A Positive Transition from Public School to Private School
WCS parent Sage Coria talks about the benefits she saw as her son worked through a year of transition from public school to Woodcrest Christian, as told to WCS.
I had known about Woodcrest Christian through word of mouth, and I always pass by the Middle School and High School on Van Buren Blvd. One day I saw an announcement for the Prospective Parent Night so we decided to attend. I called the school and they were very welcoming. They said we could bring our whole family to the event which was nice. It was an amazing night, and we left thinking ‘This is absolutely the place for us’.
I am a speech language pathologist in the public school system, so I am familiar with education in public schools. My son was attending seventh grade at a local public middle school. Because of the size of our district’s high school, we thought it would be best for him to be in a smaller, more personal school setting. We had friends at Woodcrest Christian, so my son took the entrance test and was accepted for eighth grade. We knew the transition to high school would be hard enough, so we made the move earlier to have him start in eighth grade.
It was a struggle at first, and there were many tearful nights. We knew it would be challenging, and the workload was heavy compared to what he was used to. He’s a smart kid, but he was struggling, plus he plays travel baseball. I spoke to the principal Mrs. Orr, and she was very assuring and positive. I talked with his teachers and they were also responsive and supportive. I didn’t want them to lessen the workload or give him any breaks, I just wanted to know how best to support him. The teachers offered to come in and help him, and when he finally made it over the hump, we recognized that it was all about time management. He had to learn what I had to learn in college. He had to learn to manage his time better and make priorities, and once he did, he absolutely thrived. Mrs. Orr called a couple of weeks later. She kept in close contact. It was a great feeling and very assuring to know everyone was approachable and willing to work with him.
It was soon afterward that my son really blossomed. He blossomed spiritually, academically, socially, and athletically. He has a great group of friends now. He played on the baseball team. Even the way his team was managed was very positive. I feel the transition to high school won’t be so big. It’s not like he’s going to a school with 4,000 people. His confidence has grown, and he knows what’s expected. He’s been a hard worker in school, but I felt like when he started to overcome the struggles it built his self-confidence. He was able to persevere and keep going and maintained straight A’s all year. We’ve always said ‘do your best’ and he has wanted to do well. This made him see that when you put your mind to it, you can get results.
One of the things I love and am glad Woodcrest Christian provides is guidance through the Bible. Christianity is intertwined in everything and that was really important to us. We don’t get to church as much as we’d like to, so I love that piece. At his age it’s so crucial. It’s a constant reminder about respect and core values, and I love how it is taught. When it comes to academics, I like how the students are challenged. My son was not a good writer, but by the end of the school year when I read his research paper and the poems he wrote…it brought tears to my eyes. I think some people have the misconception that a private school may offer less when it comes to the level of education and extracurricular opportunities. By far, Woodcrest Christian has exceptional academics and multiple opportunities that you would find in a public school setting.
Another important thing I noticed is that teachers take the time and have the ability to take time with the kids. In schools with a large number of students, it’s hard for teachers to get to know them personally, and sometimes behavior issues or incidents aren’t always addressed consistently. At Woodcrest Christian, the guidelines and expectations are set, and they have the ability to follow through. If rules are broken, the kids are held accountable. I like that, it’s important. I also like that he’s in a safe, positive, and controlled environment on campus. He’ll get enough “life experience” and exposure to things outside of school.
I don’t think I could say anything negative about Woodcrest Christian. In every circumstance and every situation, the teachers and support staff were amazing. My daughter is coming up for seventh grade and we are looking forward to that. We all make sacrifices and it has been worth every penny.
Read more of Our Stories