As a parent cooperative, Gentle Dragon Preschool offers a unique opportunity for families to be actively involved in all aspects of the school. Every enrolled family agrees to:
One of the cornerstones of our cooperative model is having a parent helper at school every day. Parent helpers serve as the second adult in the classroom and allow us to maintain a state-mandated teacher-child ratio. You'll support the work of our teacher while actively supervising and engaging the children — playing, reading, drawing, setting up and cleaning up activities — throughout the school day. The parent helper is also responsible for bringing a nutritious snack for all of the children.
Gentle Dragon families rotate through the parent helper role. Each family helps about two times per month. Parent helpers arrive when school opens at 8:30 am and remain until the classroom has been tidied and all children have been picked up — usually by 1:30 pm.
Our school is completely administered by our families and teacher. Because we have no office staff — save our very capable part-time accountant — each family takes on a specific parent job during the school year. Jobs cover a range of responsibilities, such as field trips, admissions, fundraising and handyperson, among others. You'll be expected to perform your job without supervision in an appropriate and timely manner, but of course questions are expected and teamwork is encouraged. Parents often work together to solve problems or tackle more demanding tasks.
Monthly board meetings
All families are expected to send a representative parent to monthly board meetings, where we set school policies, plan special activities and events and discuss the current classroom climate. The first half of each meeting is set aside for general business and policy making, and the second half is dedicated to "Kid Talk" to discuss how things are going day-to-day in the classroom. Families typically host meetings in their homes on a rotating basis.
Classroom care and cleaning
As a cooperative school, parents also take responsibility for the care and upkeep of the classroom. In addition to daily tidying by the parent helper, each family is asked to thoroughly clean the classroom approximately three to four times during the year. Cleaning usually takes about two hours and is typically done on a weekend day. You may also elect to pay for a professional cleaner (hired by the school) to cover your cleaning responsibilities.
Special events and fundraising
Gentle Dragon is a small school and a tight-knit community. We hold events throughout the year to build camaraderie and connection, including August playdates, a September potluck dinner, holiday party, Wacky Wednesday, Parents Day and graduation. While attendance to these events is not required, we try to schedule them for a date all families can attend.
Fundraising is critical to our school's success, and we hope all families participate in the activities set up by our fundraising coordinator. Our biggest fundraiser is an annual yard sale each spring — and it's a true testament to the strength of our community working together.
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© 1985—2015 Gentle Dragon Preschool. All rights reserved. This organization is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.