At a cooperative preschool, parents are an intregal part of the classroom experience. Both parents and children reap the benefits of parental involvement in school:
Co-op participants believe that teachers and parents together create the best learning environment for young children, creating an age-appropriate bridge between the known world of home and the new world of school
By participating in the classroom, parents can watch their child enjoying their early school experiences (a truly joyful time for both parents and children)
A higher adult-to-child ratio is possible than in a traditional preschool and allows for children to have more adult attention and guidance
Social events for parents and families make the preschool a true community and foster life-long friendships
Parents have the opportunity to shape the school by serving on the Board or on various committees
Parental assistance in setting up, cleaning, and running the school allows for higher quality at lower costs
"I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed being in the classroom. It was so much fun to watch her interact with her friends. We are definitely coming back."
How Does a Co-Op Work?
Here's what you will do as a PNS parent:
During Class Time:
Assist in the classroom 5-8 times a year. Classes which meet three times a week may have more "Helping Days" than ones that meet twice a week. We hope you will look forward to these special days; your child certainly will!
On your Helping Days, you will arrive a little early, help set up the classroom for the day and also help clean up afterclass, both as per the teacher's directions. The time commitment is about 3 hours (including the time that class is in session).
When you are the Helping Parent, your child gets to be the "Special Helper" and has many special jobs that day like bringing in and setting out the snack, being line leader, ringing the bell for clean up, and bringing home the class mascot (a stuffed animal).
Don't worry if you won't know what to do when you are assisting in the classroom. You will receive training the first week of school, and there are two experienced teachers there to lead the way. They are quite understanding and helpful, and really just want you to enjoy the day.
Outside of Class Time:
You can opt to either serve on the PNS Board OR perform "Monthly Jobs" such as cleaning classroom toys. These jobs not only help keep costs down, they also ensure that the school is cleaned to a high standard, and it keeps your child healthy.
Board members typically have no "Monthly Jobs" since being on the board IS their job. Similarly, parents who chair one of our Committees have minimal Monthly Jobs since they are serving the school by heading up a committee (such as coordinating Book Orders or Hospitality events). Being on a committee is less of a time commitment than being on the Board, therefore a minimal amount of monthly jobs are assigned for the year.