SPS Offering High School Dropouts Alternative Ways to Receive a Diploma


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–According to the National Center for Education, the high school graduation rate is at an all time high at 84%, but there are still too many students dropping out of school.

The Springfield School District dropout rate this year is 2.7% so they’ve reached out to those students with other ways to finish their studies besides being in class full-time including online courses and part-time in-school education.

So far this year, at least 70 of them are taking advantage of the program including Claudia Childers.

Claudia Childers dropped out of Glendale High School as a senior last year.

“For me, I really didn’t fit in in high school, I didn’t really like going everyday,” says Childers. 

 “She needed a system that was looking at school differently and give her a different mode to get her high school diploma,” says coordinator of digital learning, Amelia Horras. 

Part of that system includes Claudia finishing her courses online with the help of her former teacher Amelia Horras.

“I was tired, I was stressed out trying to keep a job, trying to get decent grades and I was just like I can’t do this and I just left,” says Childers. 

 “When we saw her name on the dropout list, I think it was especially personal for me because she was one of my previous kids,” says Horras. 

The dropout list included 200 students that the district worked to get back on track by offering different methods to graduate besides just being at school.

 “You can come back to a seated building with some flexibility, take some online classes, we have kids who are kind of doing a hybrid of both,” says director of blended learning, Nichole Lemmon. 

Claudia is one of about 70 students taking advantage of the program after admitting to too many distractions while in high school. Now she’s four credits away from graduating thanks to her advisor, Amelia.

 “She would call me, text me, whatever all the time and I was like she actually cares about me so that motivated me a lot to want to finish,” says Childers. 

Claudia is scheduled to graduate this month and she’ll be able to walk with her Glendale High School class this spring. 

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