For students, relocating to a new school is a stressful event. Amid the struggles of packing, finding transportation, and tying up loose ends, families struggle to find the right school “fit” for their children near their new home.
To ensure your children’s seamless transition into their new schools, it’s important to think broadly about this move. It’s critical to find a program that already understands a student’s new school transition process and their own role in making that process easier and effective.
How do you help children feel at home in a new environment?
For new students, the first weeks at a new school might be marked by uncertainty and uneasiness. However, it helps for them to know that a supportive, understanding team of adults is there for them when they need it, both at home and at school.
When screening new schools for your child, ask school officials what they specifically do to assist children new to the area. If they have thoughtful answers for you, it demonstrates that they have taken the time to consider these situations and identify the best methods for approaching them. Ask them if they will be pairing your child with students to help with the transition and maybe ask to speak to a student or two about the process.
At World Academy, our learning environment is positioned not only to support our existing student body, but to also make it easy for new students to feel welcomed. Our staff works hard to build and maintain an environment that provides students with a sense of belonging and individual worth, encourages mutual respect and safety, fosters character development and friendships and offers a “world of opportunities.”
If a new student is having trouble finding friends among their new classmates, how are teachers encouraged to respond?
Switching to a new school can be seamless, but it helps to expect and prepare for minor bumps along the way. To make the process as stress-free as possible, schools should strategize ways to help new students overcome any lingering nerves.
We combat feelings of nervousness or anxiety by encouraging our student body to exemplify values that make attending school a positive experience and to welcome new students into our family. We have student ambassadors whose job it is to include new students into our routine with care. Our philosophy of treating each other the way we wish to be treated further supports inclusion of new members and benefits the existing students as well as our newcomers.
We also encourage students to explore the many options offered outside of the classroom. We offer a variety of before & after school programs and extracurricular activities to give students the opportunity to get to know their peers beyond a typical school day. This helps them to make friends with similar interests, including organized sports, theater, robotics, and beyond.
Is the school experienced in taking in students mid-year if needed? How do you approach that challenge?
Life can be unexpected, and that can meas finding a new school for your child after the school year has already begun. This poses the same emotional and social challenges as switching school districts before the school year begins, only with the added difficulty of ensuring new students are able to catch up on missed material.
If you find yourself facing the challenge of finding a new school mid-year, address your concerns with educators directly. Ask if they have dealt with similar situations, and how they addressed these concerns in the past. How did their educators get these new students caught up? By the end of the school year, how did those students fare academically and socially?
Acclimating new students who enter the classroom during the middle of the year is a thoroughly familiar situation for us at World Academy as whenever a student starts with us, we meet each where they are and take them confidently forward to their ultimate success. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to enter our programs mid-year. We have a comfort level with that and a very high success rate for our students. After baseline testing to evaluate where the new students fall in reference to our academic program, we are able to place the students in different levels that address their personal needs. After an initial adjustment period with personal support from teachers, they are using our dynamic NWEA testing to go beyond their personal best to continue achievement without gaps.
How should we move forward with confidence?
When your child is faced with the challenge of changing schools, it’s important to see how the new school’s educational philosophies translate into the actual classroom. Will that be a good fit for your child? Does the new school offer support for the transition to be sure your child gets back on track easily and quickly to ensure no learning gaps? These are important questions for you to ask.
We've had our fair share of new students, and we’ve been there to see the process unfold… As a result, we’ve confidently created a diverse, accepting environment experienced in welcoming new students into our community whether it’s from the town over or another continent entirely.
Schedule a tour with World Academy today to see for yourself how our core values, diverse student body, and experience as a progressive educational institution position all of our students for success!