What is a Co-op?

Co-op: Parent Commitment

co·op·er·a·tive adj.

  1. Done in cooperation with others: a cooperative effort.
  2. Marked by willingness to cooperate; compliant: a cooperative patient.
  3. Of, relating to, or formed as an enterprise or organization jointly owned or managed by those who use its facilities or services: cooperative apartment buildings, a cooperative preschool.

The Children’s Schoolhouse is a parent cooperative preschool. Each parent has a voice in its educational policy and all aspects of the school’s operation. Schoolhouse parents are welcome in the classroom to help in the daily activities or share any special talent, interest, hobby or skills with the children. In return, the Schoolhouse must have the commitment of time and energy on the part of all parents.

A team system has been designed to distribute the necessary duties that run, maintain, enrich, educate, and support the Schoolhouse and its families. As a member of the co-op, you can expect to work an average of 10 hours per month, on the team of your choosing, on behalf of your child and the Schoolhouse.

While some teams have a “heavy” period (i.e.: the Fundraising Team is most busy from June through October), all require a year-long commitment, from June 1 to May 31. Each team will have tasks to complete and goals to work toward throughout the year. Each family shall sign on as a member of a team and will have a specific job as a member of that team. Within the team, the heading board member, as well as the team members, will decide how best to accomplish the tasks and goals of their team. Team leaders will keep a rough estimate of the time given by each family on their team. In this way, in the event of an overload or underload in any one area, team members from one team may give hours to another team in an effort to evenly distribute the workload. Each team is essential to the smooth and safe operation of the Schoolhouse.

We have two full Schoolhouse Meetings each year to give parents an opportunity to get acquainted with the Schoolhouse and the goals for the year to come. There are plenty of other ways to be involved with the co-op and we want everyone to consider the following suggestions for involvement beyond the mandatory ones above:

  • Helping with special events and parties (such as the annual Fall Feast) by donating food and helping with set-up and breakdown.
  • Carpool children for 2-6 field trips per year. Typically 2 all-school events are planned per year. In addition, pre-K students can participate in 1-2 monthly field trips designed to introduce them to the community at large and support the themes established by the teaching staff at the beginning of the school year.
  • Participate in special activities in the classroom (such as cooking, gardening, woodworking, sports and cultural traditions) throughout the year dependent on your interests and talents.
  • Substitute in the classroom, if your schedule permits, on the occasional days when teachers or Parent Volunteers must be out.
  • Become involved with community service projects as determined by the Community Liaison.
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