Everything You Need to Know About Changing Schools When You Move

On average, Americans move more than 11 times during their lifetime. Moving is hard on everyone involved but can be even more challenging for children who have to change schools. Changing schools is never ideal, but if you take some steps ahead of time, you can minimize the disruption of the school year. 

Keep reading for what you need to know about how to transfer schools when moving and how to make it easier on your kids

Research Your New Neighborhood and School District

Once you know where you are moving, you may want to allow school selection to guide where you live within that city. Do some research on the location to learn about how the school districts work. Many states in the northeast, for example, have many smaller school districts, while school districts in the south encompass the entire county. 

This is important to understand if you want schools to guide your living choices because you might be looking to move into a specific district in certain states or cities, or you might need to move into the zoning boundaries for a specific school in other places. A clear understanding of what you’re looking for will help guide this process. 

Learn About The School Registration Process

Once you’ve done your research and you’ve selected a new school, you’ll need to research how the registration process works. If you are planning to attend the school that your new home is zoned for, you may only need to go to the school with the proper documentation (detailed below) to register.

However, if you choose a magnet school, IB school, or one that you are not zoned for, there may be an application period that you have missed. In this case, you may have to wait until the application period opens back up for the next school year. These are all things to keep in mind as you are considering potential schools and districts. 

Gather Documentation 

To register for school, you’ll need to provide documentation, which usually includes:

  • your child’s birth certificate
  • immunization records
  • proof of address if you are going to your zoned school
  • proof of physical examination
  • transcripts if you wish any of your child’s credits to transfer 

Check with your district or school to see what they require and gather all of the documents. If you don’t have all of the required documents, most schools will not let you register. It’s smart to put these documents in an easily accessible place during your move, as you don’t want to find yourself in the situation where you can’t locate them among all of your boxes. 

Help Your Child Transition 

Helping your child transition to the new school is essential. Encourage them to get involved in extracurriculars, such as clubs, sports, band, theater, or other activities they may be interested in. A visit to the school before they enroll is a smart way for them to get the feel of the school, what’s available, and gives them the chance to know what to expect before their first day.

Minimize the Disruption of Changing Schools

While sometimes necessary, changing schools as the result of a move is often not ideal for kids, especially the older they get. However, by preparing them early, giving them some input into their new school, and doing your research, you can attempt to minimize these disruptions. 

If you are facing a move, let us help. We offer local, long-distance, and international moves. Contact us today for a free quote.