White Center Co-op Fours / Pre-K


Teacher Bio:   Courtney Ornelas

After a lifetime of other professions, Teacher Courtney found early education. South Seattle College’s co-op preschool made a life-changing impact on her family. Because of this experience, she is passionate about educating children and caregivers in positive parenting methods. Teacher Courtney wants to educate in this environment because she believes strongly in the impact positive caregiving can have on not only children, but families and communities.

Tapping into a love of science and experimentation, alongside the utilization of her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Teacher Courtney loves to immerse the classroom in a myriad of subjects. As an instructor, she loves using her creativity to set the tone for meaningful lessons. In her free time Teacher Courtney enjoys spending time with family, improving her Spanish language skills, swimming, exploring all the beautiful forests of Washington and exploring all of the beautiful coffee shops and bakeries of Washington.

White Center Co-op Fours Children’s Program

4 and 5 year olds are preparing for Kindergarten in so many ways. They continue to learn best through hands-on play, but new opportunities for pre-academics are added to preschool:

•    Literacy–writing center for dictating stories, traveling books that go home for dictated installments, opportunities for identifying and writing words
•    Science–experiments that challenge predicting, comparing, and problem solving
•    Math–calendar, charting, math processes in stories and games
•    Fine motor–expanded art projects, free creation with varied materials, opportunities to write
•    Social studies–expanded curriculum themes
•    Rich curriculum–the high adult to child ratio allows for more curriculum activities and options
Social and Emotional readiness still top the list of requirements of Kindergarten teachers:
•    Extended Circle Times–kids practice listening and regulating their own bodies
•    Facilitated Problem Solving–adults are ready to guide kids to their own solutions
•    Empathy–Second Step curriculum to teach children to read social situations
•    Self Regulation–learning to wait, follow teacher directed instruction, handle frustration
•    Friendships–ways to engage friends in play, appropriate ways to say “no”

All this and the kids just think they are playing!

Daily Routine

12:30 – 1:00: Welcome, then Large Outdoor Movement (Weather permitting)
1:00 – 1:10: Meeting Time Connections.
1:10 – 2:30: Free Choice Time. Art: 1:10-1:45; Climber/Carpentry 1:45-2:30pm; Snack.
2:30 – 2:40: Clean up
2:40 – 2:45: Circle Time
2:45 – 3:10: Small Group Activity
3:10 – 3:25 Movement and Music
3:30: Good-Bye

Parent Involvement

Parents assist in the classroom one day a week.

  • You choose whether your day each week will be either Mon/Tues/Wed/Thursday afternoon.
  • If you cannot come in due to illness, etc. you ask another parent to trade with you.
  • We teach you ways to interact with the kids using our “positive discipline” philosophy.
  • You provide and prepare healthy snack for the kids (on a rotating basis)

Parents get to:

  • attend a monthly, evening parent meeting to discuss business and parenting topics
  • help with the running of the preschool and fundraising
  • choose a co-op job that fits your interests, skill, and time
  • be part of a supportive, friend filled community
  • conference with your parent educator about kindergarten readiness

Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

  • The Parenting Educator will do an individual developmental screening with each child
  • Parents attend a Parent Teacher Conference in the spring

Parent Education is an important part of our Four Day Preschool

  • A Parenting Educator attends class one day each week (alternating Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs) ready to check in with you to offer tips that will help at home and at school
  • The class chooses one night a month for Parent Meeting–time to learn about guidance and discipline AND as an adult night out together (example: first Tuesday of each month 7-9:00)
  • To personalize your learning, choose from a list of free talks on topics such as: Guidance & Discipline, Raising Boys/Girls, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, Siblings, Raising an Only,  First Aid and CPR

“The move to kindergarten was a breeze after our time at Co-op! My son was so well prepared–and so was I even though I miss the nurturing I got at Co-op….”

White Center Co-op Fours