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A co-operative parent participation nursery school is a community-based school owned and run by our familiy members. Parents work in the classroom once every week, as support staff for our trained professional teachers, and also perform administrative, maintenance, and fundraising duties, which keeps our costs well below those of a regular preschool.  This parental involvement allows parents to learn about child development, and gain parenting skills which help our children learn and develop. The children feel their family's support and learn by participating in play-based educational activities. Staff, children, and families are all part of a supportive community, leading in many cases to lifelong friendships. 

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Founded in 1954, TelHi Co-op provides a healthy, safe, and stimulating environment in which children can develop socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. We are part of the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, and are supervised by the Department of Social Services Childcare Licensing. .

TelHi Co-op operated for many years out of the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center on Chestnut St, (which is now occupied by the unrelated Telegraph Hill Nursery School- we are NOT the same school.) We have been located at Helen Wills Playground in Russian Hill since 2017. 

TelHi Co-op is a non-profit, non-sectarian, democratic organization.We value the diversity of our community and encourage families to share their individual cultures with our students. We welcome all families, and include children and families with varied abilities and disabilities, medical conditions, English speaking or non-English speaking; we find ways to include all, for example, by having workday tags for working parents translated, by working with speech therapists or developmental psychologists to help individuals achieve their goals, by having parents bring in projects to celebrate a holiday; or by keeping our classroom books and toys as diverse as our membership.


Margaret Thrupp 

School Director + Senior Class

Margaret has been with TelHi since 2015. Previously, she worked in several coops in the city, including 11 years at Playmates in the Sunset district. She is passionate about the co-op model, which allows the possibility for wonderfully unique programming and offers a rich diversity of culture and experience in the classroom.

Margaret is from Sydney, Australia, where she studied music and education, and worked as both a music teacher and a performing musician, including working in the Australian Opera Ballet Orchestra. She moved to San Francisco in 1992 and went on to study early childhood education at City College of San Francisco. She completed her MA in Elementary Education (Performing Arts) at SFSU in 2005.


Margaret enjoys teaching preschool children because they are smarter than anyone realizes and have such funny and original things to say. She likes to do many things with her class, including messy science projects, open-ended art, writing stories and letters, exploring the patterns in numbers, singing songs, and reading good books. But best of all she likes to talk with her students, because you never know what they will say.

Andi Allen

Junior Class

Andi is from Tucson, Arizona (the kingdom of the cacti) where she studied Fine Art and Costume Design at the University of Arizona. She received her BFA in Combined Media Sculpture. She studied abroad in Aix-En-Provence, France where she learned about 19th century Impressionist and Post Impressionist painters while painting in the same famous landscapes. Travel and learning about different cultures has been a passion ever since. She has collaborated on many public art and museum fabrication projects, including building underwater exhibits for California Academy of Sciences. Her fine artwork has been exhibited at City Art gallery in the Mission. After moving to San Francisco in 2009, she taught a unique multi generational art class with seniors and sixth graders, through a special program with The Institute on Aging and Creative Arts Charter School.

TelHi Co-op Preschool has provided a supportive community for her family and a quality education for her daughter, Greta, who attended TelHi from the ages 2 through 5. Andi loved her time Parent Teaching so much, she began taking Child Development courses through the Community College of San Francisco. She greatly values being part of this kind of parent-participation preschool, which can provide a rich environment for children to learn from many different perspectives.

Andi loves going on fun adventures with her family, making sculpture, traveling, and yoga. She is certified in Laughter Yoga and studied at Yoga Tree in San Francisco. Her classroom will practice mindfulness, creativity, kindness and a love of learning through play. Andi enjoys being imaginative with children and encouraging them to ask questions. She is impressed with preschool children's amazing ability to teach adults patience, flexibility and letting go. Most of all, she feels that it is a privilege to work with young children and take part in their growth during these formative years!

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