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Current Families

If you are new family or a veteran of our Co-op community, here are resources and information to help our preschool run smoothly:

Konstella

Konstella is our official communication platform. If you need to be invited, please reach out to Pat!

Helping Parent Information

Helping parents make our cooperative school work!  Please remember the following when you are helping parent to make the day go smoothly.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please contact the director or your child’s teacher.

  • Be prepared to work as helping parent one or two times per month.  The room representative for each class will maintain the helping parent calendar.

  • For 2s and 3s classes, arrive at school by 8:45am on your helping parent days.  Be prepared to stay at school until 12:30pm.

  • For 4s/5s classes, arrive at school by 8:15am on your helping parent days.  Be prepared to stay at school until 1:00pm.

  • The time before and after class is intended for preparation and cleanup. It also allows time for teacher and parent to talk about plans or special concerns.

  • The helping parent is typically responsible for providing the snack.  Please refer to the snack page for more information.

  • Please dress for active participation. Expect to get as dirty as the children.

  • Per state licensing regulations, siblings may not join the class.  We encourage parents with infants and toddlers to “swap” childcare with other classroom parents in the same situation. If you would like some help linking up with another parent, please ask the Director or assistant to the Director.

  • Follow the teacher’s guidance on participation in the classroom.
     

Suggestions for Working With Children

In general, children will feel most comfortable if you can:

  • Use a low voice when conversing.

  • Sit on the floor or a child-sized seat so that your physical size does not overwhelm.

  • Listen carefully to what children say. This indicates adult respect of their ideas and models listening behavior that the children will eventually imitate.

  • Be available but not intrusive. If children are productively engaged, it’s okay to watch. Be aware that preschool-aged children learn more by doing than by talking (or listening to adults). Too much adult chatter is a distraction, and in the case of the youngest children it prevents them from practicing newfound vocabulary.
     

Clean Up

  • Parents are asked to sweep under snack and art tables according to teacher’s directions and to clean snack tables, countertops, and classroom sinks.

  • Once classroom surfaces are clean, please spray with sanitizing solution.

  • All art materials, as well as inside and outside toys, should be put away for the day.

  • Please check with your teacher to be sure all cleanup obligations have been met prior to leaving.
     

Successful Classroom Techniques

  • Telling children what to do rather than what not to do. For example instead of, ”We don’t throw the toys,” a more helpful comment might be “Balls are for throwing; blocks are for building.”

  • Giving choices when possible. Where compliance is necessary or expected (such as at clean-up time, on field trips, or at fire drills), use a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone. In some situations, a humorous approach works well.

  • Giving children sincere approval when they accomplish a task that is difficult for them.

  • Encouraging growth toward independence. Certainly a child’s request for help should be honored but in a way that leads him/her in the direction of self-reliance. Our goal is to help each child develop the self-esteem that comes with a sense of one’s own competence.

  • Letting children know of changes in the routine. Giving notice near the end of an activity time gives children a chance to complete their projects.

  • Verbally acknowledging children’s feelings. Language can serve to moderate strong emotions. Assuring children that these emotions are universal helps them to feel they have an ally in the understanding adult. Anger, frustration, hunger, fatigue, sadness, and excitement can all be part of a young child’s day.

Snack

The helping parents typically provide snack.  Snack time is an enjoyable time providing opportunities for children to learn about food, develop new motor skills, increase dexterity, and develop language and social skills through conversation. They learn about counting, colors, shapes, amounts, smells, temperatures, and tastes. While feeding themselves, children use fine motor skills and learn self-help strategies.

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Please follow these guidelines when preparing the snack:

  • Snack should support the healthy learning environment of AACNS. Snack should consist of two to three choices from the snack list. Snack should be nutritious and low in sugar, salt, and other additives. No meat is allowed. Please read the list of snack suggestions for more information, ideas, and inspiration. The children only drink water with snack.

  • The helping parent must record snack on the sign in sheet. At the end of the month these sheets are filed in the office and available for inspection during the annual Texas Department of Family and Protective Services visit.

  • AACNS provides washable cups, plates, utensils, water pitchers, and napkins. Snack is usually served family style. Helping parents are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing all items used for snack.

  • AACNS must have written approval from a physician or a registered or licensed dietitian in the child’s record if the child is on a therapeutic or special diet defined by the Minimum Standards Section 746.3311a. Parents of children who have therapeutic or special diets will provide snack for their child.

  • At the start of the school year, the names of any children with allergies and the nature of the allergy will be posted in each classroom.

  • Birthdays and holidays are special days in the classroom. The helping parent may wish to provide a special snack. However, the same guidelines need to be followed. See list of snack suggestions for special snack ideas.

  • Licensing regulations require that the co-op inform all enrolled families that because parents will be providing snack for each class, the school “is not responsible for its nutritional value or meeting the child’s daily food needs.” (Standard 746.3309)

Snack Suggestions:

apples
cucumbers
pretzels
almond butter
bananas
snap peas
crackers
yogurt
cherries
carrots
sweet potato fries
black beans
clementines
zucchini
veggie straws
cheese
peaches
celery
quinoa
hummus
plums
salsa
muffins
seeds
blueberries
broccoli
mini bagels
tahini
strawberries
bell peppers
granola
cashew butter
raspberries
tomatoes
rice cakes
kidney beans
blackberries
snow peas
applesauce
edamame
apricots
string beans
fruit leathers
trail mix
melon
spinach (dip)
Lara Bars
cheese sticks
dried fruit
yellow squash
baked tortilla chips
nuts
pears
salad
granola bars
cream cheese
pineapple
pita
oranges
guacamole
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Parent Workday

The workdays are occasions for us to work together to clean, renovate, repair, and tackle special school projects. Each family must attend one workday each year.

Workdays are on Saturdays from 8 am – 12 pm.  Please be on time. One adult per family must attend; please leave the children at home.

This year individual families will be responsible for signing up for their workday.  If you need to change your workday: check the schedule to find an alternative day, email the families assigned to that day and ask to swap days.  It is your responsibility to find a replacement.  Please be in touch directly with your workday co-ordinator with questions or conflicts.

Workday Schedule is posted on the bulletin board at the Co-op.

Tuition

The monthly tuition for the 2024-2025 school year is as follows:

two-day classes:       $325

three-day classes:      $410

five-day classes:       $750*
 

*This includes the extra hour a day of school beginning in the Spring Semester.
 

Tuition is due on the first school day of each month during the school year (August – April; see note below for May). A late fee of $15 will be charged if tuition is not received by the 10th of each month. Partial financial support is available.  Please contact the office for details.
 

Upon acceptance to the Co-op, the following are due: the first installment of tuition and a building fee of $350 for the first child and $200 for each additional child

Handbook

This content is password protected, you can find it in the files on Konstella, or view it with a password here.

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