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Cupertino Co-op Nursery School

563 W. Fremont Avenue
Cupertino, CA 94087

(408) 739-8963


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our curriculum is based on where are children are developmentally as well as what their interests are at that very moment in time. Our children are free to explore all areas of our school. CCNS has 8 parents and 1 credentialed teacher working each day.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • listening posts
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • lots of materials for patterning, matching, etc.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • We have a Science Observation table as well as a Natural History museum where our children bring in items to share
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • CD's, flute, piano
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Play dough, GAK
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Different Movement equipment that is brough out daily through a revolving schedule developed by our parents
Other subjects taught CCNS has a wonderful garden area with plots for each of our teachers. Our garden is used each day as part of our curriculum. We also have 2 compost bins and a worm bin that our children feed, tend to, and then transfer to our garden plots. CCNS also has a carpentry area that is opened each day. Our children work with hammers, nails, drills, and saws. Animals also play a huge part in our curriculum. CCNS has 3 chickens, 2 bunnies, 2 rats and fish. Our children get to gather eggs each day.

From the Director:

Our children's day begins with an opening circle time where they explore music, dance or creative dramatics. Opening circle is also used by the teachers to begin the life long process of conflict resolution discussions. After circle time is complete our children are free to explore the school and all areas for a full hour.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our teachers work extremely close with our parents. We have mini conferences daily with our parents and formal conference twice a year. During those conference the parents and the teacher come up with goals for both the parent AND the child to accomplish during the school year. CCNS is a developmental program. Our children are a work in progress. However, if there is a need for speech therapy, occupational therapy or play therapy, outside sources are researched. If a child is excelling, we help the parents find outside enrichment activities.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Children can only realize their fullest potential if they are able to develop a positive self-image. At Cupertino Cooperative Nursery School (CCNS) we believe children thrive in our environment, where there are confident people who like, understand and respect them, and a safe, stimulating and supportive environment for them in which to learn and grow.

We believe that play is the most effective means available to young children to accomplish integration and growth. Our goal is to provide the time, space, materials and guidance needed by children to optimize their play experience.

A Typical Day

For our 3-year-olds:
A personal greeting, large blocks of free time for the children to make choices, music Time, singing/dancing/movement exploration, snack time in small groups, stories at least twice a day, crafts, carpentry, puppets, sand play, science experiments, dramatic play, cooking, gardening, pets (chickens, bunnies, rats, fish), indoor and outdoor play available almost every day to foster large and small motor development. Field trips to local attractions, such as the post office, dental office, paramedics, and fish store are included during the second semester.

For our 4-year-olds:
A personal greeting, three group times each day:
- a Greeting Time to discuss the day's plans
- a small group directed lesson for only 12 students designed to include pre-reading, pre-math, pre-kindergarten skills
- a large group storytime at the day's end
Snack time in small groups, many opportunities for the child to choose outdoor or indoor activities related to cooking, crafts, science, gardening, pets, movement exploration and fine & large motor development challenges daily. The  PM program also includes field trips every other Thursday on excursions such as nature walks, ice-skating, bowling, and taking a Caltrain ride. Each child is honored as "Star of the Week" once during the year.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our school is one in which our students are actually our parents. Our preschool is the lab in which our families put in force what they have learned through attending Parent Team Meetings, General Meetings, and daily discussions with their teachers.

Our Parent Team Meetings are where our Teachers present Early Childhood Education topics and then we meet as a group to discuss what is going on in our classroom.

Parent Team Meetings are a wonderful support group for families in or communiity.

Our parents also attend General Meetings where we bring in paid speakers to speak to our families on various topics such as Nutrition, Conflict Resolution, Personality Types, Significance of Birth Order and Positive Parenting just to name a few.

All teachers have 2 formal parent teacher conference each year, however, they also conference each day the parent works in the classroom.

All of our families participate in our Yahoo Group email. Teachers are in constant communication with our family through the email group.

Families are encouraged to call, email, or schedule a time to talk with their teachers any time!

Our PM teachers dedicate an entire Parent Team Meeting to educating our families on different Kindergarten programs within our area.

We actually have various Kindergarten teachers come from different schools to sit on a panel and answer questions from our families.

Information is also posted at school letting our families know of different Kindergarten options and Open Houses.

Our teachers work closely with all of our families helping them decide what is the best option for their child and their learning style.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We ask our families to stay with their child until they have successfully separated. Sometimes it takes a week. Sometimes it takes 2 months! We ask that our families respect the child's needs and we support them during that time. We want our children to feel safe and secure.