2015-16 Parent Survey Results

As a cooperative school, we rely on your voices, your comments, your ideas, and your participation to function at our very best.  Each year, we ask for your honest assessment of our school.  We use the information collected to strengthen our program and our cooperative.  This year we had a record 87% participation in our annual survey - thank you!

The results of the survey appear below, accompanied by the CHP Board of Directors' responses to comments and questions from parents.  The questions are scored on a 4-point scale, with 4 being the highest possible answer.

Thank you again for your participation in our school and our survey.  If you have any additional comments or questions please feel free to contact us.  You can call or email the school at any time.  If you would like to speak with a member of the school's Board of Directors, please contact our Board Administrator at kristin@cobblehillplayschool.com, and she can direct you to the appropriate Board member.

CHP Board of Directors' Responses to Parents' Comments and Questions:

From a Parent:

I feel that there could be much more clarity on the fundraiser results. How much was raised, what it enabled and what exactly was the fundraising supporting specifically.

From the CHP Board:

CHP holds two primary fundraisers each year.  Our Silent Auction is held in the Fall, and our Read-a-thon is held in the Spring.  There are also periodic smaller fundraisers like the Square Art project and Brick Wall sales.

This year, CHP raised approximately $33,000.  All proceeds from fundraising are part of the school's annual operating budget, which means that all funds raised directly support the school and daily operations.  This allows the school to keep tuition costs as low as possible while providing a high quality educational experience for our families.  

From a Parent:

Overall the school is fantastic. In terms of communication with teachers- I hardly know who they are and it's hard to find time to communicate with them in an informal setting since there is a separation with dropping off and picking up the kids from the area where the teachers are.

From the CHP Board:

CHP believes that communication between school staff and families is paramount.  Carol staffs the classroom door most days at arrival & dismissal and is available for brief chats at those times.  Most days at dismissal, there is also a teacher stationed in the waiting area who can discuss the day.  Parents who do not pick up and drop off can email or call Carol at any time.  She answers emails daily and within 24 hours of receipt.  Carol is also always available for meetings with parents.  During these meetings, Carol and/or parents can request that all or some teachers are present to participate.  Parents do not need to have a problem or particular issue to schedule a meeting - many parents just like the opportunity to check in about their child with Carol and the teachers.  These meetings can be excellent opportunities to get the know the teachers better. 

At the beginning of each year, many parents use our website as a way of checking in with their children about the day.  Each teacher has a picture and profile on the website (http://cobblehillplayschool.com/faculty-and-board).  Many of our parents have reported sitting down with their children and the website and getting to know the teachers by name, and using the pictures to prompt their children for stories about the day.

From a Parent:

I would have loved to see a 4 session scheduling option, especially for the 3s. M-Th or M/T/Th/F would have been a great.

From the CHP Board:

The Board and Executive Staff at CHP strive to create scheduling options that (1) accommodate the needs and wants of our parents, (2) maximize space and time in order to keep tuition as low as possible, and (3) are developmentally appropriate for the different age groups.  Our current offerings give parents morning, afternoon, full day, and mixed day options while ensuring full enrollment for all sessions.  This allows CHP to charge one of the lowest tuitions in the area.  Additionally, a core of CHP’s programming is our art, music, and drama programs.  A consistent schedule ensures that each child gets to participate in our specialty arts programs as part of small, age-consistent groups and find their place as a member of our open, mixed-age classroom.

From a Parent:

The school needs after-school care/late afternoon classes. Unfortunately, with economics what they are, to live in this neighborhood a dual family income is required. CHP doesn't support this family lifestyle very well: unless you get one of the coveted AM spots. If you get a PM spot (due to the limited school hours) before and afterschool care is still required. This results in either having an at home parent or a full-time childcare provider. Either way, this requires an income strong enough to afford one or the other (which reduces the economic diversity of this neighborhood to only people who can afford this to send their kids to CHP). I am sad to say our youngest child, may not return to CHP (despite years of well loved education at CHP) because the cost is to high (CHP tuition+ full time nanny). I ask that the school reflect on it's "granola" roots and find a way to better support the economics of the local family, through afterschool care.

From the CHP Board:

The Board and staff of CHP have spent many hours exploring avenues for additional care.  At this time, the school does not have the facilities to accommodate an aftercare program.  After school releases in the afternoon, teachers remain on site to prepare curriculum and activities, meet, participate in professional development, and prepare the classroom.  Additional hours of care remain an item for discussion as the school revisits the strategic plan for the future.

Currently, we have found that the cooperative nature of the school encourages innovative childcare solutions within our community.  Some families team up and share parental care during the week.  Others team up and share hired care.  One family arranged a pick-up and drop-off schedule with their daycare center.  The school maintains a Yahoo Group for parents to connect, share resources, and gather information.  CHP is happy to support teamwork and communication as we do recognize that childcare is one of the biggest challenges for young families.  

From a Parent:

We love the school and we feel you all do an amazing job of teaching the kids, ensuring they are all nice to each other, and doing it all in such a fun environment. Our son is so happy to go to school each day, and that is a testament to everything you do.

My only comment for improvement is regarding fundraising— I think the school has an amazon smile account, which I have been using. But I went and found it. I would love for the school to share discount codes for products we already order (Mabel's Labels, amazon, etc.) that would benefit the school. I think these exist, but I just haven’t heard about them from the school.
 

From the CHP Board:

CHP is always looking for new ideas, new energy, and new solutions.  Our cooperative nature means that each year a new group of parents bring their time, skills, and expertise to our school.  If you have ideas about fundraising, please choose “fundraising committee” on your parent job form.  If you’re feeling like you have ideas but no extra time, please reach out via email with suggestions (Kristin Brady is the Board Administrator and can appropriately direct your email: kristin@cobblehillplayschool.com).  Lastly, one of the school’s priorities for next school year is refreshing the school’s website, and we hope to make things like our Amazon Smile account more prominent and accessible.  Thanks for the feedback!

From a Parent:

More pictures please!

From the CHP Board:

This is in the works!  CHP maintains a Shutterfly site that we are planning on utilizing more next year.  The site is password protected and has photos available for viewing, downloading, and ordering prints. 

From a Parent:

We were so happy with our experience at CHP for the past 2 years. We also loved being part of our child's day at school as duty parents. I think we as parents, we would also enjoy reading a story during snack as opposed to only cleaning up the snack room and bathrooms.

From the CHP Board:

CHP loves duty days because parents are welcomed into the classroom and children can see their parents as part of their school experience, which is so important!  However, duty days are also one of the ways in which CHP keeps costs low.  When parents help with snack and cleaning, it means that our teachers can all be present in the classroom, focusing on the children.  CHP can save money on staffing as well as cleaning services and food service.  All of these things translate into CHP offering one of the lowest tuitions in the area.  Additionally, the snack time read is an important part of our daily curriculum.  The read coordinates literacy, social-emotional development, community building, and supports general skill building like taking turns and asking questions.  Because our parents bring a variety of different skills to the school, we ask that parents contribute in ways other than teaching.

From a Parent:

Being on the fundraising committee for the last 2 years, I believe there are changes that could be make to the directors who have help the same position for consecutive years and adding processes to make everyone on the committee to feel involved and not just a giving a task.

From the CHP Board:

The Fundraising Committee is always looking for parents who are interested in taking on more of a leadership role.  Our Silent Auction in the fall involves so much work from parents.  Many of our parents like to be assigned a job, fulfill it, and be done.  If you are more interested in a leadership role, please let us know!  You can either email our Board Administrator, Kristin Brady, at kristin@cobblehillplayschool.com or make a note of your interest when you complete your parent job choice form for next year.

From a Parent:

We love CHP and look forward to enjoying another year in the 4s program. I do wish there were more evaluations or short meetings to talk about my child’s progress, interactions and behavior. Nothing too specific but we would have liked more personalized feedback.

From the CHP Board:

CHP provides families with two comprehensive written evaluations per year.  If at any time throughout the year you would like additional information, parents are welcome to schedule a meeting with Carol and the teachers.  There does not need to be a specific problem or issue.  Many parents like to meet for a general check-in about their child, which is welcomed and encouraged.  During these meetings, Carol is present and all or some of the teachers can be present as well, providing a really full picture of your child.

From a Parent:

It would be wonderful to have Carols 'what we're doing next week' summary included in the weekly Friday email instead of going to a separate website/location for it.

From the CHP Board:

Thanks for your suggestion!  Currently, we feel as though short is sweet.  However, one of the Board’s goals for next year is to tap some of our communications-oriented parents for advice on how the school can better use email, social media, and our website to effectively communicate with parents.  If you have ideas, expertise, or advice to share, please let us know!

From Parents:

  • Cobble Hill Playschool has provided the most wonderful, nurturing environment in which my girls have flourished. I can't say enough about how caring and professional all members of the CHP staff are and how enriching this school experience has been for our whole family.
  • I feel so lucky to have found CHPS. It is a special gem!!!!
  • Can CHP last longer, please? I'm sad that my family has only one more year left at the school!
  • Thank you!
  • My family’s experience with CHP has been extremely positive. I couldn’t imagine sending my children to any other preschool. My thanks to the teachers and the board for all of their hard work.
  • Super pleased!!!

The CHP Board and Staff are so thankful for all of your responses, questions, and suggestions.

Janie Greene