SELF-DIRECTED, Play-based & HANDS-ON
MCPC provides an expansive play-based curriculum, with new activities and reliable favorites available each day (sand box, outdoor play structures, dress up, etc.). Our curriculum emphasizes play and hands-on experience. We create a stimulating and inclusive learning environment that balances sensory, cognitive, and fine- and gross-motor activities. Everyday there are opportunities for both free play, independently directed by the children themselves, and guided play facilitated by teachers and parents at different times of the day. Children are given high amounts of autonomy to decide how they want to spend their time during free choice periods.
Parents all pitch in to drive for 7 field trips each year, including Bay Island Gymnastics, Tilden Park’s Little Farm and Chabot Space & Science Center. In addition there are bike days at Lake Temescal and walking trips to the library.
The school day
School hours are from 9am–12pm. Monday through Friday, from early September through mid-June. MCPC follows the Oakland Public Schools calendar for holidays and breaks whenever possible. Extended care is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-3pm, and a Spanish immersion program is available for older children (Owls) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12-2:30pm.
Find more about the schedule on the Preschool program page.
MCPC is licensed by the State of California. The school is supervised by a Director who oversees the programs, and manages one additional teacher and 5 parents on each school day.
MCPC has been operated by parents for more than 70 years. As a cooperative member, you will work with children, share parental concerns, develop child-rearing strategies, and learn about child development and behavior.
In return for the rewards and benefits of being so closely involved with your child's first school experience, you are expected to:
Work one morning per week at the school (8:30am–12:30pm)
Assist in running the school by performing an assigned administrative job
Attend one evening parent meeting per month
Work two four-hour housekeeping shifts per year
Participate in our annual fundraising events
MCPC owns its own property and is completely maintained by our parent community.
THE MAIN YARD
With lots of room to run and play and new hands-on activities set up daily, children are in the main yard rain or shine.
Here you’ll find seemingly limitless opportunities for play, including a climbing wall, water table, and a giant covered sandbox.
This hilly area is home to the MCPC chickens as well as some gross-motor-skill activities like monkey bars.
THE ART AREA
With paint easels, a daily art projects, chalkboard and more, the art area is a favorite spot. The art area is also home to the very popular Lego and sensory tables.
THE SIDE YARD
The side yard has plants to water, a large chalkboard and many climbing structures, but most students would call the pogo swing the main attraction.
The playroom hosts many MCPC games and activities. In the playroom you will find play dough, a dress-up nook, play kitchen and musical instruments.
THE DISCOVERY ROOM
In the discovery room, students explore science and nature; second-year students explore more complex ideas at their circle time here.
SNACK ROOM & KITCHEN
Children can visit the snack room until first circle. They serve themselves snack and clear their own plates when they are done and occasionally help cook!