WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL? Families who have been involved in cooperative nursery school programs feel that the opportunity to participate in the program has many benefits: high adult to child ratio (5:1); opportunity to observe your child in the school setting; a close working relationship with the school, teacher and other parents; a chance to have a hand in your child’s first school experience; the chance to befriend other families and to share the learning/parenting experience; and parent education including child development and early education information. By being a part of your child’s nursery school you help to bridge the home-to-school transition for your child.
WHAT IS THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM? First and foremost, at My Own School we play. My Own School has a rich and stimulating environment. The director/teacher sets up the environment so children have a plethora of choices in many interest and curriculum areas. Most of the morning the children have free choice of which activities to engage in, and where to play. Some of their options are: art projects, easel painting, playdough, games, music, manipulative and educational toys, puzzles, books and tapes, playhouse and dress-up area, blocks and inside toys, water play, sandbox, bubbles and any of the outside wheeled toys and climbing equipment. And of course they have other children to interact with. There are two times during the morning when we are all together for “circle.” During circle time we sing and do fingerplays, share literature from many different genres, share things brought from home and do other fun group activities. We enjoy a nutritious snack contributed by a parent. Our teacher has had current training in early literacy education and is very familiar with the Pre-Kindergarten Learning & Developmental Guidelines and the California Education Standards.
Children play hard at My Own School and this means they do not stay clean. Please send your child to school in play clothes that he/she does not have to worry about keeping clean. If this is a problem for you, perhaps MOS is not the place for you to send your child.
HOW OLD MUST MY CHILD BE TO ATTEND? Children must be three years of age on or before November 2nd of the school year in order to attend. The teacher/director may waive this requirement.
MUST MY CHILD BE TOILET TRAINED? YES! The toilet training process must be complete. There is a huge developmental leap that takes place after a child has chosen to use the toilet independently. You and your child will be much more prepared for the nursery school experience when toilet training is not an issue. There are no exceptions, unless you’d like to stay with your child every day.
WHEN IS SCHOOL OPEN? We are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. We follow the modified traditional calendar of Calaveras Unified School District. On the days you are scheduled to work at the school you must arrive promptly at 8:15 a.m. Non-working parents arrive for pick-up and our last “circle” by 11:15.
WHAT IS THE TUITION? We have one tuition rate, $125.00 per month for the three days we are open, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Parents may bring their children to school any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We ask that you call to let us know when your child will not be at school.
ARE THERE OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS? Yes. $30 registration fee is due with your “Request for Admission” form; $60 for a private orientation. There is a $100 Security Deposit due before your child’s first day of school. This money is put into our savings account and used for any fees the member may accrue during the year. At the end of the year any unused portion is returned. Also, members joining after our major fundraiser (Shrimp Feed) may be subject to additional fundraising responsibilities later in the year.
WHO MAY ATTEND MY OWN SCHOOL? Children of all races, creeds and religions are eligible to attend. We are not licensed to serve non-ambulatory children.
WHAT IS THE PARENT PARTICIPATION PART OF THE PROGRAM? My Own School is a nonprofit corporation. When a child attends MOS the parents become members of the school. Each member has these responsibilities:
1. Work in the classroom 3 times per 4-week period for each child enrolled (3 out of 12 sessions). There are parents for hire who will work your days for $30 per day. You will also be scheduled for an “On Call” day, but this is a traded day, not an extra day, when it is used.
2. Perform a Board of Directors or membership job. After you are admitted to the school you will be contacted about membership jobs.
3. Participate fully in fundraising activities: Our annual Shrimp Feed is tentatively scheduled for the second weekend in November. Attendance is mandatory. Spring fundraisers will be planned, also. Possibilities are: Irish Day in Murphys, Disneyland Raffle, yard sale. Participation in fundraising is mandatory. If you cannot attend a fundraiser, additional responsibilities will be up to Board review.
4. Attend a monthly evening coop meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00-9:00 or earlier. Meetings that fall on school breaks will be on a different Thursday of the month.
5. Complete 6 maintenance hours per year. Members must attend one weekend group Work Day.
6. Attend a local parenting workshop, or add 2 maintenance hours.
7. Clean the school on the weekend. The number of weekend cleanings depends on the number of members. The usual is that each family cleans the school 2 or 3 times for the school year.
8. Provide snack on a rotating basis.