The Co-op School provides a safe and stimulating micro-environment in which students experiment and learn. All members of The Co-op School—students, families, and staff—contribute to the development of our unique culture and participate in improving our community and beyond. As students learn to work together, preparing for their place in a global environment, our families also work within committees and on the board of directors to support the school. Whether it’s painting walls, assembling furniture, growing the school through various initiatives, we all contribute to help The Co-op School flourish.
Teachers guide students in the dynamic, life-long process of questioning and making connections. Through far-reaching social studies projects enriched through literature, math, science and the arts, students make decisions, research, and reflect.
Students will leave The Co-op School confident in their ability to effect change in the community and comfortable reflecting on ways to challenge and grow themselves. As creative problem solvers, each with unique viewpoints and learning styles, students will embrace the idea of a more equitable world. We strive to inspire passion and teach children to become protagonists in their own educational journey by fostering their innate sense of curiosity and creativity. We listen to and honor the individual interests and strengths of each child.
We, The Co-op School, believe in the following Core Values:
Compassion: We value and nurture the strength of character it takes to work together as a team, to be an individual, to respect differences of opinions, and have the ability to empathize with others.
Uniqueness: We value and nurture the confidence that leads to risk taking, problem solving, and taking pride in one’s own point of view.
Innovation: We value and nurture curiosity, imagination, creativity, experimentation and perseverance when faced with challenges.
Community Action: We value and nurture an overall awareness, respect and care for our surroundings, community and environment.
Joy: We value and nurture the simple joy of playing, learning, and friendship making.
Statement of Inclusivity
The Co-op School is an inclusive community. We welcome and celebrate students and families who represent the diversity of Brooklyn and beyond, as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender, family structure, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic class and physical ability. We encourage students and families to share their whole selves. The Co-op School strives to help our students recognize and honor how we are different and how we are the same. We are committed to anti-bias teaching, which for young children is as much about precluding the formation of biases as it is disproving their myths.
Conversations and explorations differ and might include Pre-K students discussing a variety of family structures, or thinking about the different roles that are expected of different people; Kindergartners might help each other examine paints to find a skin color match for a self portrait, noticing the wide variety of shades; or a First Grade debate during a Parks study about the fairness of park locations relative to the city’s different neighborhoods, or who was displaced for “the public good” when new parks were built.
An inclusive community promotes an understanding of experiences and viewpoints other than our own. Ultimately, this will extend beyond the walls of our school and lead to broader explorations of equity and social justice.
How We Service Those with Special Needs
Our faculty work to ensure that each student at The Co-op School receives an education targeting their cognitive, social, and emotional needs. We are a general education setting committed to providing support to students with mild learning differences.
We want to ensure that all of our children have the support they need to thrive in our school. During the enrollment process, we look closely at the whole child, their current IEP, and the makeup of the class they would be joining to determine if we can meet their learning needs.
We provide all of our learners with small class sizes and two general education co-teachers in each class. While we follow a general education curriculum, teachers and students are supported by our team of learning specialists. These specialists provide intervention, differentiation of instruction, and push into classrooms to provide additional support.
Our Special Education Director works closely with families to guide and support them through the evaluation process. We also work to advocate for families by participating in Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings.
As an independent school, we work with the Department of Education to honor the related services as outlined in the child’s current IESP. These services include contracted SETSS providers, occupational therapy, counseling, speech and language, and physical therapy. We work to accommodate outside providers in our program to the best of our ability, but cannot guarantee that all related services will be fulfilled.
If a current child’s needs are beyond the school’s resources and training, the school will work with the family to identify a setting where the child’s needs will best be met.