What is a co-op nursery school?
A co-operative nursery school is one where all parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s classroom, be involved in the workings of the school and show enthusiasm and interest for the school.
That’s all well and good, but what does it mean I have to do?
Woodside allows you to be involved as much or as little as you wish. When you do participate in a class, you will be working the teacher and two other adults–either two other parents or one parent and a classroom aide. The latter is much more often the case.
There are 3 levels of participation:
Twice a month Co-op: work 2 class days a month (Pre-K class option only)
Once a month Co-op: work 1 class day a month
Non Co-op: No required work in the classroom
The more you participate, the more you can decrease your tuition costs. Woodside understands that “co-oping” doesn’t work for every family and that is okay! Woodside is competitively priced whether you are able to assist in the classroom or not.
What do I do when I co-op?
Co-op parent activities include attending to children, setting up the days activities, setting up the playground, clean-up, arranging and providing for snack time and assisting the teacher as needed. It’s a wonderful opportunity to watch your child learn, grow and interact with classmates in a school environment.
Is it difficult to learn how to co-op?
There is a required training session early in the school year, but guidelines are posted in the classroom. The teachers and aides are excellent at helping out co-op parents when needed, but always in a friendly, easygoing way. If you are on time and attentive, it can truly be a rewarding experience.
Can someone who isn’t a parent co-op?
All co-op parents/caregivers must attend a mandatory training session at the beginning of the school year. However, co-ops can be grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, caregivers… almost anyone can be a co-op. We do a short background check on each adult who qualifies as a co-op helper.
Does a co-op school only need parents to help inside the classroom?
Woodside is supported and maintained by parents. There is limited administrative staff outside of the teachers and aides. This keeps tuition costs down.
In exchange, all families are asked to support Woodside outside the classroom in a few different ways: Parent Participation and Fundraising.
We realize all parents and families lead hectic lives.
Woodside wants to be flexible and give you options to help support the school.
How can I reduce my monthly tuition cost?
There are two ways a family reduce their monthly tuition cost:
A) Become a Board Member.
B) Help to clean the school on a monthly basis, or be part of a special project team.
What does a board member do?
The board is divided into two sections: Executive and Administrative.
An Executive board member must attend monthly meetings and participate in school decisions. In many ways, Executive board members can shape the direction and function of the school.
Administrative board positions may attend all of the monthly meetings, but are generally only required to attend when an issue is discussed that pertains to their job (ie. Fundraising chair will be required to attend before a major fundraising initiative kicks off).
How do I know what Board position would be a good fit for me?
Positions are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since children generally attend Woodside for 1-3 years, board positions turn over fairly frequently. Each position has a detailed job description, so parents won’t be walking into their job requirements blind.
If a parent decides on and is assigned their position soon enough, they can sit in on a board meeting with the previous holder of the same job. This usually happens in the last meeting of the school year in June.
If you have a special skill that you think makes a fit for a particular position, by all means, pursue that position. However, most parents can function competently in most positions. Please refer to the registration form for board position descriptions.
What is done on Worknights and Project Team?
To ensure that Woodside’s facilities are clean and safe, it’s important to keep the classrooms and equipment cleaned and maintained properly. Worknights happen once per month in the evening and usually on a Wednesday. There is a detailed list of tasks for participating families to accomplish, which are mostly cleaning of classrooms, toys, etc.
Also, Woodside needs parents to assist with larger cleaning, maintenance and/or repair projects that either cannot be accomplished at night or during the monthly cleaning of the school. In addition, parents are needed to help run special events like Open Houses and Community Arts day.
How often would I have to help out with Worknights and on the Project Team?
Each month, October through June on the first Wednesday.
What kind of Fundraising must I do?
Woodside offers a variety of fundraisers that will appeal to a variety of people. Many of these are in catalog form. Bring the catalog to a family gathering or a neighborhood party. Your family and friends can choose what they want to buy, fill out a simple form and let the fundraising pour in!
Each student must raise $100 in fundraising for Woodside. Often, a dollar of sales does not mean a dollar of fundraising because the companies Woodside works with will take a percentage of sales. However, there are enough fundraisers for families to raise 100 dollars per year or at least get close enough so the difference remaining is painless to pay.