In keeping with the mission of the Fort Smith Public Schools District, which stresses assisting each student in realizing their academic and personal success today and in the future, the District offers a number of educational choices supporting the development of students whose educational needs are not met by traditional programs. These choices include classrooms which accommodate the varied learning styles of students and provide programs which utilize a variety of methods and materials. Alternative learning classrooms provide students who have not had success in a traditional program to participate in a program designed to address social, behavioral, and/or academic challenges he/she may face. It is the purpose of each alternative setting to provide the counseling, behavioral support, and academic support that will assist the student in returning to a regular classroom setting.
Belle Point Center offers opportunities for at-risk students in grades 7-12. BPC provides a normal high school curriculum in a closely supervised environment. The student to teacher ratio in these classes is kept small. Belle Point Center also offers a study skills class for 17 year old students who wish to pursue a GED. Hill Center is an extension of BPC and serves Special Education students in a vocational environment.
Early Intervention Kindergarten (EIK) and Opportunity Center classes are offered to elementary students who are not being successfull in a regular classroom setting due to behavior issues. EIK and Opportunity Center I (grades 1 and 2) are located at Beard Elementary School. Opportunity Center II (grades 3 and 4) and Opportunity Center III (grades 5 and 6) are located at Sutton Elementary School.
T.B.S. (The Basic School) is a credit recovery program for students in Grades 9-12 who have failed a core academic course (English, math, social studies, science). A student may earn a half credit for successfully completing a session. Six sessions of 5 weeks each are offered during the school year. Classes meet from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Thursday. Application for this program is made through your school counselor. TBS classes are offered at Northside and Southside High Schools.
Saturday School meets on Saturday mornings at Belle Point Center to address students who are have problems with truancy or smoking. Students are assigned to this program by the principal or assistant principal at their school.
The PAR program (Positive Attitude Renewal) is located at Fairview Elementary. PAR provides an alternative to suspension for elementary students.
The PASS program (Program to Assist Suspended Students) provides a supervised environment for secondary students who have been suspended. The program includes academics and behavior modification. The program will be located at Belle Point Center.
The Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) classroom has become a model for the use of the “Skills Tutor” learning program. This internet based program has now become the standard statewide for detention centers and serious offender programs. Thirty-two students received their GED diploma this last school year. The JDC and the District were recognized with a STAR award from the ADE.