The Children’s Schoolhouse is all about “Co-op” eration
by Staff Writer
The Children’s Schoolhouse, a 40-year-old parent-cooperative initiative at 17616 Caldwell Station Rd. in Huntersville, holds an open house and lottery for fall 2011 enrollment next Saturday, Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Though the curriculum and schedule seem non-traditional by modern measure, the tradition of the schoolhouse is rooted in the idea that parents should be involved in their children’s development. Students age 3 through 5 have a multi-age, open classroom in which to learn through play, exploration and an emergent curriculum focused on learning through doing.
“We want to give every child the gift of time to develop,” Lead Teacher Deb Estes said. And the teachers and parents guide the students in development, giving them the tools for good communication and leadership.
“There’s such a wonderful sense of involvement with your child,” Parent Lisa Franco said. And that involvement is a cornerstone of the schoolhouse, which has only three paid employees: the teachers. The parents share responsibility for everything else, volunteering their time in the classroom, planning community outreach, and maintaining the grounds.
“Yes, it’s a co-op and yes, that word can be scary, but it’s not a job,” Parent Cindy Branciforte said. She volunteers her time as community liaison for the school. “You want to be a part of that extended family.”