A Cooperative Nursery School!
Amherst Nursery School
Amherst Nursery School is a non-profit, non-denominational, private cooperative nursery school with classes for two, three and four year old children. Classes are taught by experienced preschool teachers assisted by teacher aides under the supervision of the on-staff education director. Parents have the opportunity to participate in the cooperative by serving as additional aides in their child’s classroom, by performing other jobs around the school as necessary, by attending meetings and special events, and by serving on the Parent Board of Directors. In 2008, ANS began a collaboration with the Amherst Central School District to provide Universal Pre-Kingergarten (UPK) for district four year olds. UPK classes, which do not have a co-oping commitment, run five days per week and are free of charge.
Amherst Nursery School is incorporated with the NYS Board of Regents and has been registered with the NYS Education Department since 1964. We meet or exceed their high standards for building and facilities, education equipment, fire and safety regulations, student health information, staff requirements, teacher-pupil ratio, educational program and curriculum. ANS reports to the Department of Education annually and receives an on-site inspection every five years to extend our registration.
Location and Facilities
ANS is located at Harlem and Saratoga Roads in Snyder, NY in the lower level, east wing of Christ United Methodist Church. The school is easily accessed from Routes 290, 90 and 33 and is just a short distance from Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Williamsville and Tonawanda. The school consists of five classrooms (2 for four year olds, 2 for three year olds and 1 for two year olds), a large gross motor playroom, a music room, an outdoor playground and an office.
In 1938, several mothers of preschool children and one young teacher formed a “study group” which would become Amherst Cooperative Nursery School, Western New York’s first cooperative nursery school. The mothers sought to provide a beneficial educational and social experience for their children and to learn more about early childhood development themselves. Over the years, the mother’s study group evolved from study and observation to participation as teacher’s helpers in the classroom. Fathers, babysitters, grandparents and other extended family members are now all welcome to participate as co-opers or special visitors. The school was initially located in teacher or parent residences; as we grew in size, ANS moved to the Williamsville Methodist Church, then to Amherst Community Church, and finally to our present location in 1967. Our name was legally changed to Amherst Nursery School in 2008, but we remain a cooperative in fact and in spirit.
Board of Directors
ANS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of parent volunteers. They are responsible for the business operation of the school and for setting policies which reflect and respond to parent concerns.
Parent involvement in the classroom is one of the unique features of our preschool. This arrangement benefits the school, as well as the parent and child. All families are required to send a representative on a rotating basis to assist in class. Co-opers may help with crafts, story time, supervise play and will provide the class snack.
Our Parents observe their child’s development in a social setting of his/her peers; gain insight into early childhood development and parenting techniques through observation and communication with professional staff; get to know their child’s playmates and their families, providing support, friendships and memories that last a life time.
Our Children feel valued and associate positive feelings with school and learning; benefit socially from interacting with new adults in a familiar setting; form a unique connection with parents because of the meaningful, first educational experience they share.
Our Program benefits as extra adult help supports teachers in planning and executing educational objectives more efficiently; is enriched by the expertise of family members who share their jobs or interests with us in “special visits;” thrives due to the dedication, the input and the hard work of the ANS Parent Board of Directors and the other jobs undertaken by parent volunteers in the school.