Relocating is challenging for the whole family, but it can be particularly difficult for children who are forced to cope with a changing environment, especially at a new school. Rochester, N.Y. high school guidance counselor, Lindsay Tuschong gives her advice on how to ease the transition to a new school after relocating.
It is important to work through the new school year as a family effort and talk over the expectations and goals for the new year. Go over the class schedule and map of the school.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour of school before the first day. If it is during the summer time, take advantage of school offered orientations,” Tuschong said. “It is always helpful for your child to have an understanding of the building layout before starting on his/her first day!”
Making friends in a new school can be an intimidating task. Many schools offer activities and sports that boost socialization as well as enhance interests.
“Parents should encourage the child to try new clubs, sports, and activities at school,” Tuschong said. “If they already enjoy something, be sure to help get them signed up to partake sooner than later.”
Tuschong continued, “Encourage your child as much as you can to use their resources at school. School counselors can help by suggesting different school based activities, and even with connecting students to community activities.”
Despite all the resources, the change may present some difficulties for the child to endure. It is important to monitor changes in the child’s attitude and keep in touch with teachers and counselors to ensure any adjustments that might need to be made.
“Change can be hard for the entire family when it comes to adjusting to a new school. Don’t be afraid to reach out to teachers and counselors at school if you fear your child is not adjusting,” stated Tuschong. “Because the school is only getting to know the child, they may need to recognize some of the struggles he or she is having. By advocating for your child early, actions can be taken at school, whether academic or personal intervention, to help them transition.”