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The New Kid Handbook - Helping Your Children Adjust to a New School

by The Hat Team

Moving to a new town can be tough on kids.  Leaving behind friends and familiar places is hard enough; add in the anxiety of starting at a new school and it’s a lot for any child to handle. But while change is challenging, it can also be positive.  Here are some tips for helping your children blossom at their new school:

  1. Prepare your children.  Make them part of the process of learning about their new school. Go to orientation together or arrange for a tour.  Older children, especially, will appreciate the opportunity to get the lay of the land and figure out where their classes are before the first day.  Show them where the bathrooms, gymnasium, auditorium and nurse’s office are. If possible, have them introduced to their teachers.  They will feel much more confident when they start if they are not feeling lost.
  2. Meet friends before school starts.  Tweens and teens may have the opportunity to try out for and/or join sports teams or band during the summer.  This is a fantastic way for them to meet others with common interests.  For younger children, sign them up for day camps either at the school they will be attending (if offered) or at local rec centers.  If your community has a pool or play area, you will likely meet people there that will be attending the same schools.  Joining a community league sports team is also a great way to meet other kids that you’ll likely see at school as well.
  3. Replicate or create first day of school traditions.  If there are things you have always done to celebrate the first day of school, stick with them.  That will give your kids a sense of familiarity and make the change of a new school less dramatic.  If you haven’t established any traditions for back to school, now is a good time to start.  Whether you fix a special breakfast, or take them for a treat at the end of the day, that little extra bit of TLC is sure to make them feel better.
  4. Practice driving to school.  This might sound silly, but the last thing your children need on their first day at a new school is to be late.  If you are driving them to school, choose a weekday to take a test run at the same time you will be driving during the school year.  That way you will have a good idea of what time everyone needs to wake up and be ready to go.  Keep in mind that there will likely be more traffic when school starts, so give yourself a little extra time.  Make sure you know where to drop your children off and pick them up and what the procedures are for the car line.  If you are stressed, your children will be too.  If you know what you are doing, they will feel more confident.  If your children are riding the bus to school, be sure to know where the bus stop is and what time you need to be there.
  5. Make sure your children get plenty of sleep.  Anxiety can make it difficult to sleep well.  Sleep deprivation in turn creates more anxiety.  While you can’t force your children to fall asleep, you can create an environment to aid them.  Limit screen time and make sure all electronics are put away before bed time. Set a bed-time routine and stick to it.  With all the changes taking place in their lives, children need the consistency of routine.
  6. Don’t make it a big deal.  Sometimes the bigger a deal you make something, the more nerve-racking it becomes.  School is everyday business.  Talk openly with your kids about it. Acknowledge that it’s normal to be nervous, but emphasize, that you know they will be ok.  Avoid creating such high expectations that anything less than a perfect experience will feel disappointing to them.

If you are new to the Montgomery, AL area and need information about schools, check out these websites:

Do Schools Matter when Buying a Home?

by The Hat Team

When buying a home various factors come to mind immediately-location, price range, home style, home condition, wish list for the interior and exterior, number of bedrooms and bathrooms desired; just to name a few. One component which can be overlooked by some but is extremely essential to many would be the local school system in the neighborhood. I highly value my communities’ school system.

Studies have found that home buyers would give up one aspect of their home to have their children attend a ‘better’ school district; this speaks volumes to how important education is for parents’. For some parents there are alternatives such as private schools but that is not the case for many. Even if buyers don't have or plan to have school-age children in the house, the quality of nearby schools can have an impact on how much you pay, and how much a home sells for down the line.

Montgomery public schools  have succeeded in the improvement to maintain outstanding schools for all of our children. Through strategic planning and organizational development our schools continue to advance! Here are the top rated schools in Montgomery, showing that good local schools are amongst us in high numbers and will provide our children with the learning and education they should receive but with the type we wish for them to obtain as well.

For additional information on our school systems please visit Alabama State Department of Education.

If you are you thinking about buying or selling Real Estate give me a call 334-834-1500 or send me an [email protected]!

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   


Montgomery Schools Among Best In Nation

by The Hat Team
Montgomery Schools Among Best In Nation
Schools are an important decision when buying a home…even if you don’t have children. We all want the best education for our children. But schools also affect home values. If you put the same home in two different school districts, the home with the better schools is usually valued higher and will appreciate faster. Home buyers often think schools are better in outlying suburbs than in a city, but this is not the case in Montgomery.
U.S. News & World Report has chosen Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School as the 25th best high school in the nation. LAMP was the only Alabama public high school to receive a prestigious Gold Medal designation from the magazine.
Those of us who live in Montgomery are proud of, but not surprised by the gold Medal ranking as LAMP routinely produces state National Merit Scholarship winners, and its graduates win millions in scholarship money from some of the best colleges in the nation.
Bronze Medalists

We can are also proud of the three additional Montgomery high schools that are Bronze Medal winners: Carver High, Brewbaker Technology High, and Booker T. Washington High. A Bronze award places these schools among the top 1,900 public schools in the country.
Also designated as Bronze Medal Schools were Autaugaville and Billingsley high schools in Autauga County, AL.
21,000 public high schools were considered to determine its winners and fifty-four Alabama public high schools were ranked by U.S. News.
Three Alabama Silver Medalists include Mountain Brook High School, Vestavia Hills High, and Virgil Grissom High in Huntsville, as well as 50 Bronze Medal schools.
Academic and enrollment data were analyzed in a three-step process. The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. The second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state. Schools that did well on these first two steps were awarded Bronze Medals.
According to the Alabama Department of Education, schools that passed the first two steps became eligible for judging on the final step - college-readiness performance based on Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate test data.
Gold Medals went to the Top 100 high schools nationally with the highest college readiness index scores, Silver Medals to the next 504 high schools, and Bronze Medals to the next 1,321 high schools that passed the first two steps.
Congratulations to all of our Montgomery Medalist winners! Your hard work has paid off!! 
Learn more about Montgomery and buying a Montgomery home by visiting,

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