When To Change Schools
How do you know if your child is in the right school?
Know when it’s time to make a change.
It may sound like a major undertaking, but nothing can improve your child’s academic future like placing them where they can thrive and realize their full potential. To help you decide, we’ve compiled this list of circumstances that might make you consider switching schools.
Any sudden changes in your child’s mood, their personality, their grades, or their peer group may be signs that something about their time at school is getting them down. It’s fair to expect your child’s school to address issues proactively. For example, the Student Services department at STS has procedures and supports in place to work with students’ teachers and, as a team, provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for students who may be dealing with social, personal and academic issues.
Reluctance to Return
A school should be a welcoming place, fostering an enthusiasm for returning the next day. If your child seems reluctant or unwilling to attend school on a consistent basis, they might be feeling unsafe due to bullying or peer pressure, overwhelmed by the curriculum, or having issues with a specific child or teacher. These are all valid reasons for considering a change of schools, to find one where your child feels safe and supported.
Lack of Community
Providing an exceptional education is a team effort between your family and your child's school. A strong and warm community amongst parents and teachers can bolster everyone’s experience and facilitates open communication about your child’s needs. If volunteer opportunities haven’t been offered to you, check with your school’s administration to see if there are ways you can get involved.
Without encouragement and a stimulating environment, kids may feel uncomfortable being smart or striving for greatness. The right school will give your child an opportunity to excel by helping them to be confident and succeed now, and preparing them to succeed later. At STS, dedicated faculty and professionally trained guidance counsellors help students thrive in their courses, and in making post-secondary choices, while a strong alumni network offers mentoring and opens doors for future careers.
In situations where a child is experiencing social conflict or academic obstacles, a concerned parent can be made to feel like they may be overreacting by unresponsive teachers and school administrators. At a school like STS, the top priority — like every parent’s — is the success and happiness of each student. That’s why we ensure that a child’s teachers, support staff, and the school administration are always available to discuss issues and find solutions.
Teachers who are passionate about their work and educating have the power to spark that same enthusiasm in students. Likewise, if teachers have too many demands on them, and are spending most of their time focusing on classroom management instead of teaching and inspiring, students can be affected. At STS, we’ve found that the key to keeping teachers engaged is to take an active interest in their careers, offer lifelong learning opportunities, and keep class sizes small so they can be as effective as possible.
Failing to acknowledge and address a child’s needs can grow mistrust and cause behavioural issues. Over time, students should develop a bond with their teachers, and teachers should become attuned to the needs of each student. STS has staff and resources which work to remove learning barriers for all students. We encourage students to be strong and respectful communicators, advocating for themselves and others.
Large Class Sizes
The ratio of students to teachers can have a considerable impact on your child’s progress. Having more teachers means smaller class sizes and more time for meaningful class preparation. Smaller classes also help the teachers know their students better, the students know each other better, and ultimately a strong social setting where nobody is left out or behind.
Inflexible Learning Experiences
Your child’s unique interests and preferred learning styles can be better accommodated in a school that offers some options that cater to diverse students. STS is a great example of what’s possible, with innovative facilities like our Student Success Centre offering isolated exam rooms and peer tutors. STS also offers a multitude of extracurricular options so students can have fun and nurture their many passions.
Preparing for the Success in a New Economy
The world is ever-changing and it’s never too early to start preparing for the future — for careers that may not even exist yet. A forward-thinking school will dedicate time to developing a child’s universal skills, like communication, design-thinking, and teamwork. At STS, we also have a university guidance counsellor on staff to help students identify their skills and aptitudes, align those skills with unique post-secondary programs around the world, and guide families through post-secondary requirements and applications.
Just a Feeling
Sometimes, it just comes down to a gut feeling. You know what’s best for your child, when they’re in a good place, and when they’re struggling. If the tangible reasons are vague, or too numerous to sort through, you might decide to leave your current school the same way you will be choosing their next school: simply by doing what feels right for your family.