North Seattle Fives Cooperative School
North Seattle Fives Cooperative School is a small, independent cooperative school located near Woodland Park Zoo in north Seattle. We are open to the public and welcome families of all ethnicities and lifestyles.
North Seattle Fives (NSFs) is a “fives program”: we have one classroom of about 20 children, all of whom are 4 - 5 year olds and are in their prekindergarten year. NSF's provides a highly nurturing learning environment in which children develop academic, social and emotional readiness for kindergarten. It is a great place for five-year-olds to spend a wonderful, adventurous, magical year learning and playing with their five-year-old peers!
NSF's has one teacher: Aaron Gill teaches every day throughout the school year. The classroom is designed to provide a stimulating, hands-on environment for the children and includes specific learning areas such as: Blocks/Construction Area; Art Area; Dramatic Play Area; Science Investigation; Math Learning; Puzzle and Game Area; Music and Movement Learning; Outdoor Play; and many other special projects such as woodworking and sewing projects. One of the key goals of the co-op classroom is to foster the development of social skills, and to help children learn to understand their emotions, express emotions in socially acceptable ways, and to interact harmoniously with others.
In addition to a vibrant, busy, engaging classroom, the children are taken on many field trips each year--- usually twice a month! Field trips may include places like: the Woodland Park Zoo, local beaches (Carkeek Park and Lincoln Park); Sound Bridge, Seattle Children's Theater, Center for Wooden Boats, Zeek's Pizza; Puget Consumers Cooperative, a hike to the slide-rocks at Denny Creek; Seattle Gymnastics Academy, ferry rides, salmon ladders, ship canals and locks, nearby farms for pumpkin parties and exploration of farm activities, and lots of other great places.
Because NSFs is a cooperative, parents join in the responsibilities of running the school and assisting in the classroom. We have a Board of Directors, with representation from alumni parents. Parents meet once monthly to discuss issues related to the school and classroom, and to plan field trips, fundraisers and social events. Parents drive on field trips, assist in special activities, and get to share their strengths and creativities as opportunities arise. Parents are also welcome to attend the educational presentations which are offered by the larger co-op community in the north Seattle area once monthly. All parents of enrolled children have “jobs” that they perform for the co-op. (See Parent Handbook, Attachment C: Job Descriptions.) In addition to having a “job”, one parent from each family is required to work in the classroom one day a week (four hours) which keeps the adult-to-student ratios quite low.
Being in a co-op is definitely a commitment of both time and effort! However, most people find co-ops to be a very rewarding experience! In a co-op, a community is formed quickly -- parents find each other to be a source of friendship, information, support and shared experiences. Children are valued members of our community; children are embraced as an important part of the community's focus and purpose. Members of a co-op form a community that works, learns, grows, and most of all, has FUN together!
Classes are offered four days a week (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm) September through May. Although we have no religious affiliation, we rent two classrooms in the lower level of a large church on Phinney Ridge. We have a light-filled and sunny view of the Olympic mountains. Children go outside to play almost every day, in almost every weather, at the park and playgrounds in the local vicinity.
Tuition will be determined at the Fall Orientation meeting, and is based on final enrollment numbers and current financial concerns. Tuition is expected to be between $250 and $280 per month.
Enrollment is usually capped at 20 children, and first choice is giving to children who will turn five years old by Dec 31, younger children will be let in if space is available. We strive to have a classroom that is gender-balanced with approximately the same number of girls and boys.
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