SIKESTON -- Alternative schools and better tracking of absentees seem to be key factors in school districts obtaining high graduation rates.
In 2011, Sikeston High School had one of the region's highest graduation rates at 92.7 percent compared to the state's average rate of 86.7 percent, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Other high schools with over 90 percent graduation rates included Jackson, Bell City and Richland R-1. Portageville, Oran and Chaffee high schools each had a 100 percent rate. These rates include students who took more than four years to graduate.
Sikeston High School Principal Tom Williams said a major factor to Sikeston having one the highest graduation rates, especially among large school districts, is the district's alternative school, New Horizons.
"Kids who don't necessarily work well in the large school environment are able to go there and work much more effectively in a small, group environment," Williams said.
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