Role of parents.
Since its beginnings, parents have been responsible for the management of the Co-operative. Responsibilities include participation in the teaching and learning at Co-op, administration, maintenance and transport. Decisions regarding all aspects of the Co-op’s activities are made at fortnightly adult meetings. Typically, meetings include discussion about what is happening in the school, organisational matters and planning. Importantly, they provide a forum for philosophical debate and a space to discuss the challenges and milestones occurring for individual children (and families). Decisions are made by consensus; each individual’s thoughts and feelings are respected, acknowledged and validated in the context of decisions about what is best for the group. Two full-time teachers/coordinators are employed by the Co-operative to provide a stable, caring framework within which parents and children can operate with a sense of order, security and continuity.
The decision to become part of the Co-op is a lifestyle choice. Parents must be committed to the concept of alternative education and to the Co-op specifically, and be prepared for the challenges and opportunities this offers. Trust in the process and a passion to contribute is vital to the positive energy and dynamism of the Co-op.
Families are required to:
• support learning programs through active participation in activities at least half a day a week
• attend fortnightly meetings
• clean the school around 2-3 times each term
• participate in working bees
• pay fees
• help with events and other tasks as required from time to time
In order to get the most out of the Co-op, spending more than the required time at school is extremely valuable. This gives parents a chance to participate fully in the life of the school – spending time with children, talking with other parents, participating in and planning activities etc.