What Makes a Cooperative Preschool?

The difference is Parent Involvement - a rewarding chance to learn about and contribute to your children’s early educational experiences.

Parents help keep the school humming in key ways:

  • Work side-by-side with teachers as classroom Parent Helpers

  • Engage in special events and activities

  • Join in workdays to improve our buildings and grounds

  • Serve on the IPCP Board of Directors and its eight committees


Parent Helper Days

Walk into any IPCP class, and you’ll see a devoted team of teachers — and a Parent Helper, an IPCP parent who assists during the school day. Our parents have been an integral part of the classroom ever since our founding in 1981.

Parents look forward to their Parent Helper stint as a unique opportunity to be part of their child’s day, help them in their activities, and meet their friends; our parents often report that their Parent Helper day made them better moms and dads at home. And children love it when their parent is at the school.

To spread the load, each family is required to fulfill a certain amount of Parent Helper Days per school year. The precise number ranges from 6 to 12 days and depends on whether your child attends 2, 3, or 5 days per week. Grandparents and other family members can play the role, too.


Events and Activities

From seasonal celebrations to social meet-and-greets, we like to get together. Here are some of our traditions to bring IPCP families together:

  • Back-to-School Night – We kick off the school year in August with hot dogs and kegs to swap summer vacation stories and meet the new families.

  • Hallowgreen Party – A spooky night in October where the children (and some parents) get dressed up and celebrate fall.

  • Alumni Play Date – A relatively new tradition, each fall we invite IPCP graduates back to have a big playdate in the Outdoor Classroom — a great time for families to reconnect.

  • Annual Auction – An IPCP tradition run entirely by parents, our largest fundraiser invites the public and IPCP families to come in from the February chill to bid on gift certificates, unique items, and activities for all tastes and budgets. Live music, food and drinks, and a live auction round out the night.

  • Grandparents and Special Friends Day – Provides an opportunity in April for the other special people in your child’s life to come and see the school. They’re invited for a picnic lunch to spend some time with your child.

  • Art Night – Each May, the teachers celebrate the year by pulling together a collection of the students’ artwork and putting it on display in the Outdoor Classroom. It’s a fun night with food and drinks and plenty of children running around playing.

  • Planting Days – Parents are invited to help us with Spring and Fall planting.


Buildings and Grounds Workdays

With such a large campus—and much of it outdoors in the warm Georgia weather—parents are required to participate in periodic weekend workdays (currently, two per year). B&G Workdays start at 9 a.m. at the school. There’s a leader who brings the list of needed improvements to the buildings, furnishings or grounds. The parent “crew” divides up the list and tackles each of the items, which could range from installing new hardware to turning compost to pulling weeds. The day wraps up at 1 p.m. Despite the labor involved, it’s a fun time to get to hang out with fellow IPCP parents.


Committee Work

All families are required to serve on a committee that contributes to a distinct part of the school’s operations. Each committee has a Chair that serves on the Board of Directors. They typically meet once a month and divide up various roles and responsibilities. The current committees are:

  • Admissions

  • Auction

  • Buildings & Grounds

  • Communications

  • Development

  • Outdoor Classroom

  • Parent Education and Involvement

  • Personnel

In addition to these committees, IPCP also has positions for President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.