The Co-Op Experience
What is a Co-Op?
We are thankful for your interest in our school! We strongly suggest setting up a tour to see if the co-op model is one that works for you and your family.
Being a cooperative preschool means that co-op families are actively involved in the education of their children. The families conduct the school administration while the teacher serves as the educational director. This allows for a smaller adult to child ratio, as well as, a lower tuition rate for families. Co-op members have the responsibilities of running the school, which includes assisting the teachers in the classroom, providing snacks, housekeeping duties, attending meetings, transporting child to field trip sites, fundraising, and actively participating in school committees. The nature of a cooperative preschool provides a strong home-school connection. A cooperative program sets parents and children up as a team in their child's future education.
COVID 19 UPDATE
After surveying our community and discussing this transition in great detail as a board, we have come up with an adjusted plan for the fall. Please note that this plan is fluid and may change, but any changes will be communicated as soon as possible with our families.
Starting on Monday, Nov 9th (our first day of school):
3’s class will meet on Tuesday & Thursday: 9-12 pm
4’s class will meet on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 9-12 pm
A few important issues to take note of:
There will be a maximum number of people set at 15 (13 students & 2 teachers -lead teacher, Ms. Lydia, and assistant teacher, Ms. Juli) for both classes, which is smaller than our typical year.
Tuition will remain at: 3’s @ $190/month, 4’s @ $250/month
If we feel it is not safe to open on November 9th, the first day will be pushed back to Monday, November 30th, and reevaluated at that point as well. This will be communicated as soon as we can.
While we are still a co-op and will continue to function with shared roles, there will not be a co-op parent/family member in the classroom at this time to limit the number of adults in the room.
A co-op family will still be assigned to each class day to come early for cleaning and to ensure all cleaning jobs are completed.
There will only be one class in the building each day, as opposed to two.
Temperature checks (a picture of the thermometer and child in that days’ outfit) will be asked to be shown prior to entering the building.
Arts/materials will be in individual student containers.
All students will bring food from home. For the time being, there will be no co-op family provided snack for the 3’s class as there was in the past.
These are just some of the many alterations we will have to make as a community, and we hope that all our families can be flexible in the effort. There will be more things to consider and we encourage our families to keep these things in mind while we communicate more with each other throughout the summer.
Now back to "typical" Co-Op Information...
Co-Op Member Responsibilities
Attend four General Meetings a year
Participate in housekeeping (deep cleaning of the school) duty once a year
Participate in at least 2 fundraising activities including the end of year Basket Raffle
Actively participate in a school Committe or hold an Executive Board position
Co-Op (assist the teachers in the classroom) approximately once a month (depending upon enrollment)
Transport or arrange for transportation to off-site field trips (approximately once a month)
Co-Op Board and Committee Descriptions
Executive Board: The Executive Board meets at a minimum, 5 times a year and handles the overall running of the school. The Board is responsible for ensuring a sustainable future of the school. A strong Board builds a strong school, we highly encourage you to join the Board.
Presides over all Board and General meetings, supervises all officers, monitors all other positions, handles administrative affairs for OMNS, and maintains relationships with the community on behalf of OMNS.
1st Vice President (Licensing)
Distributes health forms, maintains health form files for all enrolled children, and takes care of all state licensing matters.
2nd Vice President (Fundraising)
Plans and coordinates fundraising events to raise money for OMNS such as restaurant nights, basket raffle, OMNS swag sale, and more.
Collects and deposits tuition, fees, fundraising earnings, checks mailbox, distributes mail, prepares budget and taxes.
Maintains minutes for Board and General Meetings, supervises buyer's and coordinates monthly housekeeping duties.
Maintains documentation that demonstrates our compliance with the MSDE Accreditation guidelines. This includes implementation of program evaluations and the maintenance and development of community partnerships.
Coordinates all registrations and admissions, waitlist, plans open houses, assigns committee roles, arranges school tours, and represents OMNS at the Howard County Preschool Fair.
Prepares co-op schedule, updates parents on all school news weekly, sends reminders to parents for important events, coordinates parent coffees and play groups, organizes class holiday parties, and handles communications between parents and the Executive Board.
Permanent Substitute for Teacher/ Teacher’s Aide – 1 member from Caterpillar class and 2 members from Butterfly class
Serve as an emergency replacement in the absence of the Teacher or Teacher's Aide, also co-op parent (due to inclement weather).
Fundraising Committee – Total of 6 members
Assists the 2nd VP in organizing and publicizing fundraising events (Recent activities include Restaurant Nights, Kidstuff Coupon Books, OMNS T-shirt sale, class pictures, Yard Sale, Basket Raffle, etc.).
Welcome Committee – 2-4 members
Assist Membership Coordinator in organizing and marketing open enrollment and related events, and meet prospective members at school, give tours and answer questions
Buyers – 2 members (one from each class)
Purchase cleaning supplies, paper products, art supplies and general merchandise throughout the year.
General Teacher’s Assistant - 4 members (two members each class)
Assist teacher by preparing art projects and other craft items for future classes.
Then and Now Book Lead – 2 members (one from each class)
Responsible for assembling “Then and Now” books for each student in the class, similar to scrapbooking.
Library Liaison – 1 member
Organize and re-shelve books in the in-house library - Request, borrow and transport books, books on tape, and CDs from the public library on a bi-weekly basis.
Field Trip Coordinator – 2 members (one from each class)
Assist Teacher in planning and arranging trips, oversee permission slips and any fees, and attend all school trips.
Education/Accreditation Committee - 2 members
Assist Coordinator with the accreditation process including maintaining binders, scheduling speakers, and maintaining community partnerships.
*Some positions such as General teacher’s assistant and Permanent Sub positions (especially with under enrollment) will be assigned more than one job.
** All positions may change slightly each year.
At OMNS, we believe that opportunities to get together and regular communication is the foundation of a successful cooperative nursery school. We maintain these communications and opportunities through the following means:
· Weekly classroom communication emails from the Class Representatives
· General Meetings (4 times per year)
· Executive Board Meetings (at least 5 times per year)
· Parent-Teacher Conferences (February & end of year)
· Play dates (Monthly)
· Calendar of events with Google Calendar
· Weekly email reminders for important information
· Oakland Mills Nursery School Facebook page
· Parent Bulletin Board
· Daily face-to-face summaries from the teacher
· Monthly Field Trips