Leaders, have you ever had a day at club that went so well and you felt like everything was going so smoothly . . . right up until dismissal? It’s not uncommon for the last five minutes of club to be the time in which it feels like the most chaos ensues! However, if you and your team have a clear plan for your check-out routines and procedures, your dismissal time can become a breeze.
Here are three tips for your team to ensure a hassle free dismissal at the end of club:
1. Keep kids engaged until the very last minute.
As soon as kids receive a signal that “small group is over,” they may run to get their bookbags, play around and talk to their friends until their parents show up or they leave to walk home. The larger your club, the more this type of unstructured dismissal time can create disorder, and it becomes harder to supervise the safety of students. Instead, make dismissal an intentional time with clear structure; build in a routine that keeps kids involved in game or activity until the very last minute. For example, you might have students get their things and return back to the group to choose a game from your CKC Games Bag. Keep students busy with a fun activity right up until they are actually physically leaving.
1. Check out in small groups.
The most efficient way to check kids out at the end of club is in small groups. In the ideal scenario, parents and guardians would come into the school and sign their children out from the small group leader while the group remains seated and engaged in an activity. This not only allows for kids to be released safely, but it gives small group leaders a chance to connect relationally with the parent when they come to get their child. Check out our Small Group Leader roster template here.
1. Communicate your plan clearly!
First, your team has to all be on the same page about how dismissal will work in your club. Secondly, make sure that parents know what to expect. If parents have become used to a certain way of picking up their kids and you want to make an adjustment, it’s crucial that you not only inform them of the change in procedure, but that you also explain to them why you are making a change. Lastly, it’s important that the students know what is expected of them when it comes to checking out. Make sure that they are aware if they need their parents to sign them out, when they should start gathering their coats and bookbags, etc. It doesn’t hurt to have students practice your routines! The more clarity you have in communicating your expectations, the more success you will find in implementing your plan.