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What to Bring and What to Expect

What to Bring & What to Expect

On your child’s first day of school, be sure to bring all completed forms and paperwork that may not have been turned in yet.

In addition, you may bring in a change of clothes.
(or 2 or 3 if potty training).

We provide all meals, snacks, drinks, nap time beds, sheets, blankets, diapers, and wipes.

What to expect on the first day of school

The first day of school can be exciting and scary – for children and parents alike! Read more to find out what you can expect from your child’s first day.

  • Drop off may be hard, especially if it’s your child’s first time at school or away from you. Some children are eager and ready to play. Some find it harder to say goodbye to mom and dad. For children who are having a harder time saying goodbye, we find they generally react in one of two ways.
  • They cry for about 5 minutes after their parents leave and then start exploring, playing, maybe even making friends. The initial shock was hard, but they quickly feel safe and ready to find out what this new school is all about! When this happens we will send you an update and maybe a photo through our Class Dojo app so you can rest easy knowing they’re having a good time
  • They cry and keep crying. This seems scary to a lot of parents - and for good reason! No one wants to see their child upset. However, please know that while it is scary, it is a very normal reaction. We suggest if you want to stay around and watch your child after drop off in the classroom to observe from the lobby through our observation window. For young children to know that their parent is nearby but they can’t access them is frustrating for them and doesn’t help them settle into their routine. When children think they have been dropped off completely, they learn that they are in their new classroom and the teacher is responsible for caring for them during this time.

Some children will cry for an hour, some for a day, some for two weeks. Here’s what we do at Tangerine Schoolhouse when this happens. First, the teacher makes a connection with the student right at drop off. We make sure they get lots of positive attention, love, and that they know where the teacher is at all times. We help them feel safe and secure. Once children feel truly safe they will stop crying and start playing and learning!

We utilize Conscious Discipline to teach social and emotional skills but also to promote a sense of safety and well-being in the classroom. This includes I Love You rituals, songs, activities, and more. Over time your children will become familiar with each of these and will utilize them daily!

We will not ask you to come pick your child up early from school. This reinforces the idea that if they cry, mom and dad will come right away. While that may work for some families, it doesn’t work for others’ work schedules. One option is to start with a shortened schedule the first week and slowly start to extend it each week until your child is attending for the full day. The same may be done with attending part time and working up to full time if space is available.

Whatever the case may be with your child specifically, we will keep you up to day with our Class Dojo messaging app! That way you can make the best informed decisions, see what’s going on in your child’s day, and have a peaceful day.

One of our favorite stories is of a 2 year old who just moved to the area and was starting school. He was a bright boy, social, but very sad to be dropped off at school every day, and understandably so after just moving and starting a new school!

He cried every day for about 2 weeks. We communicated with mom and dad throughout this time, worked with him to help him become comfortable in the classroom with his new teacher and new classmates. On the first day of his third week of school he ran in the front door, shouted to Ms. Kendra, “Ms. Kendra, I happy!” and ran inside to play without a backward glance to his father who dropped him off! Ever since then he’s been happy and comfortable in his classroom. It was a combined effort between teachers and parents that allowed him to feel safe and happy and ready for learning.