As we end one school year and start a new summer program and school year, my thoughts are on what worked and how we can continue to assess and improve to meet the needs of our newest and youngest students and families. This year the educators of the Cooperative School spent a lot of time talking about and promoting the idea of a home-school partnership both for learning and educational exploration and for meeting the unique needs and challenges of the children we share with our families.
At a Community Dialogue Day at Wheelock College last spring, then Commissioner Sherri Killans talked about wanting more partnerships, more partnering of early childhood centers and preschools with museums, libraries, and other places that offer informal education opportunities that all families can access. The Department of Early Education and Care was focused on creating a continuum from birth to 3rd grade to optimize a child’s educational opportunities throughout his or her days.
I love this idea, as it so consistent with the Cooperative School’s idea of a home-school partnership which we believe will help families by first allowing them to learn and understand their child’s development, potential and unique personality and abilities and then find creative and community based ways to meet them. It is the idea of creating a child-centered learning culture both at home and at school, so that the child is always immersed in rich and interesting experiences that foster their imagination and curiosity even after they leave the preschool years.
Families at the Cooperative School have shared their experience and interests in robots, ukeleles, architecture, the Chinese culture, sign language, gardening, exploring new foods, working in orphanages around the world, health and medicine, safety and animal care, among other ideas and topics. We are thrilled to partner with such rich and varied resources and love working with our families each and every day. We know we will continue this summer and next year and are already eager to find out what our new families will bring to share with us.
The children wanted to greet our visiting veterinarian as the animals she cares for!