School Policies

Anti-Discrimination Policy

The school does not discriminate in the treatment of its applicants for enrollment or their parents/guardians, nor does it use any unlawful criteria such as race, color, sex, handicap, religion, or national origin, in determining eligibil­ity and acceptance into its programs. The school principal and superintendent may handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies.

Grading Scale

Grades assigned to students for performance in a course shall only reflect the extent to which a student has achieved the expressed academic objectives of the course. Grades that are aligned with other educational objectives such as the student learning expectations contained in the curriculum frameworks may also be given.

The following grading scale shall be used by the school for all courses:

  • A = 90-100;
  • B = 80-89;
  • C = 70-79;
  • D = 60-69; and
  • F = 59 and below

Except for college courses, the numeric value for each letter grade shall be. Grades at the college level courses are at the discretion of the professor.

  • A = 4 points;
  • B = 3 points;
  • C = 2 points;
  • D = 1 point; and
  • F = 0 points

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that pro­tects the privacy of student records. FERPA gives parents and students over the age of 18, called eligible students; certain rights with respect to education re­cords:

 

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the stu­dent’s education records maintained by the school.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to consent to the release of any information from records belonging to the student.

Student records are defined for purposes of this policy as student information contained in documents, video, photos, or any other format that contain per­sonally identifiable information. Virtually all student records, apart from those listed as directory information, are protected under FERPA. These records in­clude but are not limited to:

  • Student grades;
  • Student transcripts;
  • Student GPA;
  • Student attendance;
  • Student health records;
  • Student financial information;
  • Student disciplinary records; and
  • Student health records.

The school shall obtain written permission from the parent or eligible student prior to releasing any information from the student’s education record. Howev­er, parents and eligible students should be aware that FERPA allows the school to disclose these records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest; to Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

The school may charge a fee for copies of records, limited to the actual cost of materials used in reproduction.

Upon request by a parent or eligible student, the school shall review a request to amend a record. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student may request a hearing before the Board of Directors. The request must be made in writing to the superintendent within 10 school days of the school’s determination regarding the record. If the Board determines there is no valid reason requiring amendment of the record, the parent or eligible student may place a written statement to remain with the record, which shall be limited to the reasons s/he contests the information within the record.

The school may disclose, without consent, “directory” information. The school shall send notice to parents annually of the information considered directory information and of rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students may request the school not disclose directory information by submitting a written request to the school within the time stated in the notice.

Distribution of Materials by Students

Students may exercise their right of expression,within the framework outlined in this policy.The right includes expression in school-sponsored publications, whether such publications are supported financially by the school or the use of school facilities or are produced in conjunction with a class, except as prohibited in this policy. Truth, fairness, accuracy, and responsibility are essential to the practice of journalism.

The following types of publications by students are not authorized:

  1. Publications that are obscene as to minors, as defined by state law;
  2. Publications that are libelous or slanderous, as defined by state law;
  3. Publications that constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy,as defined by state law;
  4. Publications that so incite students as to create:
    • A clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises;
    • The violation of lawful school regulations; or
    • The material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

The superintendent may make decisions regarding student publications in conjunction with student publications advisors, including but not limited to the setting of reasonable time, place, and manner guidelines for the distribution of student publications.

Computer Use

The school allows students to use school-owned computers and school-pro­vided internet for educational and other school-related purposes. School com­puters and electronic devices are only to be used for these approved purposes. Students must sign and return a computer-use agreement form prior to being allowed to access the school’s computers.

Abuse or misuse of school computers includes but is not limited to unautho­rized downloads, installing unauthorized programs, accessing inappropriate websites or images, and any attempt to cause harm to the school’s computers or system, and shall be subject to disciplinary action. The school shall install filtering programs that block access to material that could be considered inappropriate for minors on all school computers. Any attempt to disable or thwart the school’s filter will be subject to discipline to be determined by the principal.

Students and parents are notified they have no reasonable expectation of priva­cy in using school-owned devices or school-provided internet. Student internet activity, documents, emails, and computer use may be monitored at any time.

Students in violation of this policy are subject to discipline at the discretion of the school principal. Students who repeatedly violate this policy will be subject to stiffer penalties.

Attendance Records

A basic record, showing the daily attendance and absence of each student for the school year, shall be kept by the teacher of each class, who will visually note the physical presence or absence of each student on a daily basis. The basic attendance records of the school shall be kept on file in electronic form by the school for a period of 3 years.

Except for those circumstances otherwise allowed by rule, any student who is absent from daily attendance for more than 10 consecutive school days shall be dismissed or dropped from the attendance records of the school. Any student who fails to attend school by the tenth regular school day of the semester shall be retroactively dropped from the attendance records from the first day of the school semester.

The principal is tasked with the monitoring and enforcement of this policy. A parent/guardian or eligible student wishing to dispute attendance records may do so by the method set forth in the school’s FERPA policy.

Inclement Weather

Fort Smith Future School will follow the inclement weather policy of Fort Smith School District. We will use Remind, Email, and Social Media Posts as well as informing the local news outlets of closure.

Absences

The school strives to promote good student attendance, which is essential for student academic achievement and success. The school, as a part of its educa­tional plan, shall annually develop strategies for promoting maximum student attendance. If a student will be absent a parent or guardian must call the school office at 479-431-8695 by 9:30.

Excused Absences

Student absences due to participation in a school-sanctioned event or extracur­ricular activity will be considered excused absences by the school and coded as School Business (SB) in E-school. The school shall also excuse absences due to medical need, as evidenced by a valid doctor’s note. The principal may excuse other absences at his/her discretion upon the presentation of a note from the student’s parent/ guardian outlining circumstances warranting an excused absence.

Unexcused Absences

Any absences falling outside of the scope covered in the Excused Absences pol­icy will be considered unexcused. No credit shall be given to students who have accumulated 10 unexcused absences in any given course through the span of a single semester. Students with excessive absences are not to be expelled. Stu­dents may be denied promotion or graduation at the discretion of the super­intendent for excessive absences only after considering the causes. Students with excessive absences due to illness, accident, or other unavoidable reasons should be given assistance in obtaining credit for courses.

A student’s parents or guardians shall be notified when the student has accumulated unexcused absences equal to one-half the total number of absences permitted per semester under the school’s or student attendance pol­icy. The student’s advisor will make this contact and document it.

Before a student accumulates the maximum number of unexcused absences allowed in the school’s student attendance policy, the eligible student or the student’s parents or guardians may petition the school administration for spe­cial arrangements to address the student’s unexcused absences. If special ar­rangements are granted by the school administration, the arrangements will be formalized into a written agreement to include the conditions of the agreement and the consequences for failing to fulfill the requirements of the agreement. The agreement shall be signed by the designee of the school administration, the student and their parent(s) or guardian(s).

When a student exceeds the maximum number of unexcused absences allowed for in the school’s student attendance policy, or when a student has violated the conditions of an agreement granting special arrangements, the school shall notify the prosecuting authority.

Tardiness

A successful person once said: “99% of life is showing up”. At Future School, we have found that students who show up on time each day, and try, benefit tremendously! PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE AT SCHOOL, ON TIME, AND PREPARED EVERYDAY. Students who arrive late to class may receive a tardy designation at the teacher’s discretion. Tardy designations result in disciplinary action by the principal, which may include loss of extracurricular activity privileges for the day or other appropriate penalties. Continuing or excessive tardiness may result in the permanent loss of extracurricular privileges for the remainder of the semester or school year, at the discretion of the principal.

Students who arrive after 50% of the class has been completed will be counted as absent. The following time table shows when an absence will be keyed.

1st/4th 9:22 AM
Advisory 10:35 AM
2nd/5th 11:47 AM
A & E 1:40 PM
3rd/6th 2:52 PM
Wednesday 9:22 AM

Student Discipline

At the outset of each school year, or upon enrollment in the case of a new stu­dent, student discipline policies shall be distributed to all students and parents. Students and Parent(s)/ Guardian(s) shall acknowledge by signature that they have received and understand the student disciplinary policy.

If a disciplinary issue comes to the attention of the school, the first line of response will be one focused on conflict resolution and peer mediation. We use Restorative Practices to anticipate and rectify discipline issues. Violations of the school’s disciplinary policies may, however, result in the following disci­plinary actions:

  • Participation in restorative circle
  • Parent learning team meeting coordinated through advisor
  • Detention and reflection
  • Loss of extracurricular privileges;
  • Suspension;
  • Expulsion; or
  • Other disciplinary measures to be determined at the discretion of the prin­cipal.

The school shall employ prevention, intervention, and conflict resolution tech­niques to reduce the occurrence of student disciplinary infractions. The school shall only administer discipline in accordance with its written disciplinary poli­cies and other applicable state and federal law.

Expulsion and Suspension

Students spending adequate time in the classroom is vital for their academic success; as such, expulsions and suspensions will only be considered after all other disciplinary avenues have been exhausted. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the Board may choose to suspend or expel a student for any violation of the school’s policies that war­rants suspension or expulsion. “Expulsion” means dismissal from school for a period of time that exceeds 10 days. “Suspension” means dismissal from school for a period of time that does not exceed 10 days. The school shall not use out­-of-school suspension as a discipline measure for truancy.

Teachers are authorized to recommend suspension of a student to the school principal. Any such recommendation must be accompanied by documentation of a continuing or severe problem with discipline and authority. The decision of the principal may be appealed to the superintendent. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may appeal the superintendent’s decision to the Board. Parties appearing before the Board for a hearing may present testimony and evidence for the Board’s consideration. The Board will consider all student disciplinary matters in closed executive session unless the parties request that the session be public. The Board shall reconvene in open session to conduct their vote.

Prohibited Conduct

The school has designated a non-exhaustive list of actions it will consider pro­hibited conduct. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Willfully and intentionally assaulting or threatening to assault or abuse any student or teacher, principal, superintendent, or other employee of a school system;
  • Possession of a firearm or any other weapon upon the school campus;
  • Gang-related activity;
  • Using, offering for sale, or selling beer, alcoholic beverages, or other illicit drugs on school property or at school-sponsored events;
  • Possession, sale, or use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or vaporizers on school property or at school-sponsored events;
  • Willfully or intentionally damaging, vandalizing, destroying, or stealing school property;
  • Disobedience, disrespect, or defiance directed to any member of the Future School community, including students;
  • Disruption of the classroom or educational environment;
  • Academic dishonesty;
  • Profanity or foul language;
  • Bullying, cyber-bullying, or hazing of any student or employee;
  • Sexual harassment of any student or employee;
  • Inappropriate or obscene behaviors;
  • Violations of the dress code;
  • Tardiness;
  • Any other act or behavior which interferes with the safety of students and employees or the educational environment, at the discretion of school ad­ministrators.

Every teacher is authorized to hold every student strictly accountable for any disorderly conduct on school grounds or at school-sponsored events. Prohib­ited activities or behaviors occurring off campus may be subject to the school’s jurisdiction under this policy to the extent such activities or behaviors reach onto campus or cause interference with the educational environment.

Searches

The school shall respect the privacy of each student in his/her person and pos­sessions by ensuring that any search of a student’s person or property is neces­sary to achieve the safety and integrity of the school environment. Searches will be conducted with the approval of an administrator and in the presence of an administrator unless otherwise necessitated by dire, emergency circumstances threatening the life or safety of a student or employee. Nothing in this policy is intended to create a reasonable expectation of privacy in any school area other than areas in which a right of privacy has traditionally been recognized, includ­ing bathrooms, occupied locker rooms, or other changing areas. The school reserves the right to search student lockers and other school owned property or storage areas. The school may also search student vehicles upon probable cause or upon viewing contraband or other violations of law or school rules in plain sight.

The school may search the person or property of a student on school grounds or at a school sponsored event if the administrator involved reasonably believes that such a search will reveal evidence of lawbreaking or the breaking of school rules. School personnel involved in an authorized search may seize contraband and store it in the school office. Contraband student property may be returned to the student’s parent/guardian or may be turned into law enforcement if war­ranted by the circumstances.

Any search of a student’s person shall be conducted by a person of the same sex as the student and will be conducted with the prior approval of an administra­tor and in the presence of an administrator of the same sex or an appropriate designee. Searches shall not be overly intrusive and shall be conducted in light of the age and sex of the student and the seriousness of the alleged violation of law or school rules. At the discretion of the superintendent or upon receipt of appropriate warrants or requests by law enforcement, the school shall contact or allow law enforcement officers to conduct searches, which may include po­lice dogs.

Bullying

“Bullying” means the intentional harassment, intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, defamation, or incitement of violence by a student against any person by a written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that may address an attribute of the other person that causes or creates actual or reasonably foreseeable:

  • Physical harm to a school employee or student or damage to the school employee’s or student’s property;
  • Substantial interference with a student’s education or with a school em­ployee’s role in education;
  • A hostile educational environment for one or more students or school em­ployees due to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the act; or
  • Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment.

“Attribute” means an actual or perceived personal characteristic including with­out limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic sta­tus, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation.

Bullying is prohibited in school, around school, or at any event connected to the school in any way. If you see bullying or think that you are the victim of bullying, please tell a teacher or the principal. You can make reports anonymously by leaving a note in an administrator’s office mailbox.

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is bullying by electronic act. “Electronic act” means any communication or image transmitted by means of an electronic device, including but not limited to text messages, online mes­saging, social media, and email. Cyber-bullying is prohibited. Students in violation of this policy will be subject to appropriate discipline in light of the specific facts of the act reported, up to and including expulsion. This policy applies to bullying that is directed at students or school personnel even if it didn’t happen at school or using school equipment.

Theft

Students should make every effort to protect themselves from theft. Future School is not responsible for property or other belongings of students. Theft of personal or school property will be met with disciplinary actions as deemed appropriate by a committee of administrators, staff, and students, up to and including reparations, detention, or expulsion. Depending on the severity of the theft, cases may be referred to police authority as needed.