what is a co-opMontclair Cooperative School is a community in which all of us – students, teachers, staff and families – enter into a collaborative learning and working relationship with one another. As members of an educational cooperative we commit ourselves to contributing directly to the overall well being of the school and to our children’s classroom experience.

Our cooperative model is adaptive and inclusive, welcoming many types of families and what guides and sustains us is our belief in the value of collaboration. We rely on one another to participate responsibly to nurture our school community.

Classroom Assists and Family Jobs

The two main contributions that families make to the Co-op are through classroom assists and family jobs. If you choose to participate in classroom assists, you will be a helper in your child’s Early Ages through Fourth Grade class about one or two times a month for three hours at a time. Families with children in fifth through eighth grades assist about 15 hours per year and the assists take place in a variety of settings, such as going a field trip or helping with our weekly soup sale fundraiser.

Some families that are unable to commit to classroom assists can opt to buy-out of this contribution for a yearly fee. It is also an option to buyout of half of your assists and cut your in-school assist time in half. Parents that buy out are still welcome to schedule a day as a helper in the classroom when their schedule allows.

Family jobs are another great way to contribute to the overall well-being of the school and to have a role in our community. The options for family jobs are as wide and varied as our school membership. Most jobs require a handful of hours each month and are linked to a field of interest or expertise. Some examples of family jobs are giving tours on the recruitment team, providing graphic design assistance, helping with landscaping or teaching an upper school elective such as electronics or cooking. Some jobs are designed around a specific event or fundraiser and start and end all within a month or two. The possibilities are many. The tuition rates you see reflected here include a commitment to perform in these two capacities (classroom assists and family jobs) however, just as with classroom assists, it is also an option to buy-out of your family job for a yearly fee if this amount of involvement does not work for your schedule. .

Over our 53­ year history, Montclair Co-op has modified the specifics of how we practice the cooperative model, continually redefining our roles and responsibilities, but what has not changed are the innumerable benefits a co-op brings to your whole family. Being a part of a cooperative school models for your child the value of healthy interdependence and show them what happens when we engage respectfully with others around a common goal. Your time in the classroom and on a family job team gives you a strong sense of your child’s school experience and the greater Co-op community. Join us for a tour and hear from our parents directly about how being part of a cooperative school has enriched their lives and strengthened their child’s school experience.