Why Multnomah Playschool versus another preschool?
Multnomah Playschool’s biggest draw is its warm, inviting community. The school is run by amazingly down-to-earth, warm teachers with longevity at the school. We are a cohesive, well-run school with over 60 years of experience as a cooperative. We keep tuition costs low and offer financial aid. Our student to teacher ratio is excellent, at 1:4.
The classroom layout is a semicircle that includes everyone and provides an abundance of natural light. We have a kitchen, as well as bathrooms set-up for children. We have a huge and beautiful outdoor space and even have a gym available for bad weather days. There are a multitude of opportunities to get to know the other families. There is only one fundraiser for the year.
Your child will be able to experience everything from the chemistry behind cooking to the sensory experiences of smelling. The students have opportunities to see how things change—caterpillars into butterflies, eggs into chicks, classmates into friends. Working in the classroom will allow you to get to know the students your child interacts with and how your child is growing at school.
My child is apprehensive about starting school, can I stay if needed?
Yes. You are actually encouraged to stay in the classroom until your child is ready for you to go. Stay as long as you are needed to make your child feel comfortable.
How often do I parent teach?
For the morning classes, parents sign-up to parent teach 1-2 times per month, per student attending. For the Pre-K class, parents sign-up to parent teach 2-3 times per month, per student attending.
Can I pick the dates I parent teach?
Yes. A sign-up is posted on-line and you select the dates that work for your family. Should a conflict occur in your schedule, switching dates is easily done.
Can grandparents or other caregivers help parent teach?
Yes. Security background checks are done on all parent teachers, so advance planning is necessary. All parent teachers must attend an orientation to learn the ins-and-outs of the classroom.
Can I bring younger siblings when I parent teach?
Parent teachers must be able to focus on the needs of the students, so younger siblings are not allowed during normal class sessions. Bringing younger siblings while parent teaching at “Lunch and Play” sessions is allowed. Fellow parents often utilize trading childcare on their parent teach days, a resource you can explore as you get to know the other families.
How will I know what do when I parent teach?
Fall orientation and class tours (for those families joining after orientation) provide hands-on information for parent-teaching. As well, our school handbook is an invaluable resource for snack ideas and other recommendations.
What is a typical day of school?
Every day follows a loosely held schedule—the students come in, hang their personal items on their hook, wash their hands and are then free to explore. Students can utilize the entire classroom for the entire class period. The classroom offers a variety of art areas, building and other manipulative areas, play-theatre and pretend areas, snack table and seasonal activities and games. Students are encouraged to extend their learning and play outside (only when an adult is present), no matter the weather. Some days the students participate in cooking projects, play with a 600lb pile of clay on the floor, or enjoy a field trip to a park, bowling alley, pumpkin patch or fire house. Every day the students experience something new and wonderful. The last 15 minutes of each class, the students gather on the rug for stories and songs before their parents collect them.
What is the fundraising requirement?
Our school is one of the few with only one fundraiser for the year. Our annual auction raises roughly half of our operating budget; it allows for a second full-time teacher in the classroom and keeps tuition costs down. Each family is typically requested to provide $1,000 of in-kind donations or the equivalent in cash donations. Local and nationwide vendors are quite willing to donate for the tax write-off and the opportunity to advertise in our online catalog and our live auction. There is a ton of support, assistance and ideas from the community before the auction—you are certainly not on your own.
Does my child need to be potty-trained before starting school?
Yes. Unless there is a medical reason for exception, it is required that all children attending be toilet trained and out of diapers.
Will there be opportunities for my child to get to know the other students and the teachers before school starts?
There is a list of summer park dates where your student can meet others in the class and within the school. Teacher Marty does home visits with all new students at the end of the summer, so she can get to know everyone in their own environment and they can get to know her before even stepping in the classroom that first day. Also, a class picnic occurs on school grounds before school begins.
Will there be opportunities to get to know the other families?
Throughout the year, there are a multitude of opportunities to work alongside and socialize with the other families. There are school-wide events: the all-school picnics, the harvest festival, the special persons’ tea, the yearly auction, park play dates, as well as many other family events. Monthly class coffees (or class social gatherings) provide fun opportunities to chat and get to know each other. Socializing also occurs at the board and general meetings. Cook days welcome families into the classroom before pick-up to enjoy student-made pumpkin soup, stone soup, gingerbread men and other delicious surprises.
How will I know what is happening at the school when I’m not in the classroom?
Multnomah playschool publishes a fantastic monthly newsletter, highlighting upcoming events and summaries of activities occurring at the school. Each class (and the school in general) has its own networking site, enabling the families to share resources, ideas, photos and fun stories about the students.
What is the policy for parent teaching, family jobs and other duties if I have more than one child attending at the same time?
Parents are required to parent teach the required number of days in the classroom per child. Families with more than one child at the school are only required to hold one family job.[pb_builder]