When preparing to switch schools, parents want to know: What will the transition be like? Will my student belong?
Even if your student’s experience at their current school is not so amazing, uncertainty makes you wonder if you should just stick with what you know. Many of you are stressed about whether your student is behind.
It’s common to place a lot of pressure on yourself. So pause, take a deep breath, and know you are doing the best you can for your student!
- You will need to invest more time and care with your student during the transition to any new school.
- Each student is unique and will respond differently.
- Make sure you feel good about interactions with staff and faculty when you visit because communication is key.
Things to think about:
- When you walk on campus, do you feel like you are “home”?
- Remember the emotional and social side to be sure it will be a good fit.
- Look for evidence that the learning experience is well-rounded – or what we call “college-prep with compassion.”
Gabriel, a new seventh-grade student, joined Menaul School in October. Soon after, he told his mom that he enjoys coming to school every day. His mom tells us: “That wasn’t happening before!”
Evan, a new tenth-grade student, joined the school in January. He said, “I kept waiting for someone to be mean, but everyone is so nice!” He made friends quickly.
Evan’s mom felt great about the transition.“My son stated that the teachers are very accepting and helpful,” she said. “He was waiting for a teacher to tell him that he had missed too much not being here the first half of the year, but he didn’t hear that. All his teachers just worked with him where he was and were very encouraging and patient while he learned Canvas [our school’s online grade system]”.
Registrar Ms. Bock tells new students, “If you don’t know where to go or whom to ask, come see me, and we will figure it out! Also, if you need a Band-Aid!”
Her welcoming attitude shows in her smiling eyes above her mask, or in a friendly greeting on the phone.
“I always greet new students and make them feel we are so happy to have them at the school,” Middle School math teacher Ms. Franklin said. “Sometimes I’ll hand them a piece of chocolate . . . and I just try to talk with them often.”
Upper School History teacher Ms. Schlabach learns new students’ names and treats them like they have always been a part of her class, even if they arrive halfway through the semester. “I do my best to make sure they feel included and accepted,” she said.
Menaul’s International families send their children far across the globe, not just across town!
Chinwe from Nigeria said: “I needed to be very sure when making that decision to send my student quite far from where the family is. I’m at peace in my heart with how the school is handling my son.”
She felt great about the staff, the faith aspect of the school, and the support systems, which had an impact on making the transition to a new school “an awesome experience for me.”
Ms. Schlabach said, “I’ve noticed that Menaul students make an effort to get to know new folks right away and are happy to help them plug in. Menaul is a place where new students can belong pretty quickly.”
A handy guide for what to ask during the school search is available for download here.