Considering school switch for 2e elementary-aged kid
Looking for advice and recommendations about a potential (but hopefully not necessary) mid-year elementary school switch next year. Here are some of the details of our situation:
Our 8-year-old has been at the same small private school in the East Bay since preschool, and we've recently signed a contract to attend next year as well. However, we are not entirely convinced this will be the right choice and are preparing a Plan B in the event we need to switch him next year, either mid-year or at the end of the 2022-23 school year. It's a long story, but basically he seems to dislike school more and more each day (after initially loving it for the first few years), and the reasons he provides for why he doesn't like it seem to stem from his extreme sensitivity and some personality differences between himself and his teachers. Covid definitely has not helped, as it upended everything he knew at school and really reduced the amount of fun things they used to do. When we asked him earlier this year, he told us he didn't want to switch schools because he didn't want to leave his friends, but in the past few weeks he has expressed that he might be okay with leaving after all. He will have new teachers next school year so we decided to give it a try and see if things improve in the fall; if not, we will consider switching.
He has been assessed as 2e, highly gifted plus ADHD, and is very sweet but introverted and quiet. Other kids definitely have to be the ones to make the effort to befriend him, so we worry that if he switches to a school where he doesn't know anyone, he might have a hard time connecting and finding friends. He's currently in a very fluid academic environment, which is great for his giftedness as they are able to teach him at whatever level he is, so if we do need to switch schools, it would need to be someplace that is similarly flexible. Ideally it would also be a very warm, nurturing environment that understands 2e learners and ADHD in particular, that spends a lot of time outdoors, and that encourages kids to support each other and to welcome the new kid. :)
We have looked at Aurora in Oakland as it seems like it might fit the bill. Does anyone have a 2e / sensitive / highly active kid there, and if so, how has your experience been? Thoughts on whether a mid-year transfer would be acceptable (assuming they have space)? I was thinking that if we can wait, it might be good to switch him next year for 5th grade so that he has a year to get to know people before the junior high program starts. Are there other schools that might be a good fit for a kid like this? I guess another concern I have is that we'll switch him and he'll still be unhappy at school, but also won't know a soul, which will be worse.
Sorry this post is a bit rambling, there is a lot swirling around right now and I just wonder if anyone has been in a similar situation and what your advice would be. Thank you!