Our oldest difficult child is about to finish 8th grade, and despite the fact that she has failed out of 3 classes her first semester and 3 her second semester, the school has no intentions of holding her back. At first we agreed that holding her back would be the best thing for her, but then I began to realize that keeping her in 8th grade to help give her a chance to learn to handle school would only be effective if she were in a school that was actively trying to help with this. We are at a point now where we agree that holding her back and keeping her in a school that is doing nothing to help her will not make any difference and now we are exploring our options for her high school. There is a private school literally right across the street from my house that has come highly recommended to me. My middle child's father's girlfriend went there and she has been encouraging me to check into it and consider it as one of our options. It is a Catholic School, and I have looked at the program on their website and it looks absolutely wonderful with one small problem...we aren't Catholic. Don't get me wrong, I am very open minded and I have no problem with Catholics, I just don't know if they ALLOW students who aren't Catholic. The other option that has been presented is the fact that our school system here has 3 "alternative schools" that students can be admitted to. I had a conversation with my difficult child's guidance counselor because I was a little hesitant to even consider this possibility. I guess "alternative schools" get a bad reputation for being rough type places where there is a lot of drugs and violence. I really appreciated her honesty when she told me that 2 out of 3 of the options in our city lived up to that reputation quite well, being mostly for kids who have been expelled from the regular schools or have gotten behind due to being in jail and such. But then she mentioned that there was one that would be perfect for our daughter. She said the school was originally opened to help teenage girls who got pregnant so that they could finish school. The school has a daycare on site and the program is set up so that the students eat lunch with their children everyday, in reality, it is a pretty neat program. Our difficult child is not pregnant, but she said that this particular school has sort of expanded it's horizons recently and has included a program for students who have a difficult time with the regular school environment for reasons that don't show up on an IEP. She said one of their big focuses is helping these students find their motivation and desire to succeed. This is the most exciting thing I have heard in a long time, because this is EXACTLY what our difficult child is struggling with. She doesn't want to do it, becuase it is too much work and she doesn't see the point. She has no motivation or desire to do well. Her guidance counselor wants to submit her information to them for consideration. My battle is trying to ensure that our decision is the right one for her, now and in the future. Of course, both schools have their pros and cons. On the positive sides, the private school is very structured and disciplined, which she needs, but the alternative school is more nurturing and understanding, which she also needs. On the con side, the private school follows a set of beliefs that my daughter does not know or understand, and the alternative school, although this one isn't the typical one, we must consider the reputation in general. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts???????