We are a cooperative preschool for three and four-year-old children located in Northeast Portland at Hancock & 16th Ave. We utilize facilities inside the Westminster Presbyterian Church, where we have four classrooms for the kids to explore, banks of windows that fill the rooms with light, and a beautiful enclosed courtyard where the children can safely express their exuberance. Our secure building is handicap accessible.

We have two classes: the three-year-old “Red Class” meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the four-year-old “Blue Class” meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Both classes are held from 9:30 AM to noon. There are 18 students in each class. After-school Spanish and yoga classes are also available.

Since 1984, Hancock Street Preschool (HSP) has been inspiring the wonder and joy of life-long learning for children and adults. We believe that children are curious, competent individuals. We understand that children are capable of constructing knowledge through play and meaningful real-world experiences. We believe in the importance of relationships and community, and we value the uniqueness of each child and family.

At HSP, the teacher and families work together to create an environment that facilitates play for deeper interaction and inquiry. We encourage young children’s play by valuing their eagerness to learn, by providing them with space and time, by paying attention to their spontaneous interests, by presenting new inquiries and exploration activities, and by offering support as they problem solve. Children are compelled to connect with one another and are genuinely fascinated with one another’s words, ideas and actions. We encourage and respect those social connections and the resulting growth in social skills.


 
“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.”
— John Lubbock

Sandy Hodge is the Director of Hancock Street Preschool and the teacher of both the Blue Class (four-year-olds) and the Red Class (three-year-olds). Sandy began teaching the Blue Class in 2003. In 2012, Sandy's good friend and teaching partner Carol Hazzard retired. At that time, Sandy became the Director of HSP and the teacher for both classes.

Sandy Hodge is a credentialed teacher who has worked for 25 years in early childhood education. Teacher Sandy received her BA from the University of Virginia and her teaching certification from San Francisco State University. In 2011, she completed the coursework to become a Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She embraces her role as a curious life-long learner and continues to take classes through PCPO and OAEYC. Sandy also states that she learns daily from the children and parents that she partners with in the classroom.

Sandy Hodge's classroom experience includes preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. She has worked in a variety of settings including a Head Start classroom, a program for children with special needs, and classrooms in both public and private schools. Sandy's appreciation for the value of co-ops began as a parent when her two daughters attended a local co-op preschool. She loves the sense of community that is fostered for both children and adults in the co-op setting, and she feels fortunate to spend her days with children who allow her to be part of their natural enthusiasm for wondering, exploring, and creating.

Teacher Sandy lives in SE Portland with her husband, two teenage daughters, yellow lab and calico cat. The Hodge family enjoys gardening, reading, board games, biking, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.


The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.
— Joseph Campbell

Mission statement

Hancock Street Preschool (HSP) is dedicated to excellence in early childhood education, providing a developmentally appropriate, play-based curriculum with meaningful real-world experiences.  HSP promotes an environment which encourages creativity, curiosity and community, and embraces the role of life-long learner for children and adults.  HSP is committed to a strong home-school partnership, honoring the diversity of our families and welcoming the uniqueness of each individual.

Philosophy

No other span in a child's life holds so much wonder and joy and fantastic change as the preschool years. In joining a co-op, you have the unique experience of sharing your child's first steps out into the world.

We believe that children thrive in an atmosphere of trust, where they are provided with support in a safe and gentle environment. Children succeed when they have a strong sense of self, so we recognize the importance of fostering a sense of competency and independence in all aspects of the child's being.

At Hancock Street Preschool, our emphasis is on "Learning Through Play." Through play, many of the necessary skills for later life are developed. Learning through play comes about when the need for freedom and guidance is recognized. Our play-based curriculum supports the development of the whole child — socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually; allowing for the recognition of each child's unique learning style, abilities, and developmental level.

In an effort to meet the needs of a variety of children in our community, Hancock Street Preschool is accredited by the Oregon Department of Education to accept special needs children.

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Sustainabilty

Hancock Street Preschool believes that the best way to teach is by example. By employing earth-friendly practices within our school, we demonstrate to our children that sustainability is a way of life. We are proud to say that we have been named as an Eco-Healthy Child Care Provider by the Oregon Environmental Council, which means that we adhere to guidelines designed to reduce children’s exposure to toxics and other environmental health hazards.

In addition to providing a safe environment for our students, families, and staff, we extend our sustainability efforts by composting organic materials, recycling items we are done with, and reusing items where possible. Household items that are ready for the recycle bins are first brought to our school for art projects, construction activities, and other exploratory experiences.


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
— W.B. Yeats

What Is a Co-op?

Hancock Street Preschool is a co-op (or cooperative). A cooperative school is run by a parent community that helps in the classroom, is involved in decision-making and provides other support to ensure the school’s operations. We are a non-profit organization comprised of families who take an active interest in their children’s first educational experience. In a co-op preschool, the teacher is the only paid employee. At Hancock Street Preschool, our professional credentialed teacher, Sandy Hodge, provides intentional, relationship-based teaching and a learning environment which focuses on creativity, community and curiosity.


Is It For Me?

Here are some of the benefits of participating in a co-op preschool:

  • You will have the chance to participate in your child’s educational experiences away from home.
  • You will become part of a supportive community of families.
  • You will get to know the other children in the class which makes it easier to understand and discuss your child’s preschool experiences and friendships.
  • You will gain valuable parenting skills as you observe how a professional teacher and other parents deal with different scenarios.
  • You will create lasting memories and friendships.

Here’s how one of our alumni moms described her experience:

At my son’s last preschool, I would walk him to school, help him settle in, kiss him goodbye and leave. Now I put on my apron, get the play dough out and talk to the kids while they paint at the easel. When it’s snack time, I prepare some food and sit down to eat with my son and the other children. I feel so involved with my son’s life. I can ask him specific questions about his day, like “Did you pretend to be dinosaurs with Andrew again today?,” instead of the usual “What did you do today?”
— Blue Class mom

Serving on a Committee

Each family at Hancock Street Preschool serves either on the Board of Directors or on one of the following committees:

  • Book Order 
  • Classroom Support
  • Community Event Coordinator
  • Equipment
  • Field Trip
  • Fundraising
  • Housekeeping
  • Library
  • Paint
  • PCPO Representative
  • Photo / DVD
  • Playdough
  • Social
  • Supply
  • Sustainability
  • Turn-Around

Helping In Class

Each family is required to parent-help in their child's class. Family members help once every two or three weeks. On some days, you will be assigned to provide snack. There are three parent helpers each day which enables us to maintain a nurturing environment and a low child to adult ratio.

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Attending Parent Education Meetings

Parent education is an essential part of Hancock Street Preschool. We promote a strong home-school connection and believe that adults, as well as children, are life-long learners. Teacher Sandy holds regular ‘Parent Education’ nights. We discuss early childhood development and how parents can support their child’s growth at preschool and at home. Hancock Street Preschool also offers a beginning-of-year training for parents on their role in the classroom. There are approximately five evening meetings per year.


Going on Field Trips

We take a variety of field trips that enhance the children's experience in the classroom and expand their understanding of the world. Past trips have included a visit to a farm, to a grocery store, to a post office, to a state park, and a ride on a train. Parents are encouraged to attend these field trips if they are able.


Fundraising

Fundraising enables us to keep tuition affordable for our families and to offer partial financial aid for those in need. The main fundraiser for the school is the sale of beautiful holiday evergreen wreaths and centerpieces. All families participate in our fundraiser by selling evergreens to family, friends, and local businesses or by providing a cash donation in lieu of sales.

Families are also required to participate in our scrip program, which is a dollar-for-dollar exchange using gift cards for many local businesses. Families buy gift cards from a number of participating merchants for groceries, fuel, clothing, toys, entertainment, electronics, home improvement, and household services. When the gift cards are purchased, the retailers donate a percentage of the sale to our preschool.

The financial goal for fundraising is set each year by the Board of Directors.

daily schedule For children & parent helpers:

 

9:30 … Greeting

9:30 … Free play

10:40 … Clean-up

10:50 … Circle time

11:10 … Snack

11:20 … Story

11:30 … Outside play

12:00 … Goodbye

 
 

Daily thanks recited at snack:

“Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the friends we meet.
Thank you for our work and play.
Thank you for this happy day!”

 
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NOW ENROLLING FOR 2016–2017