Top Features and FAQs
What is unique about Bayside Co-op Preschool?
- Cozy, quiet, and safe facility housed in St. James Presbyterian's Lower Level.
- Small size allows for community building and relationships between families.
- Adaptive Parent Education - dealing with what families need right now.
- Ability to allow families to contribute their gifts and expertise.
- Flexibility to visit local farms and field trips.
- Ability to be inclusive of mainstream and alternative, holistic approaches.
How big is the Parent Jobs?
The parent jobs are easy and could take ~ 1 hour per month (some have the time spread out over the year, some jobs have the time focused during a "season" or "occasion"). Families are not required to fill board positions. The administration of the board is filled by volunteers in the community to ensure consistency and relieve stress.
Does BCP follow the Bellingham School District calendar?
BCP follows the Bellingham School District calendar but not exactly. Our school begins in September and ends in May. We schedule the same holidays and breaks as the public school. We also follow the same school closure due to inclement weather.
Why do students attend class so late in September?
Our teacher is paid from September through May. During the month of September, the first week is for orientation meetings. The meeting is divided into small groups of families for one-hour sessions with the teacher to go over important details of the school and parents jobs. The teacher is meeting with 31 families (less if there are returning families!).
During the second week, the teacher is providing a "small group visit" for families to play, tour the class, and get to know each other. This is a time for parents to ask questions or express any concerns they may have with the teacher.
This "slow start" provides an opportunity for our children to get comfortable with the school, the environment, and all the new people! All of these changes can be overwhelming for the children -- and even the parents!
Do you require Fundraising?
Yes. All families are required to participate in SCRIP, an easy way for the money you already spend to send a little our way! Community Food Co-op, Haggens Fred Meyer, Woods Coffee, Pizzaza, Grocery Outlet, and Village Books are examples of local companies that participate in the SCRIP program.
We also do other Fundraising Events, such as the "Gobble Wobble" (fun run).
Where does the money from fundraising go?
Money that is raised is used to strengthen the school. We like to have a modest savings for preparedness, as well as upgrading and adding to our equipment. Fundraising money pays for parent education guest speakers, field trip outings (Mt. Baker Theater, Museums, etc.), and various needs and maintenance of the preschool.
Are you affiliated with St. James Presbyterian?
No, BCP is not religiously affiliated with the church. St. James graciously rents to us and maintains our facility.
Are you affiliated with any other programs?
No. We are a private, independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.