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Noe Valley Cooperative Nursery School

5210 Diamond Heights Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94131

(415) 647-2278


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Books, reading upon demand, lots of talk.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Blocks, counting everything, I give 100 pushes on the swing and we all count together.
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
  • A garden - children plant and harvest.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Singing, classical music on tape and records played daily.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
  • Roller skates, huge cargo net to climb, 5 person swing.
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

All of the above mentioned activities are always offered and available. Since this is a parent co-operative, the parents are responsible for providing all of these aspects of formal learning to the children. And they do - according to how each parent functions.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At Noe Valley Cooperative Nursery School, we have provided a save, loving, and low-cost place for children to play and learn for over 35 years. We have one employee, our Director, and a part-time teacher and they are assisted by the member families of the school. By participating in day-to-day activities, member families learn more about children - how they play, how they learn, how they grow socially and emotionally. By spending time with many other families, children extend ties beyond their own families to a greater community.

A Typical Day

The parent is present once a week working with the children. The children come in at 9 am and the school's 5 areas are set up by the parents working that day. The children are then free to choose where to go and with whom. A snack is prepared (lovingly) and served at 10 am - then more play until lunch at 12. Parents and kids bring their lunches and eat together. Then we go home.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Since the parents are in the school all the time, they are educated in the best way. They can see how their child compares to others of the same age. Sometimes I talk to them outside of school if there is a special problem.The parents help each other in this regard.

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
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

I give as much time as they need.