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Welcome 2024!!!!

The Magic of Co-op PreK

As preschool registration season begins, families feel a lot of pressure to choose the program that will best prepare their child for kindergarten. To make the right decision for your family, more information about the workings of and values behind Co-op Pre-K might help. 

Let’s dispel the biggest myth: Co-op is just a big play date.

Yes, you will rarely see direct instruction (unless you count listening to non-fiction books on this week’s topic ... or Slow Down Snail the puppet showing how to slow their body). The science of brain development shows that young children learn best through meaningful experiences, not by being given information. This is not a kindergarten class. This is the year to build kindergarten readiness. For now, let’s instill the fun of learning with math games, story writing, science predicting, rhyming silliness, class surveys and charting, measuring, weighing, comparing, pattern clapping, letter recognition of classmate names, counting backwards, sculpting planets and preparing habitats for imaginary animals.

Co-op Pre-K teachers design their classrooms—purposefully—to simulate real life situations…with the joys and the angst that happens. They may (purposefully!) set up a running game that requires listening or a board game that pushes frustration tolerance, demo a science experiment that works only with waiting and not touching, set out coveted toys that (purposefully!) need conflict resolution. As the year moves along children develop missing skills so they have the emotional regulation needed in kindergarten.

Children do not learn proactive skills by just experiencing tough times. They need skilled adults nearby to facilitate problem solving and cooperation, to scaffold children while those missing skills develop. (In fact, without adults nearby children can learn negative social skills). All of the adults interacting with the children are learning how to facilitate those social interactions—with professional teachers and parent educators, who really know child development and each child individually, nearby to model and encourage. Our Co-op Pre-K’s continue to offer parent education in class meetings and seminars to meet the typical challenges that 4-5 year olds present (this is not an easy developmental stage).

Children are learning to use their voices. They learn to speak to a group in front of their peers (and listen until it is their turn to talk!), As they learn how to talk through problems, they know that adults will listen to them, that adults can be called on for help. That is a playground skill that’s more important than using the monkey bars!

The high adult to child ratio means the curriculum experiences can be deep and rich—varied and layered learning happens during the concentrated time children are at preschool. At Co-op Pre-K there is an intentional fine balance between choosing experiences that excite them--and being gently guided to experience and master the unfamiliar.

What about the adults/parents/caregivers? Adults still work in the classroom once a week. Realistically, this may be the last year parents have this special opportunity to watch their child at work, get to know their friends, easily connect with other families who value education in the same way. Soon enough the children head to a long day at kindergarten with little time for playdates or trips to the zoo with friends.   

There is an apt analogy for the Pre-K year: When you know you are heading to the desert, don’t prepare by not drinking water. Fill your body and all possible containers with water! Squeezing Kindergarten skills in early in the name of readiness or extending the school day to prepare for a longer day next year is like taking away a child’s water glass now. Better to fill them up with what is best for THIS year so that they start NEXT year feeling full, not thirsty.

2024-25 Registration Begins!

How can it be time to think about the 2024-25 school year already?!


As in years past, the schedule will be:

  • Priority Registration (currently enrolled students) January 16-31
  • Open Registration (siblings of enrolled students and new families) - February 1-29
  • Ongoing Registration (new or returning families as space allows) - March 1st onward

You will receive lots of information via email, both from your parenting educator and from registrar Fiona Preedy with all the pertinent details!

Registration Information

Parent Education Seminars

In our increasingly content-saturated world, it can be so difficult to find trusted sources of information. While podcasts, Tik-Tok, and IG Reels can certainly be a useful part of one's parenting journey, information consumption is only part of the equation.

Connection to a dedicated parenting educator (one who truly gets to know you and your child!) to check in, brainstorm, work through rough patches, try new things, and have the chance to return to the drawing board means that parents have concrete support as they step into new skills as both they and their preschooler learn and grow.

Our wonderful team of educators has a slate of parent education seminars ready for our community this quarter. Some highlights:

From Co-op to Kindergarten

Wondering what play-based learning looks like the year before kindergarten? Heard that kindergarten is the new first grade? Feeling the pressure to choose an academically rigorous pre-k program? Replace worry with information in this evening devoted to understanding how co-op equips children with the skills necessary to thrive in elementary school. Join our panel of pre-k teachers and parents of co-op alumni to answer all of your burning questions.

Improv for Wellness

Combining established wellness practices, improvisation, and theater techniques this beginner-friendly session will provide accessible, embodied tools for self-empowerment across mind, body, and spirit. Through playing with solo & group Improv activities, free writes, and group discussions, we will discover how to reclaim and expand our identities while identifying practical tools for self-reflection & connection with others. By drawing upon our inherent creativity, we'll learn to identify & commit to our desires, boundaries, and dreams within all aspects of our lives.

Full Seminar Calendar

Updates from Preschools - in their own words

After Covid, WCCP focused on bringing the community back together in person and in style. Recognizing the importance and success of the school through hard work and involvement, members - no matter their age or upbringing - eagerly stepped up to the plate, recognizing that the only way to truly succeed in building a better future is through calm compromise, caring and compassion. 

Navigating the aftermath of the pandemic, relearning how to operate in community was extremely intimidating for all parties! We were sailing in uncharted waters without our compass and it was scary! We had to rely on each other, expose our strengths and weaknesses, truly being vulnerable, often with that simple yet courageous act of asking for help. This is such powerful role modeling for our children!

This year has been one for the books! Celebrating all our successes this year we ended 2023 with a winter social. The joyful smiles on everyone's faces was proof that community is the key to happiness.

This year, Alki PreK students got the gift of a new teacher for their weekly Thursday Outdoor Day - Teacher Archer!

"Children are natural explorers and discoverers," she tells us. "Giving them time outside expands their wonder and awe of the natural world."

Archer enjoys fostering this relationship with nature, inspiring curiosity with targeted activities and exploration.

Outdoor play provides a chance to practice social-emotional skills with other children, including problem solving, turn taking, encouragement, self-control, and safe risk taking. Running, skipping, jumping, and climbing all help little bodies grow stronger muscles, and build up their endurance.

Many outdoor activities naturally help young children develop essential motor skills like coordination, agility, balance, and dexterity. Kids who are encouraged to explore outdoor environments will put their abilities to the test and constantly develop new skills through trial and error.

LPCP is proud to announce a new community art project: an original mural around our front door at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse!!

We’ll be inviting your help in the Spring and Summer, whether through donating supplies, brainstorming design, or even picking up a paintbrush.

This is an amazing opportunity for us to create something beautiful for our children, our families, and our larger West Seattle community.

Thank you to everyone who will be contributing to this project and creating a warm, welcoming space for all. Stay tuned for more information about how to get involved!

In anticipation of the eventful holiday season, the Admiral Threes class enjoyed several travel-themed activities. There were airplanes in the block area and an airport and airplane in dramatic play. Dramatic play is an excellent way for kids to act out real life scenarios at their own pace, without the pressures of airport lines and boarding times. Kids could go off on vacation, fly to work, serve others as a flight attendant or fly the plane themselves. 

To round out airport week, Eric, an Admiral 3s Co-op parent, came in to share more about what pilots do. Families that traveled over the holidays were able to remind kids of Eric, the friendly pilot at co-op, as well as all of the things in dramatic play that they were now getting to experience in the real world

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Co-op Butterflies

Do you have a child who is a little 'more'? Maybe they have higher sensitivities, bigger emotions, deeper needs? Join our monthly discussion group and find camaraderie and understanding, support and information from other families! Email Teacher Jen for more information.

Parent Education

Our parent education seminars are a great way to build your confidence and skills as you raise your little ones! Find at least one each quarter that fits your schedule and interests on our website calendar. Remember, anyone who is helping to raise your child is welcome - parents, grandparents, extended family members, nannies, au pairs ... you name it!

Questions about co-op?

So much information is available on our websites!

SSC Co-op Program

White Center Co-op

Lincoln Park Co-op

Alki Co-op

Admiral Co-op

Campus Lab School

SSC Cooperative Preschools