Dr. Alice Fok-Trela Sep 7 2020

Advice for New Families Transitioning to Concordia

At Concordia, we offer a plethora of opportunities to engage in the community and a variety of resources to support and facilitate your transition. These include parent coffees, events and talks held by our Parent Support Organization, Tuesday Tips offered by the EC office, welcome lunches for our new Kindergarten students, and regular counselor visits to the various classes. Our EC counselor partners closely with the class teacher to support each child’s transition and engagement in our school environment and community.


We believe that a positive, encouraging partnership with our families is essential in providing a holistically supportive environment for each child. Here are a few tips that could facilitate your family’s transition to a new school:

  1. Maintain structure at home. For young children, daily routines and structure give a sense of security. It calms them to know what is next in the schedule and what to expect.
  2. Listen and validate your child’s concerns. You don’t necessarily have to agree with your child’s (perhaps negative) assessment of a situation, but simply acknowledge that you hear them and you understand why they might feel that way.
  3. Eliminate distractors. Set aside the electronics and spend time together as a family exploring your new school community and your new neighborhood.
  4. Explore positive coping skills. Engage in positive coping skills as a family. Make sure that your family is exercising regularly, eating healthily, and getting enough sleep.
  5. Talk to a trusted friend. Spend time establishing, re-establishing, and strengthening friendships.
  6. Relaxation. Make time for down time. Spend time engaging in relaxing activities, whether it’s meditation, yoga, going for a massage, or just sitting in your yard or balcony with a good book and a delicious drink.
  7. Reframing thoughts. Model an attitude of gratitude for your child. Make a commitment to approach situations with a optimistic, can-do, encouraging attitude. Commit to partnering with the school in a positive manner and looking for the silver lining in every cloud.
  8. The Year of Yes. This year will likely be a year of change and flux. It will require flexibility and adaptability. Make this a year of “yes”. Say YES to changes. Say YES to new experiences. Say YES to trying new ways of doing things.
  9. Look for new community connections. Attend PSO events and other parent events. Join the PSO. Look for ways to connect with others in our community.
  10. Patience. Have patience with yourself and with your child. It takes time to fully engage in and feel comfortable in a new community. Give yourself and your child grace as we navigate this extraordinary school year.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In the Concordia village, we partner with parents to create a supportive and encouraging school environment for our children and families.

Learn more about the effects of culture shock and the transition model.