Parent participation at Glenridge
Parents participate and learn
“A parent participation, or cooperative, nursery school is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, democratic organization where each family shares in the planning and operation of the school. Parents participate in the program on a rotating basis, serving as assistants to a professional nursery school teacher and staff. The efforts of parents and their direct involvement during the school day make parent participation nursery schools a unique educational endeavor.”
- Excerpt taken from CCPPNS (California Council for Parent Participation Nursery Schools)
The participation of each Glenridge family is essential to the running of the school. The parent responsibilities include five main areas:
- Teaching Requirements
All parents must work as an assistant in the classroom as scheduled. You don’t need any teaching experience. You do need to provide proof of a negative TB test and medical clearance to work in a classroom with children. Both parents can work in the classroom. Depending on the number of days the child attends, the parent could work up to once a week in the classroom. Parents work under the direction and supervision of the staff and are expected to work cooperatively with the staff and each other to create a safe, consistent, and nurturing atmosphere. Most families think that this is one of the most rewarding parts of Glenridge.
- School Job
Each family has a school job, either elected, if on the Board of Directors, or assigned according to members’ preferences, talents, and/or the school’s needs. Most jobs run year-round starting in June or September ending in May. Jobs include scheduling, payroll, maintenance, event coordination or housekeeping, membership, etc... In their second year, parents may be expected to take a more significant role in the administration of the school through jobs such as treasurer or fundraising chairperson.
- General Meetings and Parent Education
Attend one evening business meeting each month and, if a board member, one evening board meeting each month.
Participate in fundraisers, including planning, setup, cleanup, and work shifts during the event.
- Move In/Move Out
Help to move in at the beginning of the school year or move out in June, since there is no summer session. Also, every family helps to pack, unpack, clean, and organize the school during each move in and out.
Each family’s cultural, artistic, musical and other unique contributions to our programs make Glenridge a special place to learn..
In addition, families must attend:
- Curriculum Night
- Maintenance Days
Other Parent responsibilities include:
- Making payments of deposits, tuition, fees, fines, etc. on time
- Complying with the health policy of the school
- Providing a nutritious snack for all the children approximately once a month (AM program only) as part of the classroom job. Providing a nutritious lunch and snack for your child (PM program only)
Glenridge works through cooperation, not coercion. For cooperation to work, all member families must contribute. In situations when member families do not, for whatever reason, participate actively, a system of fines has been devised to compensate the school and/or other parents.
Glenridge tries to provide a lot of support for new families joining the community.
- Home Visits
The director visits the home of each new family to meet the child in their own setting. This helps create a comfortable experience for the child to make the first days of preschool a little easier.
- Orientation Meetings
Parents are required to attend a general orientation meeting and a fundraising orientation meeting over the summer. At the beginning of the year, parents attend a classroom orientation to learn how to work in the classroom and children attend a separate classroom orientation to familiarize them with the classroom. In addition, all new parents attend a curriculum night to learn about what gets taught in the classroom.
At orientation, every family receives the Glenridge Handbook which provides almost all the information they need to know to participate successfully at Glenridge.
- Online Community
Glenridge has an online group that the membership uses to communicate school business as well as a forum for asking questions, posting schedules, documents, etc.
- Board Buddies
Every family has a representative on the board who contacts them periodically throughout the year to make sure everything is going okay. They can represent the family to the board if they family has any issues with school, the classroom, director, curriculum, school job, other families, the child, financial, etc… Each board member typically has 5-6 families to support.
School Family Events
- Welcome Picnic
- Halloween Parade
- Stone Soup
- Raffle, Annual Fund, Alumni Picnic
- Glen Park Festival
Special Family Events
The following events, coordinated by a parent, are a fun way for member families to connect with other member families outside of the school.
- Año Nuevo State Reserve
Family day trip to Año Nuevo State Reserve 55 miles south of San Francisco to see Elephant seals, sea lions and the undeveloped site on the Pacific Ocean. There is an interpretive center and a 2.5 hour guided hike to observe the Elephant seals during breeding season. Read more about Año Nuevo State Reserve.
- Slide Ranch
Family day trip to Slide Ranch, a non-profit agricultural and environmental educational center located in Marin with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and 134 acres of land. There are hikes, farm animals, gardens, trails, tide pools and other creative activities such as milking goats, collecting chicken eggs, planting seeds, sampling herbs and vegetables, and making crafts. Read more about Slide Ranch.
- Annual Camping Trip
A two night group camping trip in the spring. Group campsite, shared meal. Hikes, swimming, campfires and singing. All the kids know each other. All the kids know all the parents. It’s a lot of fun.
- Phipps Ranch
Family Day trip to go berry picking at a farm in Pescadero, approximately 45 miles south of San Francisco. Pick baskets of ollalieberries and strawberries. Picnic with friends. Visit the farm animals and see the old tractors. Read more about Phipps Ranch.
- Mussel Bake
Every year after the school finishes moving out, a big picnic and mussel bake is held to end the year. A bonfire on the beach, weather permitting, or picnic in Golden Gate park. Everyone brings something to share and celebrates the end of a great year at Glenridge.
- Summer Play dates
Nearly every week over the summer, play dates are scheduled for Glenridge kids to keep in touch. The schedule is distributed at the beginning of the summer and the location changes every week, usually at various parks throughout the city.