Alternative School Provides Opportunities For Sarcoxie Students


Seniors at Sarcoxie High School are wrapping up their last week in class.

Graduation is Friday, but some of them could have missed out on that diploma if not for a little extra help from the Sarcoxie alternative school.

Sarcoxie High School Principal Phil Lewis is looking forward to graduation day. “We’ve had really good graduation rates the last few years.”

68 students will be walking the stage, some with significant help from the Sarcoxie Alternative School.

Lewis said, “Some years it would be ok and some years 20% of our kids wouldn’t graduate.”

Sarcoxie is wrapping up its third year offering alternative education for those students who can’t quite make it work in a traditional classroom. Zach Staples is the director Sarcoxie Alternative School.

“Could be discipline related, attendance related, behavior related, it could be uh they need more one on one attention. It could be a teen pregnancy or a health issue.”

The school can handle around 20 students from 6th – 12th grade. With two teachers, that means a lot more personal attention.

Staples added, “That relationship piece is huge.” 
The goals are different depending on each student’s age and challenges, especially for the younger students.

“You know transitioning kids back into the classroom at the middle school level,” said Staples.

And while they cover the basics for every student, they also help with other issues that could be a problem distracting kids from their homework, for example, a washer and dryer on site.

Staples said, “You know sometimes we have kids in an internship program and they’re getting ready for work and may need their work clothes washed before they go.”  

It’s all geared to putting each student back on track.

Added Lewis, “It’s the opportunity to catch up and and once again be successful and get that high school diploma.” 

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