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Teen Needs to Catch Up in High School

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My 17-year-old nephew should be in the twelfth grade. He got into some trouble at home and his mom sent him to live with his dad. He was supposed to be home-schooled, but wasn't. So now we are trying to get him back in school and we don't know where we should go -- maybe a charter school or some other type of school. He said he would be too embarrassed to go to public school because he would be 17 in the ninth or tenth grade, since he can't prove that he got credit for the homeschooling he received in tenth grade. What would you suggest?

A: I would encourage your nephew to go to the nearest community college or alternative high school that offers a GED program. These programs help students learn the basic skills they may have missed that enable them to take the GED test and get their high-school equivalency. A GED is accepted by military colleges and technical schools for entrance into many programs. He should talk with the counselor there to work out a plan for his education. This way he can finish his high-school education in about a year and get on with his life.

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Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.

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