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Old 12-04-2018, 05:30 AM
 
92 posts, read 187,429 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi,

My family plans to relocate to the US (Ann Arbor Michigan) in 2019. We have been living overseas in the past decade. We have a 11 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. My daugher is in 5th grade so she should start junior high in fall 2019 and my son is in 2nd grade so he will move on to the 3rd grade. We plan to come to the US in the summer so our kids can start school in fall. We plan to first rent a place for a year and then look to buy after we know the city better.

I am a naturalized citizen and my wife is a foreign national so neither of us have any experience with the US school system. We have some questions about enrolling our kids in the local schools.

1. Can we tour schools without a rental agreement or some proof that we live in the same neighborhood? We know we want to live in Ann Arbor, but there are multiple schools in the city. We would like to visit the schools before we choose an area to live.

2. Are schools open for touring during the summer months (June-August)?

3. If we rent in one neighborhood and later buy a house in a different neighborhood, will my kids be asked to change school if the two neighborhoods have different schools?

4. What documents do we need to provide when enrolling kids to school?

5. Can anyone give some advice on how we should prepare our kids for their new schools in the US? For example, will they be asked to take a series of tests to determine their grade levels. We are more concerned about our daughter since she is supposed to start junior high in the US. We would like to know if the US school will accept her based on her transcripts and diploma from her current school. Or will she be asked to pass an exam first before they accept her?

By the way both my kids are currently attending an international school where the main teaching language is English, so I don't think they will have trouble communicating with their future teachers and classmates.

I posted these questions on the Ann Arbor board but did not get many useful answers there. Sorry for the double posting.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:32 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,158 posts, read 9,963,830 times
Reputation: 19055
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt8070 View Post
Hi,

My family plans to relocate to the US (Ann Arbor Michigan) in 2019. We have been living overseas in the past decade. We have a 11 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. My daugher is in 5th grade so she should start junior high in fall 2019 and my son is in 2nd grade so he will move on to the 3rd grade. We plan to come to the US in the summer so our kids can start school in fall. We plan to first rent a place for a year and then look to buy after we know the city better.

I am a naturalized citizen and my wife is a foreign national so neither of us have any experience with the US school system. We have some questions about enrolling our kids in the local schools.
Quote:
1. Can we tour schools without a rental agreement or some proof that we live in the same neighborhood? We know we want to live in Ann Arbor, but there are multiple schools in the city. We would like to visit the schools before we choose an area to live.
Absolutely. It is a common practice. Some will even encourage you to talk to a counselor or one of the administrators.

Quote:
2. Are schools open for touring during the summer months (June-August)?
Yes, but I would call first to get convenient times - they are on skeleton schedules. Touring during the summer only gives you half the picture but at least you’ll get an idea about the school/district’s financial commitment and general upkeep. If you get a chance to talk to a counselor or administrator you’ll get a better idea about the school atmosphere. Them willing to have you talk to one of those folks, especially if they are the ones to suggest it, as opposed to just the secretary or custodian, is a good sign - however, if they don’t that shouldn't be a deal breaker. It’s one of those things that is neutral if it doesn’t happen.

Quote:
3. If we rent in one neighborhood and later buy a house in a different neighborhood, will my kids be asked to change school if the two neighborhoods have different schools?
Yes. However many schools will allow your child to finish the current school year, especially if it is in the same district. Some will grant waivers for even the next year, particularly in the same district. Districts in some states are allowed to permit out-district attendance with tutition payments (I am not sure about Michigan’s rules). All of this, though, generally means you will be responsible for providing transportation for your child, and their willingness to do it will be highly dependent on how problematic or wonderful it is to have your kids as students in their school.

Quote:
4. What documents do we need to provide when enrolling kids to school?
Rental agreement or mortgage - some will allow utility bills or other “official” postmarked mail. Most states now require a little flexibity in these requirements for temporary housing situations or homelessness, but you are probably not going to fall in that category, and if the area has what are considered highly sought, desirable schools usually they are fierce about proof of living in assigned residence area.

Quote:
5. Can anyone give some advice on how we should prepare our kids for their new schools in the US? For example, will they be asked to take a series of tests to determine their grade levels. We are more concerned about our daughter since she is supposed to start junior high in the US. We would like to know if the US school will accept her based on her transcripts and diploma from her current school. Or will she be asked to pass an exam first before they accept her?
Depends. If they were coming from an American school generally proof, such as a report card, they finished/passed the previous grade is sufficient. Students coming from home schooling or foreign schools, including international schools, can be different. It will depend in part on whether their age lines up the typical American age range and if you have any kind of standardized testing results.

If they do decide to test her or your son they will be giving basic reading or math testing to see if they are near the grade level you are asking them to be placed in - your son’s school will most likely be more concerned about this than your daughter’s.

If you are coming from a non-English speaking home or if English is not the only language spoken in the home, in most states your kids will be required either before admittance, or shortly thereafter, to take an English language assessment. This will not impact the grade they are put in, other than making sure they are not put in a lower grade if there are reading deficits that can be expected in a non-English speaker.

Don’t worry about preparing them. Just go with the flow. The school is most likely going to place your kids in the grades they would have been placed in had they continued in their old school, based simply on the school records you bring.

Quote:
By the way both my kids are currently attending an international school where the main teaching language is English, so I don't think they will have trouble communicating with their future teachers and classmates.
Doesn’t matter if they did. The teachers and the schools are expected to find ways to make it work.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,303 posts, read 99,589,394 times
Reputation: 31822
ey did. The teachers and the schools are expected to find ways to make it work.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt8070 View Post
Hi,

My family plans to relocate to the US (Ann Arbor Michigan) in 2019. We have been living overseas in the past decade. We have a 11 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. My daugher is in 5th grade so she should start junior high in fall 2019 and my son is in 2nd grade so he will move on to the 3rd grade. We plan to come to the US in the summer so our kids can start school in fall. We plan to first rent a place for a year and then look to buy after we know the city better.

I am a naturalized citizen and my wife is a foreign national so neither of us have any experience with the US school system. We have some questions about enrolling our kids in the local schools.

1. Can we tour schools without a rental agreement or some proof that we live in the same neighborhood? We know we want to live in Ann Arbor, but there are multiple schools in the city. We would like to visit the schools before we choose an area to live.

2. Are schools open for touring during the summer months (June-August)?

3. If we rent in one neighborhood and later buy a house in a different neighborhood, will my kids be asked to change school if the two neighborhoods have different schools?

4. What documents do we need to provide when enrolling kids to school?

5. Can anyone give some advice on how we should prepare our kids for their new schools in the US? For example, will they be asked to take a series of tests to determine their grade levels. We are more concerned about our daughter since she is supposed to start junior high in the US. We would like to know if the US school will accept her based on her transcripts and diploma from her current school. Or will she be asked to pass an exam first before they accept her?

By the way both my kids are currently attending an international school where the main teaching language is English, so I don't think they will have trouble communicating with their future teachers and classmates.

I posted these questions on the Ann Arbor board but did not get many useful answers there. Sorry for the double posting.
Oldhag1 had some great answers and she's worked in schools, so knows the biz.

In re: #3, I suggest you check into the open enrollment laws in Michigan. Here's a start:
http://www.ncsl.org/research/educati...-choice.aspx#/

Shame on those Ann Arbor people!
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:27 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,458 posts, read 39,760,777 times
Reputation: 41043
Your kids may have to take a placement test for their new school system in order to place them in the correct grade. That's typical for students coming in from foreign countries or, from within the US, unaccredited private schools or home schooling.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:57 AM
 
7 posts, read 413 times
Reputation: 10
Your children might also must take a placement check for his or her new college machine with a purpose to location them in the best grade. That's standard for students coming in from foreign nations or, from inside the US, unaccredited private schools or homeschooling.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:15 AM
 
92 posts, read 187,429 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SIM_142 View Post
Your children might also must take a placement check for his or her new college machine with a purpose to location them in the best grade.
What is "college machine"?
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:55 PM
 
7,683 posts, read 8,113,098 times
Reputation: 8261
Ann Arbor is supposed to have some great schools, especially since the University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor and they have an excellent teacher preparation program.

In the US, unlike most countries, schools are administrated at local levels so there is no American or national standard. The requirements will be based on the state requirements and as for enrollment, that will be up to the district.

Be prepared when enrolling your child to show:
Child's birth certificate or passport
One or more proofs of residency, including your rental lease or real estate title if you purchased property. In addition, some districts may require a second proof of residency such as utility bills showing the Michigan address so you should save documents from the electric, gas, water, cable companies, and bank statements if you can.

The Ann Arbor schools are pretty experienced with this since the University is a large employer and they hire many international employees.
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Old Today, 05:28 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 3,366,961 times
Reputation: 3609
There are at least two International Baccalaureate programs in the Ann Arbor area. Like others have said, the University of Michigan attracts many international families. Most of the world's auto manufacturers have Technical Centers in great Ann Arbor area and these employers also draw a huge number of international families.
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