Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the class size?
Two's Drop-Off classes have a maximum of six children.  Our Two & You classes have a maximum of seven children.  We try to limit our 3s classes to 8 children, and our 4s classes to 10 children.  In addition to one teacher per classroom, we have assistants who float among classes to help throughout the day.

What is the birthday cut-off?
Children turning 3 or 4 by September 1 can enroll that school year for the 3's and 4's program.  Some exceptions can be made for fall birthdays as long as the parent realizes that the child will need another year of preschool before formal kindergarten.  (In Maryland, children must be 5 years of age before September 1 in order to attend kindergarten.)  This is done on a case-by-case basis.  

For 2's Drop-Off, children must turn 2 years old on or before September 1.  For 2 & You, children must turn 2 years old on or before December 31.

When is registration?
Registraton for fall classes begins in late January with in-house families.  Parents may enroll children currently in the school, along with any siblings who will begin at the school in the fall.  A non-refundable registration fee to process forms is due at the time of registration.  After a week of in-house registration, we open registration to the public.

Please call or email us at office [at] chestnutgrovechild [dot] org to inquire about classes or to arrange a tour of the school. 

What are the background teaching experiences of your teachers?
Most of our teachers have been teaching for more than a decade and brings a variety of influences to our school. All of our teachers are certified through the Maryland State Department of Education and take annual coursework to hone their skills.

What do I do at arrival?
Punctuality is extremely important at both arrival and dismissal.  When the school doors open, accompany your child to their cubby and assist them if needed.  Give a quick goodbye and allow the teacher to take over.  Part of school readiness is learning how to separate.  Usually children separate more easily when the goodbye is kept short. 

What happens at dismissal?
Students are picked up at their cubbies or in their classrooms.  Please assist your child in getting their mail and all belongings to share at home.

Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend?
Children in the 3s and 4s must be able to use the toilet independently.  Although we use the bathrooms at scheduled times to alleviate accidents, the children are allowed to use the bathrooms whenever their needs arise.  We will work with them on proper handwashing and good hygiene techniques after they use the bathroom.

Children in the 2's Drop-Off program are not expected to be potty-trained.  We are happy to work on potty-training with your child and can support whatever methods you are using at home.

What should my child wear to school?
Children should wear closed-toed sneakers or rubber-soled shoes for playground safety. Please do not send your child to school wearing flip-flops or Crocs.  Children should be dressed to play. Because we go outside almost every day, you will also need to send your child properly prepared for the weather.

What should I pack for lunch?
Children should bring healthy choices for lunch.  The school provides organic milk and water.  State regulations restrict us from serving drinks sent from home.  Lunches are refrigerated each day, so there is no need to pack icepacks.  Please do not send lunch items which require heating.  Children are not allowed to share their lunch with anyone in the class, in case of food allergies.

Are there volunteer opportunities?
We encourage parents to visit and share their special talents or culture, read a story or help out as needed with events such as vision screening or picture day.  Please contact your child's teacher directly so we can best use your time and talents.  Additionally, we have a very active parent board which can always use a helping hand.  All families are strongly encouraged to volunteer for an hour at the board's spring fair.

How do I sign up for Extended Day?
For online sign-up, look for the Extended Day Sign-Up link on this website.  You may also sign-up in the office, or send an email to the school office at one of the addresses listed below.

What is the school safety plan?
Doors into Chestnut Grove are locked during the school day.  If you arrive late or need to retrieve your child early, please press the buzzer at the top of the main staircase and you will be admitted once you are identified. 

Students and teachers practice monthly for fire and weather-related evacuation drills.  Staff members are trained in CPR and basic first-aid.  Additionally, the school has an emergency/disaster preparedness plan in effect. 

What is the best way to contact the school during the day?
The school office is open from 9:00am to 3:00pm MWF, and 9:00am to 1:00pm T/Th.  The school phone number is 410-592-9122.  We can also be reached via email at office [at] chestnutgrovechild [dot] org.  If you get our voicemail during the day, please know that we are working with your children and will return your call as soon as possible.

Have more questions?
Please direct questions to our office personnel:

Michelene Sottile-Jackson, Director - msj [at] chestnutgrovechild [dot] org
Ann Matthews, Office Admin./Registrar - amatthews [at] chestnutgrovechild [dot] org
Cassie Brady, Office Admin./Treasurer - cbrady [at] chestnutgrovechild [dot] org


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