We received a letter yesterday from the District that next year we have been assigned to a Middle school that we chose in the school lottery. Now my eldest is upset that he will not be going to the same school as his friends. I know that the school that we were fortunate to get into is a "better" school. 1) its a smaller school in the total number of students. 2) has a higher API score. 3) has a better teacher/ student ratio. 4) has more options for electives. But all my son seems to focus on is that by going into this assigned school he will no longer be in the same school as his friends are going into. I told him I know he would make new friends at his new school. But that doesn't seem to alleviate his concerns. Thoughts?
Many families are going through this in Los Angeles as well, because people who planned to be rejected for magnet openings gained admittance to the magnets they applied.
In this day and age of texting and Facebook, it's hard to give any credibility to a teen or pre-teen's concerns over "never seeing his friends again." While you can let him air his concerns, and you can assure him he will have all his weekends/holidays/summers with his friends, this is the better choice for education's sake.
Sit down with him and discuss the ways he'd like to stay in touch with his friends after summer. If he doesn't have his own cell phone, now is the time. If he's old enough for Facebook, let him have his own account. If not, have him start emailing his friends.
Both of my kids opted for middle schools far from their elementary school friends. My son never regretted it (he's in college, so no lasting scars), and my daughter is leaving her friends at the end of this year for a strong performing arts program that will allow her to also focus on her math.
Kids don't see the future, they only see the now. So telling him he will make new friends is not going to resonate with him. If you make sure he has connections in place before he changes, before you know it, he will be seeing more kids from the new school and fewer from the old school on the weekends.
I think you're right. I was trying to tell him all of the positives of the new school. I guess I was going about it the wrong way. He doesn't have his own cell phone. But he's been asking for one, so it sounds like the way to go, in order to assure him that he won't lose contact completely. That may make him feel a little better. Thank you. :-)77871
I agree with the previous comments. My daughter made the difficult decision to attend a middle college high school on a college campus instead of our local high school where all her friends were going. She will graduate highschool with 1.5-2 yrs of college credits. There are no sports, no dances or proms, few clubs, but she loves her teachers, the higher level of instruction, as well as her college classes and the electives she's been able to experience and has a 3.87GPA! She has maintained her original set a friends, and because this "special" school draws students from a wide area she has made dozens of friends through her new contacts. I must however tell you it has not been without sacrafice, compromise and effort. I agree a cell phone is a must, might I suggest a twitter account if his friends are into that. You must conceed to make sacrafices as well. Mainly that you will be willing and able to take him to his friends, pick him up, have friends over...essentially make all efforts possible to maintain his relationships as long as he maintains his grades. My daughter has and attends frequent sleepovers ( the 4-6 kids at a time type). Prior to her receiving her license, I took her and picked her up without arguement or complaint. I also, gave her the all important out... I told her that if she was unhappy at the new school come April ( the school year is August through May here), I would enroll her in our local school. But, she had to make every effort to make it work between now and then, and do her absolute best to succeed. In Nov., of her freshman year, she came to me and told me she had decided to stay at the new school for all 4 yrs. She said, "The advantages were just too great to ignore; she sees her friends just as much if not more that she would before, the only thing she is really missing is lunch. I can deal with lunch for all the benefits." I'm so proud of her decision, she is finishing her jr. year now. She is taking major prep courses at the college that will, upon graduation, enable her to enter a 4 yr. University as a junior. 78226
I appreciate both of your replies. Its always beneficial to hear from another parent that has gone thru the same thing with their own children. We have already been having playdates. My two children are pretty far apart in age as they are about 8 years apart. With that big of an age gap it was pratically essential to arrange playdates for my eldest from an early age. That way he would have someone to play with closer to his own age. I'm hoping once he adjusts to his new school he'll be happy once he sees that it really was the better choice. Of course I don't expect him to admit it to his mom though. ;-) 78237
I would try to help him maintain those relationships this summer. Try to set up a camp that a friend can attend also. Make sure he gets phone numbers. Focus on the fact that he had to meet qualifications to get into the new school and that it's a complement and a privelage. I was in the exact same situation a month ago- he got accepted into a science magnet and he didn't want to leave his friends. But now he has accepted it and is telling friends he is going to a new school. So, hopefully just some time to adjust to the idea. This school also has a science/tech summer camp that I have enrolled him into where he can acclamate to the school and hopefully make new friends. Good luck!78297
We have signed him up for a summer daycamp for the daytime. I'm hoping that he may run into other kids that will also end up at the same school. So that may help him meet some new friends before school even starts in the fall. Also, I have talked with a few of his current friend's parents about the kids going to swimming lessons during the summer together. Thank you :-)78311
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