I wrote before about co-operative schools being sort of a bridge for families who like the idea of homeschooling but for various reasons want a more traditional classroom environment for their kids. Closer to the the homeschooling side of that continuium are homeschooling co-ops like The Mt. Airy Homeschooling Co-op. Whereas a co-operative school allows (expects) parents to get involved in school and curriculum management, homeschool co-ops are designed to provide opportunities for broader social engagement and collaborative learning for homeschooling families.
Do you like the idea of homeschooling for being able to tailor your child’s eduction, but you are also attracted to traditional schools for the structure and support that they provide? Maybe you can do both.
A “co-op” school may offer the best of both worlds. Co-op schools require a higher level of parental involvement in the school than traditional public or private schools. Parental involvement can take the form of teaching and curriculum development to more administrative and support functions. Project Learn in Germantown on Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy [revised 1/22/11] is a small co-op school, there may be others in the region that I don’t know about. PLS has professional teaching staff and parents can (must) get involved in a variety of different ways. Beyond providing input on curriculum planning and development, parents are expected to work in their choice of roles–classroom, fundraising, office work, technology services, or even taking out the trash. I have often mentioned that I think that parental involvement is key to a good school. A cooperative school would seem to be inherently strong in that category on the concept alone.
Does anyone know–are there other cooperative schools in the area?