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Bay Village Cooperative Preschool

29931 Lake Road
Bay Village, OH 44140

(440) 899-7240


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our teachers have developed an integrated play-based curriculum through themes, projects and classroom environment that supports and exceeds Ohio's Early Learning Content Standards. Approximately 45 minutes to one hour of each day is child-directed free play allowing children to explore the many age appropriate toys and centers available. During this unstructured time, children are free to paint, build, dress-up, play at the sand/water table as well as play with the many toys, games, and puzzles which are available. The remaining portion of the day is spent on more structured activities such as circle time, stories, projects and learning games which provide the children with the skills and knowledge that will ensure their readiness for the next level of their education.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • dry erase boards, magna doodles, magnetic alphabet letters, small pads to play 'making a shopping list' or 'may I take your order'
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • counting objects such as plastic dinosaurs, cars apples, or other objects that match the current theme, measuring scales, toy cash register with real working calculator
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • globes, timers
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • microscope, model of the earth, moon and sun and their orbits, sand and water table
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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  • 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
  • In addition to teacher led large muscle movement programming, we contract out to My Gym and Stretch'n Grow for several sessions each school year.
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

The teachers incorporate letter recognition, phonemic awareness and literacy skills as well as number recognition, mathematical concepts and music into every weekly theme. In addition science is explored not only as it relates to themes, but as teachable moments occur. For example, when studying Christopher Columbus and his journey to America, the lesson plan might include an exploration of how wind can propel a sailboat by using our breath to simulate the wind on home-made boats. During this exploration, the teachable opportunity might occur to discover what objects sink and which float. Social studies is also incorporated into thematic units including Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, how Christopher Columbus discovered America, who Dr. Martin Luther King was and why we celebrate his birthday etc. In addition many teachable moments occur as children show curiosity about their world.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our school is fortunate to have a lead teacher and a parent in the classroom at all times as well as a floating assistant teacher who shares her time between the 3 year old class and 4 year old class. This excellent student to teacher ratio gives us the opportunity to take small groups or individuals aside and give them extra practice in areas in which they may struggle or give them the opportunity to be challenged and expand their skills. For example a child who is struggling with letter recognition might be enticed along with a good friend to come and play a special game of alphabet bingo, and a child who is excelling may be encouraged to expand an activity. For instance, once a child has mastered writing their first name, they would be encouraged to write their last name or even add the date to a project or paper, while the majority of the class may still continue to just write their first name. In these and many other ways, our school strives to meet the individual needs of each child and their unique abilities.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Bay Cooperative Preschool recognizes that parents are the child's first teacher. In a cooperative preschool the child, parents, and teachers are brought together and everyone benefits. Our preschool offers every child a variety of social contacts, a sense of belonging to a group, a wide variety of educational experiences and a chance to be self-sufficient. Cooperatives help establish a close parent-teacher relationship, an easier and more gentle separation, and a detailed knowledge of what takes place in the classroom. Each child is helped to grow into an individual who will accept the consequences of his own behavior and will be responsible for his own actions and parents learn new techniques and gain reassurances through contact with other children and other parents who face the same daily challenges of raising children.

A Typical Day

The most wonderful aspect of a co-op, is that the parents don't have to wonder what a typical day is like, because they will be able to experience it with their children 7 or 8 times throughout the year! A typical day in both the 3's and 4's would include about 45 minutes to 1 hour of child-directed free play. During this time children may choose to dress up or cook in the dramatic play area, build with blocks and other various builders, play a game of Hi-Ho Cherio with a friend or a wide variety of other activities. Then, the children would work together to clean-up the room and prepare for circle time. During circle time the child of the parent who is helping gets to be the special helper who assists with the weather wheel, the calendar, and even holding the flag during the pledge. Then the special helper and their parent would set out snack while the rest of the class sings some songs and does some finger plays that fit into the current theme subject. After snack, the class might be divided into 2 groups. One group might have story time with the parent helper while the other half does an arts and crafts project with the teacher. Then the groups might switch so that everybody gets a turn to hear the story and do the project. Now it is time to get ready and go home!

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents attend 2 to 3 conferences each year as well as open house. In addition, by working as a helper in the classroom 7 to 8 times throughout the year, parents are able to monitor and observe their child's growth and development. In addition, drop off and pick-up times allow parents and teachers to connect on a regular basis.

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
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

A day or two prior to the beginning of school, children and their parents visit the classroom for a 15 minute conference and tour. The first day of school is just one hour long with children attending in small groups. The scheduled length of time is reduced the first full week, with the following week being a full session.