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community at lakewood

One of the things often said about what makes LCP special is the sense of community surrounding the school, which goes beyond running into people at pick up and drop off, or the usual school events. It extends into a network of people you can have fun with and who you can count on when you need them. We think this happens because of the extra expectations of parents in a co-op—working weekly in your child’s classroom, being responsible for a school job or serving on the board or a committee, helping out with the annual auction. This is extra work, but it creates the ties that bind us, allowing people to get to know each other and each other’s kids on a deeper, more connected level.

 
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school job

Each year, families are assigned a school job based on their talents and interests and the schools’ needs. See here for the current list of jobs. The only paid employees at the school are the teachers—everything else gets done because of parents rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to run and improve the school. It’s a great way to give back to the community, to really see your importance in an organization, and to see a need and fill it. New families are usually given jobs that are fairly straightforward—the longer a family is at LCP, the more we encourage them to take on greater roles, such as chairing a committee or joining the board. We think these jobs are really more fun.

monthly class meeting

Each month, there is a 2 hour evening meeting held at the home of one of the class families (rotating each month.) The school’s parent educator presents information and resources on a topic chosen in advance by the class, and parents have a chance to share their experiences or seek individual advice on the topic. The teacher updates parents on what’s going on in the classroom, new themes being introduced, and any changes or suggestions she has for the classroom. The class chair passes on information from the board meeting and any news regarding the school. The class meetings are something parents say they look forward to—a chance to visit a new friend’s home, enjoy a dessert with grownups, reflect on their child’s development, seek advice from experts, and hear about the news of the school.

 

Annual school auction and other fundraising efforts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakewood commits 10% of its annual budget to offering full and partial scholarships to ensure that our school is a place that any interested family can join. How we do this is through our annual fundraising event – our spring auction – and through PCC Scrip and Amazon Smile programs. Information on these efforts is communicated through monthly class meetings.

The auction is greatly anticipated by parents each year, a chance to get dressed up, get someone to watch the kids, and go out and have some fun with friends. Each family is asked to purchase at least two tickets to the event, as well as invite friends, families and co-workers. The auction has been a tremendous success, all due to work of LCP families.

But it’s not all work!

Lakewood is also known for its fun school socials and get-togethers, legendary summer play dates, parent’s nights out and alumni play dates.


school socials

 

 

Every August, we start the school year off with a back-to-school potluck picnic. Throughout the year we have various events such as a Disco Ice Cream Social, Harvest Party and an end-of-the-year potluck

A big part of LCP’s mission is about having fun, and between work and play, kids and families at LCP have a lot of fun!


Each family is expected to work in their child’s classroom on average once a week. The class chair creates a monthly schedule according to family preferences and assigns them a rotating job— art room, snack/kitchen, or 2 “floater” positions to help monitor the main room – and the teacher provides a job description. If a parent can’t make their shift, they are responsible for calling other families in the class to find someone to trade with—almost always easily done. The benefits of working in your child’s class are significant: you can share your child’s experiences and learn about what they have fun doing at school; you can develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and get ready ideas on everything from new activities to try at home or help with difficult behaviors; you get to see the range of “normal” among your child’s peers; and you get to know the children your child plays with and make friends with their parents who you work alongside with in the classroom.

working in the classroom

Recommended Reading

The teachers at Lakewood Coop Preschool together with the Parent Educator from Seattle Central Community College have compiled the following reading list. We believe this reading list will be helpful to parents of toddlers and preschool age children.