Bellevue Overlake Cooperative Preschool provides an exceptional experience and play-based education for 3 to 5-year-olds with inspiration drawing from the Reggio-Emilia educational philosophy. At our school, we cultivate a child’s academic, social and emotional growth in a supportive community with a beautiful environment filled with natural materials . Our multi-sensory and hands-on curriculum is developed through emergent themes that inspire the students' natural desire to explore, creating opportunities to expand on their developmental interests, and laying a foundation for lifelong enjoyment of learning.
Benefits of our cooperative preschool Parent participation makes you an important part of your child's early education and creates a felt sense of safety for your child as they are introduced to the world of early education.
Our Parent Educators facilitate discussions once a month on helpful topics about life with a preschooler.
Classroom training for parents is offered by experienced instructors, allowing you to feel confident assisting the teacher.
Additional virtual and in-person support from our Parent Educators in groups and on an individual basis.
Learning through play Our STREAM and play-based curriculum helps prepare your children for Kindergarten through:
Art exploration: play-dough to roll, easels for painting, crayons for learning to write, rubber stamps, nature-inspired materials, and process art invitations
Craft projects: bi-monthly projects tied into the curriculum themes
Sensory activities: tubs of water, or rice, or sand, or beans to scoop, pour, stir, and run fingers through
Large motor skills: mats for tumbling, tunnels to crawl through, climbers and slides, balls to throw, trikes to ride, and tree stumps to climb
Small motor skills: blocks to stack, puzzles to assemble, shape sorters to solve, beads to thread
Imaginary play: dress up area for trying on new roles, dolls to care for, kitchen for “cooking”
Science experiences: seeds to plant, tadpoles to watch, items from nature to explore, and snacks to cook
Snack time: a place to practice social skills and table manners and to discover new foods, and an opportunity to practice staying seated. This year snacks will be brought to school for each child for themselves and no sharing will be allowed.
Our Educators create rich experiential learning opportunities utilizing emergent curriculum and a child-centered, play-based program.
A typical school day
Children arrive at 9:15.
After washing hands and getting settled, they are able to partake in free-choice activities available throughout the classroom, engaging with each other, our teacher, Maura, and the parent-helpers who are working in the classroom that day. Puzzles, books, blocks, sensory activities, art and painting, toys, and other activities help the children develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as social and communication skills, preparing them to begin the steps toward reading, writing, math, and preparing them for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Each day also includes a guided craft project, curated by Maura, who is an accomplished artist in addition to being a preschool teacher with more than two decades of experience.
After an hour or so of free-choice activities, children help to clean up, sorting and storing (more developmental practice!) to make room for circle time. Maura leads the children in a few songs, reads a book or two, sometimes guiding the children to create a play based on a book, or discussing the seasons, weather, nature (science!), art, and more.
Children then put their own coats on (with a little help when needed to start with) and line up to go outside. Our playground has many opportunities for children to continue to practice their social and find and gross motor skills through taking turns on the swings, slides, trikes and scooters, and toys in the sand box. They also have a large lawn to run around on, a toy house, and three raised beds with flowers and vegetables planted, tended, and grown by the preschool.
At 11:30 parents arrive to pick up their children, who collect their things, check out and go.
For an extended session on Monday and/or Wednesday, those children staying would collect their lunch, which they brought, and enjoy lunch together, followed by more free-choice time and another guided project, or group activity. Parents then arrive to pick up those children at 1:15 pm.
Pre-K class is offered as an afternoon session on Tuesdays. The afternoon session is from 12:15-2:30 pm, leaving 45 minutes between the morning class and Pre-K for lunch, accompanied by a parent. Pre-K allows the older children to really hone their fine motor skills and social skills through more complicated craft projects (they make lots of their own home-made toys) and group games and activities with lots more individual attention from our teacher and the parent-helper.
Details and schedules are subject to change, and as the co-op school is run by the parents, you get to decide what will work best for you and your children. The schedule below is what our board anticipates for this fall, but depending on the needs of the families, it can be adjusted to fit those needs and desires. This on one of the beautiful things about being part of a co-op preschool family.
First day of school is usually the second week of September
2022-2023 Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday 9:15 - 11:30 am All children, mixed ages
Optional Pre-K Session Tuesday 12:30-2:15 pm 4 & 5 year-olds who will be attending Kindergarten the following year
Optional Extended Day Sessions Monday & Wednesday 11:30 am - 1:15 pm (after morning class) Open to all children, mixed ages
For outdoor learning, families are expected to dress their children in a way to keep them warm for the weather, including rain boots, rain or snow suits, jackets, pants, long underwear or warm layers, hats, mittens, and wool socks, especially as we enter the wet season this fall and winter. More information and recommendations to those who might need a little extra guidance are on our FAQS page.
We follow the Bellevue School District school calendar in observance of school holidays, but not conference days, beginning the second week of September and ending the week before Memorial Day each spring.
For the safety of our students, drop-in visits are strongly discouraged under normal times. For the time being we cannot offer drop-in visits. To schedule a socially-distanced, private tour with our Registrar once we are able to please contact us here. Thank you for understanding.