UCOOP is a fabulous school where learning is nurtured in a hands on, integrated manner. You won't find kids sitting in rows filling out worksheets at this school. Instead you'll find the kindergarten students engaged in creative writing and drawing (for instance about all the things a small piece of yarn could be), building with blocks, counting coins they have collected for a local pet store/animal shelter. This is a place where children's learning, as well as their social/emotional development are both taken seriously. Teachers in the K-2 team work closely together, and also work with the 3-5 teachers to ensure continuity and a sense of community (for instance the kindergarten students have 3rd grade buddies who they look forward to doing fun activities with such as reading together and pancake breakfasts. I love the Spanish, Music and Art curriculum, my child skips home singing new songs (in English and in Spanish) and sharing her excitement about something she has created at school on a daily basis. The school uses Cowen Park for recess and many outdoor activities, but there's also a fantastic new "active space" and music room in the lower level of the school.
Beautiful school that has maintained the loving supportive community energy it was founded with back in 1975. After experiencing another local school started around the same time that was falling apart, finding U Co-op was a huge relief. It is a healthy, thriving alternative school with very low student to teacher ratio that my daughter loves to attend every day. This says a lot considering it used to be an debate almost every day when she was at the other alternative school. We love and recommend University Cooperative. It is a private non-profit school that has much lower tuition and much more parent involvement than a lot of the other private schools in Seattle. Kids here are thriving. I also love the mixed age (3-5th grade) classroom set up, likewise in the younger grades they have a large shared space too. This setup allows them to have the same three teachers for all three years they are in that class too which provides some great stable influence in these elementary years.
The University Co-op community is the best! It really is a village approach, with parents working in partnership with the teachers, and kids working collaboratively together. Amazing learning that goes deep into the subject matter and it's a lot of fun! Our children are now excelling in middle school and much of their confidence, creative thinking, ability to problem solve and form good friendships can be attributed to their elementary school experience at University Co-op.
My child started at a public school and though she is bright and motivated, she didn't get the nurturing she needed to thrive. She was getting worn down by the large classes and all the worksheets and homework and seemed to be wilting much of the time. At the University Cooperative School the teachers create a really supportive family/community feeling and her desire to learn is on fire now. The curriculum is dynamic and responds to the kid's interests. The teachers are given the freedom to be creative and collaborative. They prioritize developmentally appropriate learning so the kids get to be kids and have a lot of fun while learning. Plus there's tons of time outside with long recess, the skiing program, bike trips, family camping outings. I love it that there is no homework until 3rd grade, that social/emotional work is as important as traditional subjects, that the teachers follow emerging research and base their teaching on how kids' learn best, and aren't teaching to raise test scores. This is a co-op which means the parents work shifts at the school and I personally love this opportunity. U- Coop is a very unique and magical school and a great fit for our family.
My family loves UCoop! It truly is a caring, supportive community, but it may not be for everyone. This school requires a substantial commitment of time and energy, but the benefits to the entire family, from my perspective, are immeasurable. Being able to participate in my daughter's education at such a close level as she learns, develops friendships, and grows into a great little person is a true privilege. A brief list of the many positives: small class size, outstanding teachers, nurturing and respectful environment, plenty of physical activities, parenting resources and support, and a curriculum that not only makes learning fun, but teaches kids HOW to learn.
My daughter has been held very lovingly as she makes the transition into elementary school. She feels safe and supported and challenged and is excited to go to school. It is a lovely community and I enjoy being part of a school where parents are so actively involved.
My kids were the only kids I spoke with who were excited to go back to school after the summer vacation. I am tempted to let that fact speak for itself, but that would leave too much unsaid. The teachers, all of them, are an amazing combination of inspiring and nurturing; dedicated to the idea that people learn best when motivated by their own innate curiosity. As a result, UCo-op kids are excited about school, love to learn, and think of themselves as authors, mathematicians, engineers, artists, musicians, singers, and scientists.
wow. how do they do that? made all the neg. reviews disappear? so many unhappy people and neg. reviews vanished. people convince themselves their fids get "the best" when they do not.
Our family has enjoyed this school for 7 years. Students at this school are able to develop their strengths under the watchful eyes of caring teachers. The culture is kind, energetic, fun, and respectful. No meaningless busywork here! We will miss this school when we graduate and have to move on.
This is a wonderful school. The teachers are outstanding and we are very much looking forward to moving up to the next pod - our daughter is ready for it. The children genuinely care for each other and are very inclusive and welcoming. I think academics are good but what I think is better is all the discovery these kids get to do every day on who they are and how they fit into this giant world we live it.
I would have my kids attend no other school in Seattle. Each of my three children has attended UCoop, and each has become smart, creative, thoughtful, independent, and very successful, beyond my wildest dreams. The creativity of the teachers, specialists, and parents is inspiring, not just for the kids but for the community as well. The awareness that all of us develops toward social justice and thoughtful parenting is heartening, and strengthens our commitment to this wonderful place. To be sure, like any school, UCoop is not for every child. That's not to say it is an exclusionary/exclusive school: Each child has different needs. And it may not be for every family-- the commitment made and maintained by UC parents is a remarkable testament to the care and love we have for our kids and community, and requires effort and a willingness to support a largely volunteer operation, pitching in and "doing the right thing" sometimes without the kind of leadership and direction that larger, better funded schools offer. And that,. my friends is the UCoop Way.
U-Coop has it's share of academics but more to its core values, it is about experiential learning. I sooo wish that I could have gone here as a child. Both of my kids get that it is better than anything they hear their neighborhood friends chat about. I know all the parents because we run the school and take an active role.
University Cooperative is more than a school, it is a community. The teachers are amazing, dedicated, and invested, as are the parents. I had two kids that went through the program and came out strong in who they are, academically capable, and happy enthusiastic learners. I can not recommend it more highly.
Great school. We are new and our son loves school again! He is challenged and inspired by the great faculty. We were WARMLY welcomed by all of the fabulous parents. We were very surprised at all of this and love the program.
The dynamic, student centered learning left my daughter well prepared for middle school. At the same time, the school helped her learn to manage the complex dance of friendship and teamwork. Additionally, the co-op environment provides a warm and supportive environment for both student and parent to navigate the difficult task of being a family.
University Cooperative has been nothing short of fantastic. The teachers are not only caring, but truly passionate about teaching. We had our son overseas with us for several years, and attended what many believe to be "the best schools," one in Paris and the other in Munich. While the academics were very good and super competitive, we always felt something was missing. University Cooperative has filled that void. My unique, smart, and passionate child is honored as an individual, fully active in his own learning process by way of hands-on-learning, and above all, supported in a community as he strengthens his social and emotional skills along the way. University Cooperative is a special place and we are fortunate to be a part of this true work of art.
I agree with the last reviewer except my child is in the 3-5 class. The negative reviews are the exact opposite of our experience and I feel this school is exceptional. There is absolutely no "after thought" to academics. y child actually is extremely challenged and receives a fair share of homework. The teaching staff is incredible and the activities in school and out of school are nothing but amazing. In my honest opinion, it's a dream school for any child. Parents are committed and staff are top notch. The teacher who wrote the program for the 3-5 grades did an outstanding job. My child started mid-year and you would never know it. He was accepted with open arms by staff and classmates. There is not one bad thing I can say about this place. Very nurturing environment!
All schools have times of challenges. It sounds like 2009/10 was a year for the k2 side of the school. This year as a 1st grader- I am thrilled all those parents left and my child was able to get in to ucoop, there is very little school room chaos, the kids are caring, the academics are taught every day. There are many wonderful field trips, the Spanish program is terrific. The kids are taught to enjoy the outdoors in all weather conditions. And most importantly they are taught to be confident in who they are.
My daughter attended University Cooperative school for 6 years, and it was a profoundly positive experience for everyone in our family. The teachers are excellent: highly motivated, creative and inspiring. The parents became our community (with its wonders, bumps, bruises, laughter and joy). Our daughter left the school with confidence, great writing skills and great public speaking skills; she is a strong advocate for herself, and better at teaming than most of the adults I know. It was a wonderful six years.
The University Cooperative Ultimate Frisbee team competed in Spring Reign, in Burlington Washington this past weekend. (Spring Reign is the largest youth ultimate tournament in the country -- there was even an elementary school team from Los Angeles present!) It came as no surprise to most of us who are familiar with the school that the U-Coop team won the highly coveted Spirit Award . It is yet another example of the way in which this school instills the most important values in their students. Values that will enable them to be gracious team players and make positive and lasting impressions on the world. Congratulations!
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