TEACHER: Dori Schnelz
PARENT EDUCATOR: Charlotte Skeffington

Teacher Dori says:  I began my preschool career when my 12-month old daughter was enrolled in the One-Day Toddler Co-op…and continued as a Co-op parent until both of my children–and I–moved on to kindergarten.   Since the program depends on highly involved parents, this prepared me for the “Big Leagues” of elementary school…and I am still  highly involved behind the scenes with my kids who are now in high school.

I began teaching the 4’s program at Lincoln Park Preschool in the fall of 2007.  I am a dedicated and enthusiastic preschool teacher, committed to providing a nurturing, fun-filled environment where children are encouraged to explore and engage in social interactions that are developmentally appropriate.   Throughout our day, the children have many opportunities to practice taking turns, listening to others, learning and talking about many interesting topics.

My specialties and loves are science and “recess/gym time” -I want my graduates to be prepared to ask important questions in the classroom and manage the structured and unstructured time during grade school gym and on the playground.

I graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration and then worked as an Account Executive for 4 years.  That is where I learned the importance of organization and planning that I use in preschool–it takes a lot of organization to run a classroom that offers children choices within structure and engages parents in meaningful roles as assistant teachers.  I have never found a more rewarding position, than working in the Cooperative Preschool program.


3-year-olds are full of wonder and ready to learn by DOING. Through guided play at preschool they are:

  • Developing social skills
  • Using language to solve problems
  • Practicing self-regulation
  • Making neural (brain) connections that are the foundation for reading and math.

Our class provides a stimulating variety of choices to explore for active, whole body learning. Challenges of learning to wait and negotiate with friends are met with understanding and proactive teaching.


9:00  Welcome from Teacher Dori and Large Muscle Play (in our beautiful outdoor playground, weather permitting)

Choice Time to Play, Explore, Pretend, and Create

Put Away Time (we really make use of toys and materials and we learn to be responsible for their care)

Circle Time Story or Book (extending our attention span and ability to regulate our bodies and emotions)

Snack (sharing a healthy snack furnished and prepared by parents according to Health Department standards)

Music and Movement (singing and using big muscles and sharing space together)

Closing Circle (coming together to say Good-Bye)

11:30 Good-Bye


Teacher Karla turns our classroom into a Spanish speaking world one day a week when she brings special art, stories, songs, and conversation.  She shares her culture as kids learn to make “Bate Bate Chocolate” and eat bread  from Posadas and more.


A parent from your family assists in the classroom one day a week. 

  • You choose whether your day each week will be either Mon/Tues/Wed morning.
    • If you cannot come in due to illness, etc. you ask another parent to trade with you.
  • We teach you ways to interact with the kids using our “positive discipline” philosophy.

Parents get to:

  • Attend a monthly, evening parent meeting to discuss business and parenting topics
  • Help with the running of the preschool and fundraising
  • Choose a co-op job that fits your interests, skill, and time


I can use words but sometimes I forget and use my body instead. I am so capable but it’s hard to get me out the door in the morning.

How to facilitate cooperation? How to have happy playdates? Why can’t s/he leave the park when it is time to go?  How can I nurture his/her love of reading?

“Who said 3 year olds were easier than 2’s? At co-op I got new ideas….and I saw that my kid wasn’t the only one.”

Parent Education is an important part of our Three Day Preschool:

  • A professional Parent Educator attends class one day each week (alternating Mon/Tues/Wed) ready to check in with you to offer tips that will help at home and at school
  • The class chooses one night a month for Parent Meeting–time to learn about guidance and discipline AND as an adult night out together  (example: first Tuesday of each month)
  • To personalize your learning, choose from a list of free talks on topics such as: Guidance & Discipline, Raising Boys/Girls, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, Sleep, Raising an Only,  First Aid and CPR
For more information or to register