The Transfer Question
As the end of the first semester rapidly approaches across Chicagoland, many families find themselves taking stock and reflecting on the educational experience of their students. For some, the realization is that the high school they have chosen isn’t the right fit for their student and their family. It’s a hard decision to make. It’s even harder to figure out what to do next.
Let me be frank—it’s okay to want more from your high school choice. It’s okay to want your student to be supported and challenged and known. Every student deserves to thrive in their educational environment. So what do you do when your high school choice isn’t the right fit?
Transferring is an option. Transferring in high school is scary, but making sure your high school choice is the right fit is crucial for ensuring your student’s success. There are several important elements to consider when considering transferring:
- Academic and socio-emotional fit. Find a school that will challenge your student academically while supporting them as an individual and helping them develop socio-emotionally.
- Student Interest. Can you align your student’s interests and preferences to the school’s culture and offerings?
- Does your student prefer hands-on and project-based assignments?
- Do they learn best in a small class? Do they love a particular club, sport, or activity?
- Identify what excites about school. Is it the teacher that inspires or the classwork that connects to the real world or the peers that challenge and support?
- Location. A long commute to and from school is difficult. This shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing a school, but excessive tardiness negatively impacts student success so finding a school that’s accessible and a great fit is important.
- Community. High school is a time for students to develop who they are as individuals and members of society. Find a school that supports your student in this exploration.
- Timing. Choosing when to change schools is important for ensuring your student receives credit for the work they’ve completed. It’s advisable to transfer at the conclusion of an academic term when possible.
There are countless features that impact and inform the high school choice for families. I know that the choice to transfer does not come easy, but I hope that for those families looking to make a change, you will consider transferring to Global Citizenship Experience Lab School.
At GCE Lab School, we’re challenging students to become agents of change, to ask critical questions, to work together, and to develop creative solutions in preparation for their future.
Research shows that students who participate in project-based, real-world learning demonstrate improved engagement in the classroom, better attendance, higher scores on standardized tests, and increased knowledge of 21st-century skills. Our curriculum of topic-based courses and impactful field experiences encourages students to form connections across academic disciplines and truly engage in their learning. Our students never need to question why they are learning something because they witness the relevance both in the classroom and beyond.
I invite you to experience if GCE Lab School is the right fit for your family. Visit our campus, meet with our current students and faculty, and explore how we learn. Schedule a visit today by emailing me directly at [email protected].
Learn why our current students chose GCE Lab School.
“I really liked the hands-on aspect of the school and all of the field experiences that I could go on. I liked the idea of the curriculum being focused on the SDGs. It is important to know what you can do in the school and how you can make a difference or a change. It is also good to know if you can find a place in school. I try to be in as many clubs as I can and really engage in discussions and field experiences with my class. I would like to see more clubs and sport opportunities come into the school. Since it is pretty small there might not be the option for sports but more clubs at accessible times would be nice. I do not really know what I would change as I am still adjusting to this type of school life. I am sure I can think of some other things in the future.”
—Graham, Class of 2023
“I chose GCE because I felt that their system of doing things- curriculum, student life, overall goals, etc.- made sense and were backed by a philosophy that I agreed with. When I looked at GCE, I felt that the real world exposure aspect of the curriculum was really interesting and made sense. I think it is important to see how a school resonates with you and if you believe that your experience there will benefit you in the way you want. I thought it was a bit of a risk, but an education as unique and involving as GCE’s could really benefit me as a person and help me to make an impact on the world.”
—Brandon, Class of 2021
“I chose GCE because the idea of project-based learning appealed to me more than just cramming for a test and forgetting what I learned.”
—Corban, Class of 2022
“The size of the school and project-based learning model were important for me. I went to a progressive middle school, and I wanted a similar experience in high school. I found that it was very helpful [when transitioning during] freshman and sophomore year. In choosing a school, I always look for what I want, for what I am interested in. I think that if you know what you are looking for, it will be easier to rule out options.”
—Claire, Class of 2020
Request a private tour, schedule a Prospective Student Visit Day, RSVP for an Open House, or ask a question by contacting Sarah Brock, Director of Admissions.