FCAT Results

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Getting a high school diploma for many is the difference between a minimum wage job and a lucrative career. Florida seniors found out Thursday if they will toss their cap with fellow classmates this May, but some 200 Bay County seniors will have to work a little longer to get that diploma.

Students around the state took home their FCAT scores Thursday. The test is set up to be the sink or swim mark for seniors and third graders. Fortunately for those that didn't make it, there are some options.

Eighteen-year-old Ashley Oliver is a senior at AD Harris. She, like most students her age, was looking forward to walking with her class and getting that high school diploma. Thursday she got some heartbreaking news, she missed it by just two points.

Oliver is a leader at her school carrying a 3.4 grade point average. She says the FCAT is not going to hold her back from her dreams. In fact, Gulf Coast Community College offers a program that can help Oliver reach those goals.

The extra help is meant to ease struggling students into a college atmosphere and prepare them for the placement exams. For Oliver the FCAT is just a roadblock, but she says there are many alternate routes.

If your high school senior did not pass the FCAT, there are some options. They can take the FCAT this summer or opt for the high school equivalency GED. If your child has met all other graduation requirement he or she can get a certificate of completion and go on to community college.

There are other options, just ask your child's school. Students with disabilities get special exemptions. School guidance counselors can usually answer all your questions.

Third graders also face retention if they don't make the grade on the FCAT.