Moving is especially hard on our children, but if you take the right approach, you can help them to see the positive side of relocating. Regardless, the most difficult part for many children is being the “new kid.” In order to help parents make things as seamless as possible, it’s important to learn how to transfer schools after a move.
Locate School. The first, and most obvious move is to determine which school your child will attend. Many districts nationwide are “school choice” districts, meaning parents can choose between several nearby schools. Another choice is of course “magnet” and “charter” schools. Not all districts are charter districts, and some may have limited magnet options, but those schools are not tethered to your location, and are usually a little more difficult to get into.
Register Your Child. The next move is to get the paper work rolling. You must provide the usual proof of address and birth certificate / SS card for your child. The process can be a little lengthy, so don’t put it off! The sooner you can get them registered the better because oftentimes schools offer summer transition programs for incoming students, but you must be registered to attend.
Transcripts. In order for the staff members to properly schedule your child in the courses that are actually needed, you will need proof of what has been completed first. The schools can often handle this between themselves, either via a transcript request or through the mail. You must request the transcripts from the original school in plenty of time. They aren’t really obligated to handle these requests quickly, but they do have to release them eventually.
Tireless Advocate. Don’t simply take everything the new school says as gospel. If they are scheduling your child in a course that is beneath them, or too far above their skill set, you are setting them up for failure. Sit with your child’s counselor and make sure they are being served as per their constitutional right to a “free and fair” education. If they are special needs, review the state and federal laws that govern the rights of ESE students. They must be accommodated and are often mainstreamed depending upon their needs and their 504 plan. There are usually attorneys that will offer free consultations in the higher populated counties. Use your resources wisely.
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