Private to Public School Transition

Updated on February 26, 2013
D.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
4 answers

We were planning on sending our son to private school until grade 6 and then we would have to open enroll in the district to enter the public system. Has anyone ever done this and did all go well? Open enrollment for K was closed so this is our best option to be in that district. I don't want to get stuck moving between districts either so contemplating just starting him off in our district in public school but the other is better.

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answers from Washington DC on

My SS had to change in 6th grade b/c his private school folded. I was also a private school kid who changed to public in 5th grade. I think if it's possible to start him at a grade level where other kids are new (so in our district, middle school is 6-8) so he's not the only new kid. I started a new district in 5th and then another new one in 6th. 5th went better b/c everyone was all mixed in from various schools and 6th was rotten b/c in that district MS was 5-7 and I was a year late.

Do talk to him about changes. For example, class size, keeping track of his stuff (having lost things be lost forever was a huge shock to me) riding a bus if he doesn't now, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My brother and I went to private school till 5th grade. Then starting in middle school my mom could not afford it anymore and we moved to the suburbs and started public school. For us it was incredibly hard and not at all an easy transition. Private school was the calm environment where everyone was respected and we knew everyone. Public school was like being thrown to the wolves for us! Maybe it is that getting in their hormones? We went from wearing uniforms to being ridiculed bc we did not dress right. We were considered nerdy kids. We did not fit in with our peers. It took me till 8th grade to figure things out and then all was fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I just took my kids from private to public this year, they are in 4th and 5th and they have done just fine. Both my husband and I were more stressed about the change than the kids were. Good luck to you!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Danielle.
We transitioned at 4th grade-- our other option was 5th. We wanted our kids to get their friends established prior to going into the middle school tough years.
Some of the other parents transition at 5th.
Some wait until 6th grade transition.
I have twins and one wanted to do it much more than the other who was a little less outgoing.
Both have said it's the best thing that ever happened. There are a lot more kids to hang with and less of the same drama for girls.
Our public school has much more advanced studies to offer than our private parochial did too despite missing the outstanding art/music that was offered but I believe that was just luck of the school with the teachers.
Those of our friends/neighbors who started at the public school don't feel bad about it. We started with parochial because a transition was occurring in the district with shifts in teachers and principals and the principal at the school was not a good one at the time and open enrollment to another just didn't seem like the best option.
Success in which ever you choose- follow your intuition and pay attention- it will be clear as the years unfold.

About me: 52 yo perfusionist, wellness coach part time and mom of 11 yo fraternal twin girls

B. j

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