If you are moving to a city, one of the most important steps to take early on is the selection of the school that you would will choose for your child. Unless the specific location of your new home is determined by factors beyond your control, where you live will be determined by the boundaries of the school which you select. Your child’s school experience will have significant impact on his or her future, and you will want the seeds of success to be sown now.
Here are the basic steps you can take that will help you to select the most suitable school.
What Are the Unique Educational Needs of Your Child?
Get clear in your mind and be able to articulate what the most important things are that you want in your child’s education. These would be dictated by your child’s unique qualities, for example:
- Is there a talent in art, music or sports for which you hope a school has a strong program?
- Does the child have a unique need such as special education, or a program for the gifted?
- Does your child need a school with a limited enrollment, or can she or he adjust to a large school?
- Do you want your child to be in a multi-ethnic setting where they will be exposed to more cultures and languages and which schools offer such opportunities?
Get Information from the City School District Office
Visit the city school district office and talk with an education consultant or curriculum expert. Discuss your specific needs and learn about the unique qualities and strengths of the different schools. You will be able to learn how they perform on achievement tests and about their statistics (percent graduating, number attending college, etc.)
This discussion could be carried out on the telephone and you could have information emailed to you. You could then plan a limited trip to the city to visit the school or schools you have selected as possible choices. If you have contracted with a mover such as Wheaton you will be freed of the time and energies you will need to establish the base for your new life in the city.
Visit the Schools You Have Preselected
After learning about the schools, visit those that you have narrowed your choices to. At each school, talk with the principal. Find out what the school has to offer. Ask which teacher and class your child will be placed in, and ask to visit and sit in on that class. In this way, you can select the particular teacher you feel will be best for your child for the first year of attendance in the new city. Visiting the school will also give you a feeling for the climate of the school. Is there a quiet purposefulness while classes are in session? Do the students look content and happy, or tense and cautious? Just being immersed in the school atmosphere will provide you with valuable information.
A lot of people probably look into schools before they move, especially if they are given enough of a heads up before having to go. This gives them the opportunity to adjust to the move and to be assured that once they get to their new home that they will be okay. Often, moving companies like Wheaton World Wide Moving will leave those that they help move within the first hour or two and that is when everything starts to get real. Not having to ask “What school will my kids go to?” is a great thing to not have to ask yourself in that moment as your stress settles in.
However, there are situations where you may have had to move without much notice and when you’ll have to find a school near you as soon as you move to your new home. This is when your school district becomes your best friend. Call them up, ask them questions, and visit the schools that you may be assigned to or given options to attend. If you’re given a choice between schools, then it would also be pretty wise to take your child to the schools with you on a tour and see which one they seem the most comfortable in.
No matter where you’re moving to or how short of a notice you have, be confident that you’ll be able to find the right school for your child. All you have to do is take advantage of the resources that are around you and you and you and, most importantly, your child will be okay.