When preparing your child for a new school, you will have to gather all important academic records necessary for enrollment. Before you move, it is crucial to request these records from your child's old school. Any new school will most likely require official, sealed transcripts, report cards, and standardized test results. You can request the records be mailed to your child's new school, or pick them up and deliver them yourself.
If you are enrolling your child in a private or charter school, you may require additional information or documents for her acceptance.
Below is a checklist of important paperwork to provide to your child's school when you move:
- A list of all of the schools your child has attended. Include the dates he was enrolled, the addresses and pertinent contact information.
- Copies of all transcripts or report cards. Request all original transcripts with the school seal--many schools require the original copies for enrollment. Gather all of your child's report cards as well. Make photocopies of these documents for your own records.
- Test scores. All official standardized test results should be obtained from your child's current school.
- Copies of immunizations and recent medical records. Most schools require proof of vaccinations and health information before your child can enroll to ensure the safety of all students.
- Letters of recommendation. Ask for reference letters from some of your child's best teachers and/or principles. You can also request references from guidance counselors, coaches, or other extracurricular instructors.
- Course outlines. Include descriptions of important courses, topics covered, and text books that were read. This will help your child's new educators have a better understanding of his or her past curriculum and how it relates to what he or she will study at the new school.
- Work samples. Create a portfolio of graded assignments that reflect your child's best work. This will promote your child's academic abilities for acceptance into a private school or charter school. It can also be helpful when transferring to a public school to provide her educators with an understanding of her past curriculum.
- Extra-curricular activities. Create a portfolio of your child's work and/or accomplishments in extra-curricular activities. Stories in the school newspaper, letters from sport coaches, and descriptions of your child's involvement in school clubs and groups will be helpful in gaining acceptance to private schools.
- Other hobbies or activities. Make a list of community activities, volunteer work, music or dance lessons and other clubs outside of school your child participates in. Many schools appreciate students that are well-rounded, talented, and involved in their communities.
- Awards. If your child has won any academic awards or scholarships, you should include them as well.
- Employer reference. If you have a teen that has had a job, a glowing recommendation letter from his employer will impress school officials if you are applying to private schools.
Finding a good school
Choosing the best school
for your child when moving is an important task. Be sure to thoroughly research all prospects and gauge them based on:
- Quality of education and student performance
- Ratio of students to teachers
- Extracurricular activities
Helping your child adjust
Adjusting to a new school
can be difficult for any child after a move. Be sure to talk about your child's apprehensions, be supportive, and get involved to help ease her transition.
Other ways to help alleviate your child's anxieties include:
- Having a practice run and touring the school
- Setting up a play date with classmates
- Meeting with your child's teachers before the first day