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Dallas Cooperative Preschool

4151 Royal Lane
Dallas, TX 75229

(214) 352-8702


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

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
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
  • Tricycles
  • 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

From the Director:

The teachers create all of the curriculum. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate for 3, 4, and 5 year olds.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Dallas Cooperative Preschool was established in 1951. The philosophy of the program is to provide a developmentally appropriate and fun environment for the emotional, social, and academic growth of children who are three, four and five years old. Mornings include a variety of activities to foster oral language and emergent literacy, pre-math skills, large and small motor skills, listening skills, and social interaction (child-child and child-adult). Activities during the morning may include art, music, dramatic play, blocks, science, and cooking.

We utilize multi-age grouping. For the majority of the morning the children of all ages are mixed together as they enjoy their activities. We do not have designated rooms for 3s, 4s, and 5s. The children are divided into groups according to age and assigned to a teacher who is responsible for providing age-appropriate circle activities, tracking each child's progress throughout the year, and conferencing with parents during the year.

We have three degreed teachers and at least one parent at school each morning with no more than 18 children. Many mornings during the week, we may have two or three parents helping us. All the children are grouped together for our 'Opening Circle' to introduce the serving child and parent. The children spend approximately 20-30 minutes with their group teacher, working on age-appropriate activities. After group time, the rest of the morning is child-directed. We believe that a child's work is play. The teachers develop the curriculum and make the initial activity choices for the day. The children move from area to area as they choose. Each teacher mans a room during free-choice time and oversees activities in that room. Each room has several centers available for the children. Three, four, and five year olds play side-by-side, working on activities that they have chosen. Thus, all children see and work with all three teachers every day.

There is great continuity for children having the same teachers in the same learning environment for their preschool years. Most of the children spend two to three years with us. We strive to provide a positive, loving, and nurturing environment for the child's first school experience.

A Typical Day

Opening Activites in the Art Room - play dough, writing table, fine motor skills, small manipulatives, pegs, puzzles, sorting, games.

Opening Circle - introduce serving child, monthly chart/graph, weather, songs, fingerplays, story, morning message/letter.

Divide into small groups for circle - age appropriate activities, writing, math manipulatives, cutting with scissors, gross motor (skipping, hopping, jumping, skating, stomping, tip-toe, hula hoops, parachute, obstacle course), show and tell.

Free-choice Rotation - Art Room, Play Room, Quiet Place - puzzles, painting, dramatic play.

Clean-up, restroom, library reading, songs.


Outside play.

Large group story, music, filmstrip.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Since we are a parent cooperative, parents are in the classroom on a regular basis. We conference informally on a daily basis. We have 2 formal conferences in January and April. We have 5 parent-teacher meetings during the year. We have an Open House in August. Parents receive a set of goals for the year. We publish a monthly newsletter to keep parents up to date on activities at school. The lines of communication are always open. We are here for you and your children.We have parent-teacher conferences in January and April. We have a round table discussion with Kindergarten teachers for a Parent Education meeting in January.

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
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have an Open House. We have abbreviated hours the first week of school. We have small groups according to age.