Mission and Core Values

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 educators work to ensure that each student receives an education targeting their cognitive, social, and emotional needs. We conduct an observational period at the start of the school year to get to know our students and their needs. During this time, if a child is identified as needing additional supports we conduct a more in depth study including observations, parent interviews, and assessments. If we conclude additional services are needed, we will support and guide families through the evaluation process and advocate for a child to receive services. These services include special education teachers, occupational therapy, counseling, speech and language and physical therapy. We will accommodate outside providers in our program to the best of our ability in the space we lend and in our collaboration. Families join us in this process so the child can receive the support he or she needs. Services, though, are provided by outside agencies, and parents must assist in arranging and maintaining their services every year. If children do not receive support and parents cannot provide independent support, or a 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 be met.