Making the Leap From Private School to Public High School

St. Barnabas’ 8th-grade class is months away from a big, new transition. For many students, after nearly a decade on our campus, the next stage in their education will land them on a public school campus for the very first time this August. This transition, like all others in life, brings a mixed bag of emotions including excitement and fear.
In addition to the differences in public and private school environments, high school is chocked full of much older students, many of whom are verging on adulthood. Here are a few good ways to help ease the transition to public high school.

Start preparing for early mornings
While your child’s school day has been starting at 8:15 am every day for years, come next fall the wake-up time will be significantly earlier. Public high schools in Volusia County start at 7:40 am and busses start gathering students up hours in advance. If your child has trouble waking up in the morning, start preparing for earlier mornings by waking up in time for public high school now and continue getting up early in the summer. That way, day one of high school won’t be such a struggle.

Get To Know The Campus
After many years hanging around our idyllic, private school campus, the transition to one of the very large, local high school campuses may be shocking. Plan to take your student to their new high school campus before their first year so they can get a lay of the land and won’t feel so lost once the new school year begins. Most local high schools host events, like plays and concerts that are open to the public.

Establish Key Relationships On Campus
One of the very best things about private school education is the close-knit community of administrators, teachers, and parents who work together to create a warm environment for our students. Starting off as a freshman in high school, your student may feel like that community is no longer available to them.

The truth is, public high school teachers have a lot more students to keep track of, so reach out to some key people on campus over the summer. Get to know your administrator and guidance counselor, and if you know a teacher on campus, make your student knows how to get to his or her classroom should the need arise. Seeing familiar faces on campus the first day of school will help to ease the private school to public school transition.

Attend High School Sporting Events
Bring your student to high school athletic events to help build a sense of school spirit. Learn the cheers, don the colors, and start building up some excitement for joining this brand new community. Plus, they might meet some new friends sitting in the stands!

While these strategies will help ease the transition to a public high school environment, you can rest assured knowing that your student will be academically prepared for the next stage. The rigor and accountability of a private school upbringing will make a smooth academic transition for your new public school freshman.
For more information about how we can help you ease this transition, or if you’re considering honoring your soon-to-be-high-schooler with a gift in his or her name to St. Barnabas, contact us today. We’re honored to be part of this significant moment in your child’s life.

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