For those that sent their kids to Kindergarten... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 55 Old 08-14-2010, 10:52 AM
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I walked my son into the first day of K and the first day of 1st. This year I will walk him into the first day of 2nd and my little to his first day of K.
I'm sure they'll walk in by themselves on the second day but the first day is a big deal to me! There's a "boohoo breakfast" for parents of kindergartners on the first day.
My kindergartner is also in a harness and he has been able to unbuckle it since 3.5, but it took a lot of practice. My older son was also harnessed in K and could unbuckle. Actually one of the reasons we keep them in a harness is because I trust them to buckle and unbuckle it correctly (there's more room for error with a seatbelt and booster).

I would not be happy dropping my child off at the door for their first day of kindergarten, even though I know he could handle it. It only happens once!
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#32 of 55 Old 08-14-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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I don't like it, but I think it's pretty common. I have a lot of experience with separation anxiety and I think that this kind of drop-off does help with some kinds of sep anxiety, but there's a more intense kind (my dd1's) that this kind of policy is an absolute disaster for. This drop-off in the car line policy is similar to the theory of yank off the band-aid quickly and it hurts less than if you do it slowly. Well, for some people that does work, but for others it's really traumatic.

It doesn't surprise me at all that your school has this policy. It really does work well for a lot of kids. My dd2 had separation anxiety, too, but hers wasn't quite as intense as dd1s. What really helped her was going straight into a routine after saying goodbye to me which is basically what they're trying to do here.

I'd probably pretend to be a walker. That will give your ds a little more transistion time, too. It may be that going stright into the routine of the day is what he needs. If that doesn't work I might talk to the teacher about it depending on what kind of vibe I got from her. She really doesn't want him to be upset either.

Good luck!

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#33 of 55 Old 08-14-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Err, I some how missed they don't allow you to walk your child in. I would have a very hard time agreeing to that. I think that's a horrible policy.

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#34 of 55 Old 08-14-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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We were allowed to walk the kids in and help them get settled. We did leave after that because I was getting emotional and making my son start to worry. But we also go to a very small school and there's never a huge line of parents even on the first day.

My son's starting third grade this year and we'll walk him in again and make sure he's settled. Of course, at this point, I'm sure he'll be pushing us to leave sooner than later.
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#35 of 55 Old 08-17-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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My daughter doesn't start K until next fall, but from talking to other parents whose kids have already started, I've learned the elementary she'll be attending has similar rules to yours, including no going in with kids even on the first day. I had never heard of that kind of policy before either. I have a year before it happens, and it's already making me nervous.

Anyway, I plan on doing the park and walk thing. There's a side street near the school where lots of parents park so they can either walk their kids to and from the building or so they can just drop them off and pick them up so they don't have to deal with the crazy line. I still won't be able to go into the school, but at least we won't be so rushed.

My dd will be going to preschool this year though (after much handwringing over the decision), so I hope that will help with the K transition, at least for her. But if I thought for whatever reason that she wasn't going to handle the drop off at the door very well on the first day, I would have no problems contacting the school to see what could be arranged. But even if they would make special arrangements, I think I would try to go along with the standard drop off unless she indicated when we got there that she needed more.
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I don't like it, but I think it's pretty common. I have a lot of experience with separation anxiety and I think that this kind of drop-off does help with some kinds of sep anxiety, but there's a more intense kind (my dd1's) that this kind of policy is an absolute disaster for. This drop-off in the car line policy is similar to the theory of yank off the band-aid quickly and it hurts less than if you do it slowly. Well, for some people that does work, but for others it's really traumatic.

It doesn't surprise me at all that your school has this policy. It really does work well for a lot of kids. My dd2 had separation anxiety, too, but hers wasn't quite as intense as dd1s. What really helped her was going straight into a routine after saying goodbye to me which is basically what they're trying to do here.

I'd probably pretend to be a walker. That will give your ds a little more transistion time, too. It may be that going stright into the routine of the day is what he needs. If that doesn't work I might talk to the teacher about it depending on what kind of vibe I got from her. She really doesn't want him to be upset either.

Good luck!
I'm in the same school district as both of you and our school does it really differently. DS was in kindergarten last year and while they encouraged parents of 2nd-5th graders to let them walk in alone, any parent could walk their child in for the first two weeks of school. After that, parents would need to get a visitor's pass. At least that's what they said. I never did see anyone with a pass before the school day started. They also divided the kindergarten classes in half and each half attended a orientation half day while the parents had our own orientation.

He'll be repeating kindergarten this year and it's basically the same thing but the parents will have the orientation on a different day. The teachers will also be attending the annual Kindergarten Playdate on the school playground this Saturday. Last year, it was only the PTA there but I think having the teachers attend is a great way for the kids to at least see the teachers. I doubt that class lists will be available by then, though.

My STBAD will be attending Pre-K at the same school this year. The kids will be in the same hallway and I'll have to walk her to her room. So, I'll likely walk him to his classroom every day and pick him up from outside his door in the afternoon.
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#36 of 55 Old 08-17-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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#37 of 55 Old 08-18-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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I really do understand the logic behind the car lanes; if cars park in the drop off lane, the traffic in the parking lot backs up into the street, causing delays for everyone. At our school, some impatient parents, worried that their kids will be tardy or that they will be late for work, let their children out of the car while they are still in line, meaning that there are children in random places in the street or parking lot, which is just not safe.

I understand wanting to help your child out of the car, but it's not fair to every other student and parent waiting in line to make them late so that you can do that. Parking down the street and walking is the best way to accommodate helping the child without delaying everyone else.

However, I am mystified at the "no walking kids to class on the first day". At our school, the first day is the one and only day that you can walk your child to class.

Anyway, I would park down the street and walk with your child as far as the teachers will let you. Their experience has probably been that nervous new kindergartners cope better when mommy isn't right around the corner sobbing her eyes out.

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I have some people telling me "you just have to get used to the rules and do what they tell you," of which the whole idea makes me crazy (my kid, my rules people!)
"My kid, my rules" is a notion you will need to let go of if you want to send your child to school. A classroom cannot function if a teacher has to have 30 different sets of rules for 30 different students. Unfortunately, one of the things you give up when you send your child to school is the ability to totally control his or her environment.
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#38 of 55 Old 08-18-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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It's amazing how much variation there can be from school to school. This isn't the first thing I've heard about how different things are for the K program at the school my daughter will be assigned to as compared to others. It really makes me kind of mad to know if she were just assigned to another school in the same district I could actually walk her to class at least on the first day or at least know who were teacher was going to be or what classroom she was going to be in by the first day. A friend of mine told me that last year the school seemed to keep parents in the dark about a lot of things in the beginning. They didn't even have an orientation for the K parents until a couple of weeks after school started. Talking with her about that really made me feel uneasy, but she said the rest of the year went well, so at least there's that.
Are you sure they don't have a kindergarten orientation? That would be really strange not to have something before school starts. Was that the new school they opened and maybe that's not standard practice? I'd be really surprised if they didn't have a "Meet the Teacher" afternoon or night. I've been in a lot of schools for my work and they've all had something.

Class lists will be posted on our school's door on Friday. It seems like such an archaic way to do things. My toddler was almost trampled last year. I think I'll wait until Saturday morning to go look.
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#39 of 55 Old 08-18-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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I would want to be absolutely sure about the school's expectations. Dd went to kindergarten last year and had gone to preschool part-time 2 years before that. However, we have always had the luxury of choice. I chose a preschool that welcomed my presence and I made sure her public school would at least tolerate it. I did get the lecture from her teacher about "fostering independence" and letting the kindergartners walk into school by themselves; but this wasn't until about February! And TBH, I still honoured dd's request to sometimes walk her in. Rightly or wrongly, I simply could not abide by rules that dictated when or whether I could see my child. I'm not saying I expect to be able to just walk in randomly whenever I want, or that I don't understand how disruptive it can be to have parents with different sets of rules; but...

I would do whatever I had to do to be there with my dc on his or her first day of school. I'd definitely be talking with the teachers beforehand and maybe seeing if I could get support from other parents who felt the same way; if, indeed, the policy really is that you can't walk your child to class on the first day.

I'm sorry your plans to homeschool got sidelined. In a school situation like you're describing, I'd want to do the same.

I'm firmly of the belief that policies can be changed, though; if not in time for your ds, then at least for future classes. I refuse to believe that sending my child to school means relinquishing control, but I'll put time and energy into finding alternatives to rules I truly can't live with. So I'm taking an active role, volunteering on school outings and sitting on the policy committee. Public system or not, I am still my child's advocate.
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#40 of 55 Old 08-18-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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#41 of 55 Old 08-18-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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I'm not allowed to do XYZ or Z with my child? They better think again... ...You can bet I'd be walking my child in.

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#42 of 55 Old 08-20-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I just found out that ds's teacher doesn't let parents walk in on the first day. Total meltdown with ds crying and torn from my arms and taken inside.

I should preface this by saying we did have a meet the teacher hour earlier this week. Where I was with him and we did a few activities in the classroom. Although somewhat hectic and quick hour. He also has met the teacher several times, because he is at the same school where dh teaches.

I had no idea that on his first day I couldn't go in and at least hang up his backpack and get him settled. I knew he would not do well if I stayed very long. But I had told him I would get him through the door and situated.....Totally feel like I lied to him. I also should mention that ds is a super reserved kid and takes A LOT of time to warm up to new situations/people. I just feel so bad that I didn't prepare him for that, not that it would have helped, I know. But it just happened so fast. I've never left him in a new place without some sort of gentle transition.

I had NO idea she wasn't even going to let me in the door. Dad reported that he was doing fine after 10 minutes or so... Thankfully dh is there and I appreciate the teacher for sending word to him that ds was okay.

But still feel torn about the whole situation.. I definitely understand your concern OP. I would certainly park the car and walk him to the door and get permission to walk him to his teacher (especially if he hasn't met them yet). Good luck!! It's tough, especially with your first and more so if they're shy.
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#43 of 55 Old 08-20-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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This sounds so off and alien to me. Sounds counter-productive to getting kids confident in their school environment frankly. I also think it sends a message to the parent that your child is a number in a factory line and will be rigidly treated as such. Maybe it's just me, but I would say that was 180 degrees opposite of our school policy.

5yo DS just started in the main elementary school. First two weeks before school officially opened, he was asked to come in to SFO (like american recess - outside and inside play). But this was optional, and parents could drop off and pick up kids when they wanted. So you could start out slow, an hour or two on the first day, then more the next day.... The idea being that by the time actual school starts, your child is used to the environment, comfortable, has meet and become friends with a few other kids, knows his teacher.

Also, the parents were expected to drop off your child, sign them in and out, and stay for a few minute (not hang about forever) in order to get to know the teachers as well. That way if an issue came up early on, the teacher could address it with you.

Then the 1st day of actual school, the parents were invited with the children for a short time, then the parents went to a separate room with the teachers to go over general school policy, important info.... plus the parents could bring up concerns. For example, in DS class, there is a 0A with 17 boys and 8 girls and a 0B with 13 boys and 11 girls. Some of the parents of girls were concerned about the imbalance, and had voiced this concern earlier in the summer as well (there was an open house in June). So the teachers discussed with us that they decided to make more floating 0A and 0B classes until october, when they would get a better feel for all the kids and teachers and then might regroup it to be more even boy/girl ratio.

I think our school method is working, at least for DS. Who went to bed tonight knowing tomorrow is the weekend, and he is bummed he won't be going to school.
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#44 of 55 Old 08-20-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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beebalmmama, I am so angry for you! I'm glad to know your ds was fine and I'm sure most kids are "fine," but that doesn't change my feeling about this NOT being okay. Dd just would not be all right with that. Also, I haven't spent the first 5 or 6 years of her life gently transitioning her to new situations and responding to her needs, just to have a "system" tell me how it's done.

I SO wish I could homeschool. It's these kinds of situations that just infuriate me. These are little children. What about the kids who don't even have the comfort of knowing a parent is close by?

I just can't get my head around this policy. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. It was NOT your fault. I would make sure your ds knows that sometimes the school has rules you disagree with and you did not choose this to happen. I'm sure you have done that already. Lots of hugs. In spite of my misgivings, dd did have a great year in primary last year.
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#45 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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what about people who walk their kids to school? when i pick up ds1, i drive my stroller right into the school and right into his classroom to pick him up. there's only one door unlocked and one parking lot you're allowed to use (there's another lot for the Best Start program-that's sort of like preschool) so that you HAVE to walk by the secretary/principal's office. i find it very odd that you can't walk your child inside. i've helped other people's kids get their things into their bags etc. when i get in the classroom. i walked another boy to his sitter's house on mondays all through ds's first year of kg. how in the world would a person pick a kid up if they couldn't go into the school?? plus, when we drop him off, the teacher isn't there until a certain time. i wouldn't be very happy if ds2 and i couldn't wait with him in the classroom, esp. in winter.
ds1 is extremely independent. if i told him i would leave him at the front door and he would go to his room alone, he probably wouldn't care but i still think
those rules sound pretty crazy. i can't imagine not being able to have free access to my own kid. but maybe it's different b/c our school is catholic and in a small town where everyone knows everyone. also, the classes are small. no more than 20 kids per class. they got a lot of JKs this year, so they split the classes. less than 20 kids go monday, wednesday and scheduled fridays and less than 20 kids go tuesday, thursday and scheduled fridays.
was there an orientation day? when ds1 was starting his first year of school, the teacher held an orientation day.

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#46 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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There's a car line?!
Sorry, I'm British. We are expected to take the kids into classrooms, provide any help with coats/boots/handing in homework up until year two, (6 going on 7 year-olds) At which point they have been in that school at least two years.
Putting them out of a car would be considered neglectful over here.
this car line thing is really foreign to me as well. in ds1's kg classroom, they don't leave the room unless they are taking the bus at the end of the day or a parent/guardian/pre-approved person picks them up IN their classroom.

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#47 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I think that all sounds ridiculous and i wouldn't be okay with it. There are only 14 kids in dd2's kindergarten class (small, rural school) but I walk her into class every day (she does have special needs, but other parents walk their kids in, too). I was in there for like 20 minutes the first day talking with the teacher and showing her around the room (she's nearly blind, so getting her familiar with the room is important).
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#48 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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FTR, this school is kindergarten only and has a bit over 300 kids enrolled at this point (according to his teacher last night).
now that you say that, i can see why they have the rules. i wouldn't want 300 kids' parents' wandering all over the school, parking their cars all over the place etc. etc. crazy!! ds1's school is KG (age 4) -Grade 8. there's also a preschool (sort of) program within the school that he attended before JK. i can't even imagine a school dedicated only to KG with 300 kids in it! LOL i don't think my HS even have that many in it...

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#49 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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now that you say that, i can see why they have the rules. i wouldn't want 300 kids' parents' wandering all over the school, parking their cars all over the place etc. etc. crazy!! ...
I agree! DS's school is a K-5 but has over 750 kids. We have the same policy of not being able to walk them to their classroom, but for the same reasons I totally understand. I can't imagine a room full of kindergarten parents fretting over their kid, taking pictures, trying to get the teacher's attention, etc. then having to be ushered out so class can start on time THEN the teacher has to settle everyone down. I imagine with some of the more "helicopter-y" parents it would be a disaster! DS was surprisingly okay with having the "big kid" helper walk him to his classroom and even found a friend from preschool who walked with him, too.

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#50 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 07:52 PM
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We were lucky growing up that the school was wide open, and many of us came in from the back, through a bike path, through the field, pas the playground, to the classroom buildings. No way to keep people out, lol. But I was a tad lost my first day of 1st grade-- it just seemed so big to me! But I spotted the right landmark and found my room. I just think little kids might get so confused not being dropped right in the classroom... K kids can't always speak up to strange adults. I guess most would at least say their full name? This makes me sad for the kids on whom this is hard!
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#51 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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We are allowed to walk our kids in on the first few days. More if the child needs it. From what I have been told, they don't help with buckling the seats either

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#52 of 55 Old 08-23-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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We're homeschooling now, but my son went to K and 1 at PS. He was insistent on riding the bus, so I met him at school and walked him in and stayed for a bit, and I did the same for first grade as well.

I would have a huge problem with this policy. I don't do well with people telling me what I can or cannot do with my own kid. The local public school told me that I *had* to give them my son's SSN. Well, they were wrong and never got it.

I'd blatantly ignore the rule and walk in. I'm betting you won't be the only one.

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#53 of 55 Old 08-24-2010, 03:52 AM
 
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The car line rules do make sense to me when you think of the volume they have to get through a small space all at the same time. Our small school (125 students in Jr K - 6) has the same set of rules for parents dropping off. But if you don't want to follow them you are welcome to park on the street and walk your child to the classroom. But finding that parking space can be a real stressor some mornings! (This is So. CA -- no one actually walks all the way to school around here, even if they live 3 blocks away. But that's another vent for another day.)

For the first day of K there was a very set routine. Parents parked and walk their child to the classroom (but there is only 1 Jr K and 1 K class). They were allowed to stay for about 15 minutes while kids found their tables and cubbies and got settled into the classroom. Then the teacher rang the bell and the parent were polite but firmly told "This is it parents. Give your child a kiss and please exit through the exit door. Since everyone was doing exactly the same thing at the same time, it seemed to lessen everyone's anxiety level.

After that, over the next couple of months, most parents transitioned to the "bye in the car" method and the kids walked themselves in. But you could always find a street spot and walk in if you wanted to (or needed to carry in those every fun project assignments).

I will admist to transitioning my DD to a high backed booster at the very edge of the weight limit and before I would have preferred to just to get her so she could get in and out of the car independently for school. The pickup line is fierce and the time to get them settled in just seconds, so it was crucial she could do this for herself. But that is really a tough choice to make and I understand why you don't want to.
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#54 of 55 Old 08-24-2010, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just thought I'd update.

The first day was last Thursday and it went really well. I ended up just letting him out of the car b/c it took so.long to get through the car line (over 40 minutes). I gave myself 45 minutes before I had to be at work and I was still late. It was crazy. He did fine though. And he did fine the next day.

Yesterday and today have been whole other stories, though. Dh took him yesterday since ds2 was sick and told me that he had kind of cried a bit but was ok.

Today, they made me go park my car b/c we couldn't get him to get out. Then he darted back and forth between us (while still in the car) to avoid getting out (all the while crying and screaming). Finally, one of the aides took him from me and he was screaming "mommy! mommy, no!". I was bawling by the time I got out of the parking lot. I think it traumatized me just as much as I'm sure it did him. And I have no idea how to deal with it. There was no compromise to be had with him, it didn't matter that I offered to come eat lunch with him or walk him to the door, he didn't want to go and that was that.

If it gets any worse I don't know that I can handle it.

We thought about putting him on the bus from now on, but I can see that situation repeating itself, just at the bus stop instead of in the car line.

Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

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#55 of 55 Old 08-24-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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Today I sent my baby to her first day of Kindergarten. We had registration when she met much of the school staff there one day, then later we took her in to meet the teachers and for evaluation, and Friday we took her in to see the nurse again. She's been looking forward to going to school for well over a year, and has been capable of unbuckling her carseat buckles for longer. However, she will be taking (did take this morning) the school bus to school, even though it's not very far away from home.

Her school is preschool (3-4 yr olds?) through 5th grade (11-12 yr olds?). Everyone at the school has encouraged us to be as involved as we want to be. All parents are welcome to be in the classroom as volunteers, or come eat lunch with your child, any and every single day of school throughout the school year.

I can see why they don't want you entering the school with your child at drop off times, so your child can transition and has only one person to follow, without being distracted by mom during drop off. Not only that, but they are likely wanting to keep the cars moving to avoid anyone arriving late due to one person holding up the line of cars full of other parents and children trying to get to school safely and on time.

Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

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