Heading into the winter break marks a point in the school year when classroom routines are established, and students and teachers have had time to adjust to the changes that come with a new school year. It is also a time when some parents begin to notice that their child may not be thriving in their current school. With this realization comes a difficult decision, do you find a better fit school as soon as possible, or do you wait till the next fall for the sake of continuity? What is the best time to switch schools?
Now or Later?
Traditionally mid-year school changes have been looked at negatively. A switch was often associated with a move or unexpected event. However, these views were somewhat skewed. The Consortium on Chicago School Research recently found that it may be beneficial for students to change schools mid-year provided that they are transferring to “ones that are better fits.”
At the beginning of 2019, The Sycamore School shared on their blog the first-hand experience of a family that went through a November school transfer. They described it as “one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.” Because they were moving from an atmosphere that induced anxiety in their daughter to a school that was a right fit for her, the results were overwhelmingly positive and transformative. We have seen students at our small Northern Virginia private school react similarly when joining us in the middle of a school year.
Signs It Might Be Time For A Change
What would justify a mid-year switch? There are many signs that could indicate your child is in need of a better fit school. These include newly-developed unhappiness, school avoidance, somatic symptoms, social struggles, or changes in performance. In some cases, these can be symptoms of a child who is struggling in their current educational environment.
The Bottom Line
So when is the best time to switch schools? There is no one ideal time. Each parent will know when it is right for their child. Every child is unique, and each family needs to assess their own situation. The truth is that finding the best fit for your child is much more important then when the switch is made. Once a child is in an environment that allows them to thrive, it doesn’t much matter if they got there in August or January.
Pinecrest School welcomes mid-year enrollment when class space allows. Our community is welcoming and thrives on the diversity of our student body, no matter what time of year they come to us!
*Have a friend or neighbor who might be looking for the right fit school for their child? Please invite them to contact us now and schedule a tour!