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Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School

1515 Garfield Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030

(626) 799-3105


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Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School has served the South Pasadena area for over 60 years. We are a non-profit corporation offering a unique and rewarding opportunity for parents interested in sharing their child’s preschool experience. In classes limited to fifteen children with one teacher, one aide, and two participating parents per day, each child learns the joys and challenges of belonging to a group.

All aspects of a child’s social, emotional, physical, creative and educational development are encouraged and stimulated by a variety of play equipment – climbing structures, play houses, outdoor painting, large block area, sand and water play and a large outdoor area for bicycles and other wheeled equipment. Art, music and movement are all introduced through creative projects and activities. In the older classes children are prepared through a variety of activities for the rigors of Kindergarten. A new aspect of our curriculum at Oneonta has been the addition of a parent-built Patio Garden area where the children grow, maintain, and harvest a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and edible flowers, fertiized by compost from our daily snacks.

If you are a parent interested in playing a participatory role in your young child’s development, please give us a call or send us an email so we can give you a better orientation to our program.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

From the Director:

At Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School, we are dedicated to providing children with a safe, nurturing environment that allows each individual child to embrace diversity and grow socially, emotionally, creatively, and intellectually at his/her own pace. We view loving interactions with others and play as the primary means for healthy development in young children. Each child brings uniqueness to the preschool experience. Growth patterns, experiences, strengths, and approaches to the learning situation are individual. A role of the teacher-as-facilitator and the family is to take into account both typical development at any given age level and to implement an appropriate learning environment which takes into account the different needs, interests, and developmental levels of individual children. Uninterrupted play functions as a vital element in growth and development of the young child. It is in the context of process rather than in the product that the child finds out about him/herself, other people, and the world. Because social and emotional development cannot be separated from intellectual development, it is vital that the young child develop positive feelings about him/herself in the group setting where warm, sensitive, and responsive interactions and relationships are fostered between and among all members of the community (children, families, and program staff). Our foremost goal is to provide a preschool experience that prepares children for future success, both in school and in life, by showing them how to solve problems, get along with others, and be competent and responsible individuals. At Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School, we promote developmentally appropriate practices as we build the foundation for lifelong learning.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

We are a developmental preschool that focuses on the whole child: social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and creative. Learning is done through play, role modeling, and interaction. We offer a variety of activities throughout the day to encourage the child to grow as individuals and learners. Through classroom activities, outdoor play (in 3 different outdoor environments), and interactions between classmates, teachers, and adults, our children are provided a warm, positive learning environment that encourages them to achieve their maximum potentials as learners.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our highly qualified teachers know and understand each child's individual strengths, and focus activities and learning to maximize on these. Because we are a developmental preschool, each child learns at his/her own developmental readiness. We focus on the whole child - intellectual, psychological, emotional, and physical. Curriculum and activities are differentiated to focus on each child's strengths and challenges.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School staff is dedicated to providing children with a safe, nurturing environment that allows each individual child to embrace diversity and grow socially, emotionally, creatively, and intellectually at his/her own pace.

A Typical Day

A typical day in our three year old program:
9:00-9:30am Morning table activities
9:30-10:30am Active & Cooperative Play in the outdoor yards (bike yard & play yard)
10:30am Snack
10:50am Circle time (stories, songs, sharing, calendar, etc.)
11:05am Outdoor play on the patio
11:30am Dismissal

A typical day in our four year old program:
9-9:30am Morning table activities (correlating to curriculum themes)
9:30-9:55am Outdoor play in the patio
9:55-10:15am Circle time (calendar, weather, sharing, stories, songs, etc.)
10:15-10:35am Snack
10:40-11:40 am Outdoor active & cooperative play (bike yard & play yard)
11:45am Dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Being a parent participation nursery school, parents play an integral role in the preschool experience. There is constant communication between parents and staff. In addition to weekly email reminders about important school events and information, teachers and staff are available for daily face to face conversations and email correspondence regarding individual students. Parents have a great sense of how their child(ren) are doing because they experience the class first hand with classroom participation time. Teachers are constantly assessing children (formally and informally), and share the results with parents in informal settings. We also hold formal parent-teacher conferences once a year and discuss each individual child (focusing on all aspects of his/her development).

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
  • 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
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We are very sensitive to the needs of all children, and recognize that some students need a little extra love and attention as they acclimate into the preschool setting. To ease anxiety of our children, we hold a Drop-In day at the beginning of the year where parents are welcome to come to school with their children. They help them participate in a scavenger hunt that helps each child learn the different parts of the classroom, and begin to feel comfortable with the school environment. In addition, prior to the school year beginning, the Director helps to pair each new family up with a returning family (their "buddy family") to help families feel comfortable with Oneonta. We also organize play dates over the summer to help students familiarize themselves with the children in their classes. All of our teachers are mothers themselves, and very in-tune with students' emotional needs.