7 Ways to Ease Your Child’s Transition to a New School

Starting at a new school, while exciting, can be challenging. Whether your child is switching schools to find a better fit, moving to a new town, or simply entering a new school after “graduating” from the last, this transition can make many children a bit anxious. Having helped families enter our school in all grades and during all times of year, we understand the transition. We hope the following tips will help your child (and family) feel more confident as you move to a new school.
1. Meet the Teacher
If possible, bring your child to meet his or her teacher and other teachers and administrators your child will see during the school day. Seeing familiar faces in classrooms and hallways will make your child feel more at home. Ask the school about any opportunities for your child to visit prior to their first day. Many schools offer a shadow day in the spring before beginning school in the fall, which lets the student meet their teachers and future classmates.

2. Map Out Your Route
Make the drive from your home to school several times to get the know the route (and to map out a back-up plan if you live somewhere prone to traffic!). Cementing your route will make the ride seem routine for your child, lessening stress on the first day.

Giving your child opportunities to make friends ahead of beginning school is one of the best ways to ease their transition. Having someone to say hello to in class and eat lunch with can mean the world to a “new kid.” If your child is beginning a new school on the first day of school in the fall, summertime is perfect for making these connections. Starting a new school in the middle of the year can be more of a challenge, but there are still lots of ways to make friends quickly.

3. Discover Summer Opportunities
Ask about any summer programs or camps that are run by the school (or that many students attend). If your child plans to play a sport at their new school, there may be summer camps or training they can attend.

4. Attend New Family Events
Many schools host new student and family events to welcome new families, so be on the lookout for those get-togethers. These are great for meeting not only other families that are new to the school, but also current families that can help navigate all the questions you may have.

5. Encourage Involvement
Encourage your child to participate in clubs and activities. Says Mrs. Katrina Bryan, Assistant Head of School at Mason Prep, “We offer an array of afterschool activities that appeal to different interests – theater, sports, dance, and more. These activities are a great way for new students to meet children who share similar interests.”

Be sure to make new friends yourself. Getting to know other parents will mean more opportunities for socializing (for you and your child) and you will have some go-to moms and dads to help with any questions that come up.

6. Lend a Helping Hand
It can be tricky to get to know the parents of your child’s new classmates, but chances are your new school welcomes parental involvement. Volunteer for the Parent Teacher Organization, read a book to your child’s class, help with a class party, or chaperone a field trip – most classrooms are very busy, so there are likely many opportunities to pitch in.

7. Find Carpool Buddies
If you will be taking your child to school, check with the school office about carpooling opportunities. Touching base with families who live nearby can mean not only help with driving, but also new neighborhood friends.

Above all, understand that your new school wants you and your family to feel welcome, so don’t be shy about asking for help. This sentiment is echoed by Mrs. Bryan, “We work very hard to get to know your child and your family before you get here. We encourage questions and maintain an open-door policy – no one expects you to know everything!”

Thinking about changing schools? We would love for you to visit Mason Prep to see if it might be the right fit for your student and your family. Fill out our inquiry form to start the conversation.
Mason Preparatory School is committed to the education of the whole child in preparation for secondary education through the cultivation of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility within a nurturing environment that results in a productive citizen of a global community.