new school

Follow these suggestions to make fitting in easier

Spring is a time of renewal. There’s fresh dirt on the baseball diamond and new green grass on the soccer field. Gardens bloom, the weather turns warmer, birds sing. But it’s also a time of change: For many families, the coming of spring means it’s time to select a new school for their kids.

It’s an exciting but scary time for both parents and students. Being the new kid in class comes with its challenges, whether you’re in the second grade or the 12th — and the transition isn’t always easy for the parents, either. Here are a few tips to help soothe new school jitters.


At most schools, there is either a staff member or parent volunteer assigned to welcome new families — to answer questions and offer guidance as you and your child adjust. If you’re new to the area, these coordinators can be a great resource about the lay of the land.


Make sure the school has your correct contact information for you — phone numbers, address, email. And if someone reaches out, a reply — even a simple “thanks!” — goes a long way toward building new relationships.


Ask the school about meeting other children in your child’s grade, or ask if there are school events scheduled that could help break the ice. Summer and back-to-school events such as beach days, ice cream socials, or playground playdates are usually held at neutral locations and are a great way to meet fellow parents and children.


Reach out to the parent volunteer groups on campus, even if you can’t volunteer right away. These organizations will be happy to keep you in the loop, and you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on at school. Middle and high schools have booster clubs for athletes’ families and arts guilds for families with children interested in the arts. Some schools have band boosters as well.

Alicia Daly is the lead parent of the New Parent Admissions group at Hilton Head Prep.