9 Tips for Starting at a New School

Author: Tracy Phelan, Broker RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. Brokerage | | Categories: #BacktoSchool #Moving #FirstDay

Blog by Tracy Phelan Broker RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. Brokerage

9 Tips for Starting at a New School


Moving is tough on kids. Clients who have moved either before a new school year or in the middle of the school year are wondering if they’ve ruined their child’s life (they haven’t) and if the kids will cope with starting at a new school (they will). Here are 9 tips from teachers that’ll help as you make the transition to a new school.


1. Ask the school to match your child with another student

Your child’s school may have a program that matches new students with current students. In some schools a child’s guidance counselor can pair your child with a current student.” For the parents, this may also provide an opportunity for you to connect with another family in the community.


2. Find out whether there’s a new student club 

Some schools offer a “Newcomers Club” for new students. Teachers receive a list of students new to the school and they might have this sort of club. When you’re starting at a new school, it’s nice to know you aren’t the only one. 

Ask about clubs for new students

3. Ask for a list of afterschool programs from the school

Ask the school about programs that may help your child with the transition. Ask for a list of clubs, extracurriculars, or after school programs in which your child might be interested. Even if your child doesn’t feel like joining anything right away, it’s always good to have a list of what’s available.


4. Join a fall team before starting at a new school

Find out what sports teams, activities, and clubs there are in your new area that match your child’s interests. Some groups begin practice before school starts. It’s a great way to have friendly and familiar faces in the school building once the school year begins.


5. Find a good balance between activities, school, and friends

Although getting involved can be a good way to meet people, you don’t want to go overboard. Some students get involved with too many activities in order to meet new friends and perhaps get in over their head and grades can sometimes suffer. The same is true if grades are their only focus. Being social outside of class is important. A good, comfortable balance is necessary to enjoy school in any grade.


6. Ask a classmate to connect on social media

For older kids who have cell phones or are on social media, they can ask a classmate for her contact information; maybe to follow up on an assignment. Who knows? This may be the start of a beautiful friendship. However, teens usually prefer to connect on social media before exchanging phone numbers because phone numbers are more personal to teens. Instead, your child may end up messaging on Instagram  after an interaction in class or at practice.

Connect online

7. Remind your child she doesn’t need to attach herself to a friend right away

Kids have a choice when it comes to making friends. They can identify with multiple groups and have many different types of friends. New students don’t have to attach themselves to the peers giving them the most attention without branching out, meeting more people, and finding a good friend or friend group with which they can form positive relationships. Remind your child to be friendly to everyone, but that it’s okay to continue to meet other people at school.


Friendships will happen

8. Focus on the positive moments

Your child will have good days and bad days. (Don’t we all!) Kids may tend to focus on the one negative detail amid a pretty good day in that he sat alone during a free period. What you don’t always hear is that a couple of their teachers seem amazing and the reading list for the semester has some favourites on it. On balance, that’s a pretty good day! Remind them that within a week or two, he will not be alone during a free period.


9. Recognize that school is different now

Times have changed since I was in school. Today, teachers create interactive environments and students work in small groups. Teachers create these groups as opposed to the students, which is a nice arrangement for new students. Teachers are generally far more conscious of the need to create these small groups at the start of school and classroom connections can turn into social connections pretty quickly. Today’s parents shouldn’t worry that their child will go through the day without talking to anyone because today’s classroom environment is more interactive.