Your child's education is important and we know you have questions. Here are a few that we get most often, with some helpful answers. Another great way to learn more about our school is to stop in for a visit, talk to the current parents, and meet Cocoa. We welcome visitors 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. 

dress up in the trees

What is cooperative education? 

Cooperative Education refers to a school organized and run by a parent body. At HACNS all the jobs at the school are fulfilled by parents. 

What are parents required to do? 

Every family is required to work 1 work shift a week. Working day parents arrive at 8:45 am to set up the school and finish up around 1:15 pm, after clean up. Your work day will be the same day of the week, every week. Once a month you'll be responsible for bringing snack for the children and working parents, as well as doing a project once a month with the children. Projects are fun and easy and there's always lots of supplies to help you in our crafts storage area.

In addition every family at our school has a job. There is everything from big jobs like President or Treasurer to smaller jobs like doing the laundry or keeping everyone on track during maintenance days. Maintenance Days are every couple months, on the weekend, where we all come together to keep our school functional and safe. 

What happens if I can't make my workday? 

We have a strong parent community and there is almost always someone who will quickly snap up your work day if you have an appointment or a sick child at home. If you can't find anyone directly through our online group, we also maintain a list of alumni families who are happy to help out. Don't worry, you'll be more than covered. 

sand and bubbles

Your location is at a playground, how does that work? 

HACNS has a long term lease with San Francisco Rec and Park for the Grattan Clubhouse and Playground. During school hours we open our doors to the neighborhood children and their caregivers who enjoy our toys and fun activities right along with us. Many children attend the playground fun long before they are old enough to be a part of the school, which is a great way to learn about the school and have your child become comfortable staying when they get close to being 3 years old. 

To keep our children safe we have latched gates and those famous yellow signs to remind friends to shut the gates as they go in and out. We also have systems in place for when we use the upper tennis court area or go down to the lower-yard for time on the big swings or onto the grassy field. 

Our playground is so well loved, it even has a fan club! The Friends of the Grattan Playground are doing some great work to help renovate and innovate a future playground space. 

How is your school run? 

HACNS is a 501c3 non profit organization. As such we have a Board of Directors that runs our school, as well as an active parent membership. The board holds regular meetings that are open to all families. Every month we also have a parent membership meeting. We meet at a family's house and discuss topics about running the school, hear a report from Cocoa, and share yummy food and drinks together. Our monthly meetings are a great way to stay connected to all the families and build community. 

What are the hours of school? 

We are open Monday - Friday 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and we follow the SFUSD school calendar. The school year runs mid-August to early June.

How early do I need to apply? 

Apply at the latest by the beginning of March of the year you wish your child to enter nursery school. Children must be 2years 9months or older by the start of school in mid-August to enter. We are also happy to accept applications earlier and we may also have openings throughout the year. Your application never expires.

Do you have a wait pool? 

Yes, every year we maintain a wait pool. As spots become available we contact families and offer them a space. If you have applied for the school, you are automatically added to the wait pool. 

What age children attend your school? 

Children must be 2 years 9 months at the start of school (mid-August) to begin the school year with us. Children usually attend HACNS until they are ready to go on to Kindergarten at age 5. 

What about diversity? 

We enjoy a rich diversity at our preschool. Often you'll hear many different languages spoken by families and children, you'll be exposed to important cultural activities and foods from your community members and you'll often hear the mantra, "Everyone is a friend at our school." Our school represents a wide variety of San Francisco families and the demographics change along with the changes in the city. Many families live right in Cole Valley, but we also have families from all over San Francisco who attend our little school. 

We love your school! How can we contribute? 

We love this question! Thank you for wanting to support cooperative preschool education in San Francisco! Our tuition is kept low by all the great financial support we receive from our community. Below are just a few ways to help HACNS keep our scholarship program robust, our library stocked, and our school looking great.

  • Shop through eScrip

  • Make a tax-deductible donation

  • Amazon Smile: Go to and choose HACNS as your charity. Amazon will donate a percentage of the purchase to HACNS.

  • Good Eggs: 5% of your purchases in October and November 2018 go to HACNS. If 20 new families sign up between now and November, we can unlock a $500 bonus! To join the fundraiser, visit Enter the code HACNS and click “Shop Now.”

  • Cole Hardware: Mention Haight Ashbury Community Nursery School at checkout and Cole Hardware will donate 10% of your purchases to HACNS. Our school number is *22.

  • Sports Basement: When you become a “Basementeer,” select HACNS and they will donate 10% of all your purchases. You can sign up in the store at checkout, or do it online:

  • Booksmith: Mention HACNS at checkout, and each month Booksmith donates 10% of books sales.

  • Be fashion forward with one of our great HACNS t-shirts or tote bags.

  • Join us for an upcoming fundraising event!