Benefits of a Parent Cooperative
Parents are integral to the life of Stevens Cooperative School. The school is managed by the Board of Trustees, which is mostly composed of current parents who are elected by the membership of the cooperative as well as alumni and members of the community. Parents also commit to helping days in the classroom, complete a cooperative job, attend three membership meetings during the school year, and procure support for the annual auction, the school’s largest fundraising event. An optional buyout program is available for certain cooperative obligations. Cooperative members vote on any changes to the cooperative by-laws.
Being part of the cooperative has mutual benefits. As a Stevens parent, you are a partner in your child’s education and a stakeholder in the school. Moreover, the education Stevens students experience is bolstered by the contributions of parents who are devoted to their growth and well-being.
3s and PreK
In the 3s program, a helping parent is assigned every morning; parents generally engage in helping parent mornings each month. In PreK classrooms, helping parents are in the classroom twice a week. Extended family and caregivers are also welcome to participate in helping parent days.
Helping parents bring and prepare the daily snack for the class, assist the teachers and sometimes supervise a small group activity. Parents who wish to supervise a particular craft or music program are encouraged to make arrangements ahead of time with the classroom teacher.
PreK/K - 6th Grade
Parents spend one helping day each school year in PreK/K-6th grade classrooms; duties vary for each teacher and classroom. Some parents opt to add a helping parent day by chaperoning a field trip or excursion.
Every family in the cooperative chooses a job each year. Jobs are organized and assigned by a board trustee. Assignments are similar to the tasks parents perform in many schools, such as organizing and helping to run fundraisers, serving as class parent and greeting prospective parents at admissions events. A cooperative job can also entail committee work or serving on the board of trustees. Stevens makes a vigorous effort to match job assignments to the parents’ stated interests and skills. A cooperative job can be tailored to a family's lifestyle, schedule and availability. Parents can have as small or as large a job as they can manage. Parents also have the option to buyout of a job assignment.
Stevens holds three membership meetings each year in September, January and April. Membership meetings keep parents informed of the school's progress as well as issues affecting the school and provide a forum to meet and interact with parents from the Hoboken and Newport campuses.
The September meeting includes breakout sessions for parents to meet the chair and other members of their assigned jobs committee. The January meeting includes an overview of the budget, and the April membership meeting is devoted to the election of the Board of Trustees.