Son failed classes in 12th grade

In theory, an antibody test can detect the following:

  1. Spike protein antibodies that can be induced by either natural infection or vaccination.
  2. Antibodies to other parts of the virus that would occur through natural infection, but not vaccination with vaccines available in the US (but some vaccines available in other countries may induce those antibodies).

Whether or not readily available antibody tests distinguish between the two is not an answer that seems to be easily findable (some research studies have used antibody tests that made such a distinction).

Note, however, that some unlucky people generate few or no antibodies to either natural infection or vaccination.

What does he want to do? Does he want to hurry up, make up the classes, and go to college? They may let him start in Jan if he only has a few classes to retake. Since he hasn’t graduated from hs, taking them at a community college shouldn’t change his status as a freshman admit either this year or next.

Does he want to redo his senior year? He may do a lot better.

Does he want to reapply to different colleges?

He has lots of options and should consider them all.

He doesn’t want to redo the senior year. He doesn’t need to. He wants to retake those classes asap, so it looks like summer school is the soonest option. Community college doesn’t start until late August.

Far before Covid, a friend’s child in a similar situation was asked by his college to remediate the classes once at school, but was still given a spot. That was a smaller college. But perhaps if he is upfront about what happened, and describes how he will still be finishing his work needed for his diploma, they will work with your son.


This is a case where the support and documentation from a professional might help.

It sounds very possible that he had COVID if his parents had it. He could have been asymptomatic and could still have “long COVID” for a few months, with fatigue and problems focusing.

Rather than put him through neuropsych testing, maybe he could have an antibody test.

The college might be lenient, and I think it is appropriate in this case for a parent to do advocacy and be involved. First, he should call the school. But you can do a backup call or email if there is more to say, and you can do the work of providing documentation.

I am surprised primary care did not suggest a test for him when you had COVID.

He should be able to do summer classes or remedial once on campus, as many of us have suggested.

COVID has devastated many teens in as yet unspecified ways, but to actually have had COVID adds a whole other layer. It seems likely and the change in his performance would support that possibility.


If it was t for me, my son probably wouldn’t have passed some classes. He had a 3.6 (3.8 w) going into senior year, got on the honor roll the first 3 semesters of senior year, but got b’ and c’s this last one, only because I’d tell him about his missing work and zeros, and his teachers allowed work yo be handed in late. I’m terrified what’s going yo happen next year in college. He’s never shown symptoms of ADHD (his older brother is medicated for it), but he tends to be lazy. He had covid, we all did, covid wasn’t the issue at all (symptoms for 3 days in March). He just doesn’t keep on top of things, and chooses Xbox or going out over assignments. He’s going to Rutgers, where he will be completely on his own, probably a poor choice for someone who can’t seem to get his act together anymore. His twin sister has straight A’s, 4 AP classes and is so on top of everything. She also helped get him through the college application process, a tremendous help. He just got kicked out of NHS because although he did his volunteer hours, he didn’t submit them, even though dates were extended. Ugh.

Sounds like my son.
His older brother is like his opposite.

1 Like

He’s actually #5, my oldest told me I had a good run and to consider myself lucky.:rofl:


Does your school district have summer credit recovery option? Check and see if he can pass all his classes this summer and present that as an option to the college.

Personally, I would push to see if he can start at college where he was accepted. Most colleges will be back to in person learning. My younger child had a really hard time with motivation during online school. I expect your son will do better in person in college. I can’t imagine senioritis plus online school. Four year colleges often provide more support in terms of advising and then the peer support of living in dorms.

Good luck. You have my sympathies.


There IS summer school available. We’re waiting to hear back from the counselor Monday June 7. I’m not clear if summer school = credit recovery? Will certainly explore your suggested option.

Thank you!

When do you think I should contact the university that accepted him, and ask for options? The deadline to send transcript is July 15. Should I wait until after they receive his transcript? Or get in touch with them now?


I’d contact them when you have the plan for him to graduate. If it to be this summer, then he’ll want to start in Aug/Sept. If he can’t get a hs diploma until the fall, then you’ll ask if he can start in Jan.

1 Like

He is planning to do whatever it takes to have the failed classes retaken, and pass them, this summer, so the plan is to attend college this fall. It’s up to the university to accept him. I’m just not sure whether I should contact the school preemptively, before they receive his high school transcript, to inform them that he failed some classes and that he’s planning to rectify that situation during this summer. Or, wait until they received the transcript, and send out the rescind letter. He still has the medical evaluation appointment coming up in a few days.

1 Like

I’d still have the info for the university to consider before contacting them right now. If you find out this week that he’ll be able to finish the courses on Aug 1 or Aug 15, then the school will have the info to know whether it is even possible for him to start this fall. I don’t think they’ll let him start unless he has the diploma.

I also would not wait until he receives a rescind letter. Maybe the school will even send a letter with the transcript stating that he’s taking the make up classes and will complete them on XXX.

1 Like

I’d have him contact the university (even if it meant me listening in on speaker phone and having a pen and paper handy to write things down to coach him). I’ve never contacted any college, and I’m down to #4 and #5, but have definitely guided my kids.


If planning to enroll in summer school, you need to contact colleges to clarify that, despite failing some classes due to illness or other reason, that your son will earn enough credits during summer in order to graduate before the Fall Term.


The “Ask the Dean” section here on CC has addressed that a few times. (You can search.) Contact the school now, proactively, explain what happened and the plan to address the grades.


Do you have a good relationship with the school counselor? I would recommend working together on a plan and what to communicate to the college. Maybe there will be enough progress on summer work to report with the transcripts? On a personal note, try not to let this bump in the road erase all the good work that preceded this challenging time. Don’t give up, just reset.


Our school district has a credit recovery plan that can be shorter than attending a full session of summer school. I just looked it up on the web site and it sounds like it allows a student to redo selected assignments or retake tests in order to get a passing grade. I’m sure your son’s guidance counselor will suggest it if it is an option.

1 Like

This could be my kids. My junior has ADHD and anxiety, and worked like a dog last year to catch up due to medication issues most of the first semester. This year, she lost motivation when school went virtual - she wasn’t able to focus on class and then it would take twice as long (at least) to do homework. Her guidance counselor said many kids were struggling this year. When the county gave everyone 50% assignments automatically, she just kinda gave up. She ended up passing all but a PE elective (she’ll get a NM), but has 3 D’s. We’ve accepted it is what it is, would love to hear how admissions are going to view this year.

1 Like