By choosing to send your children to a cooperative school you are choosing to invest in community. In being part of Lighthouse it means that your children will tend to have the same classmates each year, and will get to know them well. By volunteering in class and attending parent meetings you are meeting your children's classmates, friends, and their parents. Each class has a private facebook page and access to a parent website with online rosters which allow parents to communicate with each other and plan out-of-school activities. Many families participate in on out-of-school field trips, hikes, camping trips, play dates, day trips, and holiday parties.
At the beginning of the school year teachers will ask parent's what their schedule is, which days and times will work for them to volunteer, and what subjects they would prefer to help out with. Most volunteer opportunites consist of leading a lesson for a small group of children in rotations (ie you would teach the same fifteen minute lesson, four times in a row, to groups of 6 - 9 students). For many subjects the teacher will provide the curriculum, but if a parent has specialized knowledge that they would like to share, and are comfortable creating their own lessons, they may communicate that with the teacher, and it may work out that they teach that. Examples of these scenarios are parents who have taught cooking, art, a foreign language, computer programming, health, and bucket-filling/social skills. It is not guaranteed that a parent will get to teach the subject they prefer. Volunteer assignments and schedules are the prerogative of each teacher.
Five times a year, Lighthouse participates in an activity called Explorations. Explorations consist of a parent/volunteer leading a forty minute educational activity for 6 - 8 children twice in a row. Typical explorations include science experiments, engineering projects, cooking or art lessons. Parents submit their activities for approval two weeks before exploration day. For all grades, except kindergarten, teachers facilitate students taking turns to sign up for the explorations they want to participate in. It is encouraged that new parents assist a veteran parent with their exploration to see how they work. If you have any questions you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Lighthouse class typically goes on four or five field trips a year. Theatrical plays, art museums, historical museums, and outdoor educational locations are common destinations.
In the spring of 1997, the Everett Public Schools approved a proposal for an elementary cooperative put forth by a small group of parents previously involved with a college run co-op preschool. The pioneer Lighthouse Elementary Cooperative kindergarten class, initially known as COMPASS Parent Cooperative, was housed in a portable at Cascade High School with the Madison Elementary School principal overseeing the program.The following year Lighthouse Elementary Cooperative moved to Lowell Elementary with one 1st grade class and an incoming a.m. and p.m. kindergarten class. Lighthouse Elementary Cooperative has continued to change and has grown into a Kindergarten through 5th Grade cooperative. In 2001 the Everett Public Schools did a reboundary of all the elementary schools and Lighthouse Elementary Cooperative was split between Lowell and Jefferson. We were excited when the decision was made to reunite the program at one site in the Fall of 2005 and we were successfully housed at Jefferson Elementary School where we remain today.