The Cooperative School has a planned and dynamic parent education curriculum. Teachers provide parents with regular updates about classroom activities and pedagogy. We train parents in how to preserve play and the delivery of our curriculum Through the Garden Gate and 4 Spaces for Learning. Monthly meetings include workshops on topics such as fostering communication skills, positive discipline, and scaffolding play. The Cooperative School brings in speakers and trainers to offer a range of professional perspectives on issues regarding community-building and parenting.
We look to our membership to enrich each other’s parenting experiences. Several planned, casual school functions offer the opportunity to both relax and compare parenting notes. Some of these events are parents-only affairs; there are also three annual events that bring together all the School’s children, siblings, and extended families. These include the year-end Lantern Launch that takes place on the Mall in Washington, DC. The Spring Garden Party and Art show brings together new families and alumni with current families.
The School’s Board of Directors, comprised of current member parents, conducts formal and ongoing information gathering to encourage two-way communication between the stakeholders of the School. Two-way communication is an essential component to the success of The Cooperative School’s education plan. Parents are given feedback and guidance with regard to fulfilling their roles assisting in the classroom and as stewards of the School, and in turn they are encouraged to share their views and experiences in order to strengthen the program for future generations of families and students.
Members are given a School Handbook which includes Membership Rules and Regulations and Bylaws. Teachers publish weekly internal blog posts which help parents work in the classroom and to better help children. There are two parent-teacher conferences each year in the Fall and in the Spring.