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  • 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!
  • 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 Toddler class, our adult to child ratio is 1 adult to every 5 children. The classroom is always led by a licensed Registered Early Childhood Educator. In the Junior and Senior Preschool classes, our ratio is 1 adult to every 5 children. The classroom is always led by a licensed Registered Early Childhood Educator.
  • Is Oriole Nursery School participating in the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care system?
    At this time, Oriole Nursery School (ONS) will not be participating in the provincial government’s new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) System. As a Board, we considered this decision carefully, but for several reasons we have concluded that it is not in the best interests of the school and of the children at this time. Most importantly, it is unclear how the CWELCC program will impact co-operative schools and it could negatively impact the enriched, quality programs and ideal teacher-student ratios that Oriole offers. In addition, the Board felt strongly that participation in this program would directly affect our ability to be flexible and hire excellent staff, which is critical to quality programming during the current province-wide staffing shortage. Lastly, the CWELCC program would have an immediate and negative impact on the financial position of the school and affect our ability as an organization to weather unforeseen circumstances (of which there have been many the last few years!)
  • How does the transition from the Toddler class to the Junior class work?
    Our new Toddler license allows us to intake children as of 18 months old. Children in the toddler class play in the Toddler classroom, our small gym, and in one of our dedicated circle time rooms. Once children are between the ages of 2.3 to 2.6, they will be assessed for their ability to climb stairs independently, and to navigate the various inclines and climbing structures in the playground, without the help of an adult. Once children are able to climb safely, a discussion will take place with the teachers, Supervisor and parents to determine which classroom placement is the best fit for each child. If there is space, and the family wishes to move the child into the older class, they will be moved into the Junior class mid-year. (Fees are based on the age of the child upon start date, and not age grouping, as children below 2.6 require a higher adult to child ratio.)
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