Saturday, April 16, 2011

Choosing a School From a Distance: Part 3

According to an article on great by Connie Mathiessen , if you are moving, how can you find the best school from a distance? Mathiessen can help you choose the best school for your child. Whether going across the state or cross country, if you’re facing a move, you’re probably stressed out and no wonder: Moving means turning your life upside down and making an endless number of decisions. And one of the biggest stressors that can send a parent over the edge? Yesterday was part two, below is the third part of Connie's article:

1. Seek out local resources

Real estate agents are often an excellent source of school information, so if you have one, be sure to ask your agent. As well, look on the website of the local newspaper or city magazine for articles about the schools on your list. And if you already have a new job in place before your move, put an email blast out to your future colleagues asking for their recommendations on the best (and worst!) local schools - and even tips on how to get in.

2. Contact the schools
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few schools, contact each one directly. Have a list of questions ready for the school principal or administrator. This is your chance to get a sense of the school environment, so don’t hesitate to ask questions about not strictly academic issues, for example, "How does your school handle bullying?" or "Which after-school clubs are most popular?" Ask school administrators to recommend a parent or two who could talk with you about the school.

3. Have a back-up plan
Be sure to have a back-up plan in case the school you choose doesn’t work out. Narrow your list to two or three schools and enroll your child in your top-choice school, if you can. But also find out if there are slots available and what enrollment procedures are at your back-up schools. That way, if things don't go well for your child at her new school, you can move her quickly without starting the process all over again. "Don't be afraid to change schools if it isn’t working," Milne advises. "If your kid is really unhappy, be prepared to try again at another school."

4. Final details
If you have a school lined up, check with the school and ask what paperwork they'll need in advance of your arrival, such as school transcripts and current immunization records. (See other tips for helping your child adjust to her new school.)


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