The PUNS Co-Op Model


A cooperative preschool is one in which parents take an ACTIVE role in the running of their child's school. Whether you are interested in serving on the PUNS Board, working on various school projects, or simply want to spend time in your child's classroom, at PUNS, we strive to provide flexibility so that ALL families can reap the rewards of the cooperative preschool experience. Below you will see an outline of the PUNS Cooperative Model, as well as options you can choose to tailor your experience to your family's needs:

The PUNS Executive Board:

This group consists of two Co-Chairs (current parents), the Registrar (current parent), the Secretary (current parent), the Treasurer, and the Education Director. This group meets each month, and on an as-needed basis, to collaborate on the day-to-day operations of the school. Parent members of the Executive Board receive a significant tuition reduction on tuition for one child's core class. Participation in the Executive Board is purely voluntary. Each Spring, a call for interested candidates for Executive Board vacancies is made, and the Board is determined for the upcoming school year.

WORKING in the Classroom:

As the "Working Parent" in your child's classroom, you have the opportunity to engage in the learning experience with your child. As the working parent, you will learn about your child's peers and get to know fellow PUNS parents. Here are some important details:

  • Families are required to do approximately 8-10 work days PER YEAR.

    • This works out to roughly once a month.

  • Work Days are scheduled IN ADVANCE.

    • Parents determine and schedule their work days at our August Parent's Meeting. This way, you can sign up for the dates that work for your schedule.

  • You can BUY OUT of Work Days!!

    • We know that many families are simply unable to complete all of their allotted workdays, so PUNS allows families to BUY OUT of Classroom Work Days. The cost is $50.00 per Work Day.

  • WHO can do the Work Days?

    • We recognize that there are adults other than parents who care for your child and might be interested in working in the classroom. For this reason, we welcome grandmas and grandpas, nannies, aunts, uncles, and all other responsible grown ups who your child loves to complete work days!

  • What do Working Parents have to do?

    • Working parents assist the teachers in running the class according to the schedule and curriculum determined by the teachers. If you are the Snack Parent, you provide snack. If you are the Art parent, you help with the day's art project. Other than that, you play and sing and dance and have a great old time!

  • What if I can't do my work day because I am sick or my child is sick?

    • These things happen! At PUNS, we are proud of the way that our families support one another by switching workdays when necessary.

The Work Unit Requirement:

As a cooperative preschool, we rely greatly on the generosity of our parents who come to our school with a wide range of talents! In order to keep our tuition low, we ask parents to volunteer to help out with all sorts of tasks, such as participating in a cleaning night, helping to weed the playground, spreading mulch in the garden, or even giving tours of our school to prospective PUNS families. As a PUNS family, you are required to complete 8 work units (or 11 work units if you have 2 or more children enrolled at once). Prior to the school year, you will have the opportunity to sign up for tasks YOU would like to do. All tasks have an assigned unit value. Once you have earned 8 units, you will have fulfilled your Work Unit Requirement. Simple as that! 

  • What if our family schedule or time constraints make it impossible for us to complete this requirement?

    • At PUNS we know that your time is valuable and limited. If the Work Unit Requirement is something that will not work for your family, PUNS offers the option to BUY OUT!

      • Work Unit Buyout: $200 for families with one child; $300 for families with more than one child.

  • Do you have a specialty or area of expertise?

    • Please consider whether you or your spouse has a special skill, occupation or other area of expertise that might be useful to our school. For example, from time to time, the school has needed legal advice regarding contracts with vendors, and PUNS parents have provided this toward their committee requirement. Are you tech-savvy? Maybe you could help with the website! Are you an event planner? Maybe you could help us put the PUNS End-of-the-Year Picnic together! We are ALWAYS open to working with families to find creative ways to put your talents to good use at PUNS!