What is a Co-Op?

What Does it Mean to Be in a Co-Op?
As a parent-run co-operative, EBNS provides parents with unique opportunities to actively share with their children in the nursery school experience. Parents make up the board of directors, assist regularly in the classroom, and are responsible for all activities of the school other than teaching.

What Will My Family Get Out of this Experience?
● An environment that promotes children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth within a warm and loving setting guided by play and a special relationship with nature. Our teacher will schedule a home visit with your family to help your child adjust to the start of school.
● A facility that has 3 indoor classrooms (one equipped with a large wooden climbing structure), the use of a large indoor play area, and a fenced outdoor playground. Each class participates in 3-4 yearly field trips which aim to enhance the classroom experience.
● A supportive community which provides opportunities for family friendships, playdates, support in times of family need, and festivities throughout the school year. Regular summer playdates help prepare new students for each school year, and allow families a chance to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

What Would My Family’s Role Be in the Classroom?
● Parent helper responsibilities vary depending on enrollment: (~6-7 per year for T/TR, ~7-8 per year for MWF, and ~8-9 per year for M-F)
● During a Parent helper shift, duties include assisting the teacher in preparations for the day, helping the teacher supervise the students during the daily routine, setting up and cleaning at snack time, and tidying up/washing dishes at the end of the school day. Parents are generally finished with parent helper responsibilities by 12:30.
● Siblings are allowed to attend during parent helper responsibilities at the discretion of the teacher and the parent helper.

What Would My Family’s Role Be Outside of the Classroom?
● Your family would be given a job to help run the school. The board works together with families as much as possible to help place them in a role that suits their strengths, availability, and also their comfort levels. Some jobs require just a couple hours a month but extend the length of the school year. Other jobs are one-time commitments but are more intensive in nature, such as planning and carrying out our annual rummage sale.
● You would be making a commitment to attend school events and assist with fundraisers.
Families usually find that this gives them an even stronger sense of community, and it can often be fun!
● Your family would need to sign up for one day during the school year to come in on a weekend and help clean the classroom. There is a list of chores that are shared between several families each month. You would simply need to stay 2-3 hours and check off the chores that your family has completed. Some families schedule their times on the same day and let their children play while they clean.

Testimonials:
● “Tom is a gentle yet strong grace in guiding the classroom. An inspiration!”
● “Teacher Tom has the most calm, peaceful qualities about him and they are reflected in the manners of the students. His love of nature and the world around him create a natural inquisitiveness within the students that carries over into the home. Teacher Tom is amazing and we are so blessed that our daughter has been able to start her school career off with him.”
● “I love the castle room. I think giving kids lots of gross motor time is a great way to start the day.”
● “Tom is the calmest, most gentle person- he is as close to zen as I have ever seen in a teacher. He has not only helped my child to grow, but so too myself and husband in regards to our parenting. Tom is incredible- there just aren’t teachers like him nowadays. We are truly blessed to have him.”
● “Tom brings creativity and a sense of calmness to the class. He also works with all types of parents (as helpers) and children, and focuses on the strengths of each individual.”
● “I also love the play yard and how the kids go out almost every day. And I like EBNS’s predominantly non-academic approach. I think at this age play and imagination should be emphasized.”
● “Tom sets a tone of calm cooperation, and a pure enjoyment of friends, songs, nature, storytelling and discovery. The children have grown into a playful, comfortable, and compassionate little community by following his example and gentle guidance.”
● “Tom is a great example of an early childhood education professional. While people often talk about how Tom is good with the children because he seems to be a naturally calm and even-headed fellow, I think that he deserves more credit than that. Just by watching Tom you can tell that he works very hard at his job, and that he understands that to be a top-notch teacher he must be a caring, fair, and solid presence in the classroom. He’s truly a pro and he does magnificent work with the children. Big ups to Tom!”