Yesterday was my brother’s birthday and that reminded me of how, ten years before, I’d been four months pregnant with A. and had wound up hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum. I was released on my big bro’s bday and I can still remember weakly laying sprawled out on my kitchen floor in Virginia, calling to wish him a happy day.
Though it hardly seems possible, that first little baby of mine is about to head off to fourth grade. And in our town? That means he’s going to a new school.
You’ve undoubtedly heard me sing the praises of our school over and over and over again around here. And I’m really not one of those, “I was born here and will die here and this is the best place on earth” kind of people. If things aren’t great, I’ll tell you! (Feel free to ask me about how left out I frequently feel at kids’ parties– it’s not all sunshine and roses.) Anywho…
Our school is wonderful. I know the principal. I know many of the teachers. I’m a familiar face as a volunteer. I know the nurse. I’m well-liked and well-respected, I do believe, and the feeling is mutual. Our little C. has special needs and, whenever we’ve had a concern or situation, it has been dealt with– ASAP. Our A. is incredibly gifted and the school makes sure to meet his needs, too– including paying for a very expensive math program through a university.
I’ve loved our primary school here on the north end of town. It has truly met all of our needs. Also? It’s two minutes away.
But, now, as a fourth grader, A. will have to venture “across the bridge.” Literally– there’s a bridge over a the river that runs through our town. His bus ride will be longer and he’ll be further away. For the first time in forever, he won’t be in the same school as C.
Our town actually has THREE primary schools, each accomodating grades kindergarten through third. Once the children reach fourth grade, they all come together in our intermediate school (which houses grades four through six.) That’s a lot of fourth graders. Over fifteen classroom’s worth, at last count.
And, so, my little-big guy will be venturing further away, into a bigger school, with tons of new peers, and will now be the “baby” rather than the “big dog” of the bunch.
I’ve heard very good things about this school, too, to be honest. A. is really not all that nervous. He will still have the same gifted coordinator working with him. And, well, it’s the same district, so that should be encouraging, right?
Walk me through this, parents who’ve done this before– what are your best suggestions for handling transitions up to a new school?