Our Mission

Future School of Fort Smith (Future School) relentlessly empowers every student to shape their future and community through engaging them in high quality, professional educational experiences. We are the only public school in Arkansas to provide personalized, comprehensive advising coupled with professional internships and tuition-free college experience for every student.

Our History

In September 2014, a group of community and business leaders in the Fort Smith area partnered with our founding school leaders, Trish Flanagan and Boyd Logan, to build an accessible, innovative and creative education option for families in Fort Smith. By the Fall of 2015, we had organized a team to research, design, and implement our operations plan. We received approval from the Arkansas Board of Education to proceed with the educational venture and curriculum plans. Finally, we secured and renovated a community center and opened our doors for high school students in historic downtown Fort Smith on August 22, 2016.

We accomplished what most thought impossible: the graduation of our first class in May 2019! From 2016 to 2019 we tripled our student enrollment, jumping from 58 to 230!  We earned a ‘B’ on the state report card in year one and graduated our first class of 80 students who earned an average of 13 college credits per student at no cost. We secured over 130 internship sites in Fort Smith and created a community of diverse, talented and kind young people who tell us they have a ‘family’ at school.  We stand in awe at the astounding success of our initial years of work!

Future School's Pillars — ICAN


Our Internship program is the foundational pillar of our school. Internships help connect young learners to the academic core work they are doing in their classes. We have over 100+ local businesses that have partnered with us to provide students hands on experience working in their fields of interest. EVERY student will participate in internships during their time at Future School. Internship days are Wednesdays after the student has been cleared to participate through the advisor.

College Opportunity

Access to College opportunities is a hallmark of an equitable community. When students are engaged in academically rigorous college level experiences through our affiliations with the Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC), UAFS, and Arkansas Tech they gain the opportunity to get credits they can apply to their college career. College is not for everyone but everyone should have access if they desire that opportunity.


Advisories are the core grounding point for our students' success. Every student is assigned an advisor and each advisor has about 20 advisees they will guide from 9th grade to graduation. Students spend one hour a day in advisory working on core skills such as college and career readiness, internship goal setting and assessment of experience, conflict resolution, end of semester exhibition work, and non-cognitive skills that will set them up for success after high school.

Non-Cognitive Skills

Non-Cognitive Skills or socio-emotional skills are increasingly being identified by employers as essential to success in the workplace. Non-cognitive skills cover a range of abilities such as conscientiousness, resilience, perseverance (grit), and teamwork. These skills are critically important to student achievement, both in and beyond the classroom.


Future School of Fort Smith is proud to be a Big Picture Learning School (BPL). BPL was established in 1995 with the mission of putting students directly at the center of their own learning. As the first Big Picture Learning school in Arkansas, Future School of Fort Smith is blazing a trail of innovation. To learn more about our national network of schools, check us out at bigpicture.org

Culture & Community

As an active, engaged learning community we commit to the following norms:

Assume Good Intent

The foundation principle that each person is worthy of dignity and justice is a hallmark of Future School. We assume each learner (both student and staff) arrives on campus each day ready to be a part of a dynamic and committed group of people that are engaged in our mission.

Agree to Disagree

Conflict and disagreement are a normal part of the human experience. Engaging in healthy conflict that is free of hurtful and dehumanizing attributes is encouraged. Innovation and creativity flow when we are challenged to think more broadly and with greater depth. When wrongs have been committed we seek to restore the person to unity with the community using Restorative Practices. We do this because we know that no one person is the summation of their behavior. Deed and doer are separated and the deed is addressed by building on the strengths of the doer.

Be Fully Present

Paying full attention to the task at hand is a challenge in a world full of distractions. Cell phones, disruptive behavior, and immodest attire that is distraction to the learning environment will be addressed using restorative practices to re-engage the student in the learning process and minimize disruption to others.

Equity of Voice

Every person on the Future School campus has a voice in how we function as a community of learners. We honor each voice with the dignity and respect it deserves.

Everything Moves Forward

At Future School we engage in practices that promote a growth mindset. We are invested in the personal and professional growth of every person on our campus.