Changing School Districts – Will your kids survive?

May 25, 2021

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I want to start this post by making it very clear that I believe that parents know their children best.  You know your child’s capabilities, limitations, stress levels, so you will likely already know the answer to this question deep down.  I wanted to share my perspective as a mom and a realtor having been through the process of switching school districts with our son.

Denver Schools – Changing School Districts

In 2018 we started the journey of looking for a new home. At the time my son had been in Adams 12 schools since kindergarten and we were about to transition to a Adams 12 middle school.  We had attended the information night of the school we were to choice into, his friends were going to go there and we were mentally preparing for a little easier transition because of this.  Then the housing market got us.

We were looking in Thornton but just couldn’t find what we wanted in our price point.  We really weren’t looking for a fixer upper or something backing up to a main road, we weren’t looking for a home we would feel cramped in as a family and we weren’t looking for a neighborhood that didn’t give us walking access to shops, restaurants etc.  So we quickly came to the conclusion (yes using my realtor brain I already knew this but we gave it a go anyway) that we would need to move a little more North and out of Adams 12 to get the home and environment we were looking for.

We ended up in Frederick which I am so so so so thankful for now because I love this town but it was a hard choice to make. My momma anxiety had all the big feels taking my son away from his friends and transferring him to another district at the start of middle school.

Changing School Districts – Did Our Kid Survive

For those of you that know my son, you know how this story has gone. For those of you that don’t know my son, let’s just say his anxiety was big starting school without knowing anyone.  Middle school is already a tough transition and then having to do it as the new kid (he went into a K-8 school) just makes it harder.

That summer before school started I encouraged my kid to get out on his bike and meet friends in the neighborhood, I arranged to meet up with some friends whose kids went to the school as well as a teacher that worked at the school.  We talked about new adventures, new friendships and the advantages his new school would afford him.  We talked about the challenges that might come and how we would walk through those challenges each step with our kiddo.  We met him where he needed to be met during that summer.

Due to our preparation, chats, a school tour and some great teachers my son settled in well and survived year 6th. Since then he has also survived 7th and 8th and we are off to High School!!

Denver Schools – Will Your Children Survive Changing School Districts?

The answer to this question is one only you can answer but I can tell you that in general children can be pretty resilient. I know I changed school districts several times growing up in Australia and I think it gave me the skills to make the big changes I have made in life since then.

Here are some suggestions for surviving the transition

  • Tour the School
  • Spend time walking past the school, exploring the school playground and areas around the school.
  • Talk about the anxiety and challenges and let your kiddos know you understand.
  • See if you can make connections with other kids at the new school via Facebook groups, Nextdoor app, your realtor!
  • Talk about the wonderful things the school offers, clubs they can join, opportunities they might have.
  • Be there for your kids, especially in those first couple of months.

I have seen my son thrive and grow and we always say we might the right decision moving.  We love our home, we love the area we are in and we love that our son has build some great friendships. We are surviving and thriving and doing it within the original home budget we had set for ourselves.

 

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