Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Coop?

A cooperative nursery school offers parents the opportunity to be closely involved in their child’s early education as they help in the classroom on a regular, rotating basis. Parents also serve on either the Board or on a committee. Time commitments vary depending upon the position. Smaller roles exist for even the busiest of families. Parents are also expected to attend our major fundraising events held each calendar year. Interacting with teachers, other children and parents makes for a rich and rewarding experience for the entire family.

At what age can children enroll?

Children who will be 3 years old by December 31 can enroll in the 3-Day class. Children need to be 4 by December 31 to be a part of the 5-Day program. Our Pre-K program serves older fours and younger five-year-olds who miss the cutoff for kindergarten (typically September 1) or who may benefit from an extra year of preschool.

What is the teacher/child ratio?

5:1 child-adult ratio (7:1 in Pre-K). The 3-Day class enrolls a maximum of 16 while 5-Day can enroll a maximum of 17 children. There are always two teachers and one parent in the classroom; at times the Director is another pair of hands. The Pre-K class enrolls up to 14 children with two teachers and has a parent helper in the classroom once a week.

Does my child need to be toilet trained?

No, but we are happy to assist you if you are in the midst of training.

How do you handle allergies?

Bowen has been a nut-free school for 14 years. At times, there are children with multiple allergies. When this occurs, each classroom has a specific snack list to accommodate these allergies.

Do you offer a full-day program?

We do not offer a full day program. However, we have an optional extended day program, which runs Monday through Friday for 5-Day and Pre-K children until 3:15 pm. Our extended day program is not designed to accommodate the needs of our younger children, and thus is currently available to 5-Day and Pre-K families only. Starting mid-year, we also offer an extra hour of lunch bunch one day a week for the 3-Day and 5-Day classes.

How does drop off work?

In the early days of school, parents are welcome to stay until the child feels comfortable. Once school is under way, parents usually stay to settle the child into an activity and then say goodbye. After drop off, there are usually parents chatting in the activity room with a cup of coffee while younger siblings play.

How does Bowen build community?

Community at Bowen is very special. Bowen offers many opportunities for interaction between children, parents and teachers. Each day the school is open for coffee and conversation before and after drop off. Teachers greet children and answer questions from parents. Being on the Board or a committee introduces parents to one another across classes. Parent-only social events are scattered throughout the year. Class Vice Presidents organize optional get-togethers for children and parents. Bowen also holds workshops 2-3 times a year, geared for parents of preschoolers with topics such as healthy eating habits, the birds and the bees and raising children in an era of technology. Bowen has a long tradition of encouraging children to become involved and give back to the community. Every November, all three classrooms help to prepare Thanksgiving meals for families in need. In January, we involve children in the “Giving Tree,” a collection drive for a local charity benefiting children in need. With help and guidance from teachers, a classroom discussion can often turn into a charitable act, such as cards for firefighters, or a school supply collection for Puerto Rico.

What sets Bowen apart from other preschools?

The community that Bowen builds between home and school is unique. Our alumni frequently comment that their closest friends are the ones they met through the Bowen community. Come see for yourself!

Where do most Bowen families live?

Bowen families come from all over Newton - we have families residing in each of the thirteen villages. We also have families living in surrounding towns such as Needham, Waltham, and Wellesley.