Arrival & Dismissal
Parents of Preschool students may drop off children from their cars or park and enter the building, depending on the child’s comfort level and need for parents' presence. We recommend all families parking during the first few days of classes to ensure a smooth transition. Talk to your child’s teacher about what works best for your child.
If you wish to drop off your child without getting out of your car:
- As you enter the parking lot, please drive down the right hand lane and stop before the curve begins. Wait there until the teachers motion for you to continue around the curve. We arrive at the southeast end of the building, except on rainy days.
- On rainy days, please drive down the driveway on the right and come to the main entrance at the center of the building. A teacher will meet you at your car, detach the carseat belt, and help your child out of the car. Your child will proceed to the classroom. An adult will be stationed at the front door of the school and the lead teacher will be at the classroom door to guide your child as she/he proceeds to the classroom.
If you wish to escort your child between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m:
- Park your car and walk your child to the playground. The lead teacher will be in the classroom at this time to say hello as your child gets settled. You are welcome to have a look around the room and have your child show you his/her latest work or project.
- It is best to avoid a lengthy conversation with teachers at this time, as they are putting last minute touches on the day’s plans and have turned their attention to helping children transition to the day. It is fine to let them know that you would like to schedule a phone call or meeting.
- Class begins promptly at 9 a.m. Unless you’ve made plans previously with the teacher to stay on after this time, we ask that you plan to leave the room by 9 a.m., so that your child may settle independently into the routine and the entire class may proceed as planned.
Lower School students should arrive between 7:50 and 8:10 a.m. It is important that students arrive by 8:10 a.m. in order to organize materials and prepare for the day. Drivers should pull up to one of the locations where teachers are waiting to open car doors and assist with unloading. Classes begin promptly at 8:15 a.m. Students who arrive late must be signed in at the office by a parent in order to be admitted to classes.
Middle School students should arrive between 7:50 and 8:05 a.m. It is important that students arrive by 8:05 a.m. in order to have time to put their things away and be seated in Advisory at 8:10 a.m. Drivers should pull up to one of the locations where teachers are waiting to open car doors and assist with unloading. Students who arrive late must be signed in at the office by a parent in order to be admitted to classes.
Early Childhood dismisses at noon. Students pack-up and leave classrooms, waiting to the main hall at dismissal time. Students transitioning from the morning class to the Afternoon Enrichment Program also pack-up and proceed to their afternoon classroom.
Afternoon Enrichment Program
Families may walk up at 3 p.m., before dismissal begins: We understand that parents of very young children may wish to park and pick up their child. This will work if you “walk-up” and get in line by 3 p.m. An early childhood teacher will walk your child to you between 3 and 3:05, prior to the start of regular dismissal at 3:10. If you arrive to school later than 3:05, please use the carline.
- As you enter the parking lot, drive down the right hand lane and stop before the curve begins. Wait there until the teachers motion for you to continue around the curve. Noon dismissal takes place from the main entrance.
- A late pick-up charge of $10 per 5 minutes past 12:20 will be made to families who chronically pick up their child late (for example, 2 or more times per week or every Tuesday).
- Because young children must be buckled into car seats and require more time in the carline, and for the courtesy of all families picking up students, we strong recommend that families of Afternoon Enrichment Program (AEP) students and kindergarten students get in the carline first and no later than 3:05 p.m.
- If you prefer, parents of AEP students may pick up your child from the Multi Purpose Room entrance; please do not retrieve the child from the main hall or the classroom. For safety purposes we ask that all parents use the car line.Those students who are consistently not picked up by the end of dismissal will automatically be sent to After Care and a fee will be assessed to parents.
Dismissal for all Lower School students begins at 3:10. Dismissal for Lower School students, as well as Early Childhood students participating in AEP, takes place from the front entry. Middle School dismissal begins at 3:25 and the students dismiss from the Multi Purpose Room. At dismissal time, teachers are on duty to help children exit and enter cars safely. Please be prompt in picking up students – students must be picked up within fifteen minutes of their dismissal time. For safety’s sake we discourage lengthy conversations on the dismissal line. If you must hold a conversation with a teacher at the end of the day, we request that you pull your car into the parking area and wait until dismissal ends.
Guidelines for a Safe and Smooth Dismissal
- We encourage every family to use the carline for dismissal. The car line usually runs quickly and smoothly, with the entire process taking about 10 to 15 minutes on a typical day.
- Drivers form a line along the first driveway at the school. A staff member motions cars to one of six spots in front of the main entrance and staff helps students to cars.
- Please do not come to the main hall or to the multipurpose room to get your child at the end of the day. The teachers are responsible for accounting for all the children, and it can be confusing when they are called out of line.
- If students are delayed for some reason, drivers are asked to pull away from the curb and park in order to make room for the next group.
- We discourage "walking up" to retrieve your child. If you must walk-up, please do not wait on the sidewalk prior to 3:20 p.m. If you must park to pick up your child, please know that “walk-ups” will be dismissed after the carline ends (around 3:25 p.m.). Having additional adults on the sidewalk cause confusion for students attempting to get to their carline dismissal station and presents a safety hazard.
- It is the staff’s responsibility to account for every child during the dismissal process and move the carline as quickly as possible to keep the roads safe. Stopping to call “walk-ups” slows the dismissal process.
- Please wait in the area designated by the safety cones to keep the sidewalk clear for children being escorted to cars.
- Lower School and AEP families arriving on the campus parking lot after 3:20 p.m. should enter through the middle lane and park in a regular parking spot – we don’t want you to get “stuck” in the Middle School line.
- Family/carpool name should be visible in the car’s visor. The family/carpool cards are provided at parent orientation.
- Drivers should not pass each other unless directed to do so by a teacher.
- Please do not get out of your car at arrival or dismissal. School staff will take children out upon arrival and fasten them into car seats and seatbelts at dismissal. Teachers do not, however, climb into vehicles or lift children in or out of vehicles.
- Do not park in the middle lane and leave your car—this is unsafe.
- Please do not use your cell phone while picking up or dropping off your child.
- Parents must send a written note to school when their child has different transportation plans for the day. This may happen when there is a play date or when a friend or relative picks up your child. For safety purposes, we will not release a child to anyone who is not designated as having such permission on the child’s emergency form without specific written permission from the parents. Changes will be posted on a bulletin board in the dismissal area.
- Students must have written permission to walk home from school.
- Students may not remain at school unsupervised or attend sports events at unsupervised.
- Please do not attempt to pick up your student early, or park in the parking lot and ask your student to cross the driveway to you.
We discourage parents from picking up students before the end of the day because of the disruption it causes to the academic program. If it is unavoidable, please pick up at least 15 minutes before the 3:10 p.m. dismissal. Parents picking up students early should inform the teacher (EC or Lower School) or Middle School Program Director (Middle School) in advance, and report to the front office to sign the student out. Please do not make requests to the front office to have your child come to the office before you arrive. If a student is going home with an adult who is not on the driver list, please send an email to the Middle School Program Director or call the front office with permission information.
On half days, students are dismissed at the following times:
- Early Childhood - 11:50 a.m.
- Lower & Middle School (Kindergarten - Eighth Grade): 12:00 p.m.
Parking Lot Safety
Parking is provided in visitor parking areas during the school day. Please drive with extreme care at all times in the school driveways and parking areas. Do not pass cars in the carpool lines unless directed by a staff member to do so. The speed limit is 5 mph.
- All students should be secured in cars with seat belts/car seats or boosters in accordance with Maryland State law.
- Parents should use the carline at dismissal. Please do not enter the building, and please do not wait in the main hall. If you must park, please do so and go to the designated cone near the main door. A teacher will ask you to provide the name of the child that you are retrieving.