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Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Coop

81-87 Irving Place
Brooklyn, NY 11238

(347) 721-3408


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

At the FGCH Co-op we believe in self motivated learning with thoughtful direction from the parents and teachers. The staff carefully designs lesson plans and activity centers; the students are encouraged to participate and collaborate at their own pace.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
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
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
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
  • 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
Other subjects taught At the FGCH Co-op we believe that the imaginative spirit should be nurtured and fostered. Learning and play our enhanced when stories and ideas can be acted out on stage with costumes, song, and dance. We have an entire room dedicated to dramatic play. The 'Drama Room' is stocked with a variety of costumes, hats and shoes and has a large stage with back lighting and velvet curtains.

From the Director:

The FGCH Co-op is an arts based program. Our students are provided with a rich and well rounded curriculum that includes math, science, art, yoga, music, drama, dance, movement, and creative story telling. We provide an environment that encourages all of our students to work in a group while still expressing their own individual and creative free-will and thought.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We have a 1 to 5 teacher/student ratio at the FGCH Co-op. With this ratio, the teachers are able to let the students who are ready to work at an accelerated pace while giving extra attention and explanation to those who learn better with one on one guidance and direction. At the FGCH Co-op we stress community involvement. Each student is celebrated for their own individual personalities and talents. We work to embrace our differences and see how everyone contributes to our school community and family.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

FORT GREENE/CLINTON HILL COOPERATIVE Preschool PARENT HANDBOOK 2004-2005 WELCOME TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD PRESCHOOL COMMUNITY! INTRODUCTION The Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Cooperative Preschool opened its doors at 175 Lafayette Avenue in September 2003. The co-op was created by a group of parents who saw the need for a high quality and affordable preschool option in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill community. We are a child-centered and parent-run cooperative serving Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant and surrounding communities. Our program is non-profit, ethnically and culturally diverse and non-sectarian program. We invite neighborhood families to join us in creating a unique learning environment for our kids. COOPERATIVE STRUCTURE In our cooperative model, member families are responsible for the management, finances, fundraising and maintenance of the school. Parents will serve on the Board of Directors and various committees and participate in fundraising activities throughout the year. Parents may also have limited volunteer hours in the classroom. A serious commitment is required, which includes volunteering on committees, attending mandatory meetings and participating in fundraisers and other school activities. The time commitment averages out to 2-4 hours per week. Educational Philosophy The Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Cooperative Preschool offers a nurturing and stimulating curriculum, which is both developmentally appropriate and fun for the children. The following are some guiding principles that serve as the basis for our curriculum: Children are constantly learning as they play. Children learn to be socially interactive through dramatic play. Feeling, touching and creating through sensory activities enhances cognitive skills. Painting, pasting and participation in art activities allows children to express themselves creatively. Cutting, assembling objects and threading encourages the development of fine motor skills. Physical exercise, including balancing, crawling and jumping, helps to develop gross motor skills. Reading stories, including different multi-cultural elements, supports efforts to promote literacy while exposing children to different cultures. Cultural awareness can also be expressed in our weekly themes through art activities and the pictures we choose to decorate the school. Positive interaction and communication is encouraged between all the children as well as between adults and children. Our curriculum encourages teachers to ask open-ended questions and interact with children on their eye level. general information SCHEDULE A full-day program for 2 and 3 year-olds will be offered from Tuesday September 7, 2004 until Wednesday June 29th, 2005. There is an option of adding an extended day program and a Summer Camp. The Full-time schedule is 5 days a week from 8:30am-3:30pm. Part-time schedules are either 2 or 3 days a week from 8:30am-3:30pm. A possible after-school program would run until 6:00pm. We do not offer a 1/2-day option. ADMISSIONS AND WAITING LIST To be eligible to enroll, your child must turn 2 within 30 days of entrance date. He/she must also be in the process of potty training. Children not meeting the age cutoff will be placed on a waiting list to be admitted at age 2, on a space-available basis. Present members have priority for admission for the next school year provided they submit their renewal in writing by March 15, 2005. Last month's tuition is due by June 15, 2005 to hold a child's space for the next year. Remaining spaces are filled on a first-come/first-served basis according to when we receive completed applications and application fee. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 15, 2005. New enrollees must pay the enrollment fee, co-op bond and last month's tuition upon acceptance to hold their space or they will be placed on a waiting list. Once the school is full, a waiting list will be started for remaining applicants The co-op does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation or religion. We reserve the right to achieve a boy-girl balance in the classroom. Tuition Tuition rates for the 2004-2005 school year are as follows: 5 days - $193/week 3 days - $126/week 2 days - $96/week The co-op offers a 10% sibling discount Tutition rates and fees are subject to change. The co-op will not increase, decrease or change the fee structure in any way without the benefit of a collective general membership vote. Tuition is due on the 15th of each month. You will receive an invoice by the 1st of each month. Prompt tuition payment is essential to the smooth operation of the school. A $50 late fee will be charged to families who pay after the 15th unless a special arrangement is worked out with the Parent Administrator in advance. Repeated late payment may be grounds for dismissal. Members with tuition more than 2 months in arrears without a payment plan will be automatically dismissed. In the case of short- or long-term financial hardship, alternate arrangements may be made with the Parent Administrator. All arrangements and financial discussions will be held in the strictest of confidence. No refunds or deductions will be made for absences due to illness, vacations, school holidays, or abrupt withdrawal. Fees The following fees apply to all students: Non-refundable application fee per student (due with application): $40 Enrollment fee per student (due upon enrollment): $100 Co-op Bond Each family will pay a $200 co-op bond (due upon enrollment). When your child leaves the co-op, you may choose to be refunded this amount or to donate it to the school. If you choose to have it refunded, the bond will be returned to you on October 1st the year your child leaves the school, provided your account is up to date. The bond does not bear interest. ENROLLMENT Before applying, parents must visit the school with their child. All families must attend an Orientation Meeting before enrollment. Last month's tuition, student activity fee and co-op bond are due at the time of enrollment. First month's tuition is due on the child's first day of school. Emergency contact, medical release and medical exam forms (distributed with this handbook) must be returned to the director before your child will be admitted to the school. If there is a change in information given to us at registration, it is the parent's responsibility to inform the director. The school cannot be held responsible for problems stemming from incorrect information. WITHDRAWAL If parents wish to terminate their child's attendance early, the Parent Administrator must receive written notice of termination. In the event of early withdrawal, members will forfeit their coop bond and last month's tuition. In the case of unforeseen hardship or personal circumstances, the board reserves the right to waive this penalty. SCHOOL POLICIES Parent/Teacher Communication For many families this will be your child's first school experience. Good communication is essential to making everyone feel comfortable with this exciting new experience. The required Orientation Meeting is a great opportunity to meet the head teacher, staff and other co-op members; become familiar with the curriculum, operations and responsibilities of the co-op; and ask any questions you may have. Teachers will communicate with parents on a daily basis regarding the child's day via a form which details your child's activities including: eating, sleeping and potty. Monthly lesson plans will be emailed to the fgchcoop listserve for parents to review. Important paperwork such as tuition statements, co-op schedules, monthly newsletters, and event notices will be placed in member mailboxes. Other information of interest to parents will be posted on the Parent Bulletin Board. Please check your mailbox and the bulleti

A Typical Day

Drop-off Self-guided play *** 30 minutes in activity rooms***

Circle Time ***includes learning and exploring the day's lesson, the alphabet, the date, through song, story and visual identification***

Snack Potty Story Time Morning Activity **** varies daily - can be movement, music, yoga, art or cooking******

Outdoor Play

Potty Lunch Nap Potty

Afternoon Activity **** varies daily but generally includes art, science, or math*****


Closing Circle ***** Ends day as a group with discussion of the day, song, and stories****


Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

There is constant communication between the parents and teachers. School wide meetings are held three times a year where general discussions of curriculum and daily runnings of the school are discussed. There are two parent/teacher nights where written and oral student evaluations are given. Monthly newsletters are sent home with the upcoming month's lesson plans and any relevant or age-related articles. Daily reports are sent home with a summary of the child's day, including how long they slept, what they ate, and if they pottied.Guidance for our graduating student's future academic path is only given if solicited.

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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

If a child is having separation issues at the beginning of the year we advise the parents to use the following protocol : Day 1 - the child is picked up after lunch Day 2 - the child is picked up after nap Day 3 - the child completes the entire day at school. This is only used when a child is inconsolable. We rarely have to send kids home during the first week. During the first month of school parents are not encouraged to remain at school longer than the 30 minutes during drop-off.