How to Help Boarding School Students with Learning Disabilities Transition from Middle School to High School

written by: Eagle Hill School
The transition from middle school to high school is never an easy one, especially if that high school is a boarding school. Even more, transitioning to a school for students with learning disabilities can sometimes seem more challenging because of the unknown.  
Although making the jump is never easy, the transition doesn’t have to be something to dread. This article will discuss a few key ways that new high school students, particularly boarding students, can make the adjustment easier.

Be Open, Kind, and Ready to Learn

This advice sounds obvious, and in many ways, it is, but sometimes the best advice is the simplest. Students who are migrating to a new environment stand to learn a lot by just opening themselves up to new experiences, new people, and new ways of looking at the world.

Encouraging your children to be ready and willing to make new friends will help prepare them mentally for the inevitable changes that are coming their way. The easiest way to make friends is by simply being nice to people. Unfortunately, many high school students (and adults) fall into a pattern of exclusion instead of inclusion. In the long run, this never pays off.

If your children head off to high school with these principles in mind, they will certainly have a much easier time getting along not only with their classmates, but with teachers and as well.

Create a Game Plan Beforehand

Making sure that your children feel prepared as new high school students is another extremely important aspect of a successful transition.

High school is an entirely new game from middle school, and so, it requires an entirely new game plan. Beyond ensuring that your children have the right school supplies and accessories (backpacks, athletic gear, etc.), arming them with some real time-management skills is going to be a massive plus.

If you happen to know your children’s schedules well enough before school starts, help them by sitting down and showing them how to plan out class work, study time, and extracurricular activities. Even if your children are heading off to boarding school, where they will certainly have support, it will help them to feel prepared and feel a sense of control over the changes.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Perhaps the biggest hurdle of moving up to high school is the amount of new stress this transition can bring. For starters, the first day alone can often be the most fear-inducing part of a young adult’s life.

Teaching your children beforehand that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed—in fact, it’s normal—will help them feel less intimidated when the homework and social obligations and soccer games and school plays and final exams start piling up.

What is Learning Diversity About?

Learning Diversity is a blog hosted by Eagle Hill School where educators, students, and other members of the LD community regularly contribute posts and critical essays about learning and living in spaces that privilege the inevitability of human diversity.

The contributors of Learning Diversity come together to engage our readers from a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences and mathematics, athletics, and residential life. Embracing learning diversity means understanding and respecting our students as whole persons.

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Eagle Hill School

An innovative approach to LD education in a classic New England boarding school environment, where diverse learners achieve success.