History, values, and curriculum

History and Values

Dad reading to kidsSPP was founded in October 2009 by two Seattle parents, Derek Stanley and Cynthia Rowand, based on their positive cooperative education experiences with their own children and their desire to integrate social and environmental values into a preschool curriculum. Though there are existing schools that are based around particular themes or causes, Derek and Cynthia wanted to create a school that embraced the full spectrum of social and environmental issues that fall under the progressive umbrella.

From our choice of toys, to our service activities and our location on bus lines, we strive to make every decision consistent with good environmental stewardship and social justice.

Rather than focusing on one central issue, our model allows members of the coop to bring issues that are relevant to their families directly into the classroom. The personalization of the school’s curriculum is aimed at helping families of varying backgrounds understand one another and invigorate the program each year with fresh energy.

Girl paintingSPP believes that economic diversity among its students benefits all of the students, as well as their participating family members. We specifically reserve a number of spots in our class for families with household incomes of less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines, and we offer financial aid to those families demonstrating the most need.

We strive to make the coop work for all interested families by seeking families of all races, ethnicities, economics and religions. Same-sex families and alternative family structures (such as single parented homes and kindercare arrangements) families are welcomed and celebrated.




Mom readingSeattle’s Progressive Preschool provides all families with an introduction to anti-bias education. This helps us see the world through each others eyes, helping our friends’ priorities make sense in the context of our and their needs.


Two kids playing with marblesSeattle’s Progressive Preschool embraces a play-based curriculum. Preschool children learn many social skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and conflict resolution, through play. These skills are critical to their educational success: Children who master these skills before kindergarten entry are able to focus on the increasingly academic nature of the early elementary school curriculum.

Our play-based curriculum is balanced with more structured activities, giving children a good balance of educational approaches.

SPP’s goal is to give children a positive first experience with school, fostering a love of learning. Our activities help them to develop independence and self-esteem, social skills, and cognitive, large and fine motor skills, all while fostering a commitment to social justice and the environment.