What is a cooperative school?
A cooperative school gives parents the opportunity to participate in their child’s early education. At our school, parents may assist the certified teacher in the classroom (referred to as “co-oping”). This allows parents to see first hand how their kids are growing and developing, and witness their day to day interactions in the classroom. Each adult working in our school receives training in classroom procedures and completes a background check, which includes fingerprinting.
At the Co-op, our programs provide a unique learning experience for our children, cultivating a real sense of community and giving parents the opportunity to work with teachers and meet other parents while making a contribution to the school. When children see the adults in their lives active in their school, it shapes their perception of the importance of education and strengthens their school experience.
What kind of education is available at the Morris Plains Co-op?
Our school’s utilizes The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool which is a child-centered curriculum that integrates developmentally appropriate activities to encourage cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth. It is designed to help educators plan and implement a developmentally appropriate, content-rich program for children with diverse backgrounds and skill levels.
Our school’s child-centered philosophy is based on a positive approach to discipline, a commitment to parent education and the belief that children learn best through play. Research has repeatedly shown a link between play and the development of the prerequisite skills necessary for more complex learning.
What are the Co-op family responsibilities?
The Co-op could not exist without the support and participation of our families. As part of your membership (whether you choose to co-op in the classroom or not), each family will be responsible for the completion of one parent job during the school year. There is a variety of jobs to choose from that include year-long, quarterly and one-time job responsibilities that will suit your family’s time and schedule preferences.
Additionally, we rely on parents to participate in one Parents Pitch-In session each year to help with projects, such as spreading new mulch on the playground and classroom repairs. There are several scheduled opportunities throughout the year, both on weekends and weeknights.
Is the Co-op only for families with a stay-at-home parent?
Certainly not! The Co-op offers a variety of classes and additional programs with extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If neither parent is available to assist in the classroom, the family may choose the non-co-op option, or the role of helping adult may be filled by another adult family member or the child’s caregiver.
What does the co-op parent do during class?
Our certified teachers plan the educational program each day. Parents work under the teacher’s direction to assist with a learning activity, art project, science experiment, or in the literacy and math centers. In addition, they participate in music and story time, set up for snack, and complete some light classroom cleanup at the end of the session.
How many days does each parent co-op during the year?
Parents choose their classroom workdays at the beginning of each period. The number of work days depends on the amount of scheduled class days and the number of children in the class. On average there is one turn every 3-4 weeks.
What if I can't make it when I am scheduled to help in the class?
If a scheduling conflict or illness arises, you may trade your day with another co-oping adult in the class or contact an individual on our alternate list.