Dismissal can be an emotional roller coaster: relief, frustration, worry, and fear (mostly of losing kids) all mixed together.

Boyd details everything that we all know can go wrong at dismissal time: students getting into trouble in the park down the street, students lingering in bathrooms and vestibules, students leaving too early, students leaving too late.

As with the rest of her schoolwide policies, Boyd works with staff to create a set of non-negotiables for dismissal, then strictly enforces those policies and doles out consequences for any violations. She makes it a point to note that because her staff works hard all day, she enforces a strict policy of having all students not affiliated with an after-school activity out of the building by 4 p.m.

Nothing glamorous about creating a detailed dismissal plan, but few things could be more important than getting students safely from school to home (or wherever they’re going).

Boyd seems confident that consequences are the solution for dismissal-based problems. I wonder if students’ unproductive behaviors at dismissal run deeper, or have anything to do with the emotions associated with what situation might be waiting for them wherever they’re headed next.

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