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At the Montclair Co-op, every aspect of a child’s development 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.

Co-op students’ minds are stretched in many ways. New intellectual discoveries are made every day. Our program emphasizes low student-teacher ratios and experiential, integrated, hands-on learning.

At the Co-op, our teachers go far beyond simply sharing information with students. They work diligently and intentionally to plan compelling, meaningful opportunities for authentic learning experiences.  Using progressive ideals for learning, Co-op teachers measure their effectiveness by the growth and development of each student.

Including even our youngest students, children are encouraged to take risks as a natural part of their rich academic experiences. They are asked to explore, question, and hypothesize. We know, and wholeheartedly concur with child development experts, that children learn best when they are fully engaged in purposeful learning. Learning collaboratively, while also building on individual skills, helps each child solidly grasp age-appropriate concepts.

During the middle school years, students are encouraged to participate in meaningful service, activism, and community mentoring. This work complements their on-going explorations in math, science, literature, and historical and current world events.

Throughout the school, specialist teachers in the visual and performing arts, physical education, Spanish, library, and technology create dynamic learning atmospheres while advancing their learning objectives and nurturing every students’ appreciation of their own abilities.

One of the Co-op’s unique hallmarks is the Trips Program and the global-learning opportunities the school provides. Over their years at the Co-op, students venture out into the local community and surrounding areas, access the museums and cultural attractions of New York City, participate in annual environmentally-based camping trips, and ultimately, as eighth graders, plan and carry out a backpacking trip. Starting in the early ages classes, students participate in developmentally-appropriate, immersive trips to enhance learning through direct, hands-on experiences.  Depending on the theme they are exploring, early ages students might visit a local restaurant for a behind-the-scenes tour or go to a laundromat to reenact a favorite story. Elementary students explore the Meadowlands, sail on a wooden ship out of South Street Seaport, and venture to Sandy Hook to learn how the geography of New Jersey has affected our history. Returning Montclair Cooperative School alumni often remark that their trip experiences are among their most memorable and important experiences at the Co-op.