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:

* Tots families have modified requirements. Please see the "Tots Families Co-Op Commitments" section below for details.

Rewards of our process

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

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.

Board Positions:

* Executive Board members

Standard Positions:

Development Team (Events & Fundraising):

Full Family Job Descriptions for the 2023-2024 school year

Fundraising Events

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:

Note that families receiving scholarships will not be expected to contribute financially to fundraising efforts.

Social Events

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.

Parent Meetings

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.

Tots Families Co-Op Commitments

This may be your first children's social group or preschool experience, and we'd like the experience with us to be meaningful, focused on connection, and supported by a caring community. We've modified the co-op commitments for Tots families to an introductory-level of responsibilities.

Working in the Classroom: A parent/caregiver must attend each class with their child.

Fundraising Events: Volunteer at one of our in-person events (Fall Festival, Movie Matinee, or Silent Auction) and share contact information for three family and/or friends to receive a fundraising letter.

Parent Meetings: Attend three of our Monthly Parent Meetings, which will be identified by our Parent Educators at the start of the year.

School Cleanings: Participate 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).

Family Job: Tots families are not required to hold a Family Job.

If a family has additional children enrolled in other classes, they must fulfill the co-op commitments for those classes.

North Seattle College Parent Education Partnership

Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool is a part of the North Seattle College Cooperative Preschool Program. Started over 50 years ago, the NSC Cooperative Preschool Program offers a warm and gentle introduction to school and community life for young children and their families. Adults and children learn together, grow together, and actively build a community together. NSC’s Cooperative Preschools provide parent and early education for families with children from infancy to Pre-K.

Adults are Students, Too

Our partnership with North Seattle College's Parent Education Department provides 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 the "lab experience" of adult students while they are assistant teachers in their child’s preschool.

Every family will enroll at least one adult in the North Seattle Parent Education class. In this course, the Parent Educator is the parent’s “professor,” the monthly parent education meeting is the “class,” and the preschool classroom is the “class laboratory.”

Benefits for Caregivers and Families

Parent Education at RVCP helps 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 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.

Parent Education Enrollment Fee

Each parent or caregiver working in the classroom will register as a student in the Parent Education program with North Seattle College. North Seattle College’s tuition fee for enrolling is $260 a year, per working grown up. This fee covers adult enrollment for the NSC Parent Education class, access to Family Resources and Support staff through North Seattle College, and direct contributions to the scholarship fund for families who need financial support.

RVCP is still adjusting to the changes that our new affiliation with North Seattle College has brought. One of those changes is passing down the NSC enrollment fees to the adults that are directly enrolling at the college through their cooperative preschool. We continue to fully cover this fee for all our of enrolled families, while most of the other preschools under the North Seattle College umbrella ask families to pay the fee independently.

Our Ask

RVCP's mission is to be as accessible to as many families as possible. As part of our in-good-care policy, we understand that not all families will be able to commit to this additional fee. We are asking families that are financially able, to donate this fee back to our RVCP. All donations will significantly help with the sustainability of our school. This fee will be added to your monthly tuition in your Jovial Family Portal.

Scholarship families are exempt from these fees.

School Operations

Monthly Cleaning

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.

School Resources

RVCP School Handbook

RVCP School Calendar 2023-2024