Our daughter is a KapKa kindergartner and absolutely in love with her school. The class sizes are smaller so she has the opportunity to be a leader among her peers and reap the benefits of plenty of personal attention. When she started school, she was anxious academically and afraid to take chances and make mistakes. In KapKa s nurturing, positive environment she s blossomed and is eager to delve into reading and math, even when she doesn t get the right answers the first time. She has a fall birthday making her older for her grade, but KapKa does a lot of blending of different classes so older and younger students have lots of chances to mix. The school s cooperative structure requires more parent involvement than a conventional approach, but that also gives parents a stronger voice in the school programs and the students get to interact with many other adults in addition to teachers and staff. KapKa puts its students and families first not standardized tests and bureaucracy.
We are in our 4th year at Kapka and couldn't be happier with the school. The teachers at each level have been first class and we've watched our child blossom into a confident, thoughtful learner. Children at Kapka learn through experience. For example, this year the 3rd - 5th grade children staged their own magic show as a fundraiser for several local charities. The show was their major project-based learning opportunity for the year. You may be thinking, "where are the academics in staging a magic show?" This is where the "magic" of KapKa happens. The teachers integrate math, reading and planning skills into the project. For example, the children had a budget to manage, shopping to do, tickets to sell, change to make for the audience members, concessions to plan and price, etc. Lots of math! The magic show is only one example. Last year, the big school project was the design and construction of miniature golf holes. This led to learning in the areas of carpentry, geometry, and physics. If you are not sold on the direction of education in public schools (rote learning, testing, etc.), check out KapKa!
Our daughter is thriving at KapKa School. Things we love: small class sizes, top-notch teachers, rich curriculum that encourages investigation and independent thinking, strong community traditions, public service orientation, ample outdoor time, solid literacy and math teaching. At KapKa, education is focused on the whole child, not just meeting test scores. My daughter is learning how to be in a community, be a friend, talk about emotions and problems. On the first day of school, she was greeted by an older "buddy" who took her hand and showed her around her new school, a small example of how caring for others is modeled and taught. This week the students are working to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for elderly people in the neighborhood; in the spring they will be raising and releasing salmon. Music and art are ample and woven into their daily learning and rhythm of the day. (My child is always singing now.) If you are interested in a small, rich educational environment for your child, I highly encourage you to check out KapKa. Our family is the better for it.
How I feel about Kapka is hard to put into words. My daughter started Kindergarten there only a few short weeks ago and yet we already feel like we are a part of such a strong, supportive and loving community. I love the wonderful balance they seem to have achieved between independent exploration and teamwork, all with a focus on experiential learning. I was so worried that school would just be an exercise in memorizing some obsolete curriculum. Nothing could be further than the truth at Kapka--instead we found a place that honors our daughter's uniqueness and will no doubt instill in her a love of learning that will last a lifetime. In short, if you are looking for a holistic educational experience that your child will not only love, but THRIVE in....look no further! This is the best decision our family could have made and we thank our lucky stars that we found it :)
Both of my children have been to KapKa for their early elementary years. While other schools required us to drop students at the gate or meet a bus, at KapKa we felt truly welcomed at school. We could visit for lunch, talk to teachers, know every child in the class and meet other parents for coffee. This true community provides more than a nice social group - it provides the kind of learning community where my kids felt really safe, important and confident to share who they were rather than fit in with the needs of an institution. I love the depth of KapKa teaching, the inquiry based methods and the expertise of the teachers in crafting a truly differentiated curriculum which meets the needs of different learners. My elder son ended up in a gifted program at a large public school, my younger one is more arty. KapKa has been a lovely fit for both, and a great start for school for the whole family.
KapKa Cooperative lives by its mission to provide an engaging community where teachers, students and parents interact and create the best possible learning environment. Every voice is heard and every child is given careful attention. Just by spending a few hours a week at the cooperative, I get to know the teachers, staff, and other parents & kids well. I get to see what my son learns and how he grows. It's an empowering experience for any child and parent.
We love KapKa school! Our daughter has been attending for the past 2 years, and we plan to also send our son there when he gets old enough. We are so glad that the school has expanded to include 3-5, it means that we can continue with this progressive, cooperative education all the way through 5th grade. The teachers are fabulous! There is incredible energy with new team members joining, and both progressive academics and social-emotional development are focused on in the classroom and school-wide community. We've been so pleased with our daughter's academic development and her self-confidence in expressing her feelings. Our daughter's love of learning is supported and she can't wait to go to school every day. The students benefit from small class sizes and every child feels truly recognized and known by the teachers. We love the cooperative community aspect of the school too. Our daughter feels safe and nurtured there, and we love that we can be friends with our school community. There is time commitment as with any cooperative, and even though both my husband and I work outside the home, we've been able to make it work. It's actually easier than we anticipated!
Kapka was one of the best decisions we have made for our family. Our daughter is in her second year at Kapka and absolutely loves school and loves learning. We chose Kapka because we thought it would be the best place for her social-emotional development. After three years of holding on to her teachers leg in preschool and only rarely interacting with other children, we were concerned she could easily get lost in a big school. Kapka turned out to be a great decision- within her first week at Kapka she was comfortable and making friends, and by first grade she owns the place! The learning environment at Kapka is fun and stimulating with amazing teachers and our daughter is excited to learn everyday. I will say that as a family with two working parents and a younger child we were really apprehensive about starting a co-op initially- we nearly backed out a month before her kindergarten year. But once we got started it has been quite manageable for us. In the end we get so much more from this community than what we put in.
The new location is fabulous, the teachers are devoted, energetic, and oh-so-talented, and the focus on social/emotional growth as well as academic growth is a true gift. I couldn't ask for a better school for my daughter.
The school is not for every one. Kapka has so many positive intentions and some very committed teachers and parents but it falls short in its delivery at times. When push comes to shove, it seems to unravel in great uncertainty. Two teachers are leaving and the search is on for a new space and new faculty. They are adding a 3-5 program which is great but seems to be the focus of a lot of the schools energy. They really mean well and do care for the children at the school. It swings back and forth between great highs and great lows. It is a wonderful alternative to public school as it costs less than most private schools in town but that is because it is a coop, demanding a lot of time from the parents.