School Information for Parents
New School Adjustment
For many kids, changing to a new school can be an exciting experience. It may take a few weeks or months for kids to feel comfortable in a new school, it is important that parents do not dismiss their child's concerns. Parents can do a lot to help ease their child's transition. Here are some tips to help with your child's transition:
- For younger children, make an appointment for you and your child to meet with the teacher before school starts. Your child may be more comfortable if he or she has met the teacher. For middle school or high school kids, set up a meeting for both of you to meet with your child's guidance counselor. This will give him or her a chance to ask questions about classes and activities. It will also give him or her a sense of what to expect.
- Call the school and find out if there is an orientation for new students. If not, arrange a tour for your child before classes begin. For example, if a child is worried that they won't be able to open their locker, have them practice before school starts. Addressing your child's fears of the unknown should help ease his or her concerns.
- Talk with other parents in your neighborhood. They can be helpful since they are familiar with the school environment and after-school activities. Befriending other parents also gives a new kid the opportunity to meet a classmate before school starts, and knowing someone beforehand can help ease a child's anxiety.
- Get involved in your child's school. Having a close and well-informed connection between home and school is very important for a child's adjustment and school success. Volunteer in the classroom or on class trips if possible. Ask teachers if there are any classroom rituals your child should know about or if there are any special supplies that your child should have that would make him or her feel prepared and more included.
- Practice social skills with your child. Parents can review social skills with their children by coaching them on how to introduce themselves, how to ask questions to get to know others, and to remember to share with classmates and smile.
- Ask questions. Ask your child for his or her opinions about the new school and continue asking questions about the new routine. Your child should feel that they have a safe place to talk about their feelings and any worries they may have. Give them an opportunity to ask questions and ask for advice, which will help to keep you informed and ensure that their transition is going well.
- Stay alert to signs of discomfort. If you notice that your child is complaining excessively about illness on school days, actively avoiding any discussion of school, having trouble sleeping, or wetting the bed, you may wish to schedule an appointment with your child's teacher and/or school counselor to discuss your child's adjustment.
After School Programs
The time between when school lets out and dinner can help encourage or healthy or unhealthy behavior. After school programs which help a child develop their sense of creativity in the arts or music or sports programs which help them develop physically can be very positive for children. These programs may help develop confidence, solve problems, become leaders, build team skills and tolerance of others.