Back to Annandale Preschools

Annandale Co-operative Prschl

8410 Little River Tpke
Annandale, VA 22003-3710

(703) 978-6127


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

The day is organized so that there is a mixture of child-led and teacher-led activities. Free choice is the core of the curriculum and is used as the basis for curriculum planning. Each child is presented with multiple opportunities for activities, group play, and solitary play. The emphasis is on process not the product for projects. Annandale is a Parent-run cooperative preschool. The parents are the assistant teacher in the classroom and are very involved in their child's educational experience. This school is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to learn and grow together as they begin the educational journey.

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
  • Writing station with paper, pencils, markers, envelopes; room labels are written in English and all other languages represented in the classroom
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Counters, sorting stations, finger plays
Time & space more

More Information

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

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Music class twice per month in addition to daily music in classroom.
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • pictures and books of children from many cultures
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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
  • Movement class twice per month with dance instructor
Other subjects taught

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers use developmentally appropriate practices which emphasize individual growth patterns, strengths, interests, and experiences of the children in their class to design an appropriate learning environment for all children. Activities of varying difficulty levels are provided to address the individual needs of children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Annandale Cooperative Preschool's mission is to educate children based on the philosophy of learning through play while meeting their emotional, social, physical, and intellectual needs. Our school is nationally accredited and state licensed. Qualified teachers and parents work together to provide a safe, nurturing, educational experience that embraces diversity and prepares children for elementary school"
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

9-10 Free Play - choose any center(s) in the room to play and explore
10-10:30 Small group time/Activity Room time - half the class in each
10:30 -10:45 Snack
10:45 - 11:15 Circle time with story, music/movement, game
11:15 - 11:45 Playground
11:45 - 12 Story and morning wrap up
12 noon dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

When a prospective member visits the preschool a booklet explaining our educational phiosophy and curriculum goals is given to the parent. At Open House a formal presentation is done by the Director and two of our teachers to discuss our philosophy, curriculum, and benefits of a co-op. Parents receive the Parent Primer prior to working in the classroom. This Primer details the schools phiosophy, curriculum, policies, and procedures. Formal Parent-Teacher conferences are held two times per year, in November and in April. A written progress report is given to the parents at the time of the conference. Any time a teacher has a concern or interesting information to share with a parent they will speak at drop off, pick up. by e-mail or by phone. Parents receive a monthly newsletter. Teachers send out weekly updates by pap[er notices and/or e-mail. Each teacher as a bulletin board with curriculum plans, calendars, and class information posted. Parent education seminars are offered several times throughout the year. Information relevant to families and young children is sent to the membership by e-mail (all parents and staff are part of a yahoo group for the preschool).

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
  • 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 works with the parents and the child to devise a plan that will help the child separate from their parent. Parents are allowed to stay with the child in the classrom until the parent and teacher feel comfortable with the separation. Teachers devise and maintain a schedule that provides predictability and security to the children.