage, HSS will no longer buy back the instruments.

HSS has a limited number of cellos and basses available for rent at $200 per year. If a student rents for 3-4 years, HSS may be able to give the instrument to the student, depending on the price of the instrument rented, but this is not guaranteed. 


Lost, stolen, or damaged instruments are not the responsibility of HSS. Parents must ensure that a student's instrument is well maintained and bear the financial responsibility for any maintenance and repairs of that instrument, including string replacement, whether owned or rented. Parents also have responsibility for accidental damage done to another student's instrument by their student. HSS strongly recommends that all families check with their insurance agent regarding instrument coverage.


Each HSS student is loaned a binder containing instruction books and sheet music at the beginning and throughout the HSS year. A method book is included with your tuition cost and it becomes property of the student without need for return. The remainder of the music will be marked with a Homeschool Strings stamp and must be returned in good condition following the spring concert. If the music is not returned in good condition, the parent will be billed for the replacement cost of $50. 


Students should come prepared to HSS with their instrument, binder, and a pencil. Students are also expected to spend time at home practicing for classes. Five 20-30 minute practice sessions (a minimum for advanced students) per week is recommended. Private lessons are encouraged but not required. (Private lessons are typically available from HSS teachers. Parents should contact the teacher for information about private lesson availability and rates.)


Regular attendance at class is essential to the success of HSS. Accordingly, students are expected to attend class each week. Students who miss 3 or more classes in a semester will be allowed to perform in the next performance or concert at the teacher's discretion. If a student is unable to attend class, parents should alert the student's teacher via email as soon as possible. If a student’s instrument is out of commission, that student is still expected to attend class. Students are expected to arrive at HSS ten minutes prior to class to tune instruments.


HSS students are expected to exhibit good behavior and speech at all times. Parental courtesy is also expected. Parents who are not participating in the class may observe a class occasionally, but must remain silent. Students and parents are asked to hold conversations in the lobby or outside the building. HSS does not provide childcare for students (or siblings) who are not in class. Students who wish to read or do homework are permitted to work in the conference room (Room #1) during classes, provided they remain silent. Indoor play is not permitted at any time. Students may play outdoors on the playground, but not in the parking lots or the bordering forested area. No climbing of trees is allowed. HSS assumes no responsibility for injuries that occur during HSS events, including but not limited to classes, performances, or concerts. Parents assume full responsibility for the supervision of their children when they are outside of the classroom.


HSS students should dress appropriately at all times. For concerts, girls should wear the HSS t-shirt, a dark skirt or slacks, stockings, and dress shoes. Boys should wear the HSS t-shirt, dark blue or black pants, black socks and dress shoes. Students lacking proper concert attire may be asked not to play in the performance or concert. If financial concerns are an issue, please speak with the student's teacher. HSS shirts are available for purchase in the fall. A limited number of used HSS t-shirts have been donated and are available if they are needed. 


It is the responsibility of the parents to transport students to HSS classes, performances, and concerts. Please arrive to pick up your students promptly after class or at the end of the last class for the day. (Please see Jenny Dolton in the admin office for a number to reach in emergency situations).


Students have the opportunity to earn Homeschool Strings music bucks during HSS classes based on punctuality, practice time, special assignments, etc. The HSS music bucks store is generally open once per month to allow students to spend their music bucks on miscellaneous items.


All HSS classes require students to possess certain skills appropriate for each level. If a student does not possess the skills for a particular class they will experience frustration and failure. Students should assume that they will spend 1-3 years on each level. At the end of each year, parents will receive a report showing their student’s progress. Instructors will notify parents when a student is ready to be promoted to another level. To progress at a faster rate, parents should consider private instruction. Mastery of skills for advancement to the next level is determined by a predefined set of skills. Skills will be assessed using the Kitsap Music Teachers Association’s Music Literacy Program plus additional skills required by HSS. That list of skills can be obtained on our website or you can ask for a copy from the HSS admin.


HSS Students are expected to attend all nursing home performances (typically during regular HSS class times) and semester concerts, unless they have been excused by their teacher. Parents are encouraged to give their student's teacher as much advance notice as possible for absences. Small children are welcome at all performances and concerts, but parents are asked to prevent them from wandering and to remove crying/noisy children from the performance. Cameras may be used. Food and drink is not allowed inside the sanctuary. Parents are asked to bring a plate of treats/snacks to share during the refreshment time following concerts and to closely supervise younger children during this activity. Cleaning up spills and trash is the responsibility of students and parents.


HSS seeks to form one or more ensemble groups that perform throughout the year at community events. If the opportunity for an ensemble group presents itself an audition announcement will be made.

The Chamber Ensemble consists of 4-8 top students who meet as a class during the regular HSS day. Participation is by invitation of the director following an audition. Fiddle Group is open to students in Level 3 and above who have completed an audition. When possible, there will be both an Intermediate Harp Ensemble and an Advanced Harp Ensemble. The harp teacher will assign students places in those ensembles based on skill level.

HSS also encourages student-led ensemble groups. Students interested in forming or participating in a small ensemble group should notify their teacher.


HSS encourages all students to attend public and/or private concerts and theatrical performances in our area. Students may earn music bucks for attending performances and presenting their HSS teacher with a program signed by a performer.


As a small non-profit organization we thrive when volunteers are many. If you would like to help in any way, small or big, we would be so very grateful. Please contact Jenny Dolton here or in the office if you would like to find out what our greatest needs are.

Updated May 2023

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