This page is directed at parents who are considering the Magnolia Cooperative Preschool or have signed up and not yet started. There is also an FAQ for current parents that might have the answer you’re looking for. Still need help? Contact us!
Cooperative preschools are community-based, parent-run preschools, organized to provide a learning experience for both parents and children, with support from local community colleges.
Cooperative preschools emphasize socialization and incorporate academics through play – the way children learn best. Parents, through observation and monthly parent education meetings, gain skills in child guidance and learn how to meet children’s physical, mental, social and emotional needs.
- NAEYC: 10 Signs of a Great Preschool
- Seattle PI: Don’t let your kids skip the fun and games
- NPR: Behold the Humble Block
- NY Times: The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K
How much does it cost to join the Magnolia Cooperative Preschool?
We are fortunate to be able to keep our tuition costs very low because of member participation. Monthly tuition ranges from about $90 to $360, depending on the age level and number of days attended. Tuition is due the first day of every month and is considered late if not paid by the tenth day of every month. For more detail, please see the Tuition and Fees page.
What is the priority for registration?
We attempt to give returning students and their siblings priority in registering for classes the following year. When existing member demand for a class exceeds the number of spaces in that class, the class is filled using a lottery system. Once a class is filled, new members can join a wait list. Babies must be born before being added to a wait list.
How often am I required to work in the classroom with my child?
With the exception of the Enrichment Classes, parents or caregivers are asked to help in the classroom one day per week for all age levels. For Toddlers, which meets once a week, a parent always attends. For 2’s, which generally meets twice a week, a parent attends one day and the child attends on their own one day. For 3’s, which generally meets 3 times a week, a parent attends one day and the child attends on their own the other two days. For 4’s and 5’s, a parent attends one day and the child attends on their own the other three days. This model provides a gentle and gradual transition to independence and kindergarten readiness.
Can a nanny or grandparent work in class, instead of a parent?
Absolutely. Alternative caregivers are always welcome! Talk to your Membership Secretary during registration and they will provide you with the necessary paperwork.
How will my class workday be determined? Will it be the same every week?
Your regular, weekly workday will be discussed and determined at or prior to the class orientation meeting in September. Parents with stricter schedules can typically negotiate a workable schedule with the other parents in the class. Your work day will be the same every week.
Must children be toilet trained to attend classes?
No, children need not be toilet trained to attend classes. Once children begin attending classes on their own when they are two, parents generally partner with one another to assist children with diaper changes and/or bathroom trips. We always recommend sending kids to school with a change of clothes and/or extra diapers.
Can I bring my child’s sibling to class when I work?
Infants up to three months old may occasionally accompany a parent in the classroom with prior permission of the teacher and the other parents in the class. Infants must be kept in a pack on the parent’s body to insure his/her ability to fully function as a teacher’s assistant. Our preschool operates a fantastic Multi-Age Classroom for this purpose where a sibling of the child of the parent working in class gets first priority.
How should we dress for class?
Our classes are very hands-on, so be prepared to get a little messy. Comfortable, casual clothes are best. The 2’s classes and above spend time outside on the playground, so dress children appropriately for playing outside.
Am I required to prepare curriculum or a project for the days I work in the classroom?
No. The teacher plans the curriculum and projects. You just need to come to class prepared to get involved.
How many students are in each class? What is the adult to child ratio?
Toddler classes have up to 14 children, twos and threes up to 16 children and pre-K up to 24 children. Enrichment classes are capped at 12. Each class has one lead teacher (with the exception of pre-K which has two co-lead teachers) and a group of parent assistants. The adult to child ratio varies based on the age level:
- Todders: 1 adult to every 1 child
- 2s: 1 adult to every 2 children
- 3s: approximately 1 adult to every 3 children
- 4s: approximately 1 adult to every 4 children
What might a day in class look like?
The program builds as the children grow older. There is an established order of activities for each class, which is followed for the entire year. Generally each class includes:
- Free Choice Time – art, blocks, play dough, manipulative toys and games, sand table, water table, indoor climbing wall, dress up, books, etc. In the 4’s and 5’s classes there is also a “job table” where all children participate in a readiness task with the teacher, such as storytelling, cutting, pasting, etc.
- Circle Time – group time led by the teacher. This may include a discussion of the calendar and weather, show and tell, a story or a group game.
- Music Time – singing, dancing, and playing instruments together in our preschool’s Music Room.
- Playground Time – starting with the 2’s classes, children spend time playing on our own outdoor playground, which includes climbing equipment, a sandbox, basketball, a playhouse, and tricycles. In the case of inclement weather, we outfit the Music Room as a gym for the kids to play. Children must bring a helmet if they wish to use ride-on toys.
- Snack Time – starting with the 2’s classes, children have a small snack together each day. Snack is a provided by the parents on a rotating schedule.
- Field Trips – starting with the 3’s classes, children take several field trips to places such as a local pumpkin patch, a Thistle Theater puppet show, downtown Seattle during the holidays to ride the monorail and carousel, the Seattle Children’s Museum, a tour of a fire station, neighborhood parks, a dojo, or even an overnight trip to Camp Long for the older children.
- Guest Speakers/Enrichment Activities – starting with the 3’s classes, teachers periodically invite special guests such as storytellers, firefighters, Seattle Aquarium personnel, dance teachers, singers and doctors.