Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Co-op?
A cooperative preschool is organized by a group of families with similar philosophies who hire a trained teacher to work with them to provide a quality preschool experience. In addition, the school executive board and related committees are organized and run by Co-op parents.
Since 1971, children attending the Maywood Cooperative Nursery School have experienced a positive and important transition from the isolation of the home environment to the separation that occurs when they enter kindergarten.
Preschool children benefit greatly from brief social interactions and play time away from home. Parents benefit greatly from the opportunity to learn first-hand about the interaction among children and the development of preschoolers. The community benefits when families join together and take responsibility for a program that affects them all. Everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and make new friends.
2. How does a Co-op benefit my child?
For the children benefits of early introduction to school are well documented. In a Co-op setting, children and teachers have the opportunity to get to know each other with parents nearby. Such a comfortable and relaxed adjustment process will ease the social and academic pressures of the kindergarten and grade school years. Acquiring independence is very important to young children who are constantly striving to show that they are “big boys/girls.” The need to develop independence is nourished during the preschool experience. Making friends is another crucial part of development, and children who attend preschool have the advantage to begin to learn to get along and work well with others at an early age.
Children who experience early schooling also become better disciplined as they learn to respond to teachers and adjust to being part of a group. Finally, children in preschool learn more simply because they are exposed to people, situations and things that they would not experience in their own home. Interaction with other children fosters imagination and creative learning.
A Co-op education attempts to reach the heart and mind of each child. The child’s mind is educated when he learns about his world – touches, feels, tastes and hears the many things in his daily environments. His mind is educated when he is challenged, given many learning tools, and is guided in their use, and then given many freedoms to explore them. His heart is educated when he learns to live with others. When he himself is accepted for what he is. When he is helped to face his weaknesses and work on them. When he is surrounded with love, caring and encouragement.
3. How can I benefit from a Co-op?
One of the purposes of the Maywood Co-op is to provide a developmental experience for both the child and parent. The child grows in independence, the parent, in understanding. The parent finds in school a place where he or she is welcomed, and where he or she can see the educational process in action. The result: the more they learn about their child’s behavior, the more reasonable will be the parent’s expectation for that child. The Co-op is a learning experience for both parents and children.
4. What are some of the programs at The Co-op?
Children ages 2 1/2, 3 and 4 are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills, curiosity and independence in many ways.
Some of the many experiences enjoyed by children at the Maywood Cooperative Nursery School include free play, painting, crafts, educational games, children’s literature, language, cooking experiences, creative arts projects, musical expression, dramatic play, community awareness, reading readiness, math readiness and computer time.
In addition, birthday parties, seasonal and holiday events are planned at The Co-op. Field trips such as Abma’s Farm in the fall include hayride, pumpkin picking and petting zoo. We have Fire Prevention day with a visit from the local firemen and the children get to explore the firetruck, learn about fire safety, and receive a goody bag. We also teach the children to care for hatching chicks and butterfly chrysalis.
5. What are my duties as a parent?
Parents are asked to help with fundraising commitments, keep close communication with both the teachers and director, and attend membership meetings.
6. What is the discipline philosophy?
Discipline can be defined as the process by which an adult in control of a group of young children teaches them to be in control of themselves. In helping young children learn these skills we must remember a few guidelines. No form of physical punishment is ever allowed in the school. Our role is that of protection for the children.
No child shall be denied food as a form of punishment. The providing of snacks, lunch, etc. is unrelated to the child's behavior.
Under no circumstances is abusive language, shaming, humiliating, labeling, use of threats, frightening treatment or removal without supervision permitted. No child shall be punished for soiling or wetting.
Our goal is to help the children establish limits for their behavior and to help children handle negative feelings through acceptable outlets. We try to include the children in the process of making class rules. We try to provide individual attention to help children deal with a particular situation. For example, if a child hits another child, we discuss the feelings of the children involved and suggest alternative activities and acceptable ways to release feelings of anger, frustration, etc., instead of hitting. We accept negative feelings, but not hurtful behavior.
We may try to redirect the focus of a child's behavior. We try to point out consequences of an action and discuss them with the child. For example, "Tommy, if you throw the blocks, I will have to ask you to leave the block area. Blocks are for building."
We use time out (removing a child for a few minutes from the area or activities so that the child can get calm and gain self control). We tell him/her that when he/she is ready, he/she may return. We criticize the behavior not the child.
We try to use positive statements. Instead of "don't," you need to use positive discipline by responding and reinforcing positive behavior with praise and approval and encouragement.
7. What is the dismissal policy?
Children will only be released to their parents in the classroom. You will be provided with a form to fill out with names of people that the faculty can release your child to. In case of an emergency, please call the school and let one of the staff members know who will be picking up your child. If you know before you come to school, please send a note in with your child.
8. What is the child abuse policy?
If there is any suspicion of child abuse, we are required by law to report it to the proper authorities. If you as staff or parents suspect something, please inform the Director.
9. What is your illness policy?
Miss Liz, the pre-school director provides a copy of the school's illness policy to all parents. Please be sure to review it. Please review the member handbook to view our illness policy. All children need to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.If a child has a cold/flu/fever, it is best they stay home from school, and you can call Miss Liz with any questions.
Flu Shots: NJ state law requires all preschool children receive the flu shot by December 31.
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