With the many questions surrounding the transition from Alpenglow to Grade 7 in another school, we decided to ask some Alpenglow graduates and their parents a series of questions to give you a glimpse of how the students and parents were feeling in hopes that you will be better informed with how your child will transition.
Today we will share with you how the families are feeling before their first day at their new school....
Asked of our graduates: How do you feel about school starting next week and how does that compare to how you felt last year going into Grade 6 at Alpenglow School?
Alpenglow Graduate A: "I'm feeling nervous because I'm not totally sure what to expect. its a much bigger school and that makes me nervous because at Alpenglow I could name every kid. I'll miss getting to see all my 'little' buddies at recess and lunch. Before this weekend (when we learned which class we would be in) I was worried about not being with my Alpenglow friends. I've been with them for so long and I don't know very many other people. I really wanted a friend in my class. I'm excited about the options we'll get to have this year. This is fun because I get to try new things. I've heard the teachers are really nice. I think it's really unfortunate that I'm going to school with a broken wrist - that's different from last year. This makes me worried because I was really excited to play school sports. Hopefully, I'll heal quickly. I'm kind of worried I'm going to lock myself out of my locker because I don't really know how to do those kinds of locks. Last year I knew which class I was going to be in and I knew how everything worked. That made me feel comfortable and excited. Even though I came to school after it had already started (2 months into the year) I was excited to see my friends and my teacher. I loved the projects that we did at Alpenglow, I'm worried that the learning might not be as fun. I really liked being outside a lot as well and I think I'll miss that. There's a gym though - I'm excited about that."
Alpenglow Graduate B: "I feel nervous going into a new school but its good to have other friends going into it with me. It will definitely be very different"
Asked to the parents - Did you feel well informed for the transition? Did you feel there was any more information needed? What was the communication between you and your child leading up to the start of school and did they need more support than last year
Parent of Graduate A: "I didn't feel completely informed for the transition but I missed the info night offered in the spring...so that was chiefly my fault. So, unfortunately, I can't speak to whether that was helpful, I imagine it would have been. I did notice that the Alpenglow parents weren't added to the school mail out lists until the end of August. I felt ill-prepared in that respect - another family forwarded the Grade 7 supply list to me (as well as the other Alpenglow kids). An unfortunate miss. I wasn't able to access the parent portal to see what class my child was in so that added stress leading up to school. This is one small detail that could have been checked on with the Al[penglow parents as there was no real reason to access the system in the Alpenglow program.
There was definitely additional worry and anxiety with the transition (for my child), way more than in year's past. This is to be expected and we were able to talk through it, however, the transition seems to be greater than for other students in the division as they are largely moving with their entire cohort. I know time is a premium for admin and teachers during prep days before day 1 but if there was an hour for new students to see the school and ask questions that would be great."
Parent of Graduate B: "Information isn't very forthcoming.. This past week I had run in to a parent who has a child in the school already and found out they had received an information email already. I contacted the school and it sounds like the contact emails for transitioning students might not have been passed onto the Admin Assistant - which I understand could be just a hiccup, but for new families, it's important to feel well informed and I don't. I definitely have been grilling parents I know who have students in the school how the first day works and any other information I can get from them.
My daughter is nervous... she is nervous about her locker, carrying her books, finding classrooms and her computer and not really knowing how to use it. We have definitely had more conversations surrounding 'back to school' than in the past few years."
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will find out how the first day went our graduates.
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Many families have questions surrounding how the transition from Alpenglow School into another school will go for their child, or has gone for other students after finishing Grade 6.
Here we will give you insight, information and personal stories of how it has been for some of our Alpenglow School graduates.