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Our Co-Op

One of the most unique aspects of ACP is that we are a cooperative school. A cooperative preschool, or co-op, is administered and maintained by the parent members of the school.

In the classroom, parents help our professional teacher on a rotating basis, serving to participate in every child’s education and growth. On those “working parent” days, our parents help make sure the day-to-day operation of the school is covered: cleaning the classroom, following Social Services regulations, chaperoning field trips, keeping supplies stocked.

Outside of the classroom, our families also share in the business side of the preschool by participating on the board or committees and by meeting each month to make sure our co-op is on the right track.

Every family has an ownership stake in the school, so most of our parents become very involved and hands-on within the co-op. It is an immersive experience that allows highly involved parents to spend more time with their children, build a community with other like-minded parents, and help decide the direction of their child’s first educational experience. It is a unique environment, and one that builds lifelong friendships and fond memories among families.

membership

To be a member of our cooperative, a family must have at least one child enrolled in the school and remain up to date on all required paperwork, certifications, tuition and fees. Major decisions about the direction of the school, changes in the curriculum, capital expenditures, budget approval, board member elections, and ratification of teacher contracts are items voted on at regular meetings by the general co-op membership. Each family has the power of one vote, no matter how many children are enrolled.

co-op duties

Without each family’s participation, the co-op would not be able to function as it should. The time and talent of our families is essential to the success of our preschool. Each family is expected to participate in the cooperative in the following ways:

WORKING PARENT

Working parents generally work in the classroom 1-2 days per month, and serve as "alternate" (on call) 1-2 days per month. Working parents follow the classroom checklist, which includes duties like cleaning and maintaining the classroom according to DSS requirements, guiding children and assisting the directress, preparing snacks, and supervising outdoor activities and recess.

co-op meetings

A minimum of eight co-op meetings will be held each year. The September orientation meeting is mandatory for every enrolled family. Each family is required to attend four meetings over the course of the year. Only votes of attending members will be counted at each meeting; votes of non-attending members are forfeited. Children are not allowed to attend co-op meetings.

training

Each working parent is required to complete 4 hours of licensing training by February of the school year. Training will be offered at several co-op meetings throughout the year. Requirements may be prorated for midyear enrollments. At least two of the trainings offered during the first half of the year will be Montessori-based, and each working parent is required to attend at least one.

Board/Committee

Each family is required to participate in one board, committee, or service position during the school year.

VOLUNTEER HOURS

Each family is required to volunteer two hours each in Grounds & Maintenance and Events. We also require each family to volunteer for at least two hours for our host, the HAAC, which we exchange for 2 months of waived rent over the summer. Families with multiple enrolled children will be required one hour for each additional child after the first.

LAUNDRY

On Tuesdays and Fridays, a family will receive the school laundry (rags and towels, mop heads) to wash. Each family will take home laundry two or three times a school year.

IMPORTANT CO-OP MEETING DATES

  • September: Orientation
  • March: Budget, Teacher Contract, Board Nominations
  • April: Board Elections
  • May: Bylaw Changes