Moving House? How to Get Ahead on the Dreaded School Search
Moving is stressful as it is. The school search for your school-age children comes with its own difficulties. However, moving house and changing schools can be excellent opportunities for a new beginning and a brighter educational future. For your school-age children, finding a quality education at a best-fit school will arm them with the necessary skills to trudge forward in our increasingly competitive, fast-paced world.
Switching schools will always bring about a myriad of emotions- happiness, sadness, loneliness, fright, anxiety- in children. Finding friends in a new social landscape is often anxiety-provoking. If there are additional stressors, such as divorce, the switch may be even more difficult. It is important to be open with your child in the search process, offer support and transparency, and interact with counselors, teachers, and school officials to ease the transition.
During the pandemic world and if you’re moving far, online school reviews are an excellent way to learn more about prospective schools and compare. Here are some questions that you may need to ask yourself:
School Size/Class Size
What kind of learning environment does my child thrive in?
While some children thrive when grouped with many similar aged children, most children learn best with sufficient individual attention. As schools become more commercial and economical, class sizes increase. However, some public schools which tend to have larger class sizes also have state funding, which may mean that individual attention does not decrease as class size increases.
Your Child’s Character
Does your child crave social interaction or feel overwhelmed by stimulation?
If your child tends to be shy, quiet, and introverted, it may not be the best idea to send them to a school known for large class sizes and rowdy and boisterous learning environments. If your child is extroverted and constantly craves stimulation and social interaction, a school with large class sizes may be a great fit. There’s nothing wrong with either personalities, or all of the personalities in between, but finding an environment that is comfortable and allows the child to be productive and grow at their own pace is necessary to create a self-aware, self-confident, and happy child.
Small class sizes and more individual teacher attention will often provide an introverted child enough space for them to participate comfortably, make themselves heard, and engage in teamwork without overwhelming them. Similarly, small class sizes are great for extroverted children too- more individual teacher attention is necessary for academic success.
In short, it is necessary to find an environment in which your child will flourish! Leaving them in an environment that is not fit for their dispositions is not conducive to productive learning and happiness.
Does the school have good facilities, excellent teachers, ample extra-curriculars, a safe and inclusive environment, etc?
It is important to evaluate a prospective school on various dimensions. Quality education comes hand-in-hand with a quality experience inside and outside of the classroom. A school with excellent policies against bullying, discrimination (racism, ableism, sexism, etc) and support for those being victimized through counselors and an open, safe, and inclusive environment is necessary to creating thoughtful and kind children. Furthermore, if your child requires special needs accommodation, this is the time to see if the school can provide adequate support. Similarly, while some parents may overlook certain aspects such as cafeteria food quality, it is important to be mindful that your children will have to eat cafeteria food on a regular basis. It is important to engage your child in the conversation of what makes a quality school.
Resources to Find a Good School
Online school reviews like SchoolParrot provides a glimpse into the schools through current students' and parents’ eyes. Reading these school reviews is necessary to making an informed choice. If there are any questions, you are also able to contact the school and ask a question about an issue. SchoolParrot also allows you to look into the different dimensions of what makes an excellent school, e.g. bullying, food quality, extracurricular options, and teacher quality. SchoolParrot was created to empower parents to make informed decisions!
Reaching out to the schools directly or to the school district will be necessary to help you with your documents and understand more about the new area.
Remember to leave a review on SchoolParrot about your old school to let new parents know about you and your child’s experience so they can make a more informed decision!
A rigorous academic program should be paired with a rocking school experience! Good luck with your school search!
For more information on how your school can work with school reviews and SchoolParrot, please visit: