New Year, New School: Tips for Switching Schools Mid-Year
The new year is a great time to set goals, whether that be introducing more healthy habits or trying out a new hobby. For some families, it might also mean switching to a new school. Fortunately, families who are thinking about making the switch may not need to wait until the fall to do so. Mid-year enrollment is open now at a number of different schools, and this article will provide you with some tips that can help ease that transition.
Exploring your options: Weigh the benefits to make a decision as a family
Before actually beginning the enrollment process, it’s important to assess whether or not this is the right choice for your family. Given the flexibility of online learning, as well as its successful educational outcomes, this is a great choice for a lot of families. Families who are looking for more consistency amidst school policy changes in the wake of the pandemic can find that in Stride K12, which is one of the most established online schooling programs available.
Learning disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many students to fall behind , and according to one report by the United Nations, pandemic learning loss may cost students worldwide upwards of 17 trillion dollars throughout their lifetimes. Consequently, even if your family decides not to enroll your child in an online school at this time, it may be worth enrolling in a career prep program to supplement their academic learning.
Online learning can offer several different benefits, but given the amount of involvement it will require of parents (who serve as their child’s Learning Coach), it’s essential that this decision is made as an entire family.
Getting into the nitty gritty: Do your research to figure out the logistics
After making the family decision to enroll in a Stride K12- powered school, you’ll need to consult the policies of the school in your area. On this website, you can easily plug in your zip code and your child’s grade level to see which programs are available in your area. From there, you can click on the links to the school’s website and/or start the enrollment process. You can also reach out to a customer representative to get more information by clicking the blue box that says, “Need More Info.”
Preparing for the switch: Settle on a schedule and prepare your child’s at-home classroom
Once you have found a school that’s open for mid-year enrollment and that’s a good fit for your student, you’ll need to get all of the necessary documents together. These requirements differ from school to school, but they typically include a birth certificate, proof of residence, and immunization records.
Also, do not withdraw your student from their current school before their enrollment in a new school is complete. Doing so could lead to reports of truancy since it won’t appear as if your child is enrolled anywhere.
After you’re officially enrolled, it’s time to prepare your student’s at-home workspace, as having the right workspace can positively affect your child’s academic success. Make sure that they have adequate lighting in a well-organized space that’s relatively free of distractions. As you get the workspace ready, you can also settle on a new schooling schedule. With online schooling’s flexibility, your child might choose to sleep in a bit later or have a long lunch break in between schooling sessions. Involving your student in these planning steps will ensure that they feel like they have a say in their education.
Making the switch to an online school can be daunting, but as the proverb goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” You’re now equipped with the knowledge to take those first steps!
AnnElise Hatjakes is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. Her career in education began in 2010 when she worked as a teaching assistant while earning her master’s degree in writing. She has taught in a wide range of educational settings, including a public school, a school for gifted students, a university, and a county jail. She’s interested in issues of equity in education, which she strives to address through her own teaching practices and writing. AnnElise is the recipient of the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award, and her fiction has appeared in literary journals. As a third generation Nevadan, she loves all things Western, from wide open spaces to wild horses.