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South Hill Cooperative Preschool

11618 E 122nd St
Puyallup, WA 98374

(253) 435-1740


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
  • print rich environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • manipulatives
Time & space more

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  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • music and movement
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
  • singing
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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

We believe that the environment and materials that we provide are our daily curriculum. We vary that curriculum through a bi-weekly or monthly theme. Children learn best through hands-on exploration, moving at their own pace and following their own interests. We provide them the time and space to accomplish those goals. We also provide some structure in the second half of our class time as we engage in small and/or large group activities, snack and music.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

At South Hill Cooperative Preschool we do not believe that children are "behind", "excelling" or "different". Rather, we believe that each child is on their own pathway of development, and it is our job to encourage them along the way. We believe in allowing each child to work at their own pace. Teachers and parents working in the classroom will adjust and adapt curriculum to fit each child, encouraging and exploring with the individual child during the free play period, during outside time, or in small groups. We also work with the group as a whole to accept each child as the individual that they are, loveable and capable in their own right.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

South Hill Cooperative Preschool offers a rich, experiential and developmentally appropriate environment for young children. We believe in the development of the whole child - physical, intellectual, emotional and social. We believe that children learn through play, and that through play each child will build a foundation for all future and academic learning. We also believe that a child's family is a critical part of the educational process, and we work to support the entire family, as well as the child.

Studies show that when parents are involved in their child's education, children will do better in school. South Hill Cooperative Preschool provides parents an opportunity to be involved from the very beginning of their child's education, both in the classroom and in the management of the cooperative preschool. Enrolling at South Hill includes parenting classes, designed to support parents in their parenting journey.

A Typical Day

9:25 Arrive at school, read with parent
9:35 Free play (art, playdough, blocks, literacy, dramatic play, carpentry, sensory table, science)
10:20 Clean up
10:30 Outside play
10:50 Large circle (story, science, activity)
10:50 Small circle (projects, literacy, games)
11:05 Snack
11:15 Music
11:30 Good-bye

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

As a cooperative preschool, parents are involved in the daily business of the preschool, as well as working several times a month in the classroom under the supervision of the children's teacher. Additionally, all parents attend monthly parenting classes, working with the Parent Education Instructor from the college. Communication is daily and ongoing. In addition, we provide co-op and college newsletters, we use email and notes in the cubby and parents have the opportunity to call both teachers and instructors at home. Communication is open and flows both ways.


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 begin our year with a "slow start schedule". Parents and children come to the school in small groups to meet the teacher and college instructor. Children play while parents participate in classroom training and orientation. Once school begins, parents are welcome to stay as long as they like. When parents and children are ready to begin the separation process, teachers work with each family on an individual basis to facilitate separation.