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Cottonwood Preschool

5707 S Simms St
Littleton, CO 80127

(303) 689-9141


We are a parent cooperative preschool located in west Littleton. Cottonwood is a 501c3 non-profit, tax exempt organization. We embrace diversity.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

Cottonwood's emergent curriculum is conducted in an atmosphere that respects each child as a unique individual. Through our daily classroom activities, we strive to maintain an appropriate balance between - child directed and teacher-directed activity - structure and flexibility - group needs and individual needs - program goals and children's interestes - security and risk taking - familiarity and challenge Parent play an essential role by helping in the classroom and performing volunteer hours to help run and "own" the school.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers take time each day to work and play with each child. The curriculum focuses on the needs of the individual children as well as the needs of the group.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Play is powerful! Properly directed, it provides the perfect medium for learning social skills, creative expression, early writing and reading skills, critical thinking and basic skills and concepts.

A Typical Day

Gathering time with welcoming, sharing and a brief explanation of the stations set up for the day, followed by choice station time. Snack mid-way through the morning followed by choice of outside and inside play. Quiet reading time followed by read-aloud. Closing circle with music and movement.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents are an essential part of our school. We are a parent-cooperative school. Moms and dads take turns being the "helping parent" in the classroom - there are usually two each day. Parents take a position on the Parent Board of Directors or another volunteer job they are responsible for throughout the school year.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

The teacher does home visits two weeks prior to the start of school. The first day is "graduated entry" which breaks the class into one hour groups. Some parents are in the classroom each day. Parents walk their child in to the classroom each day. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child during opening circle if that helps. Parents are also reminded that their child is most usually fine after they leave, crying stops quickly as there are many activities that get them busy the moment the parent says good-bye. A teacher, aide or helping parent stays with the anxious or upset child to help redirect them.