Education for Everyone

One of the many distinguishing factors of CVPNS is the school’s focus on parent education. It is a core component of the school and one of the many ways we help foster a sense of community and connection.

Once a month, we meet in the evening to not only discuss and vote on important issues related to the school but also for a learning session led by our esteemed teachers/directors. The sessions are highly interactive and involve sharing insights with other parents that are facing the same challenges (and incredible rewards!) you are. These sessions help us learn more about other parents’ approaches and the academic and scholarly research that underpins the school’s approach to childhood development (including our focus on play-based learning).

The topics covered during parent education nights cover a broad spectrum. One of our recent sessions focused on “Positive Behavior Guidance.” Anyone with a preschooler (or that has been around one for longer than a minute or so) knows that they are full of energy, enthusiasm, and a general lack of willingness to do what they’re told. Learning new strategies to help channel these behaviors (such as positive description acknowledgment, redirecting, acknowledging feelings, and scaffolding/model behavior) gives parents additional tools that work both at home and during their workdays at the school.  

Another important aspect of the parent education nights is a focus on growth and changes over time. As parents and caregivers, we spend so much time with our children that, at least sometimes, significant changes are harder to detect. Our children are a little bit taller, a little bit faster, and a little bit more verbose each day. Providing the distance and context that is hard to find elsewhere, parents can see how far their children have come in just a few months.

Perhaps most importantly, these education nights help our parents set goals for themselves and the skills and knowledge they want to carry into their day-to-day lives and interactions. It’s these goals that are the ones that will have the most significant impact on our children and remain a central part of the CVPNS experience.

If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to us anytime. We are always happy to share our knowledge and insights and are sure there’s a lot we could learn from you!

Fall is Here!

The first day of fall passed this week, and everyone at CVPNS is ready for all of the adventures, activities, and events that it brings with it. Here’s just a small sampling of what the CVPNS co-op community has been up to as pumpkin spice season kicks off:

– The annual Cowfolk Day was a huge hit. It’s long been a tradition of the school and one that everyone looks forward to. The students learn a special Wild West song that they then perform during the event. It’s also a great time for the entire community to come together, catch up, and enjoy a little BBQ.

– Fall, of course, wouldn’t be complete without a harvest trip to the farm. This year, the students went to both Ardenwood Historic Farm and Joan’s Farm. Field trips are a great way to not only build memories, but for the students to further develop social-emotional skills outside of the familiar school environment.

– Students aren’t the only ones that are learning. As part of CVPNS’ parent education program, we had our first parent ed meeting, which focused on the importance of positive behavior guidance. Like all parent ed meetings, there was a combination of both instructional time as well as small-team discussions. This format allows for parents to share their experience while learning from the directors and one another.

– Fall is also a great time to explore the wider Bay Area. One of the wonderful aspects of CVPNS is sharing tips, tricks, and insights into the best places to visit. Who really has the best apple pie in Apple Hill? Where’s the best place to go for a child’s very first overnight camping trip? When’s a good time to visit Yosemite before the snow starts? The network of CVPNS parents are constantly sharing helpful advice with each other to help answer these questions, and all kinds of other ideas as well.

As you can see, there’s a great deal happening, and we haven’t even gotten to Halloween yet! As the season starts to change (at least on certain days, that is), we hope you have a wonderful fall planned. CVPNS students are certainly excited about what’s to come, and we hope you are too! If you’re interested in having your child join CVPNS, please reach out to us at any time using the contact information found here. See you next time, cowpokes!

Welcome Back!

Even though it still feels very much like summer, the school year has officially begun! Castro Valley Parent Nursery School welcomed it’s AM and PM classes last week with smiles, hugs, and a few to-be-expected tears (mostly from the parents that can’t believe how much everyone has grown). It was a wonderful time to reconnect with the community, meet new parents, and see the transformation of the school itself, including a freshly painted exterior courtesy of many volunteer hours from our devoted members. 

For those of you reading the blog for the first time, welcome! CVPNS is a cooperative, play-based non-profit preschool that focuses on creating an enriching environment for children and building connections and community with parents and caregivers. The co-op model brings together the wide range of personal, professional, and cultural backgrounds of each student’s family to create a vibrant, dedicated, and participatory community. In doing so, each family is able to provide input on the running of the school, and also help the day to day needs of a non-profit that serves over 50 local families! 

One of the many differences that makes CVPNS so unique is our enrichment team. They plan special events and get-togethers throughout the year. For example, over the summer, they planned multiple play dates each week to help students stay in touch, including a weekly get together at a local park as well as special trips to fun locations throughout the Bay. Once the school years begins, they also help plan our weekly Community Day events and special events in evenings where parents and students can spend time together with other families and friends. 

We are so excited to start the new school year and see how each child learns and grows. If you’re a current member of the CVPNS family – we’re so glad you’re here and are looking forward to an incredible school year! If you’re a family that’s interested in joining our community, we would love to have you! Please use the Contact Us page. Either way, we hope you had a wonderful summer and are ready for the new school year. We certainly are!