The History of the School

As a parent cooperative, TCS was created, built, and maintained by dedicated mothers and fathers who wanted to actively participate in their child’s education.

When founded in 1948, the parents invited an educator from New York’s prestigious Bank Street School to be its first director to help create an innovative school focusing on the needs of the young child. With the experience of more than 60 years, TCS has educated generations of young children.


The preschool and kindergarten maintain a consistent, child-centered program with developmentally-appropriate practices. The focus is learning through play both indoors and outdoors with an approach that promotes a positive self-concept.

TCS strives to be a safe place where children can learn to be creative independent, problem-solving individuals. Its goal is to lay the foundation for the inner strength and resilience necessary for each child to meet the demands of his or her world.

Mission Statement

Tucson Community School's mission is to provide a creative learning experience emphasizing outdoor play and family participation in a safe environment which respects each child's uniqueness and individual learning style.

The Child

Children are the focus in our preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Teachers help each child feel capable and confident while stimulating his or her widening curiosity in a non-competitive environment. TCS believes it is the right of every child to be respected and treated as an individual. With mutual respect, children learn to share in group responsibility and develop self-discipline.

Children explore the world by working with natural materials, caring for animals and planting gardens. Creativity is developed through pretend play, music, painting, dancing, and block building. Understanding of numbers and words is incorporated in hands-on daily activities.  Visitors to TCS will notice children's love of print as they observe each classroom environment for notes, journals, books, signs and paintings that pronounce each classroom's community of learners.

Large motor proficiency is acquired from biking, climbing, and running. Small motor skills are developed with puzzles, sewing and drawing. Interpersonal skills are built by children being encouraged to resolve conflicts themselves in a positive and constructive way and by making friendships with children of diverse backgrounds.

Activities are open-ended; children work at their own pace and learn in the manner in which they are best suited. Active play is balanced with quiet play; routines are balanced with new experiences.

The Parent's Role

As a parent participation preschool and kindergarten, TCS relies on parents for many things.  The commitment for each family is significant; the benefits enjoyed by parents and children are far-reaching and long lasting.

Each family agrees to be the helping parent in their child's classroom for one full morning a week 12 to 18 days in a 9 month school year.  As a helping parent, the adult assists the teacher in various ways, observing and documenting childrens' play, preparing the outdoor play yards, cleaning up activities, and preparing snacks.  In this way, parents are able to see their child interact with others in the classroom context.  

Parents working from inside and outside the home find that school participation is adaptable to their schedules.  The school welcomes grandparents, other family members and babysitters to support families in meeting their classroom commitment.