GOCP teachers and parents work together to provide a nurturing, stimulating environment in which children learn through play opportunities. Our school is committed to the development of the whole child, parental involvement in education, and respect for diversity and the environment
Phone: (317) 762-GOCP
Address: 8170 Hague Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46256
Q&A with Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool
What makes Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool unique?
At Geist Orchard, we believe it is important for parents to be active partners alongside our incredible teachers in their child’s education. As a cooperative preschool, parents take an active role by serving as the participating parent which assists the lead teacher during class time. Parents get to experience their child’s learning first hand and be active participants as they watch their child build relationships, practice skills in a play-centered way that supports early childhood learning, and grow in their confidence. As a member of the Indiana Council of Preschool Cooperatives, Geist Orchard provides parent education at the beginning of the year which is facilitated by early childhood education professionals. We also offer parent education opportunities throughout the school year to support an understanding of play-based learning philosophies and early childhood development. Our cooperative model and experienced teachers help foster an environment where a close-knit community of families is created and parents are active members of their child’s education and preschool experience.
What is your Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool’s educational philosophy?
Our philosophy is based on the knowledge that young children learn through play.
Play reflects a child’s continuous emotional, intellectual, social, and physical growth and development. Our primary goal is to help each child develop a positive self image and foster a desire for learning. Parents and teachers work together to provide a nurturing, stimulating environment in which children learn through various play opportunities.
What is your Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschools age/grade range?
We offer programming for children beginning at age 3 to 5 years old.
What is your enrollment policy? Are there any key dates parents should be aware of?
Enrollment opens to the public beginning in February 2024. To apply, email [email protected].
What are the standard school day hours? Does your school offer flexible day/hour options? Is before/after school care available?
The Twigs class is made up of 4 & 5 year-olds, and students must be age 4 by September 1st. This class meets three days a week:
- Tuesday/Friday 9:30am-12:30pm
- Wednesday 9:30am-1:30pm
The Sprouts must be age 3 by September 1st, and meets two days a week:
- Monday/Thursday 9:30am-12:00pm
How many children are in each class? How are children divided up?
Sprouts (3/4s) – 10 Children per day with 1-2 participating adults and 1 teacher
Twigs(4/5s)- 14 Children per day with 1 participating adult and 1 teacher
What are the teacher’s credentials?
Our teaching staff includes degreed professionals that happen to be previous co-op parents. They have a variety of experiences in Early Childhood Education along with annual continued education through Indiana Council of Preschool Cooperative. Read more about our teachers here.
Is parental participation required?
Parent participation is one of the great benefits of belonging to a co-op as it allows parents to participate first-hand in the preschool education of their children. Most parents or designated adult participants will assist in the classroom approximately twice a month on a rotating schedule.
As a member of a co-op preschool, families get assigned a job that assists in the operation of the school along with the opportunity to attend monthly virtual parent meetings.
How do teachers communicate with parents? How often do parents receive updates?
Teachers communicate with parents daily at drop off and pickup as well as during the days that a parent is working in the classroom. The close knit community created within a cooperative preschool community allows for a regular flow of information between teachers and parents. Teacher conferences are held once a semester to discuss a student’s development in a one-on-one setting.
Does Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool offer support for students with special needs?
We offer support and welcome students with special needs. Please reach out to us at [email protected] so that we can connect you to our Membership chair and the respective teacher so that appropriate support can be put in place to match your child’s needs.
How much time do the children spend outside?
At Geist Orchard, outdoor time is valued and an important part of the day. Engaging in play outdoors as a way to foster creativity and encourage gross motor skill development is a part of both the Sprouts and Twigs daily rhythm. Our teachers are creative in the ways they engage students while outdoors, and you will often find tools and loose parts from inside the classroom will come outside to inspire our students so they can expand on their ideas in a play-based way. Our school has playground equipment accessible to provide students a background for imaginative play as well as gross motor development. We have a paved blacktop surface that acts as a great canvas for artistic creations and cooperative play, as well as providing an open space for students to practice their pedaling and balancing skills. Students also enjoy using our outdoor kitchen and a variety of materials they have available to extend their play.
Are meals and/or snacks provided?
A daily snack of either fresh fruit and/or veggies is provided by the participating parent. The preparation of the snack is handled on site and follows all health/safety policies outlined by the relevant county and state.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Being potty-trained is not a requirement.
What enrichment programs/activities are offered?
All of our classes enjoy a monthly yoga class.
What are your school’s safety policies?
Geist Orchard and our teachers take the safety of our students seriously. Emergency procedures, drop off and pick up procedures, and health/safety policies are all outlined in our by-laws and posted according to necessary state and county requirements. Our teachers are also First Aid/CPR certified and complete required continuing education requirements. All teachers as well as participating parents are required to complete a background check.
Who should parents contact for more information about Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool?
Parents can email [email protected] to get more information or have specific questions answered. You can also visit our Facebook page, Geist Orchard Cooperative Preschool, to see our amazing school in action.