What makes the Co-op so special?
Our curriculum is based upon established research on how young children learn best and is shaped by these guiding beliefs:
Children learn best through play and hands-on learning activities that are developmentally appropriate.
Preschool educates the WHOLE child. Our curriculum encourages the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of each child.
Children are naturally curious and capable of engaging in inquiry-based learning where they explore topics and big questions of their choice.
Children need opportunities to move their bodies and engage in multi-sensory learning experiences.
The environment is a teacher. Our indoor and outdoor classrooms are designed to facilitate rich learning experiences and explorations.
Children deserve to be recognized as strong, capable, and full of potential in an environment that is warm, nurturing, and safe.
Children must be met where they are. Teachers address each child's unique interests and needs in a developmentally appropriate way.
Classrooms are bright and spacious with well defined learning areas. Each room is equipped with blocks, paint, play dough, water table, art and writing tables, puzzles, manipulatives, science materials, and dramatic play spaces to name a few. We have excellent teacher-child ratio's in each classroom, which fosters both large and small group cooperation amongst children.
Two well-equipped and shaded playgrounds stimulate and encourage gross motor development as well as imaginative and creative play. Playgrounds are equipped with slides, swings, a circle cycle, a seesaw, a real boat, monkey bars, a mud kitchen, a musical wall, sandboxes, and climbing equipment. Digging tools, trucks, pots and pans, and various collections of dinosaurs, farm animals and people to stretch the imagination and invite collaboration amongst other classmates as children play in the sandboxes.
Indoor Play Space
When weather prohibits outdoor activity, there is a spacious indoor play space, complete with sand tables, tricycles, ride-on cars, rocking horses, climbing equipment, a slide, balance beam, large block construction area, tunnels, balls, and much more.
Each classroom is supplied with a large set of unit blocks of varying shapes and sizes. Block play can involve traditional wooden unit blocks, natural materials (tree “cookies” and sticks), large cardboard blocks, or smaller plastic blocks such as Magnatiles. Block play can also involve accessories such as cars, people, or animal figurines.
What is a Co-op?
A co-op provides a family-oriented environment where teachers and parents work together as a team. Parents have the opportunity to be involved in the school in various ways such as participating in the classroom, serving on a committee, or being a member of the Executive Committee. These opportunities are wonderful ways to meet other Co-op families and build lasting friendships. You do have the option to opt out of committee requirements.
Parents have the privilege of being invited into their child’s classroom on a regular basis, approximately once a month. While more and more schools are excluding parents, our school welcomes parents. Our teachers are very comfortable having a parent in their classroom every day. Participation offers parents the opportunity to share in their child's first school experience, while also being an extra set of eyes, hands and ears for the teachers. In addition to it being a wonderful experience for you and your child, participation offers the parent further insight into our program and provides them with a better understanding of early childhood education. Parents see first-hand the growth and development that occurs throughout the school year. They learn techniques from their child's teachers to apply at home. Your participation day is truly a memorable experience. If a parent wishes to share their occupation, talents, or interests with the class they may plan together with their child's teacher to do so during one of their participation days.
"By participating in my son's class and watching the teachers at work, I have become a better parent. I have made so many wonderful friends at the Co-op by serving on various committees. The Co-op is truly a special place."
~Mom of Co-op Alumni
Our professionally trained preschool teachers are of the highest quality and know how to challenge and excite our young children. As early childhood professionals, they provide a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment for every child and foster a positive teacher-child relationship with each child in their care. We are particularly proud of our staff retention--many of our teachers have been at the Co-op for over ten years! The depth of their experience and commitment to our school are a large part of what makes our school so special.
Teachers are members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). They regularly attend conferences, workshops and take in-service courses in the field of early childhood education. They adhere to all regulations, policies and procedures established by the New York State Education Department and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Teachers also receive CPR and First Aid training every year.
All head teachers write a monthly note to parents informing them of the monthly goals and objectives of their program, special activities, recipes, songs and other pertinent information to keep parents informed. Two parent-teacher conferences are scheduled per year, but there is ongoing communication between parents and Co-op faculty. Parents are also able interact with teachers on their Participation Day. Teachers frequently communicate with parents via phone, class, emails or meetings whenever needed.
Jeannine Votruba has over 15 years of experience in early childhood education. She was previously the director of another cooperative nursery school in Nassau County for 6 years.
Prior to her role as a director, she was an adjunct professor at Adelphi University where she taught a graduate course in Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Education and was the curriculum writer and lead teacher for the Raising a Thinking Child parenting skills program. She also founded and directed an innovative and popular literacy focused parent and child class for several years as well as supervising student teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Jeannine holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from State University of New York - Oneonta, and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education & School Administration and Supervision from Queens College. She also holds a New York State teaching certificate from Nursery through 6th grade.
Mrs. Dixson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Queens College and studied Early Childhood Education at LIU CW Post. Once she began teaching at the Co-op in 1997, she knew she had found a wonderful preschool environment where play is strongly highlighted and respected as children's work. So wonderful in fact that her 3 children attended the Co-op. Mrs. Dixson has been teaching Two's Company for the past 10 years. She has also assisted with the 4 year old classes, enrichment programs and the Co-op summer camp.
Two's Head Teacher
Mrs. Snyder has been teaching at the Co-op for the past 8 years. Prior to her role as preschool teacher, Mrs. Snyder provided play therapy to children and psychotherapy to teens and adults at The Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy.
Mrs. Snyder holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eugene Lang College/The New School for Social Research in Gender Studies. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.
During her two sons' years at Co-op, Mrs. Snyder realized that her dream job was to teach young children in the classroom. She explains, “In the classroom, I am able to merge my training in child development and behavior with my love of teaching. I can guide social skills development and emotional growth all while creating a positive and exciting learning environment.”
Three's Head Teacher
Mrs. Miller has over 25 years experience in early childhood education. She previously was a head teacher at another cooperative preschool for 14 years. Mrs. Miller received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Queens College. She holds a New York State teaching certificate for nursery through sixth grade.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family in her RV camping, hiking and kayaking.
Mrs. Miller’s skills include helping her students learn to make sense of the world around them; teaching through play her students can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
Three's Head Teacher
Mrs. Melichar has taught at the Co-op for 9 years, but has been working the early childhood field for 24 years. She has an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education from Nassau Community College and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from CUNY Queens College. She says, "The Co-op is special to me because I attended the school as a child and it has always been a warm and nurturing environment where children are fostered in all areas of development." Her son also attended the Co-op for the 3's and 4's. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and kayaking.
Three's Head Teacher
Mrs. Calamis has been teaching at the Co-op for 11 years. She was inspired to return to school and complete her early childhood degree after two of her children attended the Co-op. She has an associate's degree from Onondaga Community College. Mrs. Calamis has taught 2’s, 3’s and 4’s.
She believes the Co-op’s philosophy of play-based learning, and the whole child approach, is what makes the school such a special place for children to grow and learn.
Four's Head Teacher
Mrs. Meagher has been teaching at the Co-op since 2004. She has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from The Bank Street College of Education. When asked about what she loves most about the Co-op, she said, "It's hard to put into words all the things I love about the Co-op, but I would have to say the feeling of community that I felt from the first time I walked through those red doors. I love watching the excitement when the children figure something out for themselves and listening to all the learning going on around me!" She has two children who are both Co-op alumni and served on the board as VP of Fundraising when she was a Co-op parent. She spends her summers working in a day camp and enjoys spending her free time with her family.
4's Head Teacher
Mrs. Pumo has taught at the Roslyn Trinity Co-op since 1982. Currently she is the lead teacher in the Pre-K class and lead supervisor of the Summer Program. Mrs. Pumo majored in Early Childhood Education and received an Associates Degree N-6 from Farmingdale University. She continued her education attending both Adelphi University and Queens College. Mrs. Pumo did her student teaching at the Co-op in 1981 and immediately fell in love with the school. She was hired by Toni Liebman, the first director and has worked under every subsequent director since. As an educator she believes that each child learns through different and unique ways. She believes strongly in the Co-op philosophy and the developmental approach to learning. Being part of a school that remains current in early childhood learning standards while maintaining the developmental needs of young children has been very fulfilling. Anne-Marie is married to Jim and has two sons James and Nicholas, both Co-op alumni.