Transitioning to a New School
Advice from a Director of Admission
Congratulations! You’ve made that big decision and have decided where your child will be going to school next year. Now what? The process of transitioning to a new school can seem like a daunting one as you leave a community in which your family is attached. However, it doesn’t need to be a nerve-racking switch. And while your new school will have some things in place to help make the switch easier, you should be proactive as well.
At WES, we spend the spring creating and implementing several strategies for you to get know the school and community before the start of school. The first of those approaches are “class mentors”—once we have received all of the enrollment contracts from those families that have chosen to attend WES, we look to assign you a mentor whose child will be classmates with yours and who lives relatively close to you. It is our hope that this family can be both a resource for you in answering questions and one that can be your liaison to the WES community as you start. Some ways they may get you involved in WES’s campus life during the summer is through a family barbeque, a pool party, or class birthday parties. When invited, try your hardest to attend—your child will start making new friends before the school year has even begun and you will meet other parents, all of whom can be a resource for you.
Anther great way to become comfortable with your new school’s campus is to become familiar with it first-hand, and summer camp is a wonderful way of doing so. Summer@WES is regularly attended throughout the entire summer by our current students as well as newly enrolled ones. Attending for just one week can be a great way to get familiar with the school, get to know some of the teachers and staff, and a nice way to meet new classmates.
Also, many admission offices have unique ways to bring our current and newly enrolled families together throughout the summer. At WES, you can expect playgroups in local parks for younger children, a campus scavenger hunt for older children, an evening out for parents, and much more. The office of admission should be constantly in touch with you as you work your way through your transition.
Finally, the school’s administration should be contacting you between May and July about getting all the needed forms completed, your child’s summer reading, the school supply list, and other traditional summer preparation. The timing of these communications can very, so don’t worry if you have not received this information before the end of the current school year. Many administrations work throughout the summer.
By doing a few of these key steps, you and your child will quickly become a part of the school community and be ready to start school in September.