The author analyses the organization of selected nursery schools and their interactive patterns with the assistance of ethnological concept of rituals of transition. Two types of nursery schools were chosen for this purpose - the alternative model of initial schooling represented by approach of Maria Montessori and the common public nursery school. The author describes the Montessori-preschool as a place of sacral ritual practices which correspond to transitional schema of A. van Gennep and V. Turner. The common public nursery school can be also understood as organization based on rituals of transition, but its rituals are symbolically reduced and meet more profane purposes. These propositions are demonstrated with the assistance of conceptual and field data (resulting from school ethnography). The significant symbolic divergence of transitional schema in both organizations is in contrast to similar formative effects on children. The common implicit aim of these schemas seems to be the effective conformization of behavior, which Montessori calls 'joyful obedience'.