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Glenridge Cooperative Nursery School

PO Box 31202 San Francisco, CA 94131 Glenridge is located in Glen Canyon, so we do not have a street address.
San Francisco, CA 94131

(415) 586-2771


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Both the morning and afternoon programs have long blocks of time where children can freely socialize and choose activities both indoors and outside. Different activities are set up each day to encourage interaction and experimentation. Our low ratio enables the adults to observe children and facilitate their play and learning.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Adults take dictation for Journals, which are read to the group at circle, and
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Children have opportunities to measure, count, and estimate through cooking projects, graphing activities, and participation in various classroom jobs.
Time & space more

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

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Daily play in the natural environment of Glen Canyon.
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Dance
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Lots of 3-D art opportunities, and art projects using materials found in nature.
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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
  • Daily hikes and rock climbing.
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

Curriculum structure emerges from the children's interests, needs, and desires, so that learning is concrete and meaningful to each child. Exploring and discovering nature encourages a child's innate sense of curiosity and wonder.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We truly cherish everyone as an individual and recognize that each child has many strengths, as well as developmental areas that need support and encouragement for continued growth. Adults are responsible for keeping children physically and emotionally safe, so children are comfortable trying new activities and taking safe risks. We welcome diversity in every form, including ability, and staff members work closely with parents to support the special needs of every child.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Glenridge Cooperative Nursery School is dedicated to providing children with a unique, child-centered learning program in one of the few natural environments left in San Francisco. The benefits of the co-op for children are nurturing love of our environment, laying a foundation for learning, and providing socialization skills. The benefits of the co-op for parents are allowing parents to actively participate in their child's education and providing a parental support system and a community for family development. A play-based curriculum is carefully planned in order to recognize each child's unique learning style, temperament, abilities, and development. Central to our teaching is the belief that children need to learn how to identify, express, and validate emotions and to develop social skills. Also, children need adult nurturing in developing problem solving and intellectual abilities as well as the shared experiences of communication and language. With our diverse curriculum and environment, we focus on the children's needs, abilities, and interests in order to promote each child's growing self-esteem and self-concept.

A Typical Day

Morning Program 9:30 - 12:30 The morning program has a Director, a Teacher, 5 parents, and 25 children. The day begins at 9:30 with free play and activity choices including art, daily hikes, dramatic play, journals, woodworking, manipulatives, cooking, blocks, tactile play, and gross motor movement play. We come together at circle time to read, sing, and do rhythm activities before snack. The children then have outdoor playtime consisting of bikes, climbing, nature, art, swings and dramatic play. A brief outdoor circle ends the program at 12:30.

Afternoon Program 12:30 - 3:30 The afternoon program begins at 12:30 with a Director, a Teacher, 3 parents, and 19 children. We have lunch together and afterward the children choose from various indoor and outdoor experiences such as art, science, nature, climbing, hiking, manipulatives, dramatics, blocks, woodworking, and tactile play. After clean up time we have a circle time with singing, games, creative movement, and time to discuss the day's activities. The day ends at 3:30 with snack and a story.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

There is extensive new parent orientation before the start of each school year, and a home visit by the director for each new child. There are also required parent meetings each month that include a parent education presentation and information about fundraising and other parent activities. The school newsletter includes photos, information from staff, information from board members, and the school calendar. There is also a yahoo group for announcements. Because parents are working with staff in the classrooms each day, informal communication often occurs at that time. There are also formal parent-teacher conferences annually or more frequently if requested by a parent or staff member. The director is available by phone and e-mail most evenings, and parents are encouraged to call with questions or concerns. Staff members work closely with parents to provide assistance throughout the process of finding the right elementary school for their child. Assistance includes advice on what to look for in a school, suggestions of schools to tour, and written and/or verbal evaluations as requested.

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:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parents are welcome to stay at school. When parents leave, staff members hold children until they are comfortable--even if that takes days, or weeks, or months. Adults often take dictation from an upset child, so the child can express his/her feelings to the parent and then 'mail' the letter for the parent to get at pick up time.