How to Handle Moving Schools

Every year, students form the best bonds with each other. During their time together, they laugh, smile, share, and support each other. So, saying goodbye at the end of the year is always heartbreaking. While they can still hang out, it differs from being together in class each day. However, it is even more heartbreaking when a student is moving schools. Sadly, there will no longer be laughter, smiles, sharing, and support between friends daily. This is why teachers must support students when they are figuring out how to handle moving schools. Students need and deserve extra support and care during this challenging time. 

In-School Support 

When students are learning how to handle moving schools, there is often a lot of stress at home. Parents may be moving jobs, so there is stress in this preparation. Additionally, there is pressure to get everything packed if the family moves to a new house. So, the student is now dealing with saying goodbye to friends at school and changes at home. This is so much to handle! Thankfully, there are ways teachers and students can assist during this process to make it easier. 

Strategies for Moving Schools 

There are many strategies to support students as they transition to a new school or classroom! This is such an anxious and uncertain time, so it is essential to do everything possible to help students understand how to handle moving schools. 


Parent Strategies 

1.Social Gathering 

One of the most challenging aspects for children moving schools is leaving their friends. There is a sense of comfort in knowing you are around people you are familiar with. So, find social gatherings in preparation for the move. These may be programs at a local library, summer youth sports leagues, and clubs held by a local organization. Knowing a few classmates before school will make children feel more prepared and confident. 

2.Talk About the Move/Answer Questions 

Handling a move is stressful. However, processing the move can be emotionally taxing on children. So, talk about the move together. Answer any questions the child has- no matter how silly they seem. Yes, there may be concern over the nearest playground or if their favorite restaurant is near the new school. Children may have fewer worries by talking about the move and answering questions. 

Teacher Strategies 

1.Kindness Crew 

Every year, teachers have students move into and out of the classroom. It is exciting whenever a new student arrives and heartbreaking when one leaves. This is exactly how students feel as well. Luckily, classmates can be part of this process. Teachers can create a Kindness Crew who helps new students adjust to their new school. This includes helping them understand the classroom routine and where to find important locations, such as the bathroom and cafeteria. New students will process how to handle moving schools much better if they have extra support! Additionally, the Kindness Crew can help students as they are moving schools. They can spend time together, share ways to stay in contact, and make the last days memorable! 

2.Student Moving Memory Book 

Often, students are so sad to leave their school. So, this special memento is a way to help them always remember the amazing time they had in your classroom! The entire class can come together to create a special keepsake. There are 8 template pages that allow each student to choose the template based on their relationship with the classmate moving. Ultimately, this allows the class to create a goodbye memory book or write notes. The student moving will love always having this personalized gift!



1.Support Groups 

When figuring out how to handle moving schools, support is vital. Thankfully, counselors are the perfect school personnel to help provide this support! If students are moving away, the counselor can meet with the student and help process how they are feeling. If students are new to the district, counselors can meet to help support the transition process. Additionally, there can be a weekly support meeting for new students or students needing extra check-ins Honestly, this will be a great way to support all students! 

2.Provide Time 

Adjustments take time. So, when students are learning how to handle moving schools, they need time to adjust. This means providing them time and opportunity to find their interests, friends, and comfort areas. Students may need a friendly face to be there in case they have any questions. As each day passes, hopefully moving schools will be a bit easier. 

Honestly, a transition is hard for everyone! This is why students transitioning to a new school or classroom need extra support. Hopefully, this list of strategies on how to handle moving schools helps students feel less anxious or uncertain!
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I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

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