(Policies, Rules & Procedures)
Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool
Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church
2400 NW 85th Street Seattle, WA 98117
Church 206.783.7900 Classroom 206.783.7032
Welcome! This Parent Handbook contains important information for you to know and refer to while you and your child are enrolled in the Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool. It includes the following sections:
This Parent Handbook is yours to keep while you are enrolled in the Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool.
Our Philosophy and Purpose: The Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool ("the Co-op" or “the Cooperative”) is part of the North Seattle College (NSC) Parent Education Program and is affiliated with the NSC Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The Co-op requires active participation by parent and child in a preschool setting. This environment provides an opportunity for parents to obtain information and practice skills in at least three major areas: child development and family life; teaching young children; and organization development and leadership. Basic program values include: respect for individual differences and differences in parenting styles, freedom to explore options and practice skills, respect for the knowledge and skills which individuals bring to the program, strengthening families by forming supportive networks, and belief that parents are children's primary teachers.
Who We Are: The preschool serves children who are at least 12 months and no more than 35 months old by August 31 of the upcoming school year. The children and their parents are members of the cooperative. Toddlers must be at least 12 months and no more than 23 months by August 31st. Pre 3s must be at least 24 months and no more than 35 months by August 31st, but not yet 36 months.
Where We Meet: The Co-op meets at Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church, 2400 NW 85th Street, Seattle, in a daylight basement and also maintains an outside play yard.
When We Meet:
What it Costs:
Registration Fee (one time and nonrefundable): $40.00* per family, per class
NSC Tuition: $48.00 per quarter*
(*subject to change)
Scholarships are available through the Co-op and PAC.
What Happens at Preschool: Toddlers meet once a week for two (2) hours and Pre-3s meet twice a week for two (2) hours. A typical day at preschool begins with outside play in an enclosed yard (weather permitting) or play indoors on riding toys. The children then come inside, wash their hands, and have a snack. The following hour is "free time," during which the children are free to explore a variety of indoor play activities (art, sensory, dramatics, library, home center, climbing room, or table toys). Approximately half of the parents support the Teacher by supervising the children at play, facilitating play, and ensuring the children's safety. For the final 20 minutes of the class time, all parents and children gather for music circle led by the preschool teacher. The preschool day ends with a goodbye song and stamps.
The Parents' Role: A parent accompanies their child/ren to one assigned class day per week. Parents’ responsibilities as members of the Co-op include working in one of the play areas every week and attending a monthly business/Parent Education meeting. Members are also responsible for actively participating in the management and operation of the Co-op, which includes preparing snacks, cleaning the preschool once or twice per quarter (cleaning may be hired out depending on funding), fundraising, and performing a job/position (e.g., Secretary, scheduler, newsletter editor, Treasurer, fundraiser, photographer). The Parent Education discussion topics cover child development, parenting styles, discipline, health and safety, and self-esteem. Parents play an active role in determining the topics presented and in contributing to the discussions.
Our Teachers: There are two Co-op teachers. The Preschool Teacher is responsible for coordinating and leading the children’s curriculum and activities, and the Parent Educator is responsible for coordinating and presenting the parents' curriculum.
All Co-op members must submit the following forms and fees prior to the first class:
The Cooperative is organized to provide a learning environment for both parents and children in several areas:
Any parent or participating person who enrolls in the NSC Parent Education Program and is willing to accept the responsibilities of active participation in the Cooperative is eligible for membership. Each member must fulfill the requirements for participation in the Cooperative as set forth in Article IV below.
Admission Requirements: Unless otherwise determined by the membership, children attending the preschool shall be between 12 months and 35 months by August 31, before the commencement of the school year. In order to be operative, the Cooperative must satisfy the minimum membership requirements set forth by NSC. Presently, a minimum of 18 members is required with a maximum of 20 members. After the start of preschool in September, children with September birthdays may be enrolled in the class if (1) the class is not full; (2) there are no wait listed families; (3) the child is interviewed by the Preschool Teacher and deemed developmentally on par with the enrolled children; and (4) the Preschool Teacher and Parent Educator confirm the enrollment after a two week trial basis.
The Cooperative shall not discriminate against members, prospective members or their children on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, physical or emotional handicaps. This policy includes, but is not limited to, all facets of the Cooperative's operations, including its policies, requirements for membership, scholarship fund and all preschool-related activities. The Cooperative will not maintain separate facilities, nor partition existing facilities into separate sections on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, physical or emotional handicaps.
The Cooperative is organized and shall be operated exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the 1974 Internal Revenue Code. Consistent with the requirements of this section, the Cooperative shall not carry on any activities precluded by the Internal Revenue Code for an organization exempt from taxation under said section.
Priority of acceptance: will be given to currently-enrolled parents and/or children from a Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool in accordance with the NSC registration process and recommendations of the Parent Advisory Council for the current year.
Priority for in-house registration is as follows:
During "Open Registration" Period
After "Open Registration" Period (ongoing)
Waiting List: A waiting list shall be established and maintained by the Parent
Coordinator for the parents of eligible children who are interested in attending the Cooperative but who are not selected during the "Open Registration" period and who join the Waiting List after that registration period. Prior to Registration for the next year, the Waiting List will be cleared and families on the list notified.
Facility Tour: A physical tour of the Co-op Preschool site is mandatory for all prospective new members.
Parent Contract: Each participating parent shall sign the Parent Contract, which is considered binding. Failure to assume the duties as enumerated therein may result in membership review by the Board.
Immunization: Parents must complete and submit a Washington State Certificate of Immunization Status form for their child, as required by state law. The form shall be on file at preschool by the first day of class. The Certificate of Exemption form must be filled out if you choose to delay or exempt a child from one or more required immunizations.
General Health: Each parent is responsible to have her/his child in good health when attending preschool and must notify the Health & Safety officer if the child contracts a contagious disease.
Membership Registration Fee: The Cooperative preschool registration fee shall be set for the following year prior to the annual membership registration period (held in the spring), according to the financial conditions of the Cooperative. Payment of the registration fee is required at the time of registration and is non-refundable. The registration fee covers accident and liability insurance and a portion of the equipment fund.
Cooperative Tuition Fee: Cooperative preschool tuition fees are subject to change on approval of the Board. During the period of enrollment, full Cooperative tuition must be paid for each payment period whether or not the child attends school on every class day in such period, and whether or not preschool is canceled for any reason, including weather-related reasons.
Payment of Cooperative Tuition: Tuition payments are made to the Treasurer pursuant to a payment schedule determined by the Board. Upon acceptance cooperative preschool members will be required to submit September Cooperative Tuition that will be NOT be refundable after June 30th. Half of June's tuition is due with October’s tuition, and the other half is due with November’s tuition. The early collection of June's tuition, which is nonrefundable after January 1st, is to prevent the Treasury from facing a deficit at year-end due to nonpayment of tuition. Cooperative members who enroll after a tuition payment period has begun will be charged tuition for the period on a prorated basis, based on the number of classes remaining in the period at the time of enrollment.
Nonpayment of Cooperative Tuition: If a member's Cooperative Tuition is overdue and payment arrangements have not been made with the Treasurer, the member may forfeit last month's tuition as well as her/his membership in the Cooperative.
Refunds of Cooperative Tuition: There will be no refund of tuition for classes held in June, except in cases of dismissal. Other tuition refunds will be made on a prorated basis, provided that two (2) weeks' notice of a member's withdrawal has been given to the Parent Coordinator, and provided that the Parent Coordinator is able to fill the opening. If the opening cannot be filled, the withdrawing parent's paid tuition for the month of withdrawal will not be refunded.
Cooperative Tuition for Multiple Siblings: Parents enrolling more than one child in the Cooperative will pay a Registration fee per family, per class and full Cooperative Tuition for each child. Parents of multiple siblings will hold one job for each child enrolled in the Cooperative, however, a single board position may fulfill the parent's entire requirement. The second registration fee may be waived on a case by case basis with Board approval if it is a financial hardship for the family.
Scholarships for Cooperative Tuition: As a supplement to the PAC Scholarship Fund, the Cooperative may establish and maintain a separate scholarship fund. The fund shall be built through fundraising and interest and administered by the Board. The fund's purpose shall be to finance partial tuition for a member in need. Written requests for scholarship awards should be referred one (1) month in advance to the Treasurer who will bring the requests anonymously before the Board for approval.
Awards of Cooperative Tuition Scholarships: Cooperative tuition scholarships are available through the PAC Scholarship Fund for members who choose to apply. Applications for scholarships are on a quarterly basis. PAC will award up to 50% of tuition to approved members quarterly. Upon award of PAC scholarship, members are then eligible for in-house scholarships. In-house scholarships are awarded up to 50% of the amount that PAC has awarded. Acceptance is based on members’ active participation and availability of funds. Exceptions can be made upon All-Site Board discretion to award up to 75% of total tuition.
Each year the NSC PAC requires the Cooperative to contribute a per child fee that goes towards scholarships. This per-child fee is subject to change on an annual basis. Rather than increase tuition to cover this fee, the cooperative chooses to fundraise to cover these fees. All members are required to support fundraising activities to fulfill the Cooperative's financial obligation to the PAC Scholarship Fund. Fundraising proceeds also go towards contributing to overall school budget which includes school improvements, in-house scholarships, and emergency reserves. Members may fulfill their fundraising obligations to raise the “per member” fund amount by participating in the selected activity and/or by paying the full amount directly to the Cooperative. Families of multiples will be required to raise funds for all children enrolled in the Cooperative but may appeal to the Board for a reduced requirement.
If a family experiences a hardship in meeting the per child preschool fundraising requirement the family may apply to the Board for a partial scholarship to help off-set their fundraising balance. All families may apply for fundraising assistance, and all families are expected to make an effort to contribute as much as possible towards their fundraising requirement. Families should meet the PAC Scholarship Guidelines in order to qualify for a partial fundraising scholarship, however, the Board, in its discretion, may choose to award a fundraising scholarship even if a family does not meet these Guidelines.
NSC Tuition: Participating parents shall pay quarterly tuition to NSC for their enrollment in NSC's Parent Education Program. Parents enrolling more than one child in the Cooperative shall pay only one quarterly tuition payment to NSC. In some cases, families of multiples may be required to register both parents in order to ensure sufficient enrollment per class with the minimum requested by NSC being twenty (20) members.
Cleaning Deposit: Each family is required to assist at an All School work day or pick two other jobs from a list of options. Families can also donate money instead of participating in a work day/project. The money will be used to enhance the play yard or classroom. There is a $50 deposit required for each family at the Spring Orientation. Once the work has been completed, the $50 will be applied to the next month's tuition. Instead of participating in a work day/completing projects, families can also choose to donate $50 and they will receive a receipt for a tax deductible donation to the preschool. The money will be used to enhance the play yard or classroom If a summer job is completed, no deposit will be required. This cleaning deposit is required per class enrolled.
Conflict of Interest/Compensation: No Officer or Member of the Cooperative shall have any personal financial interest, direct or indirect, in any activity undertaken by the Cooperative. No Officer or committee Member shall receive compensation for their service, but may receive reimbursement for approved expenditures incurred on behalf of the Cooperative.
Checks Written to/by the Cooperative: All checks written to the Cooperative shall be made out to Crown Hill Cooperative Preschool. All checks issued on behalf of the Cooperative shall be co-signed by the Treasurer and another board member of the Cooperative. The Teacher's monthly supply fund will be made available as stipulated in the Teacher's contract.
Carryover Reserve Fund: A carryover reserve fund to start the next year will remain in the Treasury at the end of the year. The reserve fund should equal at least two month's expenses, including rent, salaries, taxes, telephone, etc.
Insurance: The Cooperative shall carry insurance according to NSC policy.
Fiscal Year: The Cooperative's fiscal year shall run from July 1 to June 30.
School Calendar and Class Cancellations: The school year shall follow that of the Seattle Public Schools, and the regular school holidays shall be observed. The last preschool day of the year immediately precedes Memorial Day. The Pre-3 school sessions are held twice a week for two (2) hours. The Toddler school sessions are held once a week for two (2) hours. When the Seattle Public Schools are closed or running late (either 1 or 2 hours) due to weather conditions, preschool classes shall be cancelled. Evening Parent Education classes may meet, a decision to cancel the class will be made jointly by the Teacher or Parent Educator and the Board. Any parent or Board meetings cancelled due to weather conditions shall be rescheduled, with make-up meeting times established by the Parent Educator and the Board.
Toddler Classes (Owls/Otters): For part of each class session, one-half of the parents are assigned a specific responsibility as teacher’s aides to guide the children’s activities while the other half of the parents attend parent education. For the remainder of the session, all parents are required to help the children in various play activities as directed by the Teacher.
Pre-3 Classes (Orcas/Bears): Half of the parents participate on the first school day of the week, and the other half participate on the second school day of the week. The working parents are assigned a specific responsibility as Teacher’s aides in order to guide the children’s activities. For the remainder of the session, parents are to help the children in various play areas as directed by the Preschool Teacher. If a parent has two or more children enrolled in the Cooperative, the parent will be required to work only one day, unless due to enrollment or many sets of multiples, the Board and Parent Educator deem two work days to be necessary. This is in compliance with a primary objective of the Pre-3 age group – to help attain the goal of child-parent separation. Toward the same end, parents will be encouraged to leave their child at preschool on their non-work day; the Teacher and Parent Educator will work with the parent to design a plan for separation.
Attendance: Members are responsible for informing the Cooperative if they are unable to attend the preschool session. It is the Board's responsibility to determine if a member's absences are interfering with the Cooperative's operation. If so, the Board may, in the best interest of the Cooperative, dismiss that member according to the Policies and Procedures.
Pre-3s (Orcas/Bears)Emergency Substitute: Members are required to be an Emergency Substitute on their non-work day in case a parent who is supposed to work that day has a sudden illness or emergency. This amounts to approximately 6 days per school year that a member will be assigned to be "on call" on their non-work day. The Emergency Substitute schedule is for true emergencies that become known the day before or in the morning before preschool. It is not for planned absences, such as a vacation or doctor's appointment. If a member is unable to actually fill in as a substitute on their non-work day (due to a job, for example), they can fulfill their obligation by sending a spouse or another relative to be the Emergency Substitute or they can make an arrangement with another preschool parent to take their Emergency Substitute shift.
Monthly Meeting: Monthly parent meetings shall be held pursuant to a schedule determined by the Board at the summer preparatory meeting and accepted by the members at the September parent meeting. One hour of each monthly parent meeting will be devoted to Cooperative business; the other hour will be devoted to Parent Education.
Orientations: Two orientation meetings are held, a Spring Orientation in May after the new class is registered, and a Fall Orientation in September. At the May meeting, the Board members of the outgoing Cooperative will be present to orient new members and see that all of the board positions are filled for the incoming Cooperative classes. The Teacher, Parent Educator and all new Cooperative members attend the September meeting (with new Board members in place and facilitating the meeting). The purpose of this meeting is to solidify the Board positions, fill remaining non-Board positions, set calendar dates and orient new members.
Attendance: Attendance at monthly Parent meetings is a requirement of Cooperative membership (mandatory) and to fulfill accreditation as a student at NSC. One (1) absence from these meetings will be excused, however, any additional absences may be allowed pursuant to the terms of the Parent Meeting Absence Make-up form (i.e., by performing an alternate activity designated by the Parent Educator). The Secretary will notify the Board of any absentee problems, and the Board will promptly review the matter.
Electronic Mail Voting: If an item arises that requires action prior to the next scheduled parent meeting and if the Chairperson deems it necessary and advisable, the membership may vote on an item by electronic mail pursuant to the following requirements:
Emergency Voting: In an emergency situation, the Board may make decisions and transact Cooperative business without submitting such actions to a vote by the membership.
Parent Education is the foundation of the Cooperative program, and is the basis of membership and participation in the Cooperative. It consists of four elements:
Teacher Agreement: An agreement between the Cooperative and the Preschool Teacher shall be made and considered binding. It shall be signed by the Chair and the Treasurer on behalf of the Cooperative. The Preschool Teacher’s agreement may be terminated by majority vote of members and upon one month’s severance pay. The Preschool Teacher may terminate his/her agreement by giving thirty (30) days' written notice to the Board.
Agreement Renewal: The Preschool Teacher will inform the Board no later than March 15th of the current school year, if s/he plans to return for the following school year. The decision to hire a new Preschool Teacher will be made by a majority vote of the Cooperative membership on or before April 1st of the current school year. If a decision is made to renew a Preschool Teacher’s agreement, such agreement must be renewed and signed by both parties by April 30th of the current school year.
All-School Officer Positions: shall include a Chairperson, a Parent Coordinator, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) representative, and a Health & Safety Officer. These officers, as well as the chairperson from each class advisory board, will constitute the Board.
Preschool Duty Exemptions: Unless otherwise determined by the All-School Board, Board members shall be exempt from All-School cleaning duties, providing snacks, and working Emergency Substitute shifts in connection with the preschool classes.
Monthly Board Meetings: Regular meetings of the All-School Board shall be held monthly and shall be open to the membership. A simple majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and a quorum must be present at all times to transact business.
Outgoing Board/Incoming Board Meeting: This meeting should be held after all Board positions for the incoming Cooperative have been filled (during May) and may be combined with the Spring Orientation meeting. The outgoing officers will be present to transfer all business, except for Treasurer responsibilities, to the newly-elected officers, all of whom must be present. The outgoing Treasurer will complete the end of the current year fiscal responsibilities prior to transferring all business to the Incoming Treasurer. These meetings can be held as one-on-ones with each outgoing Board member meeting with their incoming replacement.
All School Board Recommendation Process: The following year’s All-Site Board will be recommended by a committee and voted in by the entire cooperative membership. The committee will be comprised of 5 voting members, 1 representative from each class and the 5th position from any class. No more than 2 members of the committee can be on the current All-Site Board. A Parent Educator and the Teacher will also be advisory members of the committee. This process should begin mid-year.
Summer Preparatory Meeting: This meeting should be held after the Outgoing/Incoming Board meeting and before the start of the year set-up. The new All-School Board, Teacher, and a Parent Educator attend this meeting and finalize decisions for the coming year, including the schedule for monthly meetings.
The All-School Board is responsible for, but not limited to, the following:
Class Advisory Board Officer Positions: shall include a Chairperson, a Parent Coordinator, a Treasurer, a Secretary/Communications Coordinator, and a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) representative.
Preschool Duty Exemptions: Unless otherwise determined by the All-School Board, Class Advisory Board members shall be exempt from providing snacks and working Emergency Substitute shifts in connection with the preschool classes.
Advisory Board Meetings: Class advisory boards shall only meet as necessary, either during free play or shortly before parent meetings. Any meetings shall be open to the membership.
Outgoing Board/Incoming Board Meeting: This meeting should be held after all Board positions for the incoming Cooperative have been filled (during May) and may be combined with the Spring Orientation meeting. The outgoing officers will be present to transfer all business, except for Treasurer responsibilities, to the newly-elected officers, all of whom must be present. These meetings can be held as one-on-ones with each outgoing Board member meeting with their incoming replacement.
Summer Preparatory Meeting: This meeting should be held after the Outgoing/Incoming Board meeting and before the start of the year set-up. The new Board, Teacher, and Parent Educator attend this meeting and finalize decisions, including the schedule for monthly parent meetings and tuition payments, and prepare for Fall Orientation.
The Class Advisory Board is responsible for, but not limited to, the following:
Maternity Leave: Maternity leave shall be granted to Cooperative members for up to six
(6) full weeks following the birth or adoption of an infant. The parent will inform the Board of the need for leave. During the leave, the member shall be excused from all regular Cooperative responsibilities (including, but not limited to, attendance, cleaning, snack, assistant teaching, Parent Education, committee assignment, and parent meetings falling within the six (6) week period) without obligation. The Scheduler shall make arrangements for coverage of the parent’s duties during the leave.
Siblings: No siblings are allowed at preschool except for newborn infants in the Toddler (Owls/Otters) classroom as defined below:
Newborn infants up to the age of six months may attend class with their enrolled parent(s) under the following circumstances:
Nanny Policy: For the purposes of this policy, "Nanny" is defined as “a non-custodial caregiver not living in household.” Parents wishing to enroll their child with a Nanny will be required to fulfill all Cooperative duties. Although the Nanny may attend preschool, the parent will be required to perform weekly cleaning, year-end cleaning, and any class projects (i.e. fundraising) that arise. The parent and Nanny shall both be required to attend the monthly Parent Education meetings. Children attending preschool with his/her own parent shall be given registration priority over children attending with a Nanny. After September 1, children attending with a Nanny may be enrolled on a space-available basis, unless there are extenuating circumstances that are presented to the Board. This Nanny Policy does not apply to the parent who is occasionally unable to attend preschool and sends a Nanny or babysitter in his/her place. However, this Nanny Policy shall be activated anytime a parent anticipates sending their child to preschool with a Nanny more than two (2) days per quarter.
Grievances between Cooperative members shall be handled as follows:
The aggrieved party contacts the Class Parent Coordinator (or an alternate Class Advisory Board member, if requested by the aggrieved, who shall be designated by the Board) and explains the problem. The Parent Coordinator (or alternate) may act as the mediator between the involved parties, but shall immediately inform all parties, the Parent Educator, and the Chairperson of the problem. At the request of any party to the grievance, the Chair will inform the Board of the dispute; the Board will then promptly appoint a Grievance Committee to investigate the matter.
A Grievance Committee shall consist of one member of the Board (other than the Parent Coordinator or alternate), one randomly chosen Cooperative member not involved in the dispute, and the Parent Educator.
The Grievance Committee shall promptly evaluate the dispute, including consulting the Preschool Teacher if appropriate, and shall make a recommendation to the Board regarding its decision. The decision of the Board shall be final and binding.
Grounds for Dismissal: Failure to perform the duties as outlined, or failure to cooperate in fulfilling membership obligations, as set forth in the “Parent Contract”, shall make a participating parent subject to dismissal from the Cooperative.
The procedure for dismissal is as follows:
If the Board is considering dismissing a member from the Cooperative, they shall give a written warning to the parent (Membership Review Notification Form).
Dismissal from the group shall be by majority vote of the Class Advisory Board members, with voting by secret ballot. On the day of the vote, the Board shall give written notice of the dismissal to the member (Dismissal Form).
Within two weeks of the Board's vote to dismiss, the member may file a written notice of appeal of the Board's decision to the Chair. While the appeal is pending, the member shall not attend preschool sessions, Board or Parent Education meetings, or other Cooperative events or gatherings.
Within one week of receiving the appeal, the Board shall convene a Review Committee comprised of a Board member, the Parent Educator, and a representative from the Parent Education Program at NSC and shall set a date for the Committee to hear the appeal. The matter shall be heard by the Review Committee no later than three weeks from the date on which the dismissed parent delivered written notice of appeal to the Chair.
The Review Committee shall evaluate the matter and, within two weeks of hearing the appeal, shall make a recommendation to the Board regarding its decision. The decision of the Board shall be final and binding.
Whenever the Cooperative needs to contract and hire service to provide repairs, improvements or maintenance for either church property used by the Cooperative or Cooperative assets and materials directly owned, the Preschool Teacher shall be responsible for obtaining and presenting to the All-School Board three (3) estimates for labor and/or materials. This process is designed to ensure that Cooperative repairs, improvements or maintenance expenditures are cost-effective and meet any and all applicable codes or standards of service.
These Policies and Procedures may be amended, repealed or altered upon motion of any member in good standing. The proposed change shall first be presented to the Board, which will in turn present the proposed change to the membership at either a regular or special business meeting or via electronic mail. The proposed change shall also be posted at the preschool. After a 14-day notice period, the proposal will be adopted if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the current membership.
In the event the Cooperative should be dissolved, the membership shall be responsible for liquidation and disposition of all assets. Upon dissolution, all assets remaining after payment of all liabilities shall be distributed to such organizations operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Any plan of dissolution and liquidation must meet with the approval of NSC.
I hereby certify that the preceding Crown Hill Explorers Cooperative Policies and Procedures, as amended and restated, were duly adopted by vote of its current membership on XXX.
XXX, All-School Chair
XXX, All-School Secretary
Following are guidelines all parents should consider before sending their child to preschool:
Colds: A child should be kept home for the first two days at the onset of a cold. This is the most contagious period and, by the third day, there is much less chance that the cold will be passed on to others.
Temperatures: A child should be kept home for 24 hours after a temperature has returned to normal to ensure recovery. Also, a child is very susceptible after any sickness, so this is a good preventive step in guarding against further infection.
Bacterial Infections: A child taking an antibiotic for a bacterial infection should not be sent to school for the first 48 hours after beginning the medication. Up until this time, the infection is still contagious. This guideline should be followed unless other instructions are given by the child's doctor, in which case the decision will be up to the Teacher.
Diarrhea: A child should be kept home if they have had 3 or more loose, watery stools within 24 hours.
Vomiting: A child should be kept home if they have vomited on 2 or more occasions within 24 hours.
Lice or Rashes: A child should be kept home if there is any evidence of head lice or if they exhibit any unusual rashes not associated with normal diaper rash, heat or allergies.
Sickness at School: A child who becomes ill while at preschool (e.g., vomiting, fever) should be taken out of class at once.
Chronic Medical Problems: Parents should let the Teacher and Health & Safety Officer know of any medical problems their child has, such as an allergy, asthma, epilepsy, etc. In the case of allergy, especially if it is a food allergy, this information will be shared so that snacks will be safe for the child. All parents are entitled to and should be informed of the medical conditions of all children in the preschool (e.g., allergy, new medication) in order to assist them in understanding the child they are working with.
Medication: If a child is taking medication which might have an effect on the child's behavior, that information should be brought to the attention of the Teacher and other parents so that they can best understand the child they are working with.
Role of the Parent Educator: The Parent Education faculty at NSC believes that parenting is one of the most important careers in an individual's life. And, as with any vocation, preparation and continuing education are necessary for success. The goal of our program is to provide information and skills to enable parents to act more confidently and competently in their own families, to make informed family decisions, and to be an active participant in this educational process.
Parent Education Model: The Parent Education model for Co-op programs was established in 1938 and was housed in the Seattle Public Schools. It is based on a "laboratory approach" with parents and children participating in a learning experience together. In the late 1960's, the NSC assumed responsibility for the program as part of adult education. Our program has been adapted to serve parents of infants, toddlers, pre-three children, and preschool-aged children. At NSC, the model includes three major curriculum components:
In an Early Childhood Laboratory setting where parents participate in a variety of roles as teacher, parents observe the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative development of their children and others of a similar age. Parents practice positive guidance techniques and the presentation of age-appropriate activities.
Adult Education sessions and group discussions offer skills and information for use in the laboratory setting. The parent education classes also focus on parenting concerns and interests appropriate for the parents in the Co-op.
A Leadership and Business Management component offers experience in leadership and management skills which empower parents and increase self-esteem and personal competence. Group members learn the process of collaboration, decision making, and problem solving while they operate their child's early childhood laboratory. The program at NSC serves over 40 co-op programs annually.
Parent Educator's Role in NSC: Your Parent Educator is a faculty member of NSC’s Child and Family Education Division. The Parent Educator is assigned to a cooperative, which is officially a "Parent/Child Study Laboratory" class. He/she has knowledge and skills in the areas of child development, early childhood education, adult learning, parenting issues and relationships. The Parent Educator attends bimonthly meetings at NSC and is involved in continuing education.
Parent Educator's Role in the Co-op: Although parent-student needs are different in each Co-op, the Parent Educator's overall responsibilities are the same: to provide Parent Education, serve as a consultant for the Preschool Teacher, act as an advisor for the Board, and to be a resource for individual parents. Each of these aspects is more fully described below.
Parent Education: The Educator provides Parent Education instruction at the parent meetings and/or discussion sessions. College instructors select curriculum from the following student objectives established by the State Board for Community College Education:
Consultant to Teacher: The Parent Educator serves as a consultant or resource to the
Preschool Teacher to insure a developmentally appropriate program for the children. The Parent Educator provides information, makes recommendations, and presents ideas as needed to the Preschool Teacher. This will vary from lab to lab and depend on the skill and experience of the Teacher. It may consist of advice on a guidance problem, observations on a child of concern, material to enrich the environment, or suggestions for providing direction to the parent teacher aides.
Advisor to the Board: The Parent Educator acts as an advisor to the Co-op Board and conveys general information from NSC on matters such as insurance, health and safety issues, or general announcements about business matters. The Parent Educator also provides information and insight for special problems and group process as needed. For example, he/she provides direction when a Co-op needs to hire a new Preschool Teacher or find a new school location. The Parent Educator's role with the Board will vary depending on the experience and expertise of the Board.
Resource Person: The Parent Educator acts as a resource to individual parents. The Parent Educator is aware of NSC and community resources available to individuals. He/she may make referrals to other agencies if a matter is outside the areas of her/his expertise or role.
The Parent Educator must be flexible to meet the responsibilities of the college program and may work with a Co-op that meets one day a week or four days a week. Therefore, he/she must include in attendance at monthly board meetings, Parent Education sessions, and preschool sessions, as well as making time to act as a resource, into her/his schedule.
The Preschool Teacher acts as head teacher and manages the group experience, with the assistance of the parents and the support of the Parent Educator. The smooth and successful functioning of the Co-op program depends mainly, however, on the Preschool Teacher. The Teacher is hired by the Co-op's hiring committee, and her/his salary comes from the Co-op membership.
General Responsibilities in the Co-op:
Plan and organize developmentally and age-appropriate curriculum;
Involve parents in the program and help them to assume the assistant teacher roles;
Attend monthly board and parent meetings;
Follow the Health & Safety Guidelines included in the Washington State Risk Management Manual for Parent Co-ops; and
Participate in professional development.
Teaching Responsibilities: The primary responsibility of the Preschool Teacher is to set up a developmentally appropriate program for young children. In doing this, the teacher works to establish routines and activities that will be most effective in promoting social, physical, cognitive, emotional, and creative growth for each child. The Preschool Teacher and Parent Educator work with parents individually to assure each child's success at preschool. Each Teacher has his/her own style and strengths in working with young children and their parents.
The Preschool Teacher interacts with the children in the classroom and evaluates their progress to determine what developmentally appropriate materials and activities will be presented. The schedule s/he provides is very important to the security of the young child. The Teacher knows that young children learn best by first-hand experience and through play; therefore, the environment is set-up to promote these activities. The Teacher always keeps in mind the necessity to preserve creativity, develop inner controls, and encourage problem solving.
The Teacher plans the curriculum and informs the parents of this plan. However, s/he maintains the flexibility to change this curriculum when another activity appears to suit the children better. The Teacher explains all parts of the program so that the parents will understand the reasons for the benefits of an activity. Most Preschool Teachers have the ability to anticipate and prevent difficulties when working with a group of spontaneous children. They also know how to alert parents to ways of working and getting involved with children in their co-op setting.
The Co-op Board discusses the needs and concerns of the membership, from mouse traps to a chickenpox epidemic. The officers of the Board are special supporters of the Co-op and keep attuned to areas that might need improvement or situations that might be breeding discontent. This way, any problem can be handled quickly and resolved, and the Co-op can move on in a positive way.
Composition: The Co-op elects the officers for their group to serve for the full preschool year. The elected officers include a Chair, a Parent Coordinator, a Treasurer, a PAC Representative, a Secretary, and a Health & Safety Officer. The All-School Board also includes the chairs of the individual classes. The elected officers, the Preschool Teacher and the Parent Educator constitute the Board. The Preschool Teacher and Parent Educator are non-voting members. (Sites that have multiple classes may have joint board meetings.) Initially, the Board will assume a major role of leadership in the group. The aim, however, is to involve all members in the planning and execution of the Co-op program.
Role: The Board functions primarily in an advisory capacity and makes decisions for the group in accordance with the Bylaws. For example, the Board must obtain member approval for determining registration and tuition fees and in hiring a Preschool Teacher.
In addition, the Board serves as a clearinghouse for ideas, reports, and concerns which any officer or individual member may have. Minutes are kept of all recommendations and should be made available to all members.
Activities: Activities of the Board may include: planning All-School fundraising events, recommending equipment and supply purchases, overseeing building and safety maintenance, ensuring compliance with the Risk Management Manual, proposing enrollment maximums for students and class times, being fiscally responsible, recommending hiring procedures, paying teachers, informing members of the activities of the Board, keeping records of all Board activities, developing and proposing revisions to the Bylaws, planning for an easy transition from year to year, and staying in compliance with NSC Parent Education Program directives.
In addition to the work of the Board, each elected officer has a certain role and specific responsibilities. It is recommended that each officer keep a notebook or file to be passed on to incoming officers. Such a notebook should include: materials from NSC's Parent Education Program which are relevant to the specific officer, materials relating to the current functioning of the group, recommendations for future policies, and helpful hints to pass on to future officers.
The class advisory board manages the business of the Co-op at the class level, acting as deputies of the All-School Board. The class advisory board manages things like forms, job completion, tuition, and questions and concerns of the members at the class level, elevating issues to the All-School Board as necessary. They are attuned to the needs of the Co-op at the individual class level. Class Chairs also serve on the All-School Board.
Composition: The Co-op elects the officers for their group to serve for the full preschool year. The elected officers include a Class Chairperson, a Class Parent Coordinator, a Class Treasurer, a Class PAC Representative, and a Class Communications Coordinator/Secretary. The elected officers, the Preschool Teacher and the Parent Educator constitute the Class Advisory Board. Initially, the Class Board will assume a major role of leadership in the individual classes. The aim, however, is to involve all members in the planning and execution of the Co-op program.
Role: The class advisory boards do not have regular meetings, unless necessary, and any meetings shall be open to the membership. As decision-making remains at the level of individual co-op members, they serve as intermediaries between the All-School Board and the individual classes, bringing recommendations of the All-School Board to the members, and vice versa.
Activities: Activities of the Class Advisory Board may include: Planning parent orientations, running monthly class meetings, passing on important information from the All-School Board to the classes, managing registration and enrollment at a class level, solving disputes at a class level, ensuring classroom jobs are completed, collecting fees and tuition, orienting new parents to the co-op, maintaining communications between class members, and maintaining class records.
In addition to the work of the Class Advisory Board, each elected officer has a certain role and specific responsibilities. It is recommended that each officer keep a notebook or file to be passed on to incoming officers. Such a notebook should include: materials from NSC's Parent Education Program which are relevant to the specific officer, materials relating to the current functioning of the group, recommendations for future policies, and helpful hints to pass on to future officers.
Participating parents have several responsibilities to the ongoing Co-op program, the Preschool teacher, the Parent Educator, and the Co-op Board.
Responsibilities to the Preschool Teacher
The Parent as Teacher's Aide
Following are some useful techniques for working with the children during preschool. With experience, and as relationships are built with individual children, you may apply them in an increasingly individual way.
Helpful Hints for Your Success at Preschool
*Recommended to be filled by a returning parent.
**Recommended to be filled by a new parent.
Role: Coordinates the Co-op business.
Role: Coordinates Co-op registration/enrollment with the Class Parent Coordinators and is the liaison to the Co-op Board to support the parents.
Role: Responsible, along with the Bookkeeper for Crown Hill Co-op Finances.
Role: Record keeper for the Co-op and the caretaker of its records.
Role: Oversees the health and safety of the co-op members.
Role: Representative to the Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The PAC votes on guidelines and recommendations on issues common to all Co-ops; the PAC rep is the Co-op's voice. All School PAC rep shall be selected from Class PAC reps.
Role: Coordinates Class business.
Role: Support the parents in the class and act as the liaison with the All School Parent Coordinator.
Role: Responsible for class finances, works closely with All School Treasurer.
Role: Record keeper for the class, the caretaker of its records and primary coordinator for class communications
Role: Oversees the health and safety of the co-op members.
Role: Representative to the Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The PAC votes on guidelines and recommendations on issues common to all Co-ops; the PAC rep is the Co-op's voice.
Role: Works with the Teacher to plan, coordinate, and maintain garden area throughout the school year.
Role: Develop and coordinate the recycle program for all the school.
Role: Responsible for relationship with the church and site maintenance. Act as liaison with the church.
Role: Responsible for the maintenance of the school web site and the school page on the NSC site.
Role: Responsible for the advertising plan for the school.
Role: Main responsibility is to assist the board, duties outlined below may be requested but are not limited to these tasks.
Role: Organize fundraising projects throughout the year as needed.
Role: Responsible for facilitating an organized and effective classroom experience.
2 in Pre-3s class, one per work-day
Role: Acts as the Teacher’s main assistant during class and substitute if the Teacher is unable to attend class. This person must be First Aid Certified or find a proxy who is for the class. (One adult attending class, other than the teacher, must be First Aid Certified per NSC insurance policies.) Coordinate Scholastic Book orders.
At least 2/class day, in Pre-3s that is 2 for each day of class
Role: Following the end of preschool each day, the room organizer checks the rooms (see below) to ensure that they have been properly cleaned, materials and toys have been put away and that the room is organized and ready for the next group/activity. They also ensure all areas are disinfected and vacuumed on a daily basis.
Toddler classes only, at least 2/class
Role: Responsible for keeping areas clean, organized and stocked appropriately.
Role: Organize social gatherings and caring/nurturing for Co-op members and their families when needed (e.g., new baby, illness, etc.). Coordinate social communications.
Role: Prepare monthly online newsletters and distribute via the class Google Group. Create and update a bulletin board for the class.
2 in Pre-3s class, one per work-day
Role: Photograph and document the class experience throughout the year. Pre-3s classes
Parents take turns bringing the children's snack. Bring snack for 18-20 children depending on enrollment. Small quantities and simplicity are keys for snack for this age; prepare the snack foods in advance as much as practicable. Do not bring beverages -- the children will drink water. Refer to any listing of foods that are not allowed due to allergies, as provided by the Health & Safety Officer, and any listing of recommended snack items provided by the teacher. Usually parents bring two fresh items (one fruit and one vegetable) while the “dry snack” (cereal, crackers, etc.) is provided by the school. ***THE SCHOOL IS A NUT-FREE ZONE (this includes peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, etc.) Please do not bring any nut items with you to school, even if you do not plan to eat them at school. They cannot be in your bag. This means no NUTS, NUT OILS, NUT BUTTERS, or FOODS PROCESSED ON MACHINES THAT WORK WITH NUTS.***
The Snack Preparer should prepare the snack soon after arriving at preschool. Snack preparation procedures are listed on the inside of the snack cupboard in the Circle Room. After snack is through, clear and wash the tables and chairs, and vacuum the floors under the tables as needed.
Encourage table manners such as passing, waiting for a turn, staying seated while eating, etc. (Adults will have to assist children at this age). Try to center the conversation around the children. Help the children to stay at the snack tables until they are finished eating, as food may not be taken away from the snack tables.