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Transitioning to School

At The Washington Market School, we partner with each family to ensure the smoothest possible transition for our young learners.

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Starting preschool is a major milestone on your child's educational journey. Hear from current parents as they share how WMS supported their family through their transition process.

At the start of the school year, you and your child may feel a range of emotions about the upcoming changes in routine, including concerns about separation. At WMS, we have a thoughtful approach for supporting our families at every step of the way.

Home Visit

Home visits play an important role in bridging a child’s two most important worlds, home and school. During this visit, your child’s teachers will briefly visit your home - allowing your child to meet them in a familiar space. This meeting will help the teachers learn more about your child and what items may help them transition more easily into their classroom. It also gives children and their parents and caregivers the opportunity to get to know the teachers a little better before school begins. 

Me Book

Me Books are a long-standing Washington Market School tradition, and a wonderful way for us to get to know the children and for children to learn about each other: their similarities, their differences and what makes their family so uniquely special. Before starting school, families fill their special book with photos of family members, caregivers, pets, favorite places to go, favorite foods, family traditions and holidays, and more. Me Books are a wonderful separation support tool that children have as a way to see their family and caregivers if they miss them during the day. 

Phase-In

Our school year begins with a Phase-In period. Providing this time for parents, children and staff to learn about one another and build relationships helps set the stage for each child’s comfort and well-being. This process strives to ensure an easier, calmer beginning for the children, parents and teachers. Depending on the child’s school session, Phase-In may include a smaller class size, a shorter school day, and starting school with a parent or caregiver remaining in the classroom. 

Separation Resources

As early childhood educators, we understand that there is no “one way” or “right way” for a child to separate from their parents and caregivers when starting school. WMS provides families with numerous strategies and resources to help families and their children prepare for school and a healthy separation. 

Parent Education

We offer a range of educational initiatives for parents, as well as a comprehensive and collaborative Exmissions process, designed to empower families.

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