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Changing high schools
Update : we've done it!

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17 replies to this topic

#1 i-candi

Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

It's become apparent DS can't stay at his current high school. While the school has been great helping him the bulling has got too much.

I swear DS has a sign on his back saying 'kick me'  sad.gif

I have an appointment at a different school on Friday and I've decided to take DS with me so he can ask questions.

The school is a lot smaller as it's still new and one of the biggest reasons everyone is telling me not to go is that they don't offer a large amount of options like his current school does (which has an amazing list of choices).

I've told DS that if the school doesn't offer his choices in year 11 and 12 he may have to move, however, he will be going into year 8 and year 11 is a long way off.

The biggest lure for us that his primary school best friend goes there, this boy is the only kid that DS has kept up a friendship with and has caught up a few times since school finished last year. At his high school DS only has one friend.

The new school is more expensive with less options but as DH said DS social welfare is far more important.

I have one group telling me going to a small school with less options is a bad choice and I have another saying it doesn't matter about options and DS needs to be happy. After this year why can't I have both for DS?  sad.gif

How do you make the choice to move? I will only do it at end of year, DS would never cope with a move mid year.

Edited by i-candi, 15 November 2012 - 09:39 PM.

#2 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

OP I have from time to time followed your thread as I have a boy who started high school this year and is having a great time.  The first time I read your post about his troubles at school I really felt for you and him and have paid attention since then.  

I think you should move him.  Our younger DS who is in Yr 5 is not having the same positive experience as his brother and at this stage his emotional and mental wellbeing are our focus.  He sees a clinical psychologist, but also has been seeing an educational psychologist.  Even she has said to me that none of his academic issues can be resolved until he is in a better frame of mind.  She said that his mental state is more important than anything.

I don't think limited options are a factor here.  What is the point of having all the options you could dream of, if you don;t even want to be there?  By powers of deduction, I have figured out what school he goes to and all I can tell you is my  step brother went there and to this day still talks about how much he hated it.  He says you very much have to fit a certain mould and if you don't there is no hope for you.  This is based on a conversation with him long before I read your posts.  

We considered the equivalent school here in Melbourne when we first moved as on paper it is fabulous.  We decided when older DS was in Yr 5 that it was not going to be right and chose another school.  More expensive and it meant moving house, but it has been fabulous.  It is also co-ed.  He as yet has not really engaged with the girls but he talks to them and they add a certain balance that he would not have gotten from the other school.  Both my boys are quite sensitive and I know that they would not have survived in an environment like that.

Good luck with your decision.  Your son deserves to be happy and whilst it sux that your dream/perfect school option hasn't worked out, it is time to move on and not dwell on it anymore.

Edited by yabbadabbadoo, 30 October 2012 - 09:55 PM.

#3 somila

Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:37 AM

I would move him and give him a fresh start.  The other broader options may be available in the community (club sport, community orchestra, private tuition) or by correspondence.  (My sister and I used this in our regional high schools).

While there is something to be said for overcoming bullying, it sounds like you, your son and the school have given it your best shot.  Some people are just toads (IMO original.gif) and need to be avoided.

My DS starts high school next year.  We have given school choice a LOT of thought/discussion and I think we are making the best decision for us all.  If he is miserable we will move him (and yes, we are so lucky to have options).

#4 AMPSyd

Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:47 AM

I agree with the "I would move him".

Academics are one thing but psychological wellbeing is much more important. He needs to be happy not bullied. I am in the same boat - well DS is yr 5 bit the highschool he will go to is small and has much more limited choices but the care given to the students is amazing. Being a sensitive child, I have been told he will get bullied at the local high-school (the school DS will go to is private).

#5 mumto3princesses

Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:15 AM

I would move him. Whatever the options are at his current school are don't matter. I would choose which school was better emotionally over options of classes.

I would look at other schools as well though if my child knew what they wanted to do and we knew that this new school didn't offer the subjects that my child needed. Does he have some ideas what he wants yet op?

I would do it for year 8 rather than wait because towards the end of year 8 they choose their electives for years 9 and 10.

Changing schools again for year 11 wouldn't bother me though. My DD1 goes to a small middle school which only goes to year 10 so she will have to change anyway.

#6 2bundles

Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:17 AM

I would also move.  I would also prefer DS to be in a smaller high school.  Smaller primary has been great for him.

State of mind is far more important than subject choice.  If he really wants more subject choice, he will be happy to move again in Yr 11 which will make it an easier move.

#7 i-candi

Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:34 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I feel so sick with worry. His current school seemed so good and I thought we were making the right choice I just don't want to stuff up again sad.gif I've not heard anyone that hasn't like DS current school.

There at two Anglican schools near us and we are smack bang in the middle of both. I'm a Roman Catholic and have enjoyed going back to mass, when I didn't work I'd take DS to school on Friday and go to community mass.

One I know an EB member here goes to the other school and is happy but if DS went there he wouldn't know anyone and I know will have trouble making friends. The other is the newer one with smaller cohort in the high school setting.

Then again he could suffer in any school I suppose sad.gif Home school is not an option as next year I start my full time permanent job at a primary school and DS will happily never leave the house.

#8 i-candi

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

DS will be changing schools next year to a smaller Anglican school closer to us.

I personally don't 'like' the school, I like the school he is currently at but it's not about me sad.gif . DS likes the school, likes the fact his friends go there, likes the fact that his friends don't get bullied.

Now I have to tell his current high school tomorrow that he won't be attending the school next year... sad.gif

#9 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:03 PM

Great news OP.  Fingers crossed for a great 2013 school year especially with you having all the responsibility of your new full time job.  Can I ask why you don't like the new school?

#10 i-candi

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:42 AM

QUOTE (yabbadabbadoo @ 16/11/2012, 12:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great news OP.  Fingers crossed for a great 2013 school year especially with you having all the responsibility of your new full time job.  Can I ask why you don't like the new school?

Superficial reasons to be honest. It's newish, it has no heart. It is just buildings in the Australian bush. I like the green fields and pastures of his 'old' school, the age, the traditions, the feeling of belonging to a community. I like the country out look of DS's old school, the cattle and the horticulture.

I'm also nervous because soooo many people I've talked to either hate the school or love it  unsure.gif  DS's old school I didn't hear one bad thing about the school yet it just wasn't the right school for DS. I've known a few people to leave the new school for all different reasons. Yikes I'm scared....

Thanks for the best wishes for 2013, it's going to be an amazing year - I hope. I need one after this year!!!!

Edited by i-candi, 16 November 2012 - 05:47 AM.

#11 Foogle

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:54 AM

Just caught up on this thread i-Candi.  So sad to hear about his current school - I knew you had high hopes for it.

Are you sure about your school choice now?  I know which one you are talking about.  Can I change your mind about the other?  biggrin.gif   biggrin.gif

#12 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

I moved my Yr8 boy mid term recently (he has been at new school 2 weeks now), he was at local public high school (all his friends, walking distance, everything brand sparkling new) where he was unhappy and had built himself a bad reputation (yes all his doing) which wasn't going anywhere however hard he tried, he was blamed for things he hadn't done simply because not so long ago it would have been him doing it! This school had a wealth of options, he had got into both of his first choice options for Yr9 and 10.

He is now at a school where its older, its not as shiny but he is happy so far, he comes out of school telling me about things he has done with a smile, which is something I hadn't seen in months. He is animated about what they are going to do as well. He didn't get into either of his Yr 9 options. They have a more limited range of options, he knew nobody at the school but it was the best move we have ever made.

I believe a happy, settled child will do far better than one who is finding going to school emotionally hard and is struggling to be positive about school life.

Best wishes to your son through this, I hope he can find a school which fits him better and makes him happy

#13 Rexit

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:26 AM

I was in this very situation myself - except I was the child. I can honestly say moving schools was the best thing my mother did for me. Even though I had a large group of friends at the old school the bullying had gotten to the point where it was physical/sexual and I was completely depressed. The new school had far fewer options academically, but I was so happy to not have to walk in and be scared every single day. My new school was also in its infancy but they were determined to do things right. I was still able to follow the tertiary pathway I'd wanted to take but more importantly I have a self-esteem and confidence. TBH I think being miserable may have hindered my options.

#14 i-candi

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (Foogle @ 16/11/2012, 06:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just caught up on this thread i-Candi.  So sad to hear about his current school - I knew you had high hopes for it.

Are you sure about your school choice now?  I know which one you are talking about.  Can I change your mind about the other?  biggrin.gif   biggrin.gif

lol DS wouldn't know anyone there! That would be a huge issue for him. I'm still unsure about the new school but later today I'll send in the $500 to secure the spot.  sad.gif

I just had long meetings today with his current school, they were surprised and sad to see DS go. They tried to talk me into staying but I told them he can't stay, there is nothing the current school can do to change the culture that is so ingrained - it's a culture that my DS can't cope with. They did say that DS is welcomed back if his new school doesn't work out. I was very emotional, today is a sad day for me but I can't let DS pick up on that. He is excited about leaving and going to a new school and that is all that matters.

crap what if it's all wrong??????

#15 ComradeBob

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (GoneWithTheWhinge @ 16/11/2012, 07:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe a happy, settled child will do far better than one who is finding going to school emotionally hard and is struggling to be positive about school life.

Best wishes to your son through this, I hope he can find a school which fits him better and makes him happy

GWTW has summed it up perfectly for me. It doesn't matter how many opportunities there are if he's so depressed and unhappy he doesn't want to take advantage of them. Better to go to a school with less opportunities, but to have a happy child who will grasp those opportunities with both hands and run with them.

I think you've done the right thing, and I hope your DS prospers  original.gif

#16 Llama in Pyjamas

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:40 AM

Id stop worrying too much about the options in Yr 11.. Its a long way off, the current school might be able to offer the options your son needs - or there are always correspondence classes with teacher support.. Hope everything goes well.

#17 Therese

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

I think you have made the right decision. I really hope that this makes things easier for your son.

#18 Foogle

Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

crap what if it's all wrong??????

It won't be though because it's wrong for him to stay where he is now and if he is happy about the move then it can only be better.

You're right about nothing ever changing with regards to the culture of his current school.  It's too entrenched.

And as hard as it is, I think you've made the right decision. original.gif

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