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How Long Can a Child Legally Be Out of School When Moving?

How Long Can a Child Legally Be Out of School When Moving?

Moving can be fun and overwhelming at the same time. While your family might be excited about moving into a new home, some factors can make the entire process stressful. For instance, your children may be required to change schools after the move. What if your new home is miles away from your current one? If so, you’ll need more than a day to move and settle into the new home. And during the entire period, your child will be out of school. Plus, you need to find a good school for your children—something that might take a few days, if not weeks. But how long can you legally keep your child out of school when moving? This post delves deep into school absence laws, which are crucial when moving with children. So, if you’re planning to move and are concerned about your child’s schooling during the transition, this guide is for you. And if you want a stress-free move, call Evolution Moving.

Overview of general legal provisions regarding school absence

When moving with children, their school attendance must be affected in one way or another. Therefore, it’s important to understand all the legal provisions regarding school attendance and absence. This way, you can transition smoothly without affecting your child’s education significantly. Generally, you want to ensure your children return to school as soon as possible. However, some factors might force you, as a parent, to keep them out of school for an extended period. Regardless, you must adhere to the laws about school absences, as they are meant to safeguard your child’s right to education.

How long can you keep your child out of school when moving?

When moving with kids, you expect to enroll them in school as soon as possible in your new location. But as said earlier, some things can force you to keep your children out of school for a much longer period than anticipated. The laws regarding how long to keep a child out of school vary depending on the country, state, or jurisdiction you reside in. In the U.S., each state has its own regulations regarding school absence. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations when planning a move. Consider checking with the local school district or education department in your new area to understand the specific requirements and deadlines for enrolling your children in school after a move.

How moving circumstances may impact school attendance

Here’s how moving circumstances may impact school attendance for your child.

Interstate or international moves

The distance of your move can significantly impact your child’s education. If it’s a local move that doesn’t require your child to change schools, then there won’t be an issue. However, if it’s an interstate or international move, then the impact on your child’s education will be huge. For instance, the school system may vary, making it challenging for your child to adapt. Your new region may have distinct curriculum standards and teaching methods, which may cause learning gaps.

School calendar differences

Different schools have varying academic calendars, especially if you’re moving internationally. This may cause a temporary gap in school attendance. For instance, moving during the middle of a school year can cause a delay in enrollment.

Adjustment period

Unless you’re familiar with your new home, you (and your family) will need time to adjust to the new environment. This means your children may need to stay out of school for some time as you try to find the best school around. Additionally, your kids need some time to get to know their new home, make some new friends, and even know their way to school. This adjustment period can impact their school attendance as they acclimate to a different school culture, make new friends, and adapt to new teaching methods.

What you can do to ensure compliance with school attendance laws

As a parent, you’re legally responsible for ensuring your child goes to school. It is illegal to keep your child out of school without an apparent reason. And even if you have a solid ground for keeping your child out of school, like when moving, you must not keep them out for too long, as it may attract legal penalties. So, how do you ensure compliance with school attendance laws when moving with children? Here’s how;

Research local school attendance laws

Every school, state, or country has distinct regulations concerning school attendance. Therefore, before planning a move, you want to ensure you understand the rules in your new area. So, take time to research and understand the attendance laws in the regions. For instance, if the new region requires students to be out of school for a maximum of 10 days, you’ll need to enroll your child in a new school within those 10 days.

Plan ahead

It’s evident that successful moving requires careful planning. However, many people focus more on planning how to move their items to their new homes and forget about transitioning their children to a new school. They only think about finding their children the best school after they have settled in their new home. Planning ahead of your move can help you comply with school attendance laws and ensure your move doesn’t impact your children’s education. For instance, you can plan the move during a time that aligns with your kid’s current school calendar, such as the beginning of a new academic year or semester. This can minimize interruptions in your child’s education.

Tips on making the transition smoother for children

Moving with children can be stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t always have to be. There are multiple ways to make the transition smoother. Here are some tips to help you move successfully without affecting your child’s education.

Research and plan the move timing

A successful move is grounded in careful research and planning. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to move (although you can).  Before moving with kids, take time to thoroughly research your new school district. Try understanding the local education system, school options, and enrollment process. This way, you know exactly where and when to take your child to school after the move. This makes the transition smooth without significantly impacting your child’s education. Also, you want to time your move to coincide with the start of a new school year or semester. This can sometimes be difficult, depending on the reasons for your move. But if you can, such that it won’t interfere with your child’s learning. Consider moving during the summer break to minimize disruptions to your child’s education. This also gives you and your child enough time to adjust to the new surroundings.

Communicate with your child

A move can impact your child mentally. Remember, everyone is emotionally attached to their homes or areas they are used to living in. That's why they say, “East or West, home is the best.” The thought of your child having to move to a different location and school can be difficult. Even for you, as a parent, it will take you some time to adapt to your new home. Therefore, it’s always good to talk to your child about your intentions to move. So, before the moving day, sit down with your child and discuss the upcoming move. This can be days, weeks, or months before the move, but the latter is good. Ensure you address any fears or concerns your children may have concerning their move. For instance, they’ll ask you which school they’ll transfer to and how they’ll be going there, among other questions. If you’re sure, give them answers. If not, tell them you’re working on it or will figure something out. When talking to your children, encourage them to ask questions and be patient when providing answers. Reassure them that you’re there to support them throughout the transition and that their education won’t be affected.

Enroll earlier

Keeping your children out of school for an extended period can impact their learning. Therefore, as soon as you arrive at your new location, the first thing you want to take care of is enrolling your child in their new school. Early enrollment minimizes the gap in your child’s education and helps them integrate into their new learning environment.

Be patient

Imagine your child asking, “Dad/mum, when are we going back home?” or saying, “I want to go back to my former school; I miss my teachers and friends.” It’s a difficult question for any parent to answer. As a parent, you should understand that adjusting to a new area or school can take time. Therefore, you should be patient with your kid’s emotional and academic needs. Try to offer emotional support and let them know that it’s okay to feel uncertain during a transition. With time, they’ll make new friends and get used to everything around them.

Planning a Move?

Moving with kids can be stressful. But there are various ways to make the transition smoother, especially if you have school-going children. For instance, hiring the right moving company can help minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition. So, if you’re planning a move, contact Evolution Moving for a stress-free moving experience.


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