The Co-Op Experience

Our involved parent community fosters learning in a nurturing environment.

What is a cooperative preschool?

Portland Kinderschule is a cooperative preschool in Portland. A cooperative preschool program is operated by the collective group of parents who take an active interest and an active role in their child’s first educational experience. Portland Kinderschule employs professional teachers with German fluency to lead our classes, but all other aspects of the school are conducted on a volunteer basis by the students’ families.

Why choose a cooperative preschool?

At Portland Kinderschule parents have a voice in school decisions, administration, and policy-making. As parents work together both inside and outside the classroom, a tightly knit community is built. The security that children draw from this sense of community ensures that they will begin their educational journey loving school. Portland Kinderschule families value the mutual understanding and moral support from other parents with the same interests and values.

What are my obligations?

Parental involvement is essential to the success of our school. The contributions of each family allow Portland Kinderschule to offer an outstanding, immersive education at a very reasonably priced tuition.

Volunteer for one job or board position per school year.

Assist in the classroom as a parent helper according to our rotating schedule. The number of days you are required to parent help depends on how many days your child attends school per week. Many families at Portland Kinderschule have two parents who work. For those with flexibility in their work schedule, parent helper days can be planned to fit your calendar. Other families may choose to have a nanny, grandparent or substitute help cover their parent helper days. All classroom helpers are required to pass a criminal background history check.

Fundraise: Our reasonable tuition does not fully cover the cost of educating your child. Our fundraising goal varies annually and is divided evenly among all families. Your fundraising goal, or your “fair share,” is easy to meet through a number of annual fundraising opportunities that are offered throughout the year. Families who opt out of fundraising may make a tax-deductible donation to cover their fair share.

Speak German to the best of your ability in the classroom to children, teachers and other parents. Parents who do not speak German are supported in their efforts to learn some rudimentary German, including basic phrases and greetings to use in the classroom.

Clean classroom three times per year. Tri-annual cleaning parties are typically held on a Saturday morning and take approximately two hours.

Attend general meetings two times per year. We discuss and vote on school issues, elect board members, hear speakers, as well as enjoy some adult social time.

Our Board

Portland Kinderschule is a cooperative German immersion preschool run through the efforts of teachers, as well as parents who serve on an administrative board.

Ashley Clark



Coordinates and oversees all operations of the preschool.

Jenny Haynes

Vice President

Supports president as needed and takes over when president is not available.

Shannon Thurston


Takes minutes during meetings and communicates them to the membership via email.

Chris Bradley


Receives and dispenses funds. Keeps complete financial records. Develops and presents financial reports and budgets.

Chris Bradley

Payroll Treasurer

Manages bank account and payroll system. Files taxes. Issues reimbursement checks.

Carla Quisenberry

Membership Coordinator

Acts as registrar, ensuring all required forms are on file prior to start of school. Maintains files of student records, immunizations, and school roster.

Megan Atwood


Manages all marketing for school and camps through multiple venues/media. Maintains promotional material. Maintains a presence in social media.

Non-Board Volunteer Positions

Jenny Haynes

Parent Help Cordinator

Determines number of parent helper days required per family. Creates and provides sign-up sheets at general meetings.

Ashley Clark

Fundraising Cordinator

Works with board to plan, coordinate and organize fundraising events for the upcoming year.

Nadja Bandelier

Event & Fieldtrip Coordinator

Plans field trips and schedules classroom visitors that support Portland Kinderschule’s curriculum. Organizes four cultural events per year.

Sahand Love

Facility & Safety Coordinator

Checks emergency and first aid kit to make sure there is sufficient food, water and supplies. Organizes two cleaning days per year. Coordinates with teachers to make sure periodic fire, earthquake and lock down drills are carried out.

Katerina Baratta

Media Coordinator

Takes pictures of all incoming students and families. Creates bulletin board identifying each student and the family’s job. Gathers photographs throughout the year and creates a year-end yearbook.

Nadja Bandelier

Teacher's Aide / Purchaser

Maintains school and classroom supplies. Documents the weekly teaching summary for distribution to the parents.

Matt Foster

Technology Coordinator

Supports the school website. Maintains permissions of the shared electronic file system and email system.