Celebrating SCORE

SCORE Alternative High School is a program designed for students experiencing issues at the high school main campus. SCORE stands for Second Chance of Receiving an Education. The program helps at-risk students to earn credits and graduate high school. SCORE celebrated its 25th anniversary last March. SCORE principal Cheryl Huson has been with the school for 15 years, and has increased the graduation rate significantly.
“We provide a place that feels safe for kids and they feel comfortable and just for kids that are maybe struggling with grades, or attendance, things like that,” Huson said. “But a lot of our kids don’t struggle with grades; their grades are fine, but maybe they struggle with anxiety and things like that and it’s just better for them to be in a smaller school that is more one-on-one with teachers.”
Counselor Dana Uber works with students and their schedules, classroom struggles and personal issues. She works to teach people that SCORE isn’t a punishment or a place where only where troubled kids go. She said the main high school isn’t for everyone.
“Mrs. Huson and I talk all the time about how overwhelmed we get walking into the high school. Three floors, thousands of people, and that’s just like to walk into a meeting. We don’t have to switch classes and find our way from the COC [Career Opportunity Center] building,” Uber said.
A big part of SCORE’s success is that they work hard to make sure every student feels supported and welcomed.
“We want to make sure every kid feels valued and they’re seen every day; we see you and that they’re important and that helps a huge deal,” Huson said. “When a kid feels valued and seen every day, and part of something, then they’ll come.”
Junior Sophia Parry feels SCORE has helped her become more successful in her education.
“Whether it’s giving me more time or if I’m having a hard day, they’ll be very understanding and let me do what I need to do so that I can perform the best I can when I’m in class,” Parry said.
SCORE’s one-on-one environment helps students thrive in school.
SCORE is equipped with eight teachers, a counselor, a principal, a teacher assistant and an office manager. They offer the same curriculum as the high school, just in a smaller environment. They also offer Missouri Option, an evening program that prepares students to take the HiSET, which stands for High School Equivalency Test.
“The great thing about the Missouri Option program is that since it’s through Nixa Public Schools, students are a [NHS] student, they receive a [NHS] diploma, they can walk at graduation and they can go to prom. They are still considered a [NHS]student, they’re just going this route,” Uber said.

A mural inspired by the 1980s show, “Cheers,” is painted in the lunchroom.

With a long waiting list of students trying to get into SCORE, Parry believes that it’s a privilege to be there.
“If you have anxiety, or if you happen to be failing, or you’re just not doing well at the regular high school, SCORE is such a great alternative,” Parry said. “It’s giving you a second chance, and the staff there will work with you, they’ll understand you, and they’ll treat you like you’re a person.”