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Changing kids school

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#1 *Ker*

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

I'm not at all happy with the kids school. I want to move them and am going up to another school tomorrow to basically beg them to take my kids.

However, I just asked the kids whether they'd be happy to move to another school and DS just LOST it. He started bawling and saying he would miss his friend Abby. DD doesn't care either way.

I hate his school. Really hate it. How can I make him see it would be good to move, and make him not hate me for it? He's almost 8 and going into year 3. I've always been against changing schools and taking them away from their friends, but I don't reallly see much choice.

#2 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

I'm changing my nearly 7yo DS to a different school next year, I don't like his school either.  I gave him the choice and we both went and visited the new school and I pointed out all of the positives to him. I then decided that I had to be a good parent and do what is right for his education and his future and told him that "he is changing schools and that is that, it broke my heart but I needed to what is right for him in the long run. He had orientation there yesterday and seemed to be pleased with it. They will make new friends very quickly at that age.  It was a really hard choice to have to make, my DS is very sensitive and doesn't like change at all. I figure that this change may be a good experiance for him as I'm hoping that it will show him that change can be a good thing.

Good luck with it, stay strong and I wouldn't be giving him a choice if you think that it's the right thing to do.

#3 mumto3princesses

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:42 PM

Can he still catch up with Abby at other times? Or do the same after school activity as Abby?

A friend of my girls changed schools and her mum reassured her that she could still see my girls during school holidays and she also joined their after school activity.

She went with her mum to look at the new school and was ok with it after that. Maybe explain what the new school has that the current one doesn't.

#4 roses99

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

I think in that case you just have to trust that - as the parent who has their best interests at heart - you know best.

I realise that his SNs make it more complicated, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't eventually adjust. I'd just be really cautious to make sure that this new school is going to be a keeper.

My brother and I attended seven schools growing up, as we moved around with my parents' work. I loved it and was always keen to move and start a new school. My brother hated it. But - in every instance - he adjusted pretty quickly, made friends and settled in really well. My mum, in particular, was very proactive in smoothing the way for him. I remember, when he was starting year nine, she spoke to the year level coordinator and had a quiet word about helping to set my brother up with like-minded friends. So his friendship group was pretty much 'engineered', but it meant he found his feet really quickly with kids who he got on with really well.

#5 Therese

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

I think that sometimes we need to make decisions because we think they are right even when our kids don't agree.

It sounds like a change would be a good thing so I hope the move isn't too bad.

#6 JustBeige

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

When we changed our school it was hugely hard.  We told the kids that it was OK to be upset, anxious etc but there was no point in arguing as we couldnt / wouldnt change our minds.

We started with showing them the school website and looking at all the different extra curicular things that they could do through the school and we also let them finally pick an extra curicular activity out of school.

When they started, we used to get them to tell us 3 good things that happened today. even if it was a small as 'xyz said hello and sat with me at lunch'.    In my DS's case his mostly consisted of  'no one picked on me today'

Ker, I have read your updates.  Yes your DS WILL lose it, simply because of who he is.   I think letting him start having outside playdates with Abby is the first best step in helping him adjust.

Its such a shame that there is no way to keep his SSO in his life ongoing.

#7 Carmen02

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

QUOTE (Therese @ 12/12/2012, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that sometimes we need to make decisions because we think they are right even when our kids don't agree.

It sounds like a change would be a good thing so I hope the move isn't too bad.

I agree, we moved DD's school when she was 7 I really hated her other school it was holding her back big time. She cried protested the works, but in the end she has excelled at this school shes been here for 3 almost 4yrs now and she loves it.

#8 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:11 PM

Because he has ASD I have no idea, usually I would just explain why we were doing it and that it is what I thought was best for them so it is what was going to happen like it or not. but I remember you saying he does not cope well with change, all I can think of is merging him in slowly, but no idea how this would work with the school, if you could figure out who would be in his class at the new school I would suggest trying to make play dates with some of the kids so that he didn't feel so alone on the first day, would the school allow you to stay in the class for the first couple of weeks to help him?

#9 Freddie'sMum

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:26 PM


Here's my story - when DD#1 was about to start school, I tied myself up in knots over it.  There were basically 3 schools she could go to - Catholic (which I was desperate for her to get into), really large public school (really nice school but I felt she would be 'lost' because it was too big) and a much smaller public school (which I didn't get a good feeling about).

Anyhoo, she got accepted into the Catholic school and I was so relieved - and she was so happy and had a lovely teacher and a wonderful first year of school.

During that year, I cracked it - DH & I and the 2 x girls (and the cat) were living in a 2 bedroom unit which had no space whatsoever.  I was losing the plot - there was no more storage 'tricks' I could try - we were bursting at the seams and DH & I decided to sell the unit and buy something bigger.

So, we sold the unit and bought a 3 bedroom townhouse - in a completely different suburb - miles out from our old suburb (because that's where we could afford to buy).  

And we did this in the middle of the year - so by term 3 she was living in a new house but going to the same school - and me being the idiot that I am - thought - "no problems" - we can just commute in and out 5 days a week.

Did I mention that I was an idiot ??  Commuting with small children during Sydney traffic is a truly stupid idea - so we lasted to the end of her first year of Kindy and then started her (this year) at the local Catholic school in our suburb.  I can literally walk to school - such a huge difference from sitting in the car for anywhere between 1 to 2 hours (each way).

She has adjusted fine - she has made new friends - she has anxiety / shyness issues and the current school (and her amazing teacher) have really brought her out of her shell.  So my very long-winded post is sometimes you (as the parent) do have to make decisions that our kids don't like but we know that it is for the best.  If you think the current school is not up to scratch - then I believe education is so damn important for kids - then making the move now is the best decision.  

Remind your kids that they will still see their special friends - arrange playdates / meetings - keep the contact there.  

Best wishes (sorry for the epic post).

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

If it's because he's getting a new SSO, that's not going to change if you shift schools though. Is there more to it? I hope so, or you might be disappointed in the new school as well.

The Mainstream Special Ed Co ordinator at work always says that some decisions are 'mummy and daddy decisions' or 'grown up decisions'. These include where you live, who you live with, if you take medication and where you go to school. She explains it like that to students with disabilities - and NT ones as well. Sometimes she talks about how some school decisions are grown up decisions as well.

The plain language seems to help. Good luck.

#11 *Ker*

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 12/12/2012, 09:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it's because he's getting a new SSO, that's not going to change if you shift schools though. Is there more to it? I hope so, or you might be disappointed in the new school as well.

Her leaving is just the last straw. The school has been getting progressively worse over the last 2 years and todays news was just the icing on the cake. DD's teacher leaving threw me and I was furious, but I thought "A is still there and DS needs her". He said to me as recently as yesterday that he loved her and she was his favourite. I'm not fond of his teacher - he likes her, so I tolerate her. But she's seriously weird. (She said to me "oh I don't make them do handwriting in school. It's not important, because they're the computer generation"  blink.gif I replied "well I bloody well DO think handwriting is important and I want my kids learning it!") I said to A as recently as yesterday "You are the only reason the kids are still enrolled here". DD has been put into a class with a teacher I do not like. The teacher is very good with advanced kids, but terrible with the average and struggling kids. DS didn't advance at ALL in the whole year he had her.

The school does not have a strong leadership team. Everything is up in the air. The principal said to me just a month ago "oh yes, A is staying", when I questioned her. And I know that A does want to stay. I don't know how they can let her go, when she got FOUR nominations for SSO of the year! They are just stupid! She is the best they've got. The rest are ok. Cooper won't work with them though.

The school I am going to go and beg is my nephews school and I have spent a lot of time there recently - I do talks about animal rescue and I did one there a month ago. It's a really good school, but I am not in their zone, hence me having to beg.

He does see Abby out of school - he adores her. I'm hoping her mum lets that continue, but she really likes Cooper, so I'm sure it won't be a problem. She's a lovely child and the school are sh*tty with her too. EVERY year she gets moved to a new class and away from her friends, which isn't fair for her. She's been put in the other 2-3 class, without ANY friends. And with the horrible teacher. her mum isn't happy either.

The reports and class allocations went out today, and the principal LOCKED her office doors and refused to see anyone and the office had to run interference!

#12 *Ker*

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

I've got such a headache over this. I've been thinking about it all day. I spent the afternoon googling schools. Then I talked to DS and he went nuts. He knows the school, since his cousin went there, but he still wants to stay at school, because of Abby.

#13 Expelliarmus

Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:33 AM

I don't know how they can let her go, when she got FOUR nominations for SSO of the year!

Because most SSOs who are not administrative staff are casual workers and their contracts finish at the end of each year. It's pretty standard. The reason for this is that funding for student support is very fluid. It moves with the child, so the SSOs cannot be permanent to a school as the child might move so the funding goes with them. When students transition to high school is another factor.

Also sometimes an SSO is put on when a student is diagnosed because the funding becomes available but at the end of the year, the hours disappear even if the child is staying because the hours have to be allocated to permanent SSOs first. There are a few permanents who work with children. SO if Bobby was diagnosed with ASD in April and receives 3 hours a week support, the school engages an SSO because all of theirs are 'booked up' with the children already there. While Bobby is still there next year, Lucy is leaving for High School, so Bobby's SSO has no hours in the new year because the hours for Bobby will go to Lucy's 'old' SSO who is permanent.

If the school has a number of students with disabilities going to high school, accepting placements in special classes or simply moving schools, it is not unusual for SSOs working with other children to not have their hours renewed.

In many ways it's not the school deliberately being crap - it's a system out of their hands.

#14 *Ker*

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:28 PM

I went and saw the other school. And the principal is sure he can accomodate me. He just needs to check with the teachers as to who are in the classes - to see where Coop would fit in best. Immy is not a problem - he has a place for her straight away. He's going to call me back once he has chatted to the teachers.

The kids and I talked. I can't just say to Coop "you're moving and that's it". He has done so well socially at school, and has come so far that I'm terrified of putting him back to where he was. I've been talking up the school, but have said that we will talk about it before I make the definite decision to transfer. I need to give him some power and some choice in this. However, if the kids really don't want to move, they get one more year at their current school. If things don't improve, then we're out.

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