Co-op 101

What is a Co-op?

A cooperative preschool is fully operated by a community made up of parents, teachers, and staff. Parents support the school by helping in the classroom and applying their individual talents toward assigned committees.

At Spring-Mar, a parent is in every classroom, every day, assisting teachers to help students acquire valuable tools that will make them great learners in elementary school and beyond.  Teachers develop the lesson plans and follow the designated curricula, and parents assist in any way they can to make the day go smoothly.  Sometimes that means a parent helps prepare materials for a science project, other times it means encouraging involvement and redirecting distractions.

Outside the classroom, the cooperative model means that parents are involved in the day-to-day operations of the school in a variety of ways.  While the teachers and staff manage each day, each family contributes its time working on a committee that supports a specific activity that helps the school run. For example, our Membership Committee ensures that current and prospective family members have everything they need to get and stay enrolled. That means they distribute class descriptions, membership requirements, and enrollment applications.  They deliver and explain tuition payment schedules, process all of the enrollment paperwork, monitor requirements for Co-oping Parents, and more.  Each family plays a vital role in the operation of the school.

Why choose Spring-Mar?

There’s no doubt that your children will benefit significantly from your involvement in their preschool.  Your child gets to see the value you place on education, enjoy time with you in the classroom, and appreciate relationships that develop with other families.  But what makes Spring-Mar different?

At Spring-Mar, we believe that the care and attention we give to our own community is what sets us apart from other preschools.  Our community is our family — teachers, staff, parents, and most importantly, our children.

We seek teachers and staff that are a “perfect fit” for our school – nurturing, educated, professional individuals who truly believe in the cooperative school model and play-based learning.

We seek families who understand and appreciate the commitment to the cooperative – we are always honest about the requirements and never “sell” the approach just to fill a spot in a class. Our families forge relationships through the co-op and support each other in many ways!

Spring-Mar children enjoy small class sizes, staff dedicated to differential learning and development, a well-rounded curriculum, and they begin to LOVE school because they are learning through their favorite activity:  playing.

We believe Spring-Mar is a magical place!  

Now that you understand what a co-op is and what makes Spring-Mar special, what does being in a co-op really involve for your family?  Learn more here.