Gentle Separation Policy
Coming to school for the first time is an important milestone for children and for parents! This transition can bring a range of emotions for families: excitement, anxiety, happiness, and sometimes stress. At Lincoln Park Co-op, we take the process of transitioning trust from home and family to school and teachers very seriously. During the opening weeks of school, we have two goals. Children learn that teachers care about them and their ideas and school is a safe and fun place to be. Parents begin relationships with teachers and trust that their child's needs will be met.
The first step in a family's relationship with their teacher starts with a home visit. Home is where a child feels most safe and secure, and it sends a powerful message to the child when the parent opens the front door and welcomes the teacher inside. A child feels that they are important to the teacher already when she comes to her home. Teachers bring toys and books from school and spend time playing with the child. The teacher and parent spend time talking with each other and sharing information to begin their partnership together.
The first days of school are shorter sessions, with only part of the group and a parent for each child. When the child arrives for the first day of school, they recognize the teacher and may remember a special time with her already. They have the chance to spend more time with her and a few other children as they explore their classroom. Teachers and parents make a plan together for support in the classroom while the child adjusts to school. Parents spend time both inside and outside the classroom, to help the child feel safe and secure in their new school. Our home visits, slow entry process, half days with smaller groups, and having parents stay for support, are just some of the ways we support successful transitions for children.