Concord-St. Andrew's Cooperative Nursery School
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MISSION AND PURPOSE FOR CSACNS:

CSACNS is a cooperative school within a Christian community, where children are encouraged to learn and grow through exploration and play. Through collaboration among teachers, families, and CSAUMC, our program emphasizes a holistic development of the individual child; promoting physical, intellectual, emotional, and social skills, and shall reflect the highest Christian values by teaching kindness, honesty, responsibility, and respect for others and the world around us.


ABOUT US:

We are a cooperative nursery school, which means that, first and foremost, parents play an active role in the classroom as teachers' assistants. The collaboration among teachers and families creates an intimate learning environment for children, parents, and teachers, and it fosters a close-knit community and life-long friendships.

Located at the intersection of River Road and Goldsboro Road in Bethesda, MD, Concord-St. Andrew's Cooperative Nursery School serves preschool-aged children -- two-year-olds through five-year-olds -- with student to teacher ratios of 4:1 and 5:1.

The school was established in 1958 as a community outreach ministry of Concord-St. Andrew's United Methodist Church and includes teachers and children of all faiths.

Concord-St. Andrews Cooperative Nursery School admits students of any race, national and ethic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at our school. We do not discriminate on the basis or race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, student-aid policies and other school administered programs.



A cooperative nursery school is unique in that your child has the opportunity to work with both an experienced, dedicated teacher and a community of caring parents. Knowing that a classmate's mommy or daddy is there to help wash hands, put on a jacket, read a story, or wipe a tear makes nursery school an extension of your child's own family.

As a co-oping parent, your primary role is to assist the classroom teacher. Responsibilities include working with children in small groups, serving snack, and supervising the children to ensure they play safely on the playground. The frequency of your co-oping duties depends on how often your child's class meets, from once every six weeks (two-year-old classes) to two times every three weeks (four-year-old classes). Only parents may co-op.

Twice a year, parents help maintain the physical space of the school at Participation Days. Jobs on these days include painting shelves, spreading wood chips on the playground, and cleaning toys. Participation Days are held in the fall and spring and are fun opportunities to work alongside teachers and other parents to make the school sparkle for our children.

The talents and strengths of our parents are essential to enriching our children's first educational experiences. The school is supported by an active Parent Association. Parent volunteers contribute their time and energy to initiatives ranging from organizing parent education meetings and social events to managing the school's finances.

Half Co-option (additional fee)

CSACNS families with children enrolled in a three-day or five-day class can select a "Half Co-option" program that will reduce their co-oping responsibility by 50%. Parents who choose the "Half Co-option" will co-op in their child's class one time in 4 weeks (three day class) or one time in 3 weeks (5 day class).

Class 3 day 5 day
Half Co-option Co-op once every 4 weeks Co-op once every 3 weeks
Regular Co-oping Co-op once every 2 weeks Co-op twice every 3 weeks

Enrolling in the "half co-option" will only reduce your co-oping frequency. All CSACNS parents will still have to fulfill all other requirements including, but not limited to: attending mandatory parent meetings and conferences, Participation Days, completing all CSACNS enrollment forms and Office of Child Care mandated fingerprinting, medical physicals, orientations and notarized Release of Information forms prior to their child starting school.

Parents can elect to enroll in the “Half Co-option" for a single semester (September 1 - January 31 and February 1 - May 31) or for the entire school year. A “Half Co-option” form will be included in your child’s summer enrollment packet to be distributed in May. Deadlines to sign up for the first semester “Half Co-option” is July 1, and December 15for the second semester. “Half Co-option” fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.



Our faculty and staff are a warm and caring group of people dedicated to creating a positive and stimulating environment for children. All of our lead teachers possess a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree, and they are certified in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid. In addition, our teachers are members of the Potomac Association of Cooperative Teachers (PACT), an organization that provides additional training for cooperative nursery school teachers through workshops and speakers. Most of our teachers have worked at CSACNS for 10 years or more, and cumulatively, the school staff (13 people) has over 135 years of early childhood education experience.

Almost all of our teachers started at the school as co-oping parents. Their experiences at CSACNS were so positive that they chose to join the faculty even after their own children had moved on to elementary school.

In addition to their backgrounds in early child education, our teachers bring a wide variety of life experiences to their jobs, and the children benefit from working so closely with such a dynamic group of adults. Among our staff members are a costume designer, a horseback rider, a former engineer, a piano player, a guitar player, a trained artist, a quilt maker, a new mothers support group educator, a knitter, a pottery maker, a Natural History Museum docent, a master scrapbooker, and a former news anchorwoman.
Why a cooperative nursery school? As your children embark on their first school experience, it is a joy for parents to be able to be a "fly on the wall" and to watch them laugh and cry, listen and do, and play and learn in a school setting. Beyond nursery school, the opportunities are few to be so closely involved in your child's school experience.

A cooperative nursery school is unique in that your child has the opportunity to work with both an experienced, dedicated teacher and a community of caring parents. Children benefit from their interactions with a variety of adults. The collaboration among teachers and families creates an intimate learning environment for children, parents, and teachers, and it fosters a close-knit community and life-long friendships. Knowing that a classmate's mommy or daddy is there to help wash hands, put on a jacket, read a story, or wipe a tear makes nursery school an extension of your child's own family.

What do I do with my younger child on a day when I'm supposed to co-op? Sibling Sitting was created for this very predicament. For a fee, you can use the Sibling Sitting service, where an able and loving childcare provider watches over younger siblings on the days that Sibling Sitting is offered. To use this service, you must arrange for your co-oping day to be a day that Sibling Sitting is available. Children in Sibling Sitting play with age-appropriate toys, take naps, and play in the Big Muscle Room.

What happens if my child is sick on a day when I'm supposed to co-op? As soon as you know that your child won't be able to attend school because of illness, you start making phone calls to other classroom parents. Parents usually cover for each other by arranging a switch - "I'll cover for you today if you can take my co-oping day next week." If you've gone through the list and no one can help out, you call the school to let them know.

Do you take children who are 18 months old? No. Our state licensing requires our students to be 2 years old by September 1 of that school year.

How can I get an application? Appointments for school tours can be scheduled starting in October. Applications and additional information are given to parents when they come in to the school for a tour.

Why is your school peanut-free and nut-free? Peanut and nut allergies seem more and more prevalent in young children these days. To prevent a student from having an adverse reaction to food that is served for snack or in Lunch Bunch, the school has adopted a strict peanut-free and nut-free food policy. Guidelines are provided to parents for peanut- and nut-free snacks, and there is a school rule that children and co-oping parents must wash their hands upon entering the school building in the morning.