Friday 22 January 2021

How to find a good school when moving to another state

 A teacher’s desk

Although the process of relocation encourages you to start daydreaming about all the new possibilities and positive outcomes the new state you’re moving to might be able to offer, you could easily slip into anxiety at the very thought of your child’s future. People usually become overrun by a variety of questions, and it appears the most dreadful question of all is how to find a good school when moving to another state. 

Balancing the children’s needs or wishes and our own idea of a perfect school could be overwhelming. However, the task of finding an ideal new school does not have to be a demanding activity, and it can even bring you joy and the opportunity to improve your relationship with the whole family. The following steps will lead you closer to the blissful mood of waving goodbye to a cheerful kid entering a school bus.

Do your homework

Research the potential schools

Whichever the task might be, the importance of doing your research cannot be stressed enough. The first aspect you should consider when trying to find the right school is deciding on a public or a private one. In case private schools meet your criteria, your research should be based on the amount of money you plan to invest in your child’s education. If there’s still enough time before moving to a different state, you could also try saving up a little bit to secure successful enrollment in a school you find the most adequate. After you determine the exact budget, you should narrow down your research to schools that require the tuition fee you can afford, making the process of picking a school more straightforward.

However, if you intend to enroll your child in a public school, you need to be aware of the limitations your school district might impose. Given that each school district has the exact neighborhood boundaries, you should focus on investigating the lists of the schools available for the neighborhood you are planning to move to. In case you find this obligation limiting, and you feel that the right school should not be restricted to the neighborhood boundaries, you might look into some charter schools. However, bear in mind that sometimes the popular charter schools might rely on the lottery when deciding on their students’ enrollment.

A list can make it easier to find a good school when moving to another state.

A girl making a list

Writing the essential characteristics of the right school down can help you in your searching process.

You have probably already got accustomed to the idea of writing a variety of lists at the very moment you have decided to move. While the crew at the Gibraltar Van Lines can relieve you of the responsibility of carefully plotting your packing list to make sure the items will not end up damaged, the list of requirements for a school is your responsibility. When it comes to choosing the best possible school which will meet the whole family’s expectations, it's always best to put them in writing. 

Your list could take the form of a questionnaire to make it easier for you to find a good school when moving to another state. You can modify the suggested list of questions according to your preferences, but if you’re having trouble figuring out what main points you should consider, start with the following:

1. Is it important that the school is within walking distance?

2. Will there be any changes in my child’s curriculum?

3. How diverse is the school?

4. What is the teacher-student ratio?

5.  What is the academic performance of this school?

6. Are the parents involved enough?

The list could appear never-ending. When you begin writing down the characteristics of a school you consider perfect, you might find yourself in a stressful situation because every point seems extremely important. Alongside diverse stress relief activities that you could try to help you cope,  you might also try a more straightforward approach to solving this issue. Prioritize and attempt to decide what the crucial characteristics of the right school are. You should focus on what the deal-breaker for the enrollment is and narrow your list down by settling on some fundamental criteria. For example, if walking distance is particularly important to your family, concentrate your attention on selecting schools that meet this criterion.

Perfect school, happier family

A family hugging

 Choosing the best possible school when moving can contribute to your family’s well-being.                                                                                        

Relocating your entire life to another state could sometimes feel like a one-person job, especially if you are a perfectionist who spends a lot of time focusing on details. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! Your whole family, especially your children, could gladly offer tremendous help, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t involve them in the process. It is vital to include your children in the search for a school, especially given that they are the ones who will be spending the majority of their time in the chosen institution.  

A child drawing

Entertaining and educational activities can help you find the most suitable school for your child.                                             

Depending on your kids' age, they might not be able to decide independently; however, you can still implement various activities that can lead to the discovery of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and even their hidden talents. Many projects do not require investing anything apart from your time, and they can even spark your child’s interest in science! With younger children, you can always rely on a variety of pretend games where you can reenact your child’s favorite book and instill the love of reading. Spending your free time playing board games or visiting museums will not only create a unique bonding atmosphere for the entire family but can also lead you one step closer to picking an adequate school for your child. Based on your child's inclinations, you can focus on the necessities the curriculum of the new school needs to have. 

Pay a visit to your perfect school

If you have followed the steps mentioned above, you have probably been able to come up with a list consisting of just a couple of schools. Now it would be the perfect time to contact the short-listed schools and attempt to schedule a visit. In case a personal meeting is not an option during the pandemic, you can always agree on a virtual tour, which can bring the school atmosphere closer to you.  

After you have conducted the last step necessary to find a good school when moving to another state, make sure you discuss the pros and cons of each school with your family, and the first day of school in a new state will become one of the brightest childhood memories!

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