Figures from the U.S.Census Bureau state that nearly 36 million people move every year in the U.S. .As a result of this many children obviously have to transfer schools. Most families try to arrange moving during the summer break but sometimes it is not possible to wait and a family with children must move in the middle of the school year. Other reasons for changing schools in the year maybe related to social or economic conditions .
If you have to move your children school during the school year there are some things that can be done to minimize the impact for the children.
Things to consider before the move
- If possible to arrange then switch schools at the start of a new quarter or semester.Find out when the grading period ends at your child's current school and try set that as a target date to move .
- It is important to be familiar with the new school . Try and arrange to visit the school meeting the principal and also the teachers before actually starting at the school .If this cannot happen most schools have a detailed website .Look through this with your child highlighting positive aspect.Include your child in the decision making of which school to attend .
- Get all the paperwork organized ahead of time .Talk to the new school and see which documents they require.If it is the middle of the semester check with the teachers to see what material has already been covered.Request or make a portfolio of your child work at the old school to take to the new school .
- Help your child make a scrapbook of memories of the old school include contact numbers so that they can still have a connection
Your child’s new School Community
- As previously mentioned meet with the principal of the new school .Start building school relationships.
- Request that the school provide a buddy for a few days that will help your child settle in and assist with finding classes etc .
- If you have a few days in your new community before school starts then reach out to neighbors to try and arrange a meet up before attending the first day .
- If your child has special needs , make sure that the school is aware of this . If need be make contact with local help groups who can assist with advice in settling your child into the new school.
- If possible get a copy of the weekly timetable so that both you and the child are prepared as their first school week goes on .
- Find out if there are extra curricular school or community activities that your child can enroll in to help make new friends.
- Allow your child time to adjust .Meet regularly with teachers and discuss school days and fears with your child. Keep the lines of communication open.
Finally take a look at the points below which list the positive benefits to moving within a school year .
- Everybody know you are the new kid . Classmates often make a special effort to welcome you . (i.e. in younger grades each child draws a welcome card .
- Teachers make allowances for new kids and tend to help and watch out for them.
As normally the moves involve starting school straight away there are no long periods of anxiety during summer waiting for the school to re open.