Prekindergarten the Cooperative School Way

Would you like to give your child the gift of another year of play and playful learning before beginning kindergarten?

  • Are you having second thoughts about sending your almost five-year-old to kindergarten in the fall?
  • Does your child's current nursery school utilize traditional academic activities in place of playful learning that research shows actually leads to higher future academic success?
  • Are you interested in a change?
We walk our children through the school’s garden gates with the intention of raising them as learners, growing them as people, nurturing them as friends and community members so we can send them off. We walk our children through the garden gates so that one day they’ll be ready. Ready to go.
— Aimee Domire TPCNS Parent

This is your child's year to grow roots and take flight.

Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School has openings in its prekindergarten class (children ages 4 and 5) for the 2017-2018 school year. The Cooperative School's prekindergarten (Tracks) class meets weekday afternoons, Monday through Friday from noon to 3:00. The program is play-based, arts-infused, and nature-inspired.

When is a good time to start school?

For the first four years of our son’s life, we decided we weren’t ready to put him in school. We were lucky to have flexible schedules so that we could keep him home with us. When we finally decided that it was time for him to enter formal nursery school we found ourselves with a wide range of opportunities. It was a bit overwhelming, and the decision wasn’t easy. When we finally did decide to enroll him in the Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School, we were confident that we’d made the absolute best choice for both our son and ourselves.
— thoughts from a parent about making the decision to join the school
What sets us apart and sparks the imagination of a young child?

There are a few things about TPCNS that set it apart from other nursery schools for us. To start, when we visited, we were so impressed with both the indoor and outdoor space. As adults, we both found the space to be magical, so we couldn’t imagine how much fun our imaginative four-year-old might find it. We also liked the fact that while the school emphasized play they also structured their day in such a way that would help prepare little ones for kindergarten. The activities that our son would be exposed to – from nature walks to art projects to journaling – seemed so engaging. We knew that he would love the school.
— thoughts from a parent about why they chose our school for their child's first school experience

Most parents work in the classroom on a weekly basis. Our pre-kindergarten curriculum emphasizes play-filled exploration of math, social studies, literacy, and science through visual art, music, physical arts, and social-dramatic play.  The curriculum is delivered using the project approach, supported by the teachings of Lilian Katz and Loris Malaguzzi. The program includes Handwriting Without Tears, lots of outdoor play, and field trips. It is our goal to nurture confidence, connection to self and others, and thinking skills.

The Cooperative School is built on the parent-participatory model and has welcomed and educated families from the Washington Metropolitan area for 75 years.

What does the parent community offer a new family?

As parents, we were drawn to the community. We had heard a lot of great things about the current Tracks community – and alumni families as well, but we experienced it firsthand within a month after our son started school. I became ill with a heart condition that put me on bed rest. Although we were new, the other parents immediately stepped in to take over driving our son to school and picking him up on days we could not, taking over co-oping duties, and even providing over a week’s worth of dinners! Since that time we’ve seen that this is the norm and that the families at TPCNS truly are a community and not just a crowd of people who happen to have their kids at the same school.
— thoughts from a parent about the school's community

Please send a message to the admissions team,, to learn about our parent-participatory model and its two primary benefits: excellent education for parents as well as children and a vibrant community of dedicated, involved families.

We look forward to sharing more about this very special program with you.