My son’s first year in high school was a nightmare: a very large school, new territory for him to navigate, new influences, and reluctance by him to ask for support. It became a full-time job just to try and stay on top of his assignments, homework, and deadlines. It became so overwhelming for him; he began to skip classes; then we allowed him to drop classes all because he couldn’t possibly keep up with the workload. It was a perfect recipe for failure. An unprepared student with reading challenges, poor executive functioning skills, an enormous school, and the ego of a 15-year-old boy reluctant to ask for help. Add to that a system that is set up to enhance the experiences of students who are “normal” or high achievers and that also supports students with lower IQs with a life skills program – this allows the kids in the middle like my son, who doesn’t qualify, to get lost in the shuffle. Teachers are consistently inconsistent in the way they communicate assignments and deadlines. As an adult, even I was frustrated trying to navigate the websites and emails in attempts to sort out homework and try to keep my son on track. We are now looking at an alternative high school program. I am hopeful he will be accepted, as they only allow 40 students, and the demand is high.