Some teens will benefit from a school setting that offers an alternative to the standard model. If you are a parent of such a student, it doesn't mean your teen is less likely to succeed in life -- it only means that he might need a different route to acquiring the skills he needs to do so. In Chicago, several schools exist for this purpose.
Academy of Scholastic Achievement
If your teenager needs help in strengthening his academic and social skills, the Academy of Scholastic Achievement might be the answer for him. According to the school's website, the school serves students between the ages of 16 and 19 who are considered at risk. Besides merely focusing on the usual language arts, mathematics and science paradigm that is part of the traditional high school curriculum, ASA's education plan also includes classes such as social and emotional development and service learning. The teenager learns the importance of community service through required work with community organizations. The school requires 40 hours of community service for graduation. In terms of social and emotional development, the student learns parenting skills and those related to relationship management.
CCA Academy might serve as a choice for your teen, provided he is at least 17 years of age, and has an eighth-grade education. The student has until the age of 21 to conclude all coursework needed for graduation. In addition to the classes he must finish, the school requires him to complete job and college applications. He also must participate in career, college and work tours. The student must have at least 18 credits to graduate. This includes the work from core subjects, consumer education classes, drivers' education and constitutional tests. He must also take the American College Test, gain admission to at least two postsecondary institutions, and complete 80 hours of community service.
Community Youth Development Institute
If you're willing to spend money on your teen's education, consider the Community Youth Development Institute. The school stresses college readiness. The institution has constructed a career pathway that specializes in the health sciences and in business-related professions. The school does charge an activity fee of $200, as of 2013. This includes your teen's school lunch, graduation fees and class field trips. There is no application deadline; it accepts them throughout the year. For admission, your student must be between the ages of 16 and 21, and possess five high school credits. Selection is by lottery, with the school of placement notifying you in the event of selection.
Lake View Academy
If your teen prefers a more intimate educational environment, Lake View Academy might be the answer. The school has room for roughly 20 to 25 students. It is a private, Presbyterian school. As such, among the graduation requirements are 4 1/2 credits in English, which include the study of either the New or Old Testament. Also, the student must demonstrate readiness for the work force by keeping a job for at least five months, at 12 hours a week, for the previous two years before graduation. He also must prove proficiency at navigating his way around Chicago on public transportation.