Updated August 2023
What is Mount Tabor Preschool?
MTP is a developmentally appropriate, play-based, cooperative preschool, serving Portland since 1951. We endeavor to provide a wide variety of experiences to accommodate children’s interests and needs as individuals and as members of a group. We provide opportunities that stimulate social skills and promote self-esteem. We are located at (but not affiliated with) Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church as part of Taborspace. .
How old do children have to be to attend Mt. Tabor Preschool?
All of our classes are mixed age groups, so that children ages 3-5 can attend whichever class option works best for their family’s schedule. Children must be three years old before they start attending Mt Tabor Preschool, and they cannot be eligible for first grade yet (thus cannot be six years old before September 1st of the school year).
When are classes held?
2 Day Class students attend Tuesdays & Thursday 9:30am-12:30pm.
3 Day Class students attend Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays 9:30am-12:30pm.
5 Day Class students attend with both the 2 Day Class and the 3 Day Class, so their schedule is Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 9:30am-12:30pm.
Families are welcome to pick up their child around 11:45 or noon if the full three hours is a bit much for their child, they would prefer to have lunch at home, etc.
The school year begins in September, one week after Portland Public Schools begin. Preschool ends the week prior to Memorial Day in May.
How much does it cost?
Mt Tabor Preschool uses a sliding scale tuition model with two levels – the base level tuition, and the 150% level tuition for families with higher incomes ($115,000+ for a family of four). Families choose which tuition level to pay based on the honor system.
2 Day Class: $190 base level tuition, $285 150% level tuition
3 Day Class: $285 base level tuition, $428 150% level tuition
5 Day Class: $475 base level tuition, $713 150% level tuition
For more information on our sliding scale system, please visit our tuition page. A small increase is subject to approval by our general membership each spring. Tuition is due on the 1st day of each month. Upon registration, each family pays the first and last months’ tuition. Each family also pays a one-time enrollment fee ($95), as well as a start-up fee for class supplies, field trips, and emergency food & first aid supplies ($105). Tuition assistance is available to those that qualify.
What about class size?
Each class enrolls up to 18 students. One professional teacher and 2-3 parent volunteers staff each class session, for an approximate 1:5 adult-to-child ratio.
What happens at the preschool during a typical class day?
The day begins with ‘free choice’ time, during which children are free to choose any area of the classroom in which to play or create. Students also have free choice to eat their snack during this time. After clean up, the kids meet with Teacher Amy on the carpet for circle time. At the end of circle time, children take a bathroom break. The kids then play outside at our playground or go to the ‘big room’ (outside is always preferred) for gross motor play. Lunch is often eaten outside before parents come for pick-up.
How does enrollment work?
Contact our Membership Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about openings for the current school year. We accept enrollment applications for fall starting in January. The application fee is $20. Alumni families receive enrollment priority. For the next fall, we hold a lottery in February to assign class spots. Families are notified immediately if they have a spot or are put on the waitlist. After the lottery enrollment process, students will be admitted in the order that applications are received until the classes are full. An enrollment fee of $95 is due to confirm acceptance of enrollment. We will create and maintain a wait list over the summer and for the duration of the school year.
If my child is enrolled, what will I need to do as a co-op preschool parent?
There are six main responsibilities for each family: Tuition, Parent Helping in the classroom, Preschool Family Job, Fundraising, Community Hours, and attendance at General Membership Meetings.
Will I need to help in the classroom?
Yes, you get to see your child learn, grow, and interact socially by helping in the classroom. All family members who will work in the classroom must complete a criminal history background check and attend an orientation session prior to the beginning of the school year. Classroom helpers schedule their turns to participate in the classroom monthly. Schedules of helping days are maintained and updated throughout the year by the Class Representative for each class.
How often will I help in the classroom?
There are 2-3 parent helpers each day, depending on how many students are enrolled. Also an alternate is on call in case one of the scheduled helpers has an emergency that prevents them from coming to school. Parent helper duties are shared amongst all our families, and can vary somewhat based on enrollment levels. Typically parents will need to help in the classroom about once every six classes, which translates to…
2 Day Class: parent helping approximately once every three weeks
3 Day Class: parent helping approximately once every two weeks
5 Day Class: parent helping approximately once every week (with a couple weeks off)
What will I do as a parent helper in the classroom?
Parent helpers play a vital role in the classroom. Under the direction of the teacher, facilitating a safe and enjoyable experience for children will be your first priority. You will be expected to be attentive to and engaged with the children. You will help with projects, read stories, and ask and answer questions to extend children’s learning. Parent helpers assist children when they require help, facilitate problem solving, and are generally available to aid the children and teacher. The parent helpers also come early to help set up the classroom and stay late to clean up after school in preparation for the next school day.
What sort of fundraising activities take place?
Our program is able to offer affordable tuition in large part through the support of member families in our fundraising efforts. Every member family is expected to participate in fundraising–but for the most part, it’s FUN! Our annual auction is in the spring. In addition, there are other fundraising activities such as buy-in classroom parties and restaurant “dine out” nights that members may participate in as they are able.
What is a preschool job?
As a cooperative preschool, MTP relies on its parents to keep the preschool running! Our teacher, Amy Watson, is the only official employee of the preschool. She has been the teacher at MTP since 2004. All the other jobs that need to get done – board positions, maintenance, managing parent helper schedules, planning events, and fundraising activities, just to name a few – are done by the preschool parents. Upon enrollment you will have an opportunity to indicate three job preferences, and from those preferences your job assignment will be made. You’ll receive information explaining your assigned job, an orientation (if necessary), and on-the-job training. Amy and the Job Coordinator are always available for guidance and to answer questions.
How often are the General Membership Meetings?
There is a General Membership Meeting almost every month of the school year. The meetings are typically held on Tuesday evenings. Some months, we have a family event in lieu of the general membership meeting. These family events help to build our community and give us all an opportunity to have fun together.
Please contact our Membership Coordinator for more information about enrollment at email@example.com.
Mt. Tabor Preschool values diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, socioeconomic status, family structure, disability, or national and/or ethnic origin.