What You Need to Know About Your Child's Start at Kindergarten (page 3)

— State: Maryland State Department of Education
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

How Will My Child Get To School?

To make the most of school and help your child to learn, he or she should attend school every day and be on time. Starting school may mean that your child will ride a school bus. Or you may need to walk with or drop your child off at school each day.

Riding the School Bus

Check with your local school to find out if your child is eligible for school bus transportation. If your child will be riding the school bus, shortly before school starts you will receive details from the school system about the bus route, time, and stop location. You are responsible for getting your child to and from the bus stop. You will need to have your child at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the bus is due, because the exact pickup time may vary depending on traffic and weather. An adult should meet your pre-kindergartener or kindergartener at the bus stop at the end of the day. Be sure your child knows who to look for when getting off the bus. You will also receive information on school bus safety. While your child’s teacher will review this information with your child, be sure to discuss riding the bus safely with your child and be sure he or she understand the rules.

Walking and Drop-Offs

A responsible adult or older sibling should walk your prekindergartener or kindergartener to and from school every day. As you walk to school, show him or her the best route, keeping in mind traffic, streets to cross, and other safety concerns. Impress on your child the need to go directly to school and directly home after school. Talk with your child about being safe on the street and not talking to or obeying strangers. If you drive your child to school, be sure to drop your child off on time, prior to the start of school.

What About School Closings?

Sometimes bad weather or other emergencies make it necessary to close schools, to delay the opening of schools, or to send students home early. School personnel will work with the weather authorities, local officials, and the police to look at the weather and road conditions and decide if school should be canceled or open late. School closings and delays are for the safety of students. Television and radio stations will carry messages about school closures and delays, beginning early in the morning. When schools are closed for the day or close early, community and after-school activities are canceled. Please help us to keep things running smoothly by not calling your child’s school to ask about closures. In case of other emergencies, it is important that the school have an emergency phone number where you can be contacted, and the name and phone number of another adult (with his or her permission) who can care for your child if you cannot be reached. Please make sure that the school has this information, and let the school know if the phone numbers change.

How Do I Find Before- and After-School Care?

Choosing child care is a personal decision. Try to look for child care programs that offer activities created especially for prekindergarteners and kindergarteners, that invite parents to be involved, and that will work closely with your child’s school. 


It’s Time For School was developed by Ready At Five in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) with a Judith P. Hoyer Grant for Private Providers of Early Care and Education Services. Ready At Five gratefully acknowledges the following individuals and organizations for their review and suggestions: Anne Bailowitz, Baltimore City Health Department; Ed Beck, MSDE; Michael Cockey, MSDE; Rolf Grafwallner, MSDE; Debbie Harris, Calvert County Public Schools; Liz Haslup, Talbot County Public Schools; Brenda Kelly, Baltimore City Public Schools; Mary LaCasse, DHMH; Donna Mazyck, MSDE; Shari Oster-Sherr, Frederick County Public Schools; and Barbara Squires, Baltimore City, Success By 6 at Baltimore City Health Department. This publication is based on a 1989 MSDE publication, Your Child Goes to School. Special thanks to Bruce Jacobs, Louise Corwin, and Amanda McMahon for their writing and editorial expertise.

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