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:
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
- Field Trip
- PCPO Representative
- Photo / DVD
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.
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 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.