Parents are a crucial part of the equation at BHCP. From our inception in 1939, BHCP has been a cooperative preschool, and strong collaboration among parents, teachers and children has always been one of our core values.
One parent is scheduled to co-op in each class daily. This “co-op parent” helps prepare the classroom, brings in the snack, facilitates a workgroup and helps to clean up at the end of the day. The “co-op parent” also has time to debrief with one of the teachers at the end of the day. The opportunity to act as a ”third teacher” not only enhances the classroom experience, but also gives parents the chance to see their child interact with their classroom, develop meaningful relationships with other children, and learn more about our educational philosophy.
BHCP is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of current parents elected by the school membership. Parents play an important role in maintaining school facilities and our beautiful natural playground, raising money to support our annual budget, and serving on committees which support our school and program in a variety of ways. We find that this kind of parental involvement not only gives families a larger stake in the education of their children, it builds a tight-knit community.
As a cooperative preschool, BHCP provides advantages for both parents and children, but it does require certain obligations in order for those advantages to be realized. BHCP parents offer the school more than tuition: they offer their time, talents and experience – the real foundations for a successful cooperative preschool. Family commitments include:
- CO-OPING in your child’s class on a regularly scheduled basis, as described above. Frequency of participation depends on the size of the class and the number of days per week it meets. Parents or guardians only may co-op.
- MAINTENANCE DUTY, which may range from general cleaning to a specific project to help maintain the school property. Each family is expected to provide a total of six hours each year.
- ATTENDANCE at general membership and class meetings.
- COMMITTEE AND/OR BOARD SERVICE to help the school function, raise money or provide an enriching experience for our children. In addition, each classroom has the responsibility for one “special program” during the year, such as the annual Stone Soup Chapel. Expect your time commitment to be about 20 hours, more for committee chairs.
- FUNDRAISING to provide much-needed financial support for the school. All parents participate in some aspect of fundraising activities, such as selling gift wrap or assisting with a silent auction. In addition, the school collects money for its Annual Fund, to which parents are asked to contribute.
- ORIENTATION and training session, held the Saturday prior to the start of school, for all parents new to BHCP or returning after an absence.