Getting ready for school can be an overwhelming experience for a child as well as for foster parents. You may have a child in your home beginning at a new school, returning to the same school, or may have a new child coming into your home during the school year who you haven’t even met yet. There’s a lot of information and things to remember. We hope the following will help you and your child prepare for having a successful school year.
Preparing to Start at a New School
The first step in starting at a new school is making sure to register your child. You also need to make sure that the new school obtains previous school records. If your child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan, make sure you also get a copy.
School districts vary widely in their enrollment processes. If you run into any issues, hopefully, your worker and your child’s parents can help in the process.
Additionally, talking to former teachers is often helpful in understanding what your child might need to be successful at the new school.
In order to help ease some stress for both you and your child, try to meet with the current teacher before starting at a new school. For more information, see the Coalition’s tip sheet Helping Kids in Care Change Schools.
Other things you might consider include:
- Volunteering in the classroom a day or two a week, or as often as your schedule permits, or joining your child for lunch to help with this transition. If you aren’t able to be with your child at school, maybe a scheduled phone call to check in during the day can help him feel more at ease. Your child may only need you to do so until they are feeling comfortable. However, some children may need extra support from you throughout the school year.
- Finding out what works best for ongoing communication between you and the teachers. This might be regularly scheduled phone calls, emails, or a communication notebook that goes back and forth. Being proactive can help your child have a successful school year—don’t wait until conference time to address issues.
- Continue reading on our website.