How should we handle late enrollment in our Our Whole Lives program (i.e. participants who want to join after the program is already underway)?

There is no set policy on this; different congregations handle this differently. Some have a strict cutoff date; others are more flexible. What is best for the individual child and the group should determine your decision. Here are some questions to consider that may affect your decision:

  • How late into the program is it? To what degree has your class already bonded and formed a group identity? What can be done to help the latecomer “catch up” with the program?
  • Is the latecomer new to the congregation? If the Our Whole Lives class participants already know this person, it may be less disruptive to the program.
  • When is the next Our Whole Lives offering? Could the latecomer participate in Our Whole Lives next year instead, or is this the only chance to participate?
  • Do you have the capacity to do the required parent orientation for this participant’s parents/guardians?

You may wish to ask the class how they feel about admitting someone new. If they come to a consensus to let the new person join, both the class and the new person may feel more at ease.