When my now 21 year old daughter was 16,we returned from 4 years abroad. Not only did she need to start a new school, but had to readjust to Australia as well. I researched schools which I thought would be a good ‘fit’ for her. Her experiences meant she was very mature for her age, so settling back into a school which expected students to wear uniforms and where tight control was exercised over time and movement just wasn’t going to work. I chose to send her to a senior high, where the students were expected to be more self motivated. However, my daughter is also anxious, and has overly high expectations of herself. This was tricky, as our new school was in a city in which we had never before lived. Luckily, my husband has a large network, and we discovered another child (also based o/s) was enrolled. We encouraged the girls to make contact, and arranged for them to meet on the first day. Luckily for us, the school had a day where incoming students who were not local had to enrol in person, and while we were in line, I made sure to speak to other parents. - Although my child was 16, she did not have the confidence to do this - you still have to make play dates! :). Now she had two colleagues to join on that first day. It made all the difference. So, my advice is, a) research the school, and choose one which will suit your child. (Even if you are zoned, there are special interest schools which take kids from other areas). B) Try and find one or two other children in the same boat, and organise a support group. Ask the school if they do anything, (a welcome event where newbies can contact others), and if not, suggest they set something in place - even a simple sign directing ‘orphans’ (kids who haven’t come from a feeder school) to a meetup point Could be very helpful.
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