Welcome 2021!!!!
Since 2020 was the longest year ever, welcome to 2021. May it be a year with only GOOD surprises! Before we totally abandon last year, let’s pause for a moment. If you ask your children (yourself and other family members, too!) some questions, you may be surprised at how reflective they are ... by what they liked, remembered or even already forgot. 

  • Give this reflective time a special name (something simple like: Our Family Ideas) or, if you feel people will be more responsive individually name that, too (something simple like: Ezra’s Big Ideas). 
  • Get out a marker and big pieces of paper to document their thoughts; this gives the activity the importance it deserves! We all like to be listened to. 
  • Just write, without correcting the details or adding your own ideas. We all like to be heard. Instead of one big event, you can leave the pages up and add thoughts as they come up.

The questions can be adjusted according to each child’s age, but here are a few to start:
  • What was your favorite holiday activity? What should we be sure to remember to do next year?
  • Who did you like spending time with? Who did you miss this year?
  • What did not happen this year that you really hoped for?
  • What old thing do you really want to do this new year?
  • And what new thing do you really want to try?

Take pictures of the pages…maybe with each person holding their own page. The ideas will be reminders of things to plan, people to connect with throughout this year. And, when the holidays come again as they always seem to, the lists will guide you toward what is really important.

This activity is an invitation to savor what’s important before rushing ahead. It opens the door to gratitude as we look at: What did we like? Where did it come from? Who made it happen? Even in this chaotic and perhaps traumatic year, there were miracles small and big in our lives. We had disappointments maybe even fear, loss and deep sadness but we are journeying through and hopefully, we found strengths we didn’t know we had. No year, no family is perfect but it isn’t the perfection that is important. It’s the learning that we can solve issues and heal from the imperfect that is important. It is the foundation of resilience and hope.
2021 Registration Begins!
How can it be time to think about the 2021-22 school year already?!

While we don't yet know what the COVID-19 landscape will look like in September,
we do know that you, like us, are thinking ahead and wanting to plan.

We also know that our COVID planning framework has served us very well thus far. We have plans in place for fall that outline fully remote, hybrid of remote + outdoor days, hybrid of remote + small group classroom days, and, of course, fully in-person.
As in years' past, the schedule will be:
  • Priority Registration (currently enrolled families) - January 15-31
  • Open Registration (new families) - February 1-28
  • Ongoing Registration - March 1st onward

We may be asking those of you who have been experiencing our “hybrid winter” to help us get the word out to more families! Announcements and forms will be coming via email.

Clearly there is still much uncertainty surrounding next year; we at Co-op are keeping our focus on supporting your family as you raise the next generation of thoughtful, compassionate, problem-solvers.
Families of Color Seattle - February Seminar
We are thrilled to have engaged Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) to provide a powerful learning opportunity on February 23rd. The objectives of FOCS education experiences are:

  • To build community by creating dialogue on undoing racism & bias while learning together
  • Identify anti-bias education, racial equity, microaggressions, and increase self-awareness of race and power
  • Help amplify voices for equity, visibility, and close the opportunity gap for children of color
  • Have the adult learners leave compelled and equipped with tools to undo racism and teach equity to our children

In this specific seminar, "Undoing Racism & Teaching Equity to Our Children", FOCS
facilitators will lead the workshop providing more tools to talk with children and each other about race, bias, racism, and anti-racism. They will explore systemic racism and parents’ own understanding of their racial identity, power, privilege, and oppression. The workshop will include presentation, dialogue, and breakout groups. 
Parenting Support During a Pandemic

In addition to this excellent opportunity with FOCS, our Winter Seminar slate is up! Parenting in a pandemic is no small task and we are here to help. Check out the offerings here. From Diapers to Discipline, from Siblings to Sensory Processing, there is so much to choose from!
Updates from Preschools
Joelle, a parent in the White Center Toddler class sent along this synopsis of their experience this year:

"Songs. Play. Storytime. The toddler Zoom class on Thursdays looks a lot like an in-person preschool. And,
while we relish our once-per-month classes together at the park, it doesn’t require a car ride or even
getting out of pajamas!

Our time together starts with greetings and singing, then Teacher Linda reads and does some interactive songs, and the kids get to share a toy or favorite stuffed animal. My son loves waving to his new friends!
My favorite part is the parent learning, which begins with a check-in. I’ve learned that I’m not the only
parent dealing with a toddler who likes to throw food, scream and screech, and has difficulty with naps.
Teacher Dawn helps us figure things out or just vent, and it’s so great! Our class is happy to be a part of
the White Center Co-op Preschool!"

Thank you, Joelle! We appreciate you and your family!

Last year felt like it was dominated with heavy news worldwide, so to start off this year, we want to highlight some hyper local, noteworthy moments to remind us of the perspective of these incredible little humans. These are contributions from Teacher Sara’s Pre-K class “Preschool News”: 

W: Today’s my birthday.
A: We have a hamster.
S: My Grammy and grandpa are moving nearby.
H: We saw ducks a while ago.
S: There was a bug in my cereal yesterday.
Z: I finished my sticker book and got to play play dough.
W: I have a trailer with a toilet and a shower and bunk beds and a couch that folds into a bed.
W: Today is Ninja’s birthday.
Q: Today one of my wiggly teeth fell out.
M: I got out of the tub, pulled the drain, dried off, got dressed and brushed my hair all by myself.

May we all find comfort and appreciation in the small, but significant moments
Parents and caregivers are integral to the success of our school, bringing their Oscar worthy
performances to dramatic play and their inner Van Gogh to the art easels. While we haven’t
yet seen our parents’ skills and hidden talents in the classroom, we are so fortunate that one of our parents, a professional photographer, volunteered her time and creative flair to photograph our 2’s class in their Halloween splendor. Sharks, ghosts, and even Moana turned up to play amongst the leaves on a beautiful day in Lincoln Park. In
return for a donation of classroom supplies to the school, families left with exquisite photographs courtesy of Coty Williams. Coty’s generosity in
providing her talent for zero cost to the school, is an example of how creative our parents have been this year in their fundraising and also highlights our parents’ and caregivers’ commitment to building a community despite the challenges of a global pandemic. And most important, the kids had a lot of fun.
2020 has been a year defined by challenges. There are few aspects of any of our lives that haven’t needed changing or re-evaluating. At Co-op, we have worked tirelessly to engender a sense of community in a time when personal connection is so hard, and to give a sense of normalcy to our children. 

In the Alki 3s, Teacher Kristi has pivoted beautifully to the 'new normal'. Her engaging Zoom circle times are chock full of engaging elements and her weekly curriculum kits help grateful parents extend the learning at home. But the real crown jewel is outdoor day! Teacher Kristi holds class outside, complete with stations: an obstacle course, a sensory bin, and even arts and crafts in the courtyard. The stations allow students to get the co-op in-class experience and allows parents to (safely! distantly!) connect and feel that sense of community that so defines co-op for parents. 
SSC on Social Media!
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
Even though our parenting education seminars will take place remotely, they are still an amazing way to build your own skills during this busy and anxious time. You can find upcoming seminar listings on our website calendar.
Questions about co-op?