THE CO-OP EXPERIENCE
We believe when parents engage in their child’s learning, the experience is more rewarding for both child and parents. Our preschool is a parent-run co-op, and its success depends on everyone’s contributions. As part of the RVCP community, all families are required to:
Work in the classroom about once a week
Manage a family preschool job
Attend monthly parent meetings
Participate in community and fundraising events
Rewards of our process
Parent involvement promotes parent-child bonding, and creates confidence in kids and parents.
Our low child to adult ratios allow for an engaging and personal experience.
Our teachers help each child practice life skills to become adept social beings: problem solvers, friends, and members of community.
Our community is a wonderful way to foster friendships.
Our monthly parent meetings provide valuable current research and parenting techniques.
Our families are a supportive network committed to the success of each child.
Work in the classroom
Each family must assist in the classroom on a regular basis. Generally, a parent or caregiver works in the classroom about once a week. You can have any trusted caregiver work your shift in the classroom (grandparent, nanny, aunt, uncle, etc.). We ask each family in your class for their preferred classroom day, and work hard to create schedule with a consistent in-class day and a fair rotation within those preferences.
Parents are always welcome to stay in class, even on days you are not assigned to work in the classroom, and especially if your child needs you close by that day. Our teachers are also excellent at providing support and comfort for you and your child, when you need to say goodbye. They truly individualize their care and considerations for each child, and welcome any information you want to share when you arrive for drop-off.
Family jobs are roles that each family is assigned for the duration of the school year, to help run the school. We are a parent volunteer run school, with our only paid employees being our amazing teachers. Every family holds one preschool job, and these are assigned based on interest, preference, commitment capacity, and availability. We send all families a survey, asking which preschool jobs you are interested in and how much time you have to commit.
We strive to meet each family where they are and all jobs are flexible. We want you to feel comfortable with your commitment, and always ask if you agree to our proposed family job beforehand. We all contribute as much time as we can, with the acknowledgement and acceptance that family and real life come first.
Sunflower Class Parent Coordinator*
Caterpillar Class Parent Coordinator *
Salmon Class Parent Coordinator *
Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Representative*
Risk Management Coordinator I*
Enrollment Coordinator I*
Development Co-Chair I*
Development Co-Chair II*
Board Member at Large
* Executive Board members
Development Team (Events & Fundraising):
Fundraising is integral to our preschool’s operation. Our fundraising efforts provide necessary funds for the preschool’s maintenance, supplies, and scholarships. Each RVCP family commits to supporting our fundraisers throughout the year:
October: Volunteer two hours at the Fall Festival and contribute one bake sale item.
November: Share contact information for five family and/or friends to receive a fundraising letter.
March: Sell four tickets to the Movie Matinee. Volunteer a shift at Movie Matinee OR Silent Auction (below).
May: Contribute one item to the Silent Auction. Volunteer a shift at Movie Matinee (above) OR Silent Auction.
We believe a strong community builds a better school. In class, we have a unique opportunity to connect with other co-op families on a daily basis. We also plan several social events throughout the year, like parent’s nights out, summer play dates, alumni play dates, and our annual picnic to have fun and strengthen our community.
We kick off the school year with Parent Orientation in September. During our monthly parent-only meetings, we discuss class activities, upcoming events, and preschool business. Our Family Resource and Support Team from North Seattle College lead us in a variety of early childhood development topics. We conclude the year with an all school picnic and potluck in June.
North Seattle College Parent Education Partnership
Our preschool partners with North Seattle College's Parent Education Department to provide a shared learning experience for parents, caregivers and their children. Parents and caregivers are involved in their child's early education experience by participating once a week in the cooperative preschool classroom where their child is enrolled, and at a monthly evening adult-only class taught by a Parent Educator — an NSC faculty member. The Parent Educator also advises and supports adults while they are assistant teachers in their child’s preschool.
Benefits for Caregivers and Families
Parent Education classes help adults become more effective and satisfied in their roles as caregivers by helping them understand child development and behavior, by encouraging the recognition of developmentally appropriate activities and responses to challenges, and by creating a supportive and accepting atmosphere for adults to learn from one another.
Parent Education at RVCP is rooted in an anti-bias framework. All teaching and methodology recognizes and celebrates that there are many different ways to raise a family, and that we have much to learn from each other, and from our children.
Throughout the year, each family participates in a set-up shift at the start of the year (September), one monthly cleaning during the year, and a final maintenance and cleaning shift at the end of the year (June).
Social Justice and Committee
The Social Justice committee evaluates the school’s needs through the lens of racial and economic justice. In the past the committee has focused on establishing fair policies, initiating anti-bias trainings, and expanding the availability of anti-racist reading materials.
School Evaluation Committee
The School Evaluation Committee evaluates RVCP policies and programs at the direction of the Board and makes recommendations and proposals to the Board for changes and improvements. Ensuring fair and equitable participation for all students is a priority of this committee.
All members of the community are encouraged to join these committees and attend meetings.
Board Members & Meetings
Our preschool is run by a volunteer parent Board. The leadership, commitment, passion, and work of parent members keep our school functioning every year. Our Board is responsible for all aspects of running the school, including fundraising, teacher contracts, enrollment, finances, establishing and maintaining school policies, and providing guidance and supervision over the school’s operations.
Board Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. Board members are required to attend, and all community members are welcome to attend as well.