How is a cooperative school different from any other private preschool?
The primary difference between a traditional preschool and a cooperative one is that the parents are an integral part of a cooperative school. For most children, preschool is their first experience away from home on a regular basis. Viewed as a transition from home to school, a cooperative preschool merges the two by having parents assisting in the school and sharing their child’s experiences with routines, classmates, and activities. Studies have shown time and again a positive correlation between parental participation and a child’s success in school. Parents at the Dallas Cooperative Preschool play an essential role in their child’s early educational development, which is a rewarding experience for all involved.In addition to the importance of parent involvement in the classroom, our parents, especially those who have agreed to serve on the school’s board of directors, perform much of the administrative work necessary for the school to operate. This frees the teachers to concentrate on teaching while keeping our overhead costs low and tuition competitive.
What is ratio of adults to children in the classroom?
The adult-child ratio varies from day to day and year to year depending on enrollment and on how many parents decide to stay on any given day. On average, the ratio is approximately 1:4.
What kindergarten programs have your children gone into?
Our children have gone on to be successful in a wide variety of schools. These include public schools like Kramer, Dealey, Adams, Degolyer, Withers, Stonewall Jackson, and North Hill Preparatory. Private schools our graduates have attended include Good Shepherd, Alcuin, Wesley Prep, Providence, St. Monica and the Covenant School.
What are the school’s hours?
The regular school day is 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Monday through Friday. An extended day (12:00 pm to 1:55 pm) is available 4 days per week.
Can children younger than 3 attend?
Children as young as 2 years, 9 months on September 1st may attend. They need to be 3 years old by December 1st. Children who start the Fall semester under 3 years old may only attend two days a week and may not stay for lunch bunches.
Are the teachers certified in special education?
No, our teachers are certified in early childhood education, but they are not certified or trained to teach special education.
What is your ‘snow closing policy?
We follow the DISD calendar and their policy for closing schools in the event of inclement weather.
How do you handle emergencies?
Our staff is trained each year in CPR and First Aid. Teachers conduct fire drills with students on a regular basis. The staff will call 911 in a true medical or security emergency.
How do you deal with food allergies and dietary restrictions?
The teachers work with parents to ensure that any dietary restrictions are properly addressed. This typically is managed either by working with the parent responsible for the day’s snack to ensure that restricted foods are not offered to the child or by sending a special snack to school everyday in order to make sure their child’s dietary needs were addressed (i.e., gluten free food or crackers that were not made on equipment that also processes food with nuts).
Do children have to be toilet trained?
Yes, toilet training is a requirement for enrollment.
How are “separation problems” handled with children?
The teachers will work with you to come up with a solution that is best for both you and your child. Parents are welcome in the class room at any time, and some have chosen to attend every day with their child until the child was ready to attend school on their own.
How does the Dallas Cooperative Preschool communicate with parents about their children?
There are numerous ways that we communicate with parents. Every month our director shares a newsletter and curriculum calendar. Conferences with parents are scheduled twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, to review each child’s progress. Member meetings are used to provide updates on the topics that the children are working on and the teacher’s approaches to subjects like reading, handwriting and math. Finally, the teachers are happy to talk at any time about your child and any specific areas of concern.
What is serving?
Serving is when one parent attends school with their child and helps out during that school day. Most of the time you are at school serving, you are participating in activities with your child and other children. The serving parent is responsible for providing a snack and cleaning up once snack time is over.
One parent serves with their child. Some families alternate which parent serves throughout the year so that both parents have the opportunity to be at school with their child.
How often will I serve?
We ask each family to serve approximately one time per month. Parents are always welcome to stay and participate in the day’s activities more often if they would like to do so.
Will I be teaching?
Every day there are three teachers working at school. Parents are never alone or unassisted by the teachers or expected to ‘teach’. Our experienced, professional, and loving teachers develop curriculum, set up the day’s activities, guide the children, and handle all behavior management issues. The teachers also guide the serving parents if help is needed with a certain activity or area.
How strict are the requirements of serving?
The overarching goal of the Dallas Cooperative Preschool is to provide a creative, flexible program designed to meet children’s individual developmental needs. This flexibility and creativity also extends to each child’s family. When scheduling conflicts arise, families typically swap serving days.
How do parents feel about serving?
“After looking at various elementary programs for Christopher, now in kindergarten, I want to tell you how glad I am that we joined the Dallas Co-op. It really is a wonderful way to participate in your child’s education. You will see exactly what happens during your child’s day when you serve. You get to witness some very special and wonderful moments that most parents, who do not choose a co-op, miss, and miss forever. Those moments aren’t always repeated, are they? Congratulations on making the decision to be there for your child’s discoveries.” - Co-op Parent