These are the most commonly asked questions and their answers. If you have additional queries that are not answered here – or to arrange a visit – Please see registration.
How do I register for Issaquah Coop Preschool?
Registration begins in January for the following September. Registration priorities and deadlines can be found on the registration page.
I’ve heard the coop is hard to get into. Do I have a chance?
Yes! You have a very good chance of becoming a part of our school. Although we do have registration priorities for alumni and members of other BC parent education programs we have always had room for families who do not fall into those categories. Most years several people from our wait list get into the school by September. However early registration is the best way to ensure your spot.
What is the philosophy of Issaquah Cooperative Preschool?
We believe that children learn best through inquiry-based explorations in a developmentally appropriate setting. Please peruse our webpage for a better understanding of our school.
What is the ratio of adults to children in the classrooms?
How is the co-op part of Bellevue College?
Issaquah Cooperative Preschool is one of many classes offered through the Bellevue College Parent Education Program. When you enroll your child in our preschool you are also enrolling yourself as a student of Parent Education. Your adult registration at Bellevue College is done for you through the preschool program. Ongoing parent education is a unique benefit of participating in Issaquah Cooperative Preschool.
I see that you are located in a church. What is the religious affiliation of the school?
Our school is not affiliated with any religion. We respect people of all faiths but religious teachings are not a part of our curriculum. We simply rent the new 5-classroom education wing from St Michael’s Episcopal Church.
I called during school hours and left a message on the answering machine. Why hasn’t anyone called me back yet?
Our phones are answered by parent volunteers and our registrars will listen to messages and return your call as soon as possible. Since they are parents of young children please be patient and understanding; they may need a day or two to return your call. If you feel as though your message may not have been received please feel free to call back and leave another one!
I’d like to see your school. Can I drop by?
We would love to show you the school but you may not drop by. For the safety of all of the children currently enrolled in our school, tours are arranged by our registrars.
Is there child care for my younger child while I help at the school?
Issaquah Cooperative Preschool does not provide child care for younger children but parents have the option to join together in a group called Just For Sibs. This is a separate organization made up of the parents in your class who choose to trade babysitting responsibilities of their younger children to accommodate their working in the classroom. There is a classroom next to the preschool classrooms which parents use for this purpose. Parents pay a small one-time fee for insurance for this program and for a background check.
Your tuition is lower than many schools. Are there hidden costs to the program?
No. Your tuition and a one-time registration fee are the only fees for our program. We are able to maintain our low costs because we are a non-profit organization and because of your participation in the school.
Will I be required to do fundraising for the school?
No. Our school holds approximately two fundraisers during the school year, but your participation is optional. Our budget is not dependent on fundraising.
My child is not potty trained yet. Can we still enroll him/her in the school?
Our rules require a child to be potty trained however we know that this is an ongoing process for many children at age 3. Please discuss your concerns with our registrar.
I want to be a co-op member but I can’t work in the classroom. Can I still put my child in the preschool?
Yes, but someone from the child’s immediate circle of caregivers must work in the classroom. The child’s mother, father, grandparent, or nanny may be the working adult in the classroom. Please discuss your situation with our registrar.
I want to be a co-op member but I don’t think I can attend the evening parent meetings. Can I still sign up?
There must be a representative from each family at the parent meetings since this is considered the lecture portion of the Parent Education course and because important information about the business of the school is conveyed at the meetings. Either of the child’s parents or another primary caregiver is welcome to attend the meeting.
When and where are the parent meetings?
The meeting days for the school year are decided by each group at the initial orientation meeting. Class members will choose the day of the week and week of the month to meet for the entire year. For instance, a class may choose to meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Meetings are held September through May and are usually held at the preschool.
My child’s first language is not English. Can you accommodate that?
Yes! We welcome children whose first language is something other than English. Most children pick up English very quickly once they are in the school setting and we encourage you to continue using your native language at home while we further your child’s understanding of English.
Do you have an extended day or after school day care?
Why do I have to work in the classroom at school?
Working in the classroom is considered the laboratory portion of the parent education course. An integral part of the co-op is parents learning about child development at our evening meetings and then observing and interacting with children in the classroom to further their understanding of young children. Our teacher depends on the parents assisting in the classroom.
What will I be doing when I work in the classroom?
You will be assigned to work in one of the classrooms (snack, circle, dramatic play or art) as a teaching assistant. On your working day, you will supervise, observe, and guide the children as they play with activities set up by the teacher. When you work in the snack room you will also provide a snack for the children. There is a training at the beginning for the year for anyone who will be working at the school.
What is a typical day like for the children?
In the 3s class, the day consists of arrival, free choice explorations (including snack), group time, small groups, and ends with outside play. In the Pre-K class the day consists of arrival, small group guided explorations, large group meeting, free choice explorations (including snack), and outside play which includes our ending group time. Some Fridays, the Pre-K class sits down to eat a family style snack all together.
What will my child do at school?
Your child will have the freedom to paint, play with water, sand and clay, build with blocks, dress up and pretend, explore play objects that extend math, science and literacy concepts, play with puzzles, practice self-help and social skills, use markers, pencils, crayons and oil pastels, practice writing, read and be read to, use lots of tape and glue, work alone and in a group, dance, sing, spin, slide, climb, swing, create, discover and wonder.