From the Superintendent:
2023 Goals Ambitious
It has been a very exciting year for Fort Smith Public Schools. We continue to work toward achieving the ambitious goals of our Vision 2023 Strategic Plan. Following its development in late 2017, a citizens committee prioritized a list of capital improvements required to implement many of its key components. The proposal was refined by the FSPS Board of Education and placed on the ballot for the May 22, 2018, election. Because of the efforts of hundreds of students, parents, educators, business leaders, and members of our community, Fort Smith and Barling voters approved the most substantial increase in local resources for our schools in more than 30 years.
We continue to see a return on this historic investment in the Vision 2023 Capital Improvement Plan. As school was beginning in August, technology and campus staff members issued Chromebooks to all students in grades 10 through 12, extending our 1:1 student device program to include grades 3 through 12. Equipping students with these powerful tools provide opportunities to extend learning beyond the four walls of our schools and traditional scheduling limitations.
The first round of construction projects also was completed during a very busy summer. Four elementary schools were upgraded with new entrances specifically designed to provide enhanced security. By 2021, these features will be standard at each of our elementary schools.
We saw an even more extensive makeover unfold at Morrison Elementary. Remodeling at this school, which was constructed in the 1970s with open-concept classrooms, included the separation of instructional spaces with walls. These upgrades have helped minimize distractions, facilitate the teaching and learning process, and enhance security. Please use this link to access a video about how this project has positively affected the entire Morrison community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7nHv4sW6ug. Three other schools originally designed with similar floor plans also are scheduled to receive these upgrades over the next two years.
The generous donation by the William L. Hutcheson Jr. Trust of a site for the Career and Technology Center (CTC) has also been very exciting. This 182,000-square-foot facility, located at the corner of Zero Street and Painter Lane, is actually three times the size of the building initially envisioned. In October, we were thrilled to announce that the district was awarded a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant for this project. These resources have supercharged our efforts to bring state-of-the-art instruction in the areas of health care, information technology, and advanced manufacturing within the science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) disciplines to students across our region. A branding committee that involves another set of committed stakeholders is developing an identity for this new and exciting facility.
Construction will begin soon on the storm shelters, secure entrances, ninth-grade centers, and renovations at Northside and Southside High Schools. Please continue to watch our website for updates as these projects unfold. We are grateful for your continued support. We will continue to invest these funds in ways that will pay dividends to future generations of Fort Smith and Barling students.
Doug Brubaker, Ph.D.
Fort Smith Public Schools, a premier district where innovation creates excellence, is dedicated to providing an equitable, challenging educational experience by engaging families and community partners as we prepare students to embrace their roles in our culturally diverse community and rapidly changing world.
Our seven Vision 2023 Strategies continue to guide our efforts on behalf of students. You will find references to these goals and our progress in addressing them throughout this document.
The strategies are explained here:
Vision 2023 Strategic Plan