Parent Participation

Parents are active members of our co-op community and play a central role in the success of our school. They assist teachers in the classroom, may serve on various committees or on the Board of Directors, and help maintain our school.

Parents volunteer at least twice monthly to be the "working parent" in their child's classroom, where they  provide an extra set of ears, eyes and hands for the teachers. Parents may read a story in the cozy corner, may supply a nourishing snack for the class, may share their talents and interests with the children, and have the opportunity to observe and learn about child behavior.  Many parents say that the opportunity to learn about child development from observing our skilled teachers is one of the most valuable aspects of belonging to our co-op... along with their being an important part of their child's first educational experience and the life-long friends they make along the way.

Each family also helps keep our school well maintained  by participating in four "weekend workday" mornings each year. If both parents attend the same workday, this counts as two of the four workdays. On these mornings, parents may do a variety of tasks, such as make minor repairs or clean. These mornings are fun, community building occasions, where children get to play and help. On the Mondays following a workday, the children are often proud and eager to report on the ways in which they and their parents helped improve the school.

Co-op Council

Crestwood Hills Preschool is a member of a statewide council of cooperative nursery schools. This organization, the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS), links us with schools and like-minded parents all over Los Angeles and California. Many of us in the Crestwood community, both teachers and parents, look forward to attending the Co-op Council educational conference held in Southern California in alternate years. Currently, the CCPPNS has more than 320 member schools statewide. More information about the Council can be found at www.ccppns.org

History

The year was 1946. World War II had just ended and Los Angeles was restless with former servicemen and women back home in the States looking for jobs and places to settle. Housing and money were short. One night, four musician friends got together and talked about cooperative living. They shared the same dream of a community-based arrangement that would let them share the joys and burdens of parenting with other families. Shortly thereafter, they found a piece of land—some 800 acres—just two miles north of Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood, and bought it…at $500 an acre!

The original four families became twenty-five and, in a matter of months, one hundred families were interested. When the number grew to two hundred, the group contacted the city planning commission and, in 1948, incorporated as a cooperative community. It was unique project that attracted musicians, professors, accountants, attorneys, physicians, and psychiatrists.

What is a Co-op?

by James L. Hymez, Jr. ED. D.

Past President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children
 
That's a good question. A cooperative nursery school will demand a great deal more time from you. It will demand more effort and more commitment than would a school to which you simply pay tuition. So the question is worth asking: why go to all the extra trouble?