Towards Independence: Drop Off and Pick Up

One of the most critical learning outcomes in a Montessori environment is independence.

Here are our top 10 tips for Drop Off/Pick Up that encourage independence:

TIP 1: Send positive vibes. Before going to school, remind your child that school is an exciting new experience. Include a friendly note in their lunch bag.

TIP 2: Drop Off/Pick Up is not Parking. If you need time to speak with our Montessori Directresses, please park in our parking lot and not in front of the school. Avoid speaking about your child in front of them. They are aware of the conversation.

Parents are most welcome to stay and observe the cameras or drop in later during the day. We recommend observing at least one week after the child’s first day to allow time for a child to settle into class. Please drive slowly. Remember to be courteous to parents in the driveway and be aware of children.

TIP 3: Model social graces. It’s important to say goodbye and hello to your child during drop off/pick up. These pleasantries mark a transition from home to school as well as model good social behaviors. We will prompt your child to do the same.

TIP 4: Arrive on time. Tardiness can create anxiety for children. They also miss opportunities for leadership in the classroom. If you’re running late, please let us know. Our school day begins at 8:30 AM.

TIP 5: Be quick and cheerful. We recommend a prompt drop off and pick up. Lengthy drop off/pick up can cause confusion and anxiety and disrupt other children in the classroom. Allow your child to walk independently to their classroom.

TIP 6: Do not walk into the classroom. An adult’s presence may upset other children.

TIP 7: Greet your child respectfully. We recommend giving your child your full/undivided attention. Phones can be a distraction when greeting your child. Meet your child’s enthusiasm to see you with a calm voice. Speak softly and encourage normal behavior.

TIP 8: Engage your child about school. Help your child open up about learning by asking good questions.  Avoid open-ended questions like: What did you do in school today? Ask specific questions requiring reflection such as: What made you laugh today?; Did anyone wear a funny t-shirt?; What is a good thing that happened at school today?; Did you cry today?; and Who is your best friend? Why?

TIP 9: Always Sign In and Sign Out. Don’t forget to sign in on the sheets on the Hall Tree.  Follow the same procedure for pick up. This is required by law. Please ensure an authorized adult is signing the document. And remember, it’s not a children’s coloring book 🙂

TIP 10: Encourage walking indoors. Encourage your child to walk. Walking is one of our ground rules in the Montessori classroom, and it promotes safety, concern of others, and a sense of calm in the classroom. Of course, we have fun and run outside!