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Resource library: View AFC's guidebooks, fact sheets, and more

Angelisa’s Story

Angelisa was 18 years old and stuck in the 8th grade when her mother called AFC's Helpline.

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Who We Serve

Students Who Are Over-Age for their Grade Level

Students Who Are Over-Age for their Grade Level

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) serves all New York City students from birth through age 26, including middle school and high school students who are over the typical age for their grade level or who are behind in credits.

Individual Case Assistance
AFC provides individual case assistance to youth, families, and service providers who work with over-age youth to help them navigate the New York City Department of Education, including:

  • Accessing alternative paths to a high school diploma; 
  • Navigating special education referral, evaluation, and services; 
  • Identifying services available to address mental health and substance abuse issues; 
  • Accessing transition and vocational services; 
  • Addressing school push-out; and 
  • Re-enrolling in school. 

For families who meet income guidelines, this may also include legal representation at hearings and mediation to help families secure appropriate school placement and services.

Community Education
AFC also provides informative workshops and trainings for parents, youth, and service providers about the rights and options of over-age students in New York City. To schedule a workshop on the rights of over-age students, or to find out more about our work in this area, please email workshops@advocatesforchildren.org.

Policy Advocacy
Through our work with over-age students and their families, we work to identify trends affecting over-age students and engage in policy efforts to eliminate barriers and expand educational opportunity for these young people.

Guides & Resources

Note: The following resources are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

For even more guides and resources, please visit our resource library.

High School Students, Know Your Rights! (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet provides information on what to do if you are being pushed out of school, or already left school and want to go back. 

Know Your Options: Alternatives for Middle School and High School Students (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet describes options for students who are struggling in middle or high school and need a fresh start, including transfer schools, YABCs, and high school equivalency programs.

Promotion Policy in New York City Public Schools (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet explains promotion policy for New York City Department of Education public schools and lists promotion criteria for each grade from kindergarten to the end of high school. 

High School Promotion and Graduation Requirements (also available in Spanish and Korean)
This fact sheet lists criteria for promotion from 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, as well as high school graduation requirements (credits and Regents exams). 

High School Graduation Options for Students with Disabilities (also available in Spanish
This fact sheet explains diploma and non-diploma options for students with disabilities in New York State.

Rocking the GED (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet on the GED (formerly the TASC) explains what testing accommodations are available and how to get them. 

Policy Reports

Sixteen Going on Seventh Grade report cover

Sixteen Going on Seventh Grade: Over-Age Students in New York City Middle Schools
More than 50,000 middle school students – a quarter of the students in New York City’s public middle schools – have been left back at least once, and more than 8,500 students have been left back at least 3 times. Despite their significant academic and social-emotional needs, there are fewer than 450 seats in programs for over-age middle school students in the City’s traditional public and charter schools. This September 2014 policy report brings attention to the unique needs of over-age middle schoolers and provides the New York City Department of Education (DOE) with recommendations for improving outcomes for this population.

Rethinking Pathways to Graduation report coverRethinking Pathways to High School Graduation in New York State: Forging New Ways for Students to Show Their Achievement of Standards 
On December 12, 2013, the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma released this report, prepared by Advocates for Children of New York, examining the difficulties that high stakes standardized exit exams pose for many students and addressing the need for more flexible exam requirements and assessment-based pathways to a diploma. The report outlines several recommendations for the State to improve access to a high school diploma while maintaining high standards that ensure college or career readiness.

Helpful Web Sites