Co-op Commitment: Parent Jobs and Co-oping Hours
West Philadelphia Cooperative Preschool is a working co-op. That means that parents work together to keep the school running. Every family is asked to commit to an average of 2 hours/week to the school. A parent job is a role your family agrees to perform for the duration of the year (including summer) and has a list of routine duties which define the job. Parent jobs can be anything from “Go-Getter/Snack Parent” who buys snacks each week, “Laundry Parent” washes towels and rags weekly, to “Lead Parent” who oversees all school operations, “Treasurer” manages finances and billing, etc.
In addition, WPCS holds four Town Halls per year (via Zoom). Someone from every family is expected to attend each Town Hall. If two parents attend, the family earns 2 co-oping hours
Co-oping hours are floating hours which every family must complete by performing a variety of school-related tasks. Every family (not every person) is asked to commit an average 2 hours per week to the school. Over the school year, assuming 25 families at $20/hour, this is a value of nearly $30,000! We truly run on the effort of our families.
Here is a list of some the parent jobs that currently exist at school
- Inschooling – provide weekly support during the school day
- Open houses
- Web design/maintenance
- Special programming
- Event Planner
- Craft Parent
- Secretary — takes notes at all the meetings
- Personnel Coordinator — supports staff, works in an HR capacity
- Treasurer — manages finances, budgeting, billing
- Co-oping Coordinator — makes sure all families are placed in parent jobs and creates opportunities for parents to complete co-oping hours
- Assistant Personnel Coordinator — helps personnel parent
- Assistant Treasurer — helps treasurer
- Indoor and Outdoor Maintenance
- Snack Parent/Go-Getter — buys snacks weekly, get’s teachers supplies when needed
- Laundry/Entry Caretaker — washes rags, towels and dress up when necessary
These are examples of tasks that could count as co-oping at school. Unless otherwise noted, parents receive credit for the actual number of hours worked.Co-oping can be done on campus or off campus. It can involve joining a committee or coming to school and doing specific tasks like:
- Cleaning: basic organizing, and maintenance tasks.
- Serving on recurring and ad-hoc committees: including but not limited to: Budget/Finance Hiring, Marketing, Diversity, et al. Parents earn 3 co-oping hours per committee served.
- Schoolwide Workdays: variety of larger tasks like painting, occurring every fall and spring
- Parent-Led Activities – time spent leading activities during school hours.
When a family feels that they don’t have the time to commit to co-oping hours, they can choose to buy out a portion of those hours at $20/hr. This is called opting out.