What is a co-operative nursery school?

In short, a co-operative preschool is a non-profit organization owned and operated by the parents of the children enrolled. At Oriole, our families play a vital role in the school’s operations and ongoing success. The School primarily is administered by an elected Board of Directors and numerous volunteer committees, comprised of families with children currently (or previously) enrolled in the school. All families are required to choose a Board or non-Board volunteer position that contributes to the daily management and operation of the school and its activities. Also, each family can affect the direction of the organization, as a “member” of Oriole Nursery School, and is, therefore, entitled to one vote per child at the Annual General Meeting. The heart of our co-operative school are our "Duty Day" particpiants, which are parents and caregivers of children currently enrolled in the program. These volunteers act as assistant teachers in the school, particiating twice a month in the program.

What volunteer jobs are available to parents?

The following is a list of current parent volunteer jobs, which is subject to change from year to year. Property Maintenance and Repair Coordinator, Curriculum Enrichment, Purchaser, Yearbook and Newsletter Editor, Fundraising Committee, Play dough Preparation, Art Filer, Weekly Laundry coordinator, School Outings/ In-Class Photographers, Scholastic Book Coordinator

What are Duty Days?

Duty Day parents or caregivers work with the teachers in the classroom. It is a special opportunity to observe your child playing, interacting with others and engaging in new activities. In addition, it provides valuable support for the teachers and helps them gain a better understanding of your child. Each participating family is normally expected to attend 1 Duty Day every 2 weeks, per child.

If families are not able to participate in the classroom they can opt to be “non-participating”. Non-participating families are required to pay a higher fee to compensate for hiring assistants to maintain our adult to child ratio. They still are required to provide assistance to the co-operative by fulfilling a volunteer position. Of course, non-participating parents are always welcome to visit the classroom to observe their child and teacher whenever they’d like. Our door is always open!

**Please note: The Participating Program is not currently available and is subject to evolving regulatory guidelines in respect to COVID-19 restrictions. For more information, please visit the "Fee Schedule" page, under "Participation"**

Does my child need to be toilet trained?

No. Children do not have to be toilet trained to attend Oriole Nursery School. The school works with parents to encourage children who are interested in using the toilet, and to ensure it is a positive experience.

What is your teaching approach? Is there a set curriculum?

Oriole's program emphasizes “learning through play” where preschoolers learn about themselves, others, and their environment through actively exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials and equipment. Children are naturally curious, eager to learn and want to master new skills. Learning is enhanced when children are free to choose where they play, with what, and with whom. Teachers, assistants and Duty Day participants support the children's choices and their quest for independence and learning while maintaining a framework of common sense, safety and well-being.

Creativity is essential to the early years and the preschool experience. Creative activity fosters a sense of individuality and the ability to think for oneself. While the finished product may reveal little of the richness of experience gained by the child, the actual process of completing a project is important. Oriole enhances creativity by developing programs in dramatic arts, music, storytelling, artistic creation and sensory exploration, special events, as well as gross and fine motor activities.

Socially, we nurture the children's growing interest in playing with others by helping them learn to share, take turns, verbalize their thoughts and feelings, and find acceptable solutions to challenges and problems.

The curriculum follows the interests and learning needs of the children, and is also based off of ELECT, a provincial framework set out by the Ontario government.

What types of special events do you have on Toronto District School Board PD Days?

Special events on Toronto District School Board PD days are open to siblings of students enrolled in the school (with caregivers present). Special events include (but are not limited to) special classes or visits from: Rainbow Songs, Scientists in the School, Pawisitively Pets, Mystic Drumz, Monkeynastix, Hands on Exotics, etc.

What is your adult to child ratio?

In the Junior class, our adult to child ratio is 1:5. The classroom is always led by a licensed Registered Early Childhood Educator. In the Senior class, our ratio is 1:8. The classroom is always led by a licensed Registered Early Childhood Educator. On most days, we provide a ratio of 1 adult to every 5 children.

What COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols are being put into place?

Oriole’s teachers have always gone above and beyond when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. We recognize that there is a fine balance between keeping our classrooms clean and sanitized, and filling our environment with chemicals and worrying children who see adults over-sanitizing. We have hired our caretaker to sanitize the indoor classrooms in between group use. They will be using a natural, thyme oil disinfectant, approved by Health Canada, and will be cleaning when no other groups are in the classrooms.

All toys and equipment will be cleaned after use at the end of the day, and the Junior Class will play with different toys than the Senior Class and Kindergarten Group.

All children and staff and will be required to complete health assessments before the program each day, and temperatures will be taken for all people permitted to enter the building.

Teachers are all required to wear medical face masks and eye protection, as mandated by the Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health. At this time, children are not required to wear masks, but Oriole will do our best to assist those children who decide that they would like to wear one.

Please email the school for detailed information on our current COVID-19 policies.

What about other community groups who use the Church facilities? Will Oriole students be exposed to other people?

Oriole has worked with Christ Church Deer Park, where we are located, to coordinate schedules and points of access to eliminate exposure to other community members using the Church. Oriole has been granted exclusive access to both a dedicated entrance and washroom for the duration of the school year. Other community programs that take place in the Church have been either relocated to other areas of the Church, or where areas common to Oriole are utilized, rescheduled to afternoons when no staff or students of Oriole are present. Oriole staff and students will only encounter each other during the day, and the Junior Preschool and Senior Preschool/Kindergarten classes will not mix, to minimize exposure.