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Lime-Polka-Dot

Change schools or keep her where she is?

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Lime-Polka-Dot

DD (just turned 6) is about to finish her first year of primary school. We moved house in August and are now a good 20-30 minute drive away from her school after living practically across the road from the school.

 

I work about 20 minutes away from where we now live, similar drive time to what I had before but having to drop off / pick up from her school on the days I work has turned it into a roughly 40 minute trip each way. The days I don't work are an additional 20/30 minutes each way as opposed to the 2 minutes it was taking previously.

 

I wanted to give it a go for at least the rest of this year to see how it went but I'm finding I'm feeling more tired, stressed and generally cranky.

 

I've contacted a local school which is just under 2km away from our new house and am considering moving her next year but I feel guilty as she likes her current school. I probably should have considered this a lot more a lot sooner. The school has said she is welcome to enroll and there is a grade 1 transition day this Tuesday, but to attend I would need to enroll her and unenroll her from her current school by this coming Monday morning and they won't give me a tour before making a decision as they have stopped running them for the year. Again, fair enough I've left this until the final two weeks of 4th term but feel panicked at making a decision so quickly.

 

DD is very socially outgoing and I think would adapt well in this regard, although I don't think she's made ongoing friendships this year. Academically, she hasn't exactly thrived but has made decent progress this year. Again this could get better or worse on moving her or staying and having a different teacher (I have been very happy with her teacher this year though).

 

The new school has open plan learning and I'm not sure if that will be better or worse for DD.

 

My job isn't 100% secure atm either and if I can't stay there and need to work elsewhere keeping her at her current school may become completely unviable anyway.

 

I'm also hoping to return to study next year part time, meaning less days off, more OOSHC and generally more for me to deal with through the week.

 

I'm sorry this is so long, thankyou to anyone who has read the whole thing. I guess I'm asking WDYT? Move her or keep her where she is. I feel we're both happy with her current school and they 'get her' as a person who can be quite strong willed and needs some support to stay on task as if she isn't interested she doesn't want to complete her work.

 

 

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José

This sounds tough to me because without a tour you can't really get the 'vibe of the new school and so can't really make a fully informed decision.

And it sounds as though there isn't any particular problem with the current school, just the location.

 

I do think moving at the end of FYOS might be easier than moving later. Friendships are still quite fluid at this age.

I suppose if you think the extra travel in unsustainable you do need to change schools.

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little lion

If you are a member of your local community Facebook page, you could ask people to PM you their thoughts on the positive and negative points of the local school?

 

My sons are similar in age and they’ve had several kids leave and join and it only takes a few weeks for them to start making friends.

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Milly Molly Mandy

I’m an advocate for attending your local school so would move her. You have another 6 years of primary school.

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Dianalynch

I would fill out the enrolment forms for the new school and go on the tour, but I wouldn’t ‘unenrol’ her from her current school until after the tour and if you’re happy with it. Just bluff your way through any questions from the new school. What a weird thing to ask you to do.

 

I would move if the new school suits, much easier at the start of grade 1.

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MadMarchMasterchef

 

I do think moving at the end of FYOS might be easier than moving later. Friendships are still quite fluid at this age.

I suppose if you think the extra travel in unsustainable you do need to change schools.

 

I agree with it being easier to change the younger they are.

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Lime-Polka-Dot

I've read Google reviews and local FB community page comments and most seem quite positive. The new school is quite tightly zoned, we're currently sitting right on the border and are lucky to just fit in (the house directly behind us would not be in the zone for example). This would be a good time to 'get our foot in the door' as our lease is up in July and I'm unsure of our exact living arrangements after that, but would remain in this local area.

 

The other local school has over 1300+ students and I feel uncomfortable with really big schools and have heard less than good feedback about it. Current school is approx 400 and the school I'm considering is approx 550 presently. The facilities and buildings aren't everything, but the closer school is less than 5 years old and facilities look incredible.

 

If we weren't so happy with the current school it would be a no brainer, it's the fear of the unknown I suppose. It could be a lot better or a lot worse. Selecting current school was stress free. We lived across the road and I'd heard nothing but good things, I never even bothered to look anywhere else at the time.

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Percival

I would fill out the enrolment forms for the new school and go on the tour, but I wouldn’t ‘unenrol’ her from her current school until after the tour and if you’re happy with it. Just bluff your way through any questions from the new school. What a weird thing to ask you to do.

 

I would move if the new school suits, much easier at the start of grade 1.

I would do this

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SeaPrincess

We moved house when the children were about to start yr 3, yr 1 and kindy. Our existing school was happy to keep the older 2, but because DD wasn’t compulsory school age, they couldn’t guarantee her a place beyond part time kindy. We moved them all, and I’m so glad we did. They all ride to school now and they have friends living close by.

I would fill in the forms, and then if you go ahead, let the old school know that you’re moving.

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NeedSleepNow

No advice OP, we are wrestling with the exact same decision, down to worrying about whether completely open plan will work for DD. We moved house about a month ago, and although we are coping fine with the commute, I know life would be easier if they could walk to school....

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Freddie'sMum

Having moved our girls a couple of times during primary school - the very first was when DD#1 was in her FYOS - we moved house and the drop off and pick up was unbearably long (and through traffic). DH used to take her on the train some days (just to give me a break) and drop her off to BSC and then I would collect her either from school or from ASC.

 

We lasted about 3 months doing this and I just couldn't stomach the thought of doing it for another year until DD#2 started school, so for the New Year - when DD#1 was going into year 1 - I found a local school and enrolled her in there.

 

It was within walking distance of home. What a relief. The irony is that a lot of the families that we met during her FYOS - moved also - one family went to Perth, at least 2 to 3 other families moved out of the area also.

 

For a better quality of life for all involved - my thoughts are find a local school that you are happy with and enrol her there.

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Lime-Polka-Dot

I would fill out the enrolment forms for the new school and go on the tour, but I wouldn’t ‘unenrol’ her from her current school until after the tour and if you’re happy with it. Just bluff your way through any questions from the new school. What a weird thing to ask you to do.

 

I would move if the new school suits, much easier at the start of grade 1.

 

They're unwilling to offer a tour as it's so close to the end of the year. which I can't blame them and is my fault for not exploring the possibility sooner and just wanting to try and make the current school work.

 

They are saying that she could attend a transition to grade 1 day this Tuesday but to do so, I would have to enroll her and unenoll from current school. I could potentially think it over through the next week and a bit without doing anything but still wouldn't get a tour and would miss out on her attending the transition day.

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PhillipaCrawford

Go local school.

While it will be sad to say goodbye, you have moved.

You are now part of a new community.

 

If your daughter had some sort of additional requirement that could only be met by the current school or if it were the unicorn school that was perfect in every way then stay.

 

But as it is you and she will be come increasingly frazzled by the regular demands of school and every petty thing that doesn't work will be magnified by the feeling that I'm going out of my way to be here.

What about after or before school activities, play dates with friends.

Nup, get her into the new community.

She will be able to walk when she is older and friends will be around the corner, not suburbs away

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Jersey Caramel

100% I'd move her, the earlier the better - they find it much easier in the earlier years of school. Being close to home is my #1 priority for a school (as my kids have no additional needs).

 

Although you can't go on a tour, if you can see a copy of the newsletter online you may find there is an end of year assembly or similar, which are usually open for parents to attend and can be a good way to pick up on the vibe of a school. If you are an outgoing person, you could also just go and hang around the school gates at drop off and pick up and ask other parents.

 

ETA if they have their school newsletter online, read through the back issues. I have done this for all schools we have considered and find it gives a pretty good indication of the school's focus, philosophy etc.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Jersey Caramel
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Dianalynch

 

 

They're unwilling to offer a tour as it's so close to the end of the year. which I can't blame them and is my fault for not exploring the possibility sooner and just wanting to try and make the current school work.

 

They are saying that she could attend a transition to grade 1 day this Tuesday but to do so, I would have to enroll her and unenoll from current school. I could potentially think it over through the next week and a bit without doing anything but still wouldn't get a tour and would miss out on her attending the transition day.

 

I see. Enrol her and go to transition, but don’t ‘unenrol’ her until you’re sure, I mean how would they know?

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JBH

I had to make the decision and waivered on it for ages. I moved and have never regretted it. We actually hadn’t moved yet so I spent a term doing the travel and it was awful. As they get older they also want to spend time on weekends with their friends and because their friends are in the old location that also involves travel. It also impacts on the ability to get to know the school community. Of course, it helps for me that the school we have gone to turns out to be good, but I made the change on a leap of faith.

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Jersey Caramel

 

 

I see. Enrol her and go to transition, but don’t ‘unenrol’ her until you’re sure, I mean how would they know?

 

If they are both public schools, they will be automatically unenrolled from the first one when they enrol in the 2nd one. The system is connected. Probably different if one or both are private schools.

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#notallcats

As someone who did years of long commutes, I would move. We've moved now and I wish I had done it years ago. It's so nice being able to walk/ride to school and to have local friends. Kids can now come over to ours after school, weekend parties are now walkable or 5 min drive, instead of hour long round trips. At 6, and end of the year, it's a perfect time

 

ETA Also, as she gets older and you're working, she can walk home. I LOVE not having to worry about the clock at work, as I know the kids can get home by themselves.

Edited by #notallcats
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Caribou

I’d move her now. PPs have listed good reasons above. Most Kids are pretty adaptable and it’s best to do it while

She’s still young, plus the school closer to you would be a long term school so it’s not like you’re chopping and changing constantly. She might feel a little upset, but she will be ok and enjoy her school within a few days.

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mm1981

We had a similar situation. We moved areas and we spent the final term of kindergarten doing the commute...(30 mins in Sydney traffic).

 

We had considered keeping him at his former school but a term of commute and knowing that there would be another 6 years minimum (we had younger kids too) cemented our decision to change schools.

 

Changing schools was life changing for our family. We could easily walk to school (my husband dropped them off on his way to the train station), the kids could get a bit of exercise of the trip to school and back, and we were a lot more relaxed without the whole commute.

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casime

I would definitely move to a school closer to you, but I would be wary of a school that can't offer a tour, and I wouldn't send my child back to an open plan learning environment if it were the last school on earth.

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Jersey Caramel

I would definitely move to a school closer to you, but I would be wary of a school that can't offer a tour, and I wouldn't send my child back to an open plan learning environment if it were the last school on earth.

 

Initially I thought that re the school tour too - but now I'm just imagining what a tour would look like during the last week of the school year - kids are pretty hyped up, most of the actual learning is completed, it's all class parties, sorting through resources, free time and general fun chaos. I think the school is probably thinking that it won't give anybody an accurate picture of what the school is like the other 95% of the year?

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EsmeLennox

I fail to see the value of school tours...they don’t give an accurate picture anyway. Tells you nothing about learning philosophies and achievement, and if there are problem areas, you’re never going to be shown those on a tour. And schools aren’t obliged to give tours, the end of year is a busy period for staff.

 

Team ‘move her’ OP.

Edited by EsmeLennox
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Puzzles

Move now, as you said she hasn’t made ongoing friendships. Once she has, it’ll be harder and you’ll be more exhausted

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Lalala4

We didn’t move schools and I regret it. Worst case is you move schools yet again - not ideal but not a dealbreaker with a socially robust kid.

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