The Cooperative

Working together

Working together

Families enrolled at the Maple Street School are members of a cooperative, (“the co-op”). A family in the co-op is defined as the adult (or adults) who share responsibility for parenting and providing a home or homes for a child(ren) in the school. All said adults in the home are considered members of the co-op. There are certain responsibilities required of co-op members. Currently these responsibilities include five distinct activities:

  1. Serving on a committee,
  2. General membership meeting attendance (3 times a year),
  3. One school cleaning per year,
  4. Providing cafe for your child’s class once or twice a year, and
  5. Fundraising assistance for the several Maple Street events which includes selling event and raffle tickets, and volunteering time at said events (a family will be required to volunteer 3 hours of time per adult in the home at fundraising events throughout the year).

Cleaning

Each family is responsible for cleaning the school, with a group of 3-10 families, one Saturday during the year. The Physical Plant Chair will assign families their cleaning duty in September. Families who do not fulfill this obligation will be assessed a $250 fine following their missed cleaning.

Co-op Committees

Leaves

Leaves

Each family is required to serve on one of the Maple Street School committees (Physical Plant, Education, Communications, etc.) Well-run and active committees are a vital part of the school’s administration and for the programs to function in a smooth and efficient manner. The school relies on families fulfilling their commitments to the school.

Each enrolled family is given a committee questionnaire to indicate their families skills and interests, and how they can serve Maple Street. Committee duties are based on one-adult member of the family, and can be modified based on the Director and Board to ensure participation, diversity, and inclusivity. Additionally, if a family needs assistance with this or any form because of language, ability, or any other issue, please feel free to contact the Director or Membership Committee, and access and inclusion are values and practices at Maple Street.

Prior to or shortly after the school year starts, each family is assigned to a committee. Committee chairs contact committee members to set up an initial meeting. Committee members are expected to get involved in their committee work by September 30th. If a committee chair has tried to contact a committee member at least twice and has not received a response from that member, or the committee chair feels that the member is not fulfilling their service commitment, the committee chair will refer that member to the Board of Directors for peer review and possible disciplinary action.

A representative of the Board of Directors will then notify the family in a warning letter stating that it is determined that they are not fulfilling their service duty to the cooperative. The committee chair, the Board of Directors representative and a member of the family must meet within two weeks following the sending of the letter to resolve the issue. If after this two-week period there has been no agreement or arrangement made with the family, the Membership Chair and committee chair shall recommend to the Board of Directors that such family be removed from the co-op. Such family may only be removed by a vote of more than two thirds of the members of the Board of Directors in favor of such removal. No family shall be removed on less than 30 days written notice following a vote of the Board of Directors, and any such removal shall only occur following the conclusion of any school semester.

Fundraising

Bear

Bear

There are three components to each family’s fundraising responsibilities: volunteer time, ticket sales and raffle/auction sales.

Volunteer Time: Each family is required to volunteer for 6 hours at any combination of our fundraising events throughout the school year. Volunteer time is on-the-ground work at an event, such as set up, break down, or manning a table. Pre-event activities such as selling tickets, baking items, or distributing posters do not count toward the family volunteer requirement.

Ticket Sales: Each family is required to buy or sell a minimum of 8 event tickets: Two tickets to the adult music event (usually in November and ~$35 pp) and four tickets to the children’s music event (March, ~$15 pp) and two tickets to the end of year revent (June, $65 pp).

Raffle/Auction: Each family is required to donate, procure or sell items totaling $100 in value. For example, you can fulfill the $100 requirement by donating a $50 gift certificate for auction and selling $50 in raffle tickets.

Fulfillment of fundraising responsibilities is tracked throughout the school year and you will be notified of your status at the end of each semester. Please let the Fundraising Committee know if you feel you have not been credited for your responsibilities. Families that do not complete their volunteer responsibilities will be fined $150. Families that do not fulfill tickets sales or auction/raffle/yearbook requirements will be required to pay the dollar amount of missed ticket sales, in addition to a fine of $150.

General Membership Meetings

Pencils

Pencils

All families must have a representative attend all general membership meetings. General meetings are held three times per year—September, March, and May. These meetings are a crucial part of each family’s cooperative duties, as they are the best means by which parents can learn more about the school as well as give input and share opinions and ideas.

A family may be excused from attending a general meeting only in the case of a family emergency (i.e. death in the family, birth, illness) or other pre-arranged absence such as a planned vacation. Families who are unable to attend a general meeting must advise the Membership Chair of their reason prior to the meeting; failure to do so will result in the presumption that such absence was unexcused.

If a family has an unexcused absence from a general meeting, a representative from the family will be required to participate in an additional weekend cleaning of the school. The family will be notified of the date and time by the Physical Plant Chair and must make arrangements to fulfill this duty. Failure to attend this additional cleaning will be grounds for removal from the school. As a make-up cleaning may not be possible following the final General Meeting in May, returning and non-returning families who do not attend the May general meeting without a valid excuse will be fined $50, with such sum withheld from the family’s membership fee.

Grievances

In a cooperative it can be difficult to know where to turn when there is an issue or problem. Please follow these general guidelines if you need assistance or are experiencing difficulty in some area of your school experience:

Additionally, Maple Street can make arrangements to have a grievance meeting in a language family members can understand. Please contact the director to arrange for language support during a meeting.

Finances: If you are experiencing financial difficulty, if you are late paying tuition, if you are confused about financial policy or billing, please contact the Business Manager or the Finance Committee Chair as soon as possible.

Classroom: If you or your child is experiencing a problem in the classroom or with the program, please first discuss the issue with your child’s teacher or with one of the Classroom Support Co-Chairs. If you need to discuss a problem you are having with a particular teacher, please make an appointment to discuss it with the Director.

Co-op Committee Duties: If you are having difficulty completing your co-op committee duties, if you do not understand clearly what your duties are, or if you have future obligations to your committee that you know you will not be able to meet, please contact your committee chair as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements or to schedule make-up work.

Other: If you are experiencing a problem at the school other than those outlined above or have questions about your co-op membership obligations, you may contact the Parent Helper for your child’s class or one of the Membership Committee Co-Chairs. If you do not feel you can approach any of the above-mentioned staff or board members, you may air your grievance with the Executive Board of Directors. Please contact a Board Co-Chair to schedule a hearing with the Executive Board to discuss the issue.

Orientation

Maple Street holds an orientation about the co-op before families begin school. Orientation is very important and explains how the cooperative works, family duties and obligations, and your role in the cooperative. It is also a good way to meet other new families.

A separate classroom orientation occurs in September during Curriculum Night.

Snack/Café

Maple Street begins each day with café time, which is a cozy, parent friendly, family-style snack time. Each family is responsible for providing snacks on a rotational basis. Currently, co-op members provide snacks two to three times per year. You will be informed of the type of snack that is needed, such as crackers, cheese, rice and beans, fruit or paper goods. We ask our teachers to have snack/lunch with our children as this encourages healthy eating, and stimulating conversation. The fine for not fulfilling this obligation is $100.