Moving to different state can be a stressful time, especially when you have children in high school. On top of packing up all your personal belongings, and saying goodbye to your friends and community, you will also need to deal with jumping through the hoops of withdrawing your children from one high school and enrolling them in another. Concerned parents can sometimes feel like setbacks are unavoidable. Missing days while you sort out their transcripts with the registrar can be tedious and painful. What every parent needs is a guide to all the documents and papers they will need during this transition.
Check the School Website
Check the new school's website for forms or checklists for transferring high schools. Most schools will have these resources readily available for parents. Print out whatever you find and keep it close by for further consultation.
Start Communicating Early
Start communicating as early as possible. Call your children's new school to let them know you're coming and ask them what you will need to assist with transfer credits. Make sure you understood everything they posted on their webpage. To make sure nothing is forgotten, write down any questions you have before you make the call. You don't want to be the parent who calls in every day with new questions. This conversation should give you an idea of what is required, and inform you of any requirements this specific school might have.
Complete Needed Medical Exams
Get any medical exams out of the way quickly. Different states might require physical examinations, medical tests or certain shots that your current state didn't ask for. Scheduling these appointments now will insure you have the paperwork handy when asked.
Gather the Paperwork
Gather together all nonacademic papers you might be asked for. These could include a birth certificate for your children, proof of their ages, or proof of your guardianship. Papers like these can easily be lost in the shuffle once you start packing, so collect them first and put them in a safe place.
Request School Transcripts
Request transcripts from the school you are leaving, and track down the most recent report cards your children received. Transcripts will need by the registrar to assist with the transfer of credits. Some schools will want these transcripts mailed directly to them with an unbroken seal, while others will want you to deliver them yourself. Make sure you know the proper procedure before putting in your request. This process can take a few weeks, so don't procrastinate.
Complete a Withdrawal Form
Inform the old school that you are moving and fill out a withdrawal form. Keep a copy of this form to show the new school upon arrival.
Meet with the New Registrar
As soon as you arrive in your new state, make an appointment with the registrar to discuss transferring high schools. Bring all the papers with you that you collected before, along with proof of your new residence. This could be your updated driver's license or your first utility bill. Do not send your high school students alone for this meeting, almost all schools will require a parent present for the official enrollment.
Negotiate Transfer Credits
Negotiate on any credits that won't transfer. This process can be more flexible than it seems. Sometimes classes that don't match up exactly at the new school can still be credited as a similar class that the new school does offer. Ask the registrar if a humanities class could replace a required literature class, or if global skills could count as a social studies or life management class. Schools will usually work with you to get the most out of your children's credits, especially if it might affect their graduation dates, so be assertive while still polite.
Kristin Wood entered the media industry in 2006 as a proofreader. She began her writing career in 2008, with work appearing in several online magazines, corporate blogs, nonprofit websites and local newspapers. Wood specializes in education, health, beauty, fashion, business and home-and-garden topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Point University.