A Community
Of Learners

Progressive Education at
Montclair Cooperative School


We are a community of learners (Early Ages through 8th grade) where children are invited to take risks, question, explore, discuss, interpret, and create. Since our founding in 1963, the Co-op has remained true to its mission to educate the whole child, keeping children at the center of all we do and involving parents in the life of the school. We give children the opportunity to excel in a nurturing and academically exciting environment, working with them to find ways to apply learning effectively in solving problems and constructing new knowledge.

We value diversity and understand that the world is composed of different people, cultures, and ideas. We are a cooperative in that everyone – teachers, students and parents – participates in the educational process. Our progressive model is structured so that children learn by building on muli-disciplinary themes and experiences.

Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire.
- W.B. Yeats

What Is A Co-op

Who We Are

The early childhood and elementary years form the foundation on which your child’s future is built. At the heart of the Co-op’s success is the sense of community that permeates all aspects of school life. Students of all grade levels feel that they are part of a school community that extends beyond their classroom. At the Co-op we take seriously the idea that parents, too, are partners in their children’s education. This partnership between parents, children and teachers is one of the cornerstones of the Co-op philosophy and parents are offered meaningful opportunities to participate in many aspects of Co-op life.


What We Do

At the Montclair Co-op, every aspect of a child’s education is important to us. Your child will experience an environment that encourages academic excellence, independent and diverse thinking, imaginative and innovative ideas, support for one’s passions, and active social responsibility. 

A Co-op education bestows four gifts upon its graduating students:

  • A lifelong love of learning
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Emotional intelligence

Armed with a problem-solving mindset, confidence, caring for the world, and the ability to connect with people, Co-op graduates make an impact in high school and beyond.

An Educational Journey Through the Co-op from Early Ages through Eighth Grade

Our Programs

Challenging academics, social education, hands-on projects, and creative expression through the arts define our multi-dimensional progressive education. At the Co-op, these are interconnected, forming an integrated curriculum. During the course of a child’s career at the Co-op, the balance shifts – but they remain in harmony. As children progress through the program from Early Childhood, to Primary and then on to the Upper School, the areas become more differentiated, allowing separate intensive instruction in academics, the arts and social skills.

"We really listen to each other. Our classes are small so we pitch in to solve problems together. I guess we just know that when we do that it makes school a better, happier place for all of us."
- Co-op 7th Grader
"I remember the Co-op being like my second home.  There’s nowhere quite like it."
- Jennifer, Co-op alum, University of Massachusetts Amherst
"Now that he has graduated, it is easy to see what he gained from being (at the Co-op): a strong sense of self; an understanding that his participation matters; that he brings value to any school or community he may find himself in, big or small, local or global."
- Co-op Alum Parent
Hear From One of Our Students