Back to School in a New Neighbourhood

Ahhh September. It’s time to go back to school. A new school year brings with it the opportunity of a fresh start. It’s a great chance to really accomplish everything you’ve been meaning to. The first day back to school can be very exciting- but what if you’ve moved and you or your children are starting a new school? Whether you’re starting a new school at the beginning of the school year in September, or half way through the year, that first day back can turn from exciting to intimidating quickly. There are a few things that you can do to help ease this transition.
Before the first day hits, visit the school your children will be attending. If you’ve already moved into your new neighbourhood, you will be close by to their new school, so try and fit in a few visits beforehand. There is usually staff on hand to let you in, but call first to make sure there will be someone there to unlock the doors. If you haven’t moved yet, hopefully at least one visit can take place before their first day. Walk the halls with your kids, get to know the layout. Visit the cafeteria and take a walk outside on the school grounds. This will help to familiarize them to where they will soon be spending a large portion of their days.

Join a local social networking site based in your new neighbourhood. People on such sites will have tips and tricks for you regarding your new school. Your new local Chamber of Commerce is also a great resource when settling into a new neighbourhood and school. Also, introduce yourself to your neighbours, as not only is it a friendly thing to do, but they may have children the same age as yours, attending the same school. Having a friend or two on the same block can really help your child to feel “at home” in his or her new school.

Ensure you are aware of the school’s dress code. Also, find out early if your new school requires uniforms, so they can be purchased and altered ahead of time.

Don’t forget to discuss your new school’s food policies so you’ll know what to pack in your children’s lunchboxes. It’s widely known that schools have a “no peanut” rule, but some schools expand the food restrictions to include all nuts, milk, etc., so be sure to know what the allergen policy is. What’s equally important is informing your new school of any allergies/ chronic illnesses/special needs your children have, so that it can be documented and all staff aware. Safety first!

Above all, be sure and make time for your little ones, as a move can be stressful enough for kids, let alone starting a brand new school and making new friends too. As hurried as life can be, and with the hustle and bustle of unpacking, remember to set aside some special time for them. Try to keep their routines as usual as possible. This love and security is what will help them transition to their new school successfully.
Have a great move- and a great first day….and year….of school!