Can I change schools in the middle of the year?

Oct 10, 2023 | Parenting

You’ve come to the decision, after careful consideration, that your child’s current school isn’t the best fit for them and that it’s time to change.  A decision like this is difficult for any parent, and you’ve likely spent hours, days, weeks or even months deliberating. Now you may be wondering, can I change schools in the middle of the year and how do I actually DO that?  The good news is, in Michigan, it’s pretty easy! 

You have the right, as your child’s parent or legal guardian, to remove them from the school they are attending at any time (including mid-semester) and enroll them in a different public school, a private school, or homeschool them.  While this may seem like a daunting task, all it actually takes is a simple email, for example:

Dear (School Principal),

My child, (name), will no longer be attending (current school.). Their last day will be (date).  Going forward, they will be attending another school/homeschooling. 

     Thank you,

    (Your name)

That’s it!  All done!  Feel free to start filling out enrollment forms for your child’s new school. 

But, what about their records? 

Do I have to get those?  If you’re transferring to another school, you can let them handle that.  If you’ll be homeschooling, you can email the school and request your child’s records.

What if they try to talk me out of it?

As their parent/guardian, its your decision.  The least confrontational way to do this is by email.  Use the template above and there’s no room for discussion.  They may try to convince you it’s best to keep your child there through the end of the semester or the school year, but once you’ve made your decision, it’s often best to start the transition to a better learning environment for your child as soon as possible.

Won’t the school be upset? 

Maybe!  But at the end of the day, you know your child best and you are making this decision for them, not the school.  They may try to convince you to stay, but you are under no obligation to stay any longer than you want.

I want to homeschool, do I need to register? 

Nope, in Michigan there is no registration required for homeschooling.  You only need to notify the school your child currently attends that you will be homeschooling.

Is it ok to switch in the middle of the year? 

It is.  While a new school IS a big change, if the one they are currently attending isn’t a good fit, spending several more months there may put your student further behind, possibly reduce their desire to attend school, or further impact their emotional well-being. 

Deciding to pull your child from their current school is a big decision, but the actual process is simple.  If you feel your child would benefit from an immediate change, it’s best to start the process as soon as you’ve made that decision.  Your child deserves to be in an educational environment that works best for them, and while there may be a transition period, making a needed change will provide benefits for years to come.

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