Parents participate in virtually every facet of the Valley Drive Cooperative experience, from working in the classroom as a teacher’s assistant (aka “co-oping”) to serving on the Board of Directors in a variety of capacities, to fundraising (bake sales, special events, silent auction and raffles, etc.).
One or two parents are scheduled to co-op in each classroom each day, depending on the class size. The approximate number of co-op days per year is 9 for the 2s class, 12 for the 3s class, and 18 for the 4s class, but the number can vary depending on class size and calendar days. You will always co-op in your child’s class unless you decide to swap co-op days with a parent of a child in another class.
Training is provided at the beginning of the school year, but in general co-opers:
- Arrive half an hour early and help the teachers get the school ready, prepare special projects, provide and set up snack, etc.
- Help the teachers during the day as needed (helping kids with projects, playing, reading books)
- Assist children with self-help skills (going to the bathroom, diaper changes for younger children, putting on and taking off shoes, hats, gloves, etc.)
- Play outside
- Stay after school to clean up
A few things to note:
- Every parent who works in the classroom as a co-oper is required to undergo a criminal history check, TB test, and other formalities. More information is provided upon admission.
- Non-VDPS siblings are not permitted at school on your co-op day (although VDPS alumni are permitted to return once a year on their family’s co-op day).
- You are responsible for co-oping in the classroom on your assigned days (as indicated in the Co-op Calendar, which is distributed multiple times a year). In the event of illness, you are responsible for finding a substitute.
- Class cannot be held unless the requisite number of co-opers are present.
Other Parent Responsibilities
VDPS parents are essential to the co-op experience because they:
- Serve on the Board of Directors or on a Committee in some capacity during their tenure
- Attend two mandatory general membership meetings per year (September and March)
- Provide snack on days they co-op (guidelines will be given at Orientation)
- Participate in two clean-up nights (scheduled monthly) and two parent education sessions during the year
- Contribute to fundraising efforts by making donations, preparing food, serving on the Fundraising Committee, etc.