A Parent’s Guide to Switching Schools Midyear

School makes up a huge part of your child’s life. And if they attend a traditional school, they’re likely to spend about six to seven hours per day inside a building, plus time commuting. With so much of their childhood dedicated to their education, it’s important to ask yourself: Is my child happy, thriving, and feeling safe at school?

If you’re unsure of your answer—know that you’re not alone. Many parents across the nation are recognizing that their child’s school just isn’t cutting it. And as midyear enrollment approaches, now is the perfect time to find the school that works best for them.

How can I find the right school for my child?

Know that learning is not one-size-fits-all, and students deserve a personalized academic journey that will help them be successful in school and beyond. That’s why many families are turning to online learning, such as a K12-powered program. Follow the steps below to find out if online school could be an option for your family and how to get started.

Talk as a family.

Transitioning to an online school is a major decision, and it should involve a family discussion. Take time to go over the benefits with your child and family to see if this could be the right path to take. Importantly, that decision could greatly improve your child’s everyday reality and set them up for a bright, successful future. Many families have shared that some of the best benefits of online school include:

  • A personalized academic experience, such as more one-to-one time with teachers, targeted small groups, and adjusted lessons to meet each learner where they are.
  • Having a safe place to learn where students can focus on their own successes and challenges without distractions or fear.
  • A flexible school schedule, which allows for more quality time as a family and extracurricular activities in and out of your home.
  • Countless opportunities for socialization, including clubs, outings, and virtual campuses like K12-powered schools’ K12 Zone, where students can make friends, participate in events, and uncover new hobbies.
  • A supportive network of other online learning families in which parents can share tips and tricks and get advice for the academic journey.

Get a firm grasp on logistics.

If your family decides to move forward with online school, one adult should be present to serve as the Learning Coach (LC). The time required for the LC will depend on the grade level and other factors that are unique to your child. Thankfully, with more and more companies offering flexible work-from-home options, many parents have found that online school can be quite compatible with their work schedule.

Start looking at what programs are available in your region to discover the best options and to begin the enrollment process. K12’s website gives you the option to search for an online program using your ZIP code and child’s grade level. From there, you can start the enrollment process, get questions answered, and find out other requirements to set up your home for online learning. Just like any other public-school transfer, you’ll be asked to gather some important documents, and depending on the school, this could include a birth certificate, proof of residence, and immunization records.  

It’s important to note that you should not withdraw your child from their current school before their enrollment in a new school is complete. Doing so could lead to reports of truancy if it appears that your child is not enrolled anywhere.

Get ready for the at-home classroom.

Your child is going to need a well-lit workspace free from distractions—a place where they can focus and learn. Some families like to hang up a calendar or a blackboard where they can write down important dates and assignments. You can also use this to map out your planned school schedule. But keep in mind, this can be changed. With the flexibility of online school, you don’t have to start bright and early or have timed breaks. You and your child can work through the school day when and where it works best for you.

The most important thing to remember is that the decision to change schools is for the benefit of your child and their future. We are so fortunate that the landscape of school is changing, and now, there are options that complement the needs and goals of different learners. Whether your child needs more individualized attention, a more rigorous curriculum, a flexible schedule, or they’re experiencing bullying, health, or safety issues—you have options.

For more information on midyear enrollment at K12-powered schools, visit K12.com.

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