When faced with a move, one of the main concerns for families is selecting a new school. During the school year, children will spend more hours at school than at home each day, making this decision of utmost importance. The right school can ignite a passion for learning, improve self-confidence, and provide positive social interactions. Your school will be the place you spend time as a family and where friendships will develop.
Choosing the Right School
Begin by creating a list of the things that you value. Consider any special needs, opportunities for athletic and arts development, academic rigor, and then seek to find the best fit for all children in the family. Preliminary research should be completed online to help narrow your choices to your top two or three schools.
A few questions and points to consider:
- Visit the school website and social media pages. How does it present itself? What are the strengths of the school?
- Visit the school. Get a sense of the atmosphere and have your child shadow another student for a day.
- Discover which extracurricular activities are available.
- How large is the school and what is the average class size? Consider whether your child would have the opportunity to flourish or lead in this environment.
- How experienced are the teachers?
- In what ways could your family get involved in the school community?
The final step in the process of a school transfer is the application. Make sure to identify the timeline and criteria needed. Students in grades 10-12 should examine the transfer of credits and availability of courses needed for graduation.
Mount Paran Christian School senior Alyssa Evans recently moved from Maryland to Marietta, Georgia. When asked why she chose MPCS, she said the atmosphere was very different. Alyssa says it felt like a big family, and she knew that there were a lot of opportunities available to her.
Alyssa Evans recently transferred to Mount Paran Christian School and has taken advantage of several extracurricular opportunities to adjust to her new school.
She offers sound advice to transfer students: “Come in with a good attitude and become involved in as many things as possible in order to meet people.” Alyssa jumped into student-life at MPCS by joining the swim team and becoming involved in the equestrian program.
Why Mount Paran Christian School?
Newcomers to Cobb County may not be familiar with the opportunities available within a private, Christian school environment.
- MPCS sits on a 68-acre collegiate-like campus next to Kennesaw Mountain, with a six-acre lake and historic cabin.
- Grades Pre-K3-12 make MPCS a small school within a total large school community
- Smaller class sizes than public counterparts (student-teacher ratios are: PK 7:1, LS 13:1, MS 17:1, HS 9:1)
- SAIS/AdvancED accredited and teachers are degreed, Georgia-certified, or hold a Masters/PHD
- 56 AP and honors courses
- Rigorous academics, gifted, instructional support, STEAM, Robotics, and 1:1 device program
- Award-winning arts magnet program with 110 annual arts performances school-wide
- State-championship athletics in 16 sports starting in fifth grade
- 25 Christian denominations representing 150 churches
- 99 percent college acceptance rate and $5.2 million in scholarship offers (before HOPE Scholarship)
- Christian Life mentoring, missions, Bible studies, worship, and service make a big difference in a child’s education and overall character.
To obtain the forms needed for MPCS applications, click here.
Helpful Documentation for Changing Schools
The Georgia High School Association is an organization that governs athletics and activities for member high schools in Georgia. GHSA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Click here to learn more about the rules and how they may affect your student.
Homeschool or public-to-private transfers may qualify for assistance awards from the Georgia GOAL Scholarship program.
The Georgia Department of Education offers a special needs scholarship program to assist students transferring from public to private school in Georgia. Click here to learn more and apply.
School Transfer Checklist
Moving to a new town and school can be daunting. However, a new school should guide families in the transfer process and give them peace of mind for a fresh start. Follow this checklist to ensure you stay on top of everything during the school selection process and ultimate transition to a new school.
→ Request copies of all information in your child’s previous school records; be sure all evaluations, assessments, reports, IEPs, therapist’s reports, and transcripts are included.
→ Request copies of immunization forms and ensure you have an original birth certificate
→ Inform your child’s teacher(s), therapist(s), employer(s), counselor(s) and other professionals working with your child that you will be moving. Provide them notice that they may be asked to complete a recommendation form.
→ Request information from all schools you are researching.
→ Keep track of everything needed for enrollment via a notebook or digital documentation.
→ Ask about proactive ways to get you and your child plugged into the school. When are tryouts? What volunteer opportunities are available to parents?