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Park West Cooperative Nursery School

2335 N. Orchard Street
Chicago, IL 60614

(773) 327-1115


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Co-op

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The classrooms are designed to nurture individuality and teachers strive to create an emotionally secure environment in which children can work, play, experiment, explore, and create. The curriculum is play based and influenced by Jean Piaget."- Park West Co-op website

Home-School Connection

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:

  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

"We approach separation as a gradual and individualized process. We believe in allowing separation to take place over a period of time because it is about building relationships and trust. This only happens as a child becomes familiar with school and comes to feel that school is a safe, secure and predictable place. Even if a child is excited by the prospect of going to school, it takes time to get to know exactly what this is all about. It takes time to get to know the routine, what the classroom is like and to form relationships with the teachers and other children. Before we feel comfortable letting parents or other caregivers go, we like to see that each child has developed some measure of security at school—have a trusting relationship with the teachers, or settling easily into a classroom activity that interests them—which indicates the child is ready to separate."
-Park West Cooperative website