Frequently Asked Questions
How does carpool work?
Geneva is always concerned about the safety and security of our students. Carpool numbers may seem impersonal, but they allow staff, including substitutes, not familiar with all of the students, to be certain that children are released only to appropriate and authorized adults, either in carpool or in the hall. Geneva Day School uses an optional carpool system for drop-off and pick-up purposes. Carpool begins on the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Parents are assigned a carpool number which is given to them during visitation week, right before school starts. Two copies of carpool numbers are provided, so that parents may each have one. This number should be displayed on the car's visor, dashboard, or held up for reading by the staff at the time of pick-up. When walking in to pick you your child, please be sure to hold up your number as well. Should a carpool number be lost or mislaid, a new number can be issued by the Office. Temporary pick-up slips may also be obtained in the Office.
The entrance to the carpool line is at the Seven Locks Road entrance and begins at the side door of the School by the long, green awning. Please read our Carpool Reminders and Carpool Instructions. For more information about how the carpool operates is in the Parent Handbook.
Do you use time outs?
Our first objective is to try to prevent undesirable behavior by establishing rules in the classroom. We communicate and reinforce rules with a caring approach and on a regular basis. Positive reinforcement techniques are used, such as recognizing a child's accomplishments, encouraging socially appropriate behaviors, and rewarding a child for positive efforts.
We endeavor to create a low-stress environment in which pro-social behaviors are learned. Teachers draw on their training and experience to identify behaviors that may indicate a child is unhappy, withdrawn, angry or feeling too much stress. These symptoms require patience and understanding.
Most children learn that certain types of behavior are not acceptable. When a child does misbehave, we utilize redirection and distraction, and, when age-appropriate, children are given guidance in problem solving techniques. We focus on helping each child understand what behaviors are appropriate and making a better or "right choice." Our ultimate goal is to teach children respect for themselves and for others, and to encourage the development of self-control.
What security measures do you take?
A number of security measures are in place at Geneva Day School. All doors are locked to the outside, with the exception of the School lobby. Visitors must sign in and receive a "Visitor" badge in the School lobby for each visit during a session. Parents use a School issued carpool number for pick-up purposes in both carpool and inside the building. This allows staff to be certain that children are released only to authorized adults. Staff supervise and monitor activities of students at all times, including when they move to other locations in the building and outside on the playground. Staff record daily attendance and track various before and after school activities, as well.
What are your weather and closing policies?
Weather Delays or Closings
Please watch the television for announcements concerning school delays or closings due to snow, storms, loss of electricity or other events. When Montgomery County Public Schools are delayed or closed, then we, too, are delayed by one hour only or closed. Geneva Day School will be listed on local Channels 4 (NBC), 5 (Fox), and 7 (ABC). You may also check the status of the Public Schools on the Internet at http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/ or call the Geneva Day School telephone number (301-340-7704) for a recorded message.
· If Montgomery County Public Schools open one or two hours late, Geneva Day School will open only one hour late at 10:00 a.m. Before Care will be cancelled on late opening days.
· If we know in advance that County schools will be closing more than one hour early, we will cancel afternoon classes. Extended Care will be cancelled on early dismissal days.
· If an early closing is announced after our afternoon classes have begun, we will ask Room Parents to initiate their class telephone tree to help notify parents to come early and pick up their child.
In the event of a utility loss, building damage or other emergency that would jeopardize the health or safety of the children, Geneva Day School will close until the situation is corrected. Every reasonable effort will be made to expedite the repair.
What kinds of snacks do you provide?
Geneva Day School presents nutritious and interesting foods for snack to model serving good foods and meet nutritional needs of young children. These often include various fresh fruits and vegetables, crackers and cheese, or items baked in the classroom. No peanut butter or peanut products are ever served or permitted in the School at any time.
Milk (1%) is offered to every student during snack, and water is available to the children throughout the day both inside and outside on the playground.
Allergies and Dietary Considerations
The School annually reviews student Medical Forms to identify food and other allergies and dietary considerations of students. A listing is compiled and posted in the kitchen, and notification is distributed to each staff. Every teacher makes a list for class use, and notifies parents of specific allergies or dietary considerations in the class. All staff are aware of and honor these restrictions when providing snacks, lunches, cooking activities, and birthday parties or other special events.
An increase of extreme allergic reactions, some potentially life-threatening, to peanut butter and all peanut products (including peanut oil) has necessitated the elimination of these items from the School. Peanut Butter is not served as a snack and we are requiring that no peanut butter sandwiches or snacks be brought into school. We realize that this may cause some inconvenience, however, we feel that the health of children with these intense allergic reactions must be a high priority at Geneva.
For special events such as birthdays or holidays, parents may elect to send in a special snack, while still honoring allergies and food sensitivities in a class. Nutritious birthday and holiday snacks are preferred, including fruit kabobs, muffins, sherbet and fruit, special crackers and cheese cut-outs, or tea sandwiches. Non-food treats are also encouraged.
Will my child take any field trips?
Field trips are an integral part of a child's learning experience at Geneva Day School. Because it is beneficial for every child to participate in some planned excursions, the teachers of 3s, 4s, and 5s arrange for at least two trips during the school year.
A Field Trip Permission Form is distributed to parents each year. It must be signed by a parent and returned to the teacher or Office before any trip is taken. No child will be allowed to take a trip without a signed permission form or a parent's hand-written signed permission.
Parent Drivers and Chaperones
Field trips are possible through gracious carpool assistance from parents. To solicit drivers and chaperones, staff post sign-up sheets on classroom bulletin boards at least one week in advance of a trip. Parents may sign up on the sheet, by e-mail or by sending in a note.
A parent may not transport a child for any field trip or school event without a proper safety seat. As of June 30, 2008, a safety seat or booster seat is required until a child turns 8 years of age or weighs 65 pounds or reaches 4'9" in height. Under no circumstances is a driver to put or keep a vehicle in motion if a child is not properly restrained in an appropriate safety seat or booster.
Before leaving for a field trip, the teacher or teaching assistant emphasizes safety rules for drivers and chaperones and provide suggested travel routes. Field trip manners are discussed and reviewed with students.
Will my child go outside every day?
Geneva Day School believes that all children should have the opportunity to experience nature throughout the seasons and to be outside each day, as weather and reason permit. The benefits of fresh air and time to enjoy outdoor activities are important for the growing child. Often, students are better able to concentrate and focus on tasks after they have had time to release some energy.
A great deal of effort and resources have been put into creating the playground and outdoor classroom. Teachers use outside areas as adjunct classrooms, plan for organized or free play as part of their daily schedule and to take advantage of seasonal weather throughout the year.
If a child is well enough to attend school, then the School assumes that a child is well enough to go outside. We do not provide staff to remain inside with individual children, although parents may provide this supervision, or pick children up early should they feel that it is necessary.
Our pediatric consultant states that children may go outside if properly dressed, even in very cold weather. Viruses, not cold weather, cause colds. Families are required to dress their children for the weather and as they are expected to be outside every day.
Weather Code Days
Weather code days are determined by a number of factors and relate to air quality and what associated health effects might be of concern. Some weather codes are considered "unhealthy" for children, especially exerting activities outside.
On days and during times that are Code Orange or Code Red, teachers are encouraged to limit time outside for play, 15 minutes or so and avoid exerting activities. Instead, quiet activities such as digging, circle games, singing, reading, or simple art may be more appropriate. Children will always have access to plenty of water, before and after being outdoors, and while on the playground.
Are parents able to volunteer?
Geneva loves it volunteers! The smooth and successful operation of all Geneva classes is dependent on the support and volunteerism of its parents. In the fall of each school year, teachers solicit parents who may feel comfortable in serving as Room Parents and Parent Association Representatives.
In addition, parents are encouraged to volunteer in classes and to join class field trips as either drivers or chaperones. It is expected that all families will volunteer for at least two or so events each year, so that enrichment activities can support classroom goals. Even working parents are expected to participate, especially when they are given advance notice of special events, so they can make appropriate arrangements to volunteer, too. (Grandparents and caregivers are welcome too!)
Is there a Parent Organization?
A volunteer group of parents have established the Geneva Parent Association (GPA). They meet to discuss school issues and create community building activities. These activities include fundraisers, community events, and philanthropic activities. The GPA supports many School events and projects and makes an annual financial contribution to the School. The GPA serves as a bridge between the School and Geneva families. Evening meetings are held monthly, at which child care is provided.