FAQs

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Enrollment

Is the Future School of Fort Smith tuition-free?
Yes, once our charter is approved, we will be a tuition-free, public charter high school.

How many students will you have?
When we open in August 2016, we will have (150) 10th grade students, adding a grade each year. By fall 2018, we will be at our maximum capacity with 450 students in the 10-12th grades.

How do you help all students in Fort Smith?
We believe, as a public school, it is our responsibility to enhance educational opportunities for ALL students. In addition to providing free services to our educational partners, we are investing significant financial resources in student services to make an education at Future School accessible for all students. This includes: ELL support, bilingual services, SPED support, school lunch program, professional development, public transportation support, and a stipend for each instructor to support parent engagement activities (from parent dinners to student birthday parties).

How do students apply?
An education at Future School is accessible and free to all students entering the 10th grade who reside in Arkansas. There is no selection process or criteria for admittance. Upon receiving our charter this fall, we will accept registration forms from interested students January to April 2016. If we have more students signed up than seats available, we will hold a public lottery in April to place students.

Academics

Will Future School be held to state standards?
As a public high school, students will take all state-required tests, graduating with a state-approved diploma. We will meet/exceed state academic standards and measure progress towards goals in other areas including college & workforce readiness, community/parent involvement, and post-secondary training & education.

What type of courses will you offer?
Students will work with their learning team (student, instructor, advisor, parent) to design a personalized learning plan. This plan will be implemented through a combination of face-to-face instruction, on-line classes and concurrent courses.

Will students have extracurricular options?
Yes, our learning model is innovative, so our extracurricular programs will be innovative! Once our doors open, we will ask our students to help us build innovative after school programs that meet their interests. To move this planning along, we have already begun conversations about accessing extracurricular programs (athletics, arts, robotics) for our students in the Fort Smith community.

How do I check my student's grades?
You can check your student's grades by going to the provided link and entering the Username and Password, the information for both can be obtained in the front office.  Also, be sure to select Future School of Fort Smith as District. https://hac31.eschoolplus.k12.ar.us/HomeAccess/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2fhomeaccess%2f                                                                                                                                                           

Real-World Learning

How does Future School prepare students for the ‘real-world’?
Future School’s approach fully engages students in their education by honoring student voice and choice through our real-world learning model incorporating student-designed internships. Students will be uniquely prepared to build their professional toolboxes as they consider careers that appeal to them and will have developed 21st century mindsets, skills, and professional networks during their high school experience.

How are internships designed?
Our internship design bridges student interests and in- demand employment opportunities. In the beginning of the school year, all students work with their advisor to assess their interests & inherent abilities and set career goals. As a part of the designing phase, students learn to research and conduct informational interviews with potential internship partners. Once they decide on an internship site, they create a semester- long work plan including goals and a timeline that is incorporated into their academic courses. This way, students are applying what they learn in class, in the real-world. Students submit regular progress reports to their advisors throughout the semester and receive feedback and assessment from their advisor at school, parents at home and mentor in the community. At the end of the semester/year, students present their internship portfolio at a final exhibition. Click here for more information.

Funding
How is Future School funded?
In order to receive approval from the Arkansas Department of Education, we need to demonstrate financial viability based primarily on state foundation funding ($6,646 per student/year). We also anticipate financial support from various local, national and international philanthropic organizations that align with our mission and values.How is funding affected if a student decides to change schools?
Our model of real-world learning requires significant effort and willingness to try new things on the part of students, families and instructors. If a student leaves Future School, their state funding follows them, allowing greater flexibility and choice in their public education options. Below is an explanation of how funding follows the student, taken directly from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Rules Governing Public Charter Schools, p 40, 2014.

For the first year of operation and any year the open-enrollment public charter school adds a new grade, the foundation funding for an open- enrollment public charter school is determined as follows:

  1. The initial funding estimate shall be based on enrollment a of the deadline established by Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-501;
  2.  In December, funding will be adjusted based upon the first quarter average daily membership; and
  3. A final adjustment will be made after the current three-quarter average daily membership is established.
Outreach

What needs to happen for Future School to open in August 2016?
We can always use help spreading the word and talking to students and community members about Future School. We will have an open enrollment period beginning January 2016, and we open our doors in August 2016-- so we need to get the word out about Future School!

How can the community learn more?
We encourage collaboration and transparency with all our partners; if you’re reading this, consider yourself included! Click here to read the full version of our school's charter. In the meantime, we invite you to contact our team at trish@fsfuture.org with any other questions/feedback.

How can I get involved?
Stay in touch with our team via email (trish@fsfuture.org) and our website (www.fsfuture.org) & social media.