Personal recommendations: For a sports team, school services, or any program important to your child, a personal letter from a coach, teacher, or program leader with their contact information can go a long way for smoothing the road on the other end of a move.
Teachers can be hard to contact over the summer and people may also move or change positions when you leave. If you can’t get a letter, ask them the best way to reach them over the summer in case you need to get help making inroads into a program at your new home.
A copy of records: You may be surprised how few of your child’s records are being passed along to your new school. Find out what is being sent to the new school far in advance of leaving. Things get busy right before school let’s out. You’ll then know if you need to request copies of documents that are not being sent (example: testing scores, teacher comments). Don’t assume they are sending report cards from previous schools. You are the only person who will probably have all of the records for your child in one spot.
Talking with teachers: Find out where your child left off in their learning. Do you know what they were doing in math at the end of the year? As we move from duty station to duty station, there may be gaps between what they have learned in one place and what they need to know in the next. The summer may be a chance for them to catch up with free online tutoring services, like tutor.com, or working together to introduce concepts they will be expected to know at the receiving school.
Making a plan: How will you avoid the summer slide? Education should be a year-round prospect but that doesn’t mean you have to do traditional learning. Summer trips to the library. Math on the go. Science experiments ocean-side. They will all keep your kids’ minds processing so they are ready to slide into a new school without having to kickstart their brain.
Finding closure: Leave on a high note about the experience rather than remembering all of the problems a child experienced. Talk about the positives in the year/s spent at the school. You took a picture on the first day of school, but what about the last? If you are leaving sooner than the last day of school, ask if you can do something special with your child’s class as on official goodbye.