After more than 35 years at Fremont High School and nearly 70 years serving the Cupertino and Sunnyvale communities, the Cupertino Co-Op Nursery School (CCNS) is looking for a new home.
“We have a wonderful relationship with the high school district and we have since 1955,” said CCNS Director Jennie Ivazian, who also teaches the 3-year-old class.
Ivazian says last year, the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) informed CCNS it will redevelop the space in 2023, and the nonprofit will need to find a new location.
“[The district has] been supportive and we were given ample time,” said Ivazian. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with them in a new rental space, wherever that is.”
Finding a new location in Silicon Valley, especially one large enough to give students a chance to experience all the Cupertino co-op has to offer will be difficult. Ivazian hopes the community will help.
“We feel like we’re looking for a unicorn because we’re a program that a lot of our activities and time is outside,” said Ivazian. “In typical times, children can choose to be inside or outside at all times. Which isn’t very typical of most early childhood programs. So, we want a big outdoor space, like we have currently, and then, we have square footage that we need of indoor space, as well as, in terms of our licensing.
“We’re basically looking for a space that has the necessary indoor space that we need, but then free access to a big, enclosed, safe outdoor yard that we make our own,” continued Ivazian.
Space like that can be hard to find and expensive, but Ivazian believes staying in the Sunnyvale and Cupertino area is worth it given the school’s history in the community.
“The school, in 1953, was started by parents. It was a group of parents that wanted to have a co-op school where they could be a part of the community and have a parent [education] aspect,” said Ivazian. “Our school, still to this day, has parent education as part of our program and parents still work in the classroom every week, just like they did in 1953.”
Parents are just as dedicated to the school as Ivazian.
“CCNS is a community where you can tell the parents really care about their interactions with their kids and are looking to help their kids, and the other kids in the school, grow through play,” said Carrie, whose son Alistair recently graduated from the Cupertino co-op. “Being a part of the community—even after my child graduated—has been a gift and a great support structure through the pandemic.”
“CCNS is special in its commitment to play-based and social-emotional learning as vehicles to kindergarten readiness,” said Christine, whose son Xavier is in the 4- and 5-year-old class. “Each teacher brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to their work with children and families and we have greatly benefited from it. We’ve seen my son grow immensely and are so grateful for our time here.”
Over the years, CCNS has been recognized by the City of Sunnyvale and the California Legislature for its work with preschool-aged children.
CCNS is hoping to have a new location identified by the fall of this year. It will begin moving in the spring of 2023. To donate to the fundraising efforts, visit https://cupertinocoop.org/donate.