High School

High school is a roller coaster ride; adding a chronic illness makes things even more complicated. Before school begins I would recommend setting up a meeting with your councilor and someone else in the admiration departments such as the principle.  Make sure you have a parent or another care giver with you who know your complete medical history. Be sure everyone has an understanding of your illness. Discuss with everyone present accommodations you might need, let them know you are still under doctors care, what to do in an emergency, and what to do if you are absent due to a flare.

There are a few documents you might need to get, which include: a 504 plan, a doctor’s note, and a note from admiration of your school or councilor. A 504 developed to ensure that a student who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment. Find out more at this website: http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq1.htm The 504 plan will “follow” you to college.

Sadly not all high schools are willing to work with students who are chronically ill. There are other schooling options. I had attending a public school my entire life. My health violently spiraled downhill every year of high school. Junior year I had seizures due to a medication I was on. I had a fairly mild one in school one day and locked myself in the bathroom stall. As a result I was put on homebound. My mother and I met with the principle in preparation for my senior year. During this meeting we were told if I continued to stay on homebound I could not walk for graduation. Many of my teachers refused to give my tutor the work while I was on homebound. (I have done homebound through a public school three separate times). After a lot of research and discussion my parents and I agreed Cyber School would be the best option for me. My only regret is not going into Cyber School sooner. There are FREE public school, cyber school options. Type Cyber School in your state into Google and you will come up with a lengthy list.

The school I went through was amazing. Public Cyber Schools give you EVERYTHING you need. They send you a lap top, microphone, text books, printer, and any other supplies you might need. They also pay something towards your internet bill. In the beginning of the school year I went to class every day. Yes you read right I went to class. I would log into the schools website and go into an online class room. I was able to hear my teacher, read power points, see videos they showed, and interacted with students. I was able to speak to the entire class as well. There was a way for me to private message the teacher, raise my hand, and even let them know if I had to leave my room to go to the bathroom.

I always liked school, but I found it more enjoyable while I was in Cyber School. I cannot describe how priceless the flexibility was. I no longer had to worry about keeping up with the rest of the class. I was able to focus more on my health. I went through a period of time that I got sick if I got up too early. I was able to avoid this being in Cyber School. I could access my work anytime, 27/7.  I was able to go ahead, which was another priceless asset. About two months into school I was approved for ascyncerness learning. This meant I did not have to attend class. I had to maintain a certain GPA to stay in that program. Ascyncerness learning is not for everyone. My teachers e-mailed all class sessions to anyone in case we needed to review. I was able to view all the lesson plans, notes, power points, and due dates. Some teachers allowed me to take tests and quizzes anytime I wanted but on the other hand some teachers locked them until a certain date. My grades improved greatly.

I found in Cyber School I received more support. My teachers were very caring they checked up on me every few days, I had a counselor, and a family coach. They all helped me achieve my goals while I searched for my diagnosis.

One of people’s concerns is lack of socialization. There were more chances for me to interact with other people than I could keep track of. Academically we were required to do message boards. This included writing an essay or answering a question then answering another students post. There were group projects and interaction with other students during class. There were over twenty clubs. Some online but others were in person. There were chances to do sports as well. There were field trips and get together weekly. The school also had dances, prom, a regular graduation, year books, and more.

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