Parent Responsibility Questions
What are my responsibilities as a Co-op parent?
These responsibilities are required by the Two's parents:
- One housekeeping of the school during the year
These responsibilities are required only of the Preschool and Prekindergarten parents:
- Must serve in a designated job or as an officer on the board
- Attend General Membership Meetings (4 – 5 evenings a school year)
- One housekeeping of the school during the year (one Saturday morning during the school year)
- Prekindergarten – Preparing the classroom the Saturday morning the weekend before school opens (Opening the Closet)
- Preschool 3's – Packing up the classroom the Saturday morning the weekend after school closes (Closing the Closet)
- Work in classroom as a Parent Volunteer (usually 2 times a month for preschool 3's class and 2-3 times a month for prekindergarten class)
What are the choices for school job?
School jobs are only a requirement for parents of children in the Preschool 3's and Prekindergarten Programs. There are Board Member positions, but they are voted in by membership, so they are generally not available for first time members. The Board Member positions are President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, 2's Program Membership Coordinator, 3's and Pre-k Membership Coordinator, and Job Coordinator. Job descriptions for these positions are listed in the "Bluebook" (Rules and Regulations Guide) and more specific directions on individual jobs are in the job folders you wil recieve once you have chosen a job.
If you are not a Board Member, the Job Coordinator will contact you about choosing a job. You will then be able to request a job that best suites you from the jobs that are available. However, you may not receive first choice due to parents wanting to keep their jobs from the previous year. The school jobs are Arts and Crafts Coordinators, Babysitting Coordinator, Communications / Website Coordinator, Creative Play / Science and Social Studies Center Coordinators, Fundraising Coordinators, Housekeeping Coordinators, Librarian, Playground & Equipment Coordinators, Scheduling Coordinators, Special Events Coordinators, and Supplies, Recycling and Workbench Coordinator. General job descriptions for non-board member positions are listed below.
Arts and Crafts Coordinators
- Prepares art materials for class as directed by teacher
- Cuts shapes for craft projects, collects collage materials
- Makes play dough for each progam as requested by teachers
- Rotates artwork on the Art Center bulletin boards
- Maintains paint supplies, easels, paint cups and brushes
- Works with the Scheduling Coordinators to coordinate and schedule babysitters for the classroom
- Maintain Release of Information file for all classroom babysitters who are not current members of the Co-op
- Obtain and maintain file of Babysitting Participation Agreements for children who are receiving babysitting services and maintains file of Babysitter Agreements for adults providing babysitting services
- Maintain a list of substitute babysitters for the classroom
- Find a substitute babysitter for any babysitter who is not able to make their scheduled babysitting day in the classroom
- Maintain supplies and toys for babysitting room
Communications / Website Coordinator
- Helps “moderate” a private Co-op e-group for e-mail communications among current members, including parents in the Two-year old Program and their teacher
- Responsible for entering all pertinent information into the website and keeping files up to date
Sends out an email over the summer to new members with directions on how to set up a username and password for the Members Section Login
Creative Play / Science and Social Studies Center Coordinators
- Coordinates with teacher to create “pretend” units monthly in accordance with unit of study/theme
Uses check list to ensure that certain features are included in the creative play areas each month
- Utilizes imagination and existing equipment (Unit examples are: doctor's office, zoo, gym, beach, outerspace, castle, post office, grocery store, teepee village, dinosaurs, etc.)
Communicates with members to request donations or to borrow materials to create themes for the Creative Play area
- Responsible for rotating display at science table
- Coordinates and supervises fundraising projects
- Coordinates with Special Events Coordinators for assistance with fundraising projects
- Researches new ideas in fundraising
- Responsible for coordinating and supervising the regularly scheduled thorough cleaning of the Co-op classrooms and outside areas during the school year
- Posts sign-up sheets and makes sure enough parents attend each Housekeeping day
- Ensures that all parents scheduled to work are sent reminder emails 2 weeks in advance, as well as 2 days before housekeeping date
- Washes microfiber wash cloths and swiffer washable covers weekly and after housekeepings
- Maintains vacuum cleaners, inventory of cleaning supplies
- Responsible for retrieving and returning books to the Co-op library as directed by teacher
- Sets up and maintains the system of borrowing by the students
- Mends existing books, catalogs and stamps new books
- Maintains media collection on computer
- Makes photocopies for teachers (we have an account at Head Graphics)
Playground & Equipment Coordinators
- Arranges for repairs of broken equipment and responsible for assembly of new equipment
- Responsible for periodic maintenance or cleaning of equipment at teacher’s request
- Makes recommendations to Board for purchase of new equipment
- Completes playground maintenance checklist according to Health Department regulations
- Responsible for posting parent classroom work schedule sign-up sheets and sending completed schedules to the Communications/Website Coordinator
- Maintains records of members work histories
- Coordinates with the Babysitting Coordinator to determine which days babysitting is available
- Reports members work histories to the Board
Special Events Coordinators
- Arranges all children’s parties
- Organizes and plans the end of School Year Potluck Dinner
- Assist the Fundraising Coordinators with fundraising projects
Supplies and Recycling Coordinator
- On a weekly basis, monitors quantity of supplies to ensure always fully stocked (supplies include housekeeping supplies and classroom supplies)
- Purchases all supplies for the school as directed by teacher or the Board
- Researches "best buys" and maintains receipts and records
- Coordinates school's recycling and environmental awareness efforts
- Collects and recycles all recyclable materials, in recycling containers on a weekly basis, and provides labeled paper bags for each classroom for paper recycling.
- Responsible for maintaining workbench, cabinet, tools and replenshing supplies on a monthly basis (painted, stained or pressure treated wood cannot be used at the workbench)
- Weekly check the wood handled "glue" brushes, if they are stiff then take them home and soak in hot water, clean them thoroughly and return to the workbench cabinet
- Replace the "glue" brushes in the workbench if you take the others home to clean
- Replenish wood glue in workbench cabinet when low
- Responsible for cutting and sanding all wood pieces before placing in the workbench bin,
- Responsible for collecting or purchasing materials to be used in conjunction with workbench projects, including wood pieces, buttons, wood beads, wire, etc.
What are the classroom jobs responsibilities?
This is a short summary of the parent classroom responsibilities. The full description is on a card inside the parent classroom aprons, hanging in classrooms, in the Members Section and in the Co-op Rules and Regulations book:
The parent participates in every classroom activity with their child. They are asked to bring in snack one time each semester and attend one housekeeping a year.
Preschool and Prekindergarten Program
Art parent Assisting students in the art area, either with the paint easels and/or the art project. Snack Parent Bringing in and preparing the snack for the students. Workbench Parent Supervising the students at the workbench. Creative Play Parent Supervising the students in the Creative Play area and the housekeeping area, as well as assisting the babysitter during fire drill on days when babysitting is provided.
How does the application process work?
New members are welcome to apply for the next school year after the January Open House. On the day of the Open House, a link to our application will go live. Please refer to the Admissions section for further instructions. We will send you confirmation upon receipt of your application and all required fees. In the spring/summer, you will receive a Welcome Packet with all the paperwork you will need to complete before starting class. (Please note that some paperwork must be completed by your doctor and your child's doctor). For families of children enrolling in the Three's and Prekindergarten programs, you will be contacted about which parent job(s) interest you.
For the Two Year Old program, application and all mandatory fees must be received by October 25th and the latest date students may begin is November 1st.
Midyear enrollment inquiries for the Three's and Prekindergarten programs should be sent to membership@catonsvillecoop.
For the Two Year Old program, application and all mandatory fees must be received by October 25th and the latest date students may begin is November 1st.
Midyear enrollment inqueries for the Three's and Prekindergarten programs should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My child has a birthday after the September 1st cut off date. Can I enroll my child a year early?We follow the Baltimore County Public Schools' birthdate cut off guidelines, which is September 1st. Children entering the 2’s, 3’s, or Pre-k classes must be 2, 3, or 4 years old respectively by September 1st of the entering school year.
Does my child need to be immunized to attend?Yes, all children must have the immunizations required by MSDE and Office of Child Care. Due to the nature of our program, we have many younger siblings that frequent the older sibling classrooms and who are receiving babysitting services in the Catonsville Cooperative Preschool building. Many of the younger siblings are not fully immunized due to their age. Since many of the younger siblings are not fully immunized due to the immunization schedule, we cannot allow older children who are not immunized to compromise other members’ health. We are sorry if this causes any inconvenience, but we must think of all of our members’ welfare. The only exception to this policy is if your child has a medical condition that prevents them from currently being immunized. You must submit documentation with explanation from your child's pediatrician. All health forms and any necessary documentation must be submitted by August 31st.
Is the Covid-19 vaccine required?At this time, ALL Co-op teachers/staff and co-oping adults (adults who volunteer in the classroom) be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please contact email@example.com with questions or concerns.
Is there a fingerprint requirement for adults?Yes, per the Office of Child Care, all teachers/staff and co-oping adults (adults who volunteer in the classroom) MUST complete a full fingerprint and background check. More information will be sent to families prior to the start of the school year. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Visiting the Co-op Questions
Can I visit the school before applying for membership?
Anyone who would like to see the co-op classes in action can arrange a visit by contacting the membership coordinators at email@example.com. Visits typically include a small tour and sitting in on "circle time" with the co-op teacher. Unfortunately, we are not able to arrange visits during the summer, however we would be happy to send you photos of the school and talk with you about the experience. You can also come to one of our summer playdates to meet some of our families. Refer to our Calendar to find our scheduled summer playdates. Additionally, interested families can come to our Open House, where they can see the classrooms and meet with the teachers and current parents to find out about how the school works. The Open House is generally scheduled on a Saturday morning in January. As we get closer to January, refer to our Calendar to see when our Open House is scheduled. Please RSVP if you plan on attending by contacting by phone, email or on facebook. You do not need to RSVP to attend, however, if we need to reschedule we will be be able to notify you personnally of the change.
In the Classroom Questions
Does my child need to be potty trained to attend?
Your child does not need to be potty trained to join our class. The two's class is set-up as a full parent participation class, so you will be solely responsible for your child's toileting needs. If you are working in the Preschool or Prekindergarten classroom, you will be responsible for your own child's toileting needs. When you are not working in the classroom, the only adult with authorization to assist your child with toilet training is the classroom teacher.
How many children are in each class?
The Two's program is a one day program. Three days are available to choose from: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Generally each class has 10 students; however, we can have up to 12 students with their parent, grandparent or caregiver.
The Preschool class meets on Tuesday and Thursday. The class has up to 18 students.
The Prekindergarten class meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The class has up to 18 students.
What is a typical day in the classroom?
In the Two's program we will encourage name recognition, identifying shapes and colors, counting, matching, sequencing and rhyming. An art project is offered in each class. We occasionally engage in age appropriate science projects. We also encourage, through play, socialization, developing an awareness of being part of a group and growing each child's unique skills.
In the Preschool program we emphasize their name recognition, identifying the letters of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, tracing their name, letters, numbers, We work on concepts of size, sorting, counting and quantity. We will explore different Science and Social Studies topics such as the seasons, weather, magnets, plants, animals, transportation, dinosaurs, insects, etc. The Science and Social Studies curriculum is divided into a two year program where some concepts might be revisited but in more depth in the Prekindergarten program and others will only be explored during one year.
In the Prekindergarten program we emphasize identifying their name, identifying the letters of the alphabet as well as letter sounds and words, In writing we will be using multiple writing materials to trace and write their name, letters, numbers and shapes. In math we will be learning numbers, shapes (2-D and 3-D), colors (primary and secondary) and math words. Students also continue working on concepts of size, sorting, counting and quantity. Students explore different Science and Social Studies topics such as the seasons, weather, magnets, plants, animals, transportation, dinosaurs, insects, etc. The Science and Social Studies curriculum is divided into a two year program where some concepts might be revisited but in more depth in the Prekindergarten program and others will only be explored during one year.
How will I learn about my child's progress in school?
Every parent may ask questions about their child's progress at anytime. A Preschool and Prekindergarten parent may request a conference at any time. However, students will be evaluated in the Preschool (3-year old) program twice a year and a conference may be scheduled at that time. Students in the Prekindergarten program will be evaluated once a year and a conference may be scheduled at that time. Parents will be notified when evaluations will be conducted by the teacher. We are using the Brigance Developemental Screening III for 3 - 5 year olds.
How is the curriculum developed and who plans the daily activities?
The Director/Preschool and Prekindergarten teacher develops the curriculum for Preschool and Prekindergarten programs. The Two's teacher develops curriculum for the Two's program. Each teacher also discusses the curriculum with the board members. In the Preschool and Prekindergarten classroom the teacher has a suggestion box for any co-op member to make suggestions for the Two's, Preschool and Prekindergarten classroom programs. We are a MSDE certified program so we follow their guidelines to develop our curriculum.
What if my child has problems with adjusting to separation from me?
Adjusting to a school is difficult for a lot of children. If you need to remain with your child in the classroom for the first week and possibly the second week we can make a plan to work with you and your child to make the separation easier. However if the parent is able to just tell their child that they are leaving and will be back, the child usually adjust within a few minutes. Don't worry, we have had this situation in the past and we can help your child adjust.
Do the children go on field trips?
There are field trips scheduled throughout the school year for each class.
Field trips planned for Two's Classes: Clark Elioak's Farm, Kennilworth Train Garden, Maryland Science Center, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the end of the year Patapsco Valley Hilton Area Tire Park trip.
Field trips planned for Three's Class: Sharp's Farm at Waterford, Arbutus Train Garden and Ice Cream Cottage, in-house Yoga Lesson, Maryland Science Center, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the end of the year Patapsco Valley Hilton Area Tire Park trip. Each year we alternate between a pediatric dentist visiting the classroom and a walking trip to the Catonsville Fire Department.
Field trips planned for Prekindergarten Class: Weber's Cider Mill Farm, Goucher College play "Holiday Tales" or a Children's Symphony Selection at The BSO, in-house Yoga Lesson, National Aquarium, Robinson Nature Center and the end of the year Patapsco Valley Hilton Area Tire Park trip. Each year we alternate between a pediatric dentist visiting the class and a walking trip to the Catonsville Fire Department.
Are there any special activities scheduled?
In the Preschool and Prekindergarten progams, we have monthly children's birthday celebrations, holiday celebrations, Donuts with Dad, Grandparents' Day, Mother's Day Tea, Pajama Day, and monthly Recipe Day (September to April). In addition, the Prekindergarten program has an Opposites Day, monthly Candy Bingo Day (beginning in January), monthly Try Something New/Different Day (beginning in January) and a Climb the Slide Day (every Friday beginning in April). Various in-school activities may also be scheduled, such as children's yoga instruction, animal visits, and community helper visits.
Can I drop my child off early or late?
Unfortunately, you may not drop your child off early. This time is set up for the teacher to prepare the classroom before the beginning of the school day. You may need to drop off your child late at times and that is fine. However, if the group is already in Opening Circle, please be considerate of the students and teacher and come in and join the group quietly.
Can I pick up my child early or late?
You may pick your child up early anytime needed, however there will be no reduction in tuition for those days. Unfortunately, late pick up is not usually possible. If you have a conflict, please plan ahead. During emergencies please call the Co-op to inform the teacher or call/text the teacher directly.
Am I, the parent, the only person allowed to drop off or pick up my child?No, any caregiver, such as a grandparent, relative over the age of 18 years old, or babysitter can drop off, pick up any child as long as they are listed on the emergency contact form.
What if my child is sick?
If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher they need to stay home and not return to school until they have had 24 hours fever free without the assistance of medication. If your child has other indications of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea, please keep your child at home for the same amount of time as required by a child with a fever. We want to make sure that your child gets the rest they need and that we do not spread illness to others in the classroom and their families. For further information, please refer to the Sick Policy in the "Bluebook".
What if I am scheduled to work in the classroom when my child is sick?
If your child is sick and you are scheduled to work in the classroom, you will need to contact one of the other parents in your class to request a switch. If you are a parent that switched with another parent who could not work, you need to cross out that person's name on that day and put your name so that the Scheduling Coordinator knows of the switch and can adjust the calendar accordingly. Emergency contact lists are made available in the beginning of the school year to assist with contacting other parents.
Am I, the parent, the only person allowed to work in the classroom with my child?No, any caregiver, such as a grandparent, relative over the age of 18 years old, or babysitter can attend the two's program or work in the Preschool and Prekindergarten classroom, if they have completed and submitted the necessary paperwork mandated by MSDE and Office of Child Care. Catonsville Cooperative Preschool provides these forms.
Food in School
Do you serve snack?
Every school day the students in the Preschool and Prekindergarten classrooms are provided a healthy snack half way through their school day. The teacher creates the monthly snack menu. A volunteer snack parent is assigned to provide snack every school day. The parents of the Co-op rotate this responsibility. The snack menu is provided in the Resources and Forms section of our website as well as displayed in the Co-op’s kitchen. Everyday the menu includes a fruit or vegetable, calcium, protein and whole grain and a drink. If the snack parent is unable to bring exactly what is listed on the snack menu, they should indicate the change on snack on the menu in the kitchen.
What is the allergy policy?
The Co-op recognizes the potentially serious and possibly life-threatening consequences for children with allergies. The Preschool does not claim to be, nor can it be deemed to be, free of all food and non-food items that may lead to a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction. However, the Preschool will make every reasonable effort to reduce the risk to children with severe allergies or anaphylaxis in accordance with this policy. There is a policy that NO PEANUT OR TREE NUT PRODUCTS BE BROUGHT TO OR USED AT THE PRESCHOOL AT ANYTIME. There is a list for adults working in the classroom to review that includes the known allergies of individual children in the class. Parents of students with allergies may bring in a separate snack for their child on days that the snack may have a food that their child is not able to eat. The snack menu is posted on the member only portion of our website as well as in the kitchen area where snacks are prepared. For further questions please contact us. For more information, please refer to the Allergy Policy in the "Bluebook" in the Members Section.
Can siblings attend the school occasionally?
In the Two's program a sibling may occasionally or in an emergency attend or visit during classroom time. It is not encouraged on a regular basis as this program is set up as one on one time with your child. Infants attending must be in a carrier. Please notify the teacher in advance if it is necessary for a sibling to attend.
The Preschool and Prekindergarten do not allow siblings to attend classes. If you have children who are not in the class, and you are working in the classroom, you may schedule with the Scheduling Coordinator to have your other children in the on-site babysitting room with the babysitter during the class. We only have certain days available for babysitting so you will need to contact the Scheduling Coordinator ahead of time. For the 3-year old program, babysitting is offered on certain days from 9 am - 12 noon and the fee is $20 per child. For the prekindergarten program, babysitting is offered on certain days from 9 am - 12:45 pm and the fee is $25 per child. The fee is to be paid directly to the babysitter unless you have made other arrangements with the babysitter.
If you do utilize the babysitting service or volunteer as a babysitter, please be advised that NO HOT BEVERAGES are allowed, no use of SANITZER on the children and NO NUT SNACKS brought in for children or adults. Thank you.
Can siblings attend the school on days when I am a classroom parent?
Please refer to the question above. Babysitting services are only available on certain days and will only be provided when the parent is working in the classroom.
Community Activities / Social Events
Are there opportunities outside of the classroom to get to know other families?
Yes, the moms in our Co-op plan Mom's Night Out events several times a year where they can get together, child free, to get to know each other and just spend time together.
Parents also schedule regular playdates for kids, siblings and caregivers every month at different locations. These playdates continue throughout the summer as well.
In addition to the above events, there are other events coordinated by the Co-op, either for fun or fundraising, such as beginning of the year Ice Cream Social at Opies, Holiday Cookie Party, End of the School Year Parents Potluck, End of the Year Tire Park Celebration, and monthly restaurant nights. Check our calendar for upcoming events.
School Closures and Delay Policy
Which public school system calendar do you follow?
We follow the Baltimore County Public School System Calendar. If BCPS is 1 hour late, we are 1 hour late. If BCPS is 2 hours late, we are closed. We have worked in certain days when BCPS is closed that we will be possibly open to make up for snow day closings.