A cooperative is an organization that is owned by and operated for the benefit of the people using its services. CCNS is a non-profit cooperative owned and operated by its “members” – the families whose children attend the school. This means that, depending upon who is enrolled in the school, there is a different group of members each year . Some families are members for two years (if their child attends from ages 3 – 5), while others with more than one child in the school may be members longer, depending upon the ages of their children who attend. Some even return years later with a new child, and recently, we’ve had a few member parents who were actually students themselves in the first years that CCNS opened!
CCNS is operated by all members but is led by an Executive Board. The Board includes a President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Coordinator, Publicity Committee Chairperson, Fundraising Chairperson, Education Consultant, and a Regulations & Health Coordinator. The school and teacher salaries are entirely funded with tuition and fundraising. Members take care of everything at the school, including teacher hiring and reviews, recruiting and enrolling new membership, budgeting, payroll, taxes, fundraising, publicity, cleaning, maintenance….you name it. And because members operate it – we have a say in our children’s education.
The cooperative idea can seem intimidating at first. Some potential members are concerned they don’t have experience that would help with the operation of the school, or that it would be overly time-consuming to participate. But it’s important to know that the member families at CCNS are families just like yours. We’re all busy, normal families experiencing potty training, tantrums, picky eaters….and all the fun kid stuff, too! We come from various towns, income, and work situations. In fact, most of our member families have two parents working full-time (which means we have a lot of grandparents, aunts, and uncles involved at school, which is welcomed and encouraged). The cooperative experience is one in which the family learns right along with the child. It’s rewarding and satisfying to learn things about running the school, to make decisions together, to meet new friends with children the same age (which means play-dates for the kids and you!), and, ultimately, to the see the efforts of your hard work in the daily operation of a community gem like CCNS.
As part of the cooperative agreement, your family will be asked to: