Frequently Asked Questions
What are my parent commitments?
Parent participation is a multilevel commitment. You will assist in the classroom regularly, depending on how often your child attends. For example, you will assist in the classroom approximately 12 times during the year if your child attends twice a week. All parents will receive training before working in the classroom. Parents are also expected to help with fundraising and other classroom tasks.
May I choose parent workdays that fit my schedule?
YES! Parents choose their classroom workdays at the beginning of each period. We try to accommodate parents’ personal schedules.
I’m a little overwhelmed. How do I make sure I don’t miss some event, activity, or something I’m supposed to do?
Emails are important way for us to communicate with you. Please check daily for messages. Our Google calendar is also public and can be added to the personal calendar on your computer or mobile device. Also, pay attention to reminders on the bulletin boards in your child’s classroom.
Help! What can I do with my younger child/baby when I need to work at Co-op?
There are many others in your situation, so have no fear! We compile a list of those parents willing to trade child-care on workdays. Please sign up if you are interested in participating. You will receive a copy of the list at a copy will be posted at school soon after our year begins. We also have a parent-teacher liaison for each class. Feel free to call him/her if you have circumstances that may require special attention.
What if I can’t work on my scheduled day— my child’s sick, I have to go out of town, or need to go to my office on short notice?
Since working at Co-op is such an important component of the Co-op experience, for you and your child, we recommend you make every attempt to trade days with another working parent. You’ll find most everyone amenable to this. Of course if your child is sick or you have little advance notice for another reason, it’s nice to have a contingency plan. We compile a list of current and former parents who will work for pay. The cost is $20 per day and is handled directly with the substituting parent. You can feel assured that we know and trust all of the people on the list. It is your responsibility to find a substitute and to let the teacher know.
What are clean-up days/task list duties?
There is a list of regular on going duties that must be performed to maintain the cleanliness and safety of the school or to assist with preparation of school materials. Being part of a cooperative, these duties are our responsibility. In general, each family will be required to do either 3 clean-up days, or 1 clean-up day and 1 task which will last approximately twelve weeks. The tasks are not difficult, and you will find one that isn’t too distasteful to you. You may actually love to clean the guinea pig cage or vacuum floors, who knows??!
I feel unsure about how to discipline at Co-op. What do I do?
This is one of the most common concerns of new Co-opers. If you don’t know what to do, ask for help— preferably from a Co-op teacher or veteran parent. It takes time to learn how to discipline the Co-op way. One thing that helps is to acquaint yourself with the list of Co-op Words— phrases you may review in the Work Day Tips section of Parents’ Corner. If each parent adopts these words and phrases when at Co-op, then the kids will begin to easily recognize and respond to them more easily. The children need for us to support them and keep the environment positive. Recognize that everyone is doing the best they can at the moment (you included).