Author Topic: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.  (Read 2615 times)

secondcor521

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My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:07:48 AM »
My son had a decent 9th grade year at junior high school 1.  (Around here, grades 7-8-9 are physically in junior high, grades 10-11-12 are at the high school.  9th grade still counts for high school in terms of grades.)

He had a terrible 10th grade year at high school 1 grade-wise.  At the end of that year, we finally figured out he has ADHD and got him on meds.

He transferred to another high school which is much tougher.  That school recommended that he re-take 10th grade so he would have a year to get used to the new school before entering the tough last two years there.  So he did.

He got good grades in 10th grade and is on track to get good grades this, his 11th grade year, and probably also next year.

...

We're starting to look at colleges.  Many colleges have a scholarship rubric where grades and standardized test scores determine the level of scholarship one gets:  a 3.5 GPA plus a 1200 SAT gets you $10,000 off tuition, or whatever.

In cases like my son's, how do they determine his GPA?  I'd like them to throw out his first "bad grades" 10th grade and use his "replacement" 10th grade year.  But they might reasonably also use all of his grades since they'll be right there on his transcript.

Is this something we can reasonably request?

Also, for those rubrics, how do they handle senior year grades?  Ignore them?  Factor them in if the kid's GPA goes up?

Thanks for any insights.

PoutineLover

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 10:16:18 AM »
It depends on the school, but many only look at grade 11/12 anyway. Most schools also have a section where you can fill in extenuating circumstances and I think that an explanation of a diagnosis followed by much better grades would compensate for previous bad grades on a transcript. Most of the time they admit you on the basis of your early grade 12 marks, and then once you're in (as long as you pass) the final grades at the end of the senior year don't matter much, but he may have to maintain a certain GPA for the scholarship and that should be mentioned when it is awarded. However, all of this is very dependent on the school so I'd recommend reading the admissions site of every school he is interested in and going to open houses and scheduling tours early to ask these kinds of questions.
Source: I worked in the admissions department of a big university in Canada

historienne

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:26:45 AM »
These scholarships are basically efforts to "buy" better students in order to improve the college's rankings.  The good news is that the major rankings (US News) don't currently use GPA as part of their calculations, so colleges are free to calculate GPA for their own purposes however they like.  If he has good SATs, they may be incentivized to work with you on GPA calculations, since SATs do count in the rankings.

Did your son repeat specific classes, or did he repeat the grade but take new/different classes?  One common GPA calculation method is to count all classes, but only count the second grade for a class that was repeated. 

To know the exact answer, you're probably going to have to contact the admissions department at individual schools and ask.

ETA: US News calculations DO include high school class rank (ie, what percentage of the entering class was in the top 10%/25% of their high school class).  So your biggest question might be how your high school defines things.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 10:43:54 AM by historienne »

madamwitty

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 11:53:13 AM »
Will you be required to submit a transcript from high school 1? Do colleges even have to know he went there?

secondcor521

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 02:28:57 PM »
Thanks everyone.

@PoutineLover, yes, I think a letter of explanation is a good idea and we'll probably do that.

@historienne, it was a mixture.  His first schools were the local public schools and the second school is a private IB school.  So the two schools have very different requirements and classes.  But in general, in both 10th grade years, he did take English, chemistry, and math which could be considered retakes.  The other half of his schedule was different.

@madamwitty, I don't know.  He is planning to apply a year from now in the fall of his senior year, so my guess was that they would want to see 9th through 11th grade grades.  The new school would only have his 10th and 11th grades.  I can see some schools not even admitting him if he doesn't provide all high school transcripts because they could consider his application to be incomplete.

I was hoping for a general answer, but he's likely only to apply to 3-4 schools, so we're probably better off just calling each school individually as some of you suggested.

Thanks!!

Dezrah

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 03:01:15 PM »
I'm afraid I don't have an answer to your specific question.  I do want to say that it sounds like you're doing a really great job being a supportive parent.

My now husband struggled to get decent grades in high school.  It wasn't until closer to senior year that he was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication.  He had an immediate boost in his grades and social interactions.  Looking back, he suspects he may have been low-level depressed and one of the side effects of the medicine was improvement of depression.  He didn't get into every college he applied to, but he got into one that was a good fit and graduated on time with honors.  Now he's doing well as an attorney.  He works closely with his doctors to get the minimum amount of medication he needs for the quality of life he desires.  He is much happier when he is not scatter-brained and distractible and we are at peace with the reality that medication helps him get there.

By contrast, by BIL has chosen not to medicate his ADD in adulthood.  He compensates by engaging in a career and activities that don't require a significant amount of in-depth concentration.  He and his wife are happy with this situation.

I also have a pseudo-foster brother who took an extra year in high school.  That extra year helped him mature a lot and allowed him to catch up on the stuff he was struggling with.  He eventually joined the army (for citizenship) and went to pharmacy school.  It's obvious in retrospect how beneficial that extra year was in preparing for the real world.  I assure you absolutely nobody cares that he took an extra year.

I think it's great that you're helping your son do what's right for him regardless of what is "normal".  Good luck to both of you.

secondcor521

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 08:00:48 PM »
Thank you.

What I have read is that high IQ ADHD kids can mask their challenges through compensation until sometime in high school.  Then things fall apart and the parents start investigating.  Sounds like your husband fits that pattern too.

Depression runs in the men in my family, and I think my ADHD son was a little depressed also.  Mostly because he knew we weren't happy with his grades and it took a while for us to switch from "Man up, camper" to "Hmm, something's not right here".  Now that he's on meds and in a school that he really likes, he's much happier.

I didn't really comment on the extra year yet.  At first, I was saddened because I felt like he was falling behind.  But then I remembered a few things:  Men often have a hard time in their early college career, so starting college a year later for him is a Good Thing.  Also, he ended up at a school where he's pursuing the International Baccalaureate, which will probably translate into half a year to a year of college credits depending on where he goes.  So now I actually am happy about how things are currently panning out.

One funny thing is that he's in a very small school and all of his classmates know about his ADHD and meds.  He can't tell very well if he forgets to take them, but his classmates can.  So he's got about 15 kids who help serve as his reminders!  Very supportive environment.

begood

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 07:47:32 AM »
My husband works in Admissions at a boarding school where we have a handful of kids every year who are repeating 9th or 10th grade. Sometimes it's because of academics, sometimes athletics (they want to get bigger), sometimes it's because they need more support in the "supervised independence" world of boarding. Honestly, nobody cares. Sometimes classmates don't even know because we have leveled classes with cross-grade participants. It sounds like you made a good choice for your son.

Catbert

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 11:00:45 AM »
You might try PMing MrsPete.  IIRC she is a high school counselor so she may have more definitive answers to your question.

SimpleSpartan

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Re: My son is taking 5 years to finish high school. Question.
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 01:59:38 PM »
From  a current college student, i would HIGHLY recommend "Running Start" and or CLEP tests while in high school. This way he will come out ahead (even if it takes him five years) by getting his associates or close to it by the time hes 18-19. More efficient than AP tests and arguably a better deal than most scholarships in that they will pay completely for all costs associated with the program.