|A Mission of Service & Support
In 1985, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools was established to increase business/community involvement in public schools and to provide programs and activities beyond the financial capabilities of the school district. FUTURES Foundation, with a 501 (c) (3) designation, is the only organization that provides assistance to all public schools in Volusia County.
FUTURES Foundation supports educational quality for the Volusia County Public School System by directing resources toward areas of identified need, increasing community involvement and support, and encouraging open communication between the community and our schools. FUTURES members work to;
1. encourage and increase business and civic involvement in the school system
2. motivate and encourage creative and innovative educational programs
3. assist students in preparing for the workforce of tomorrow
4. recognize outstanding achievement by students, teachers, and support staff
5. assist in the recruitment of the highest quality teachers and administrators
6. raise the level of public understanding and support through improved communication and distribution of information
Hello, and thank you for visiting our FUTURES website!Your interest in our Volusia County FUTURES Foundation is of primary importance to us. We are celebrating our 26th consecutive year as an organization committed to quality education for our K-12 students. FUTURES' goal is to enhance the excellent educational programs already in place here in our area with additional resources to support teachers, students, administrators, and staff. We are proud of, and committed to, the following important initiatives:FOR STUDENTS:
--At an annual recognition event, we honor and recognize the outstanding accomplishments of our middle and high school Turn-Around students. These are students who have demonstrated a dramatic change in their daily activities, attitude and overall demeanor in order to become more successful as students.
--We offer leadership training through Tomorrow's Leaders for high school juniors. Modeled after the Leadership courses at the various chambers, this program allows students to explore the issues, resources and programs directing Volusia County's future and learn how to impact their own communities.
--The Take Stock in Children initiative pays for college tuition for selected students who have successfully faced challenges and have completed a set of standards that include maintaining a required GPA level and being mentored by local community contacts throughout their high school careers..
--Through FUTURES, our School Matching Grants program provides opportunities for tutoring for low performing students. Last year FUTURES matched $42,000 in money raised privately at the schools for this program. We expect this year to be similar in scope.
--Many staff recognition programs are in place: New Teacher Breakfast; Principal of the Year award; Superintendent's Outstanding Achievement award; Teacher of the Year Celebration; and First Year Teacher award.
--FUTURES' Mini-Grant Programs are awarded to teachers, staff and administrators for innovative teaching activities. Over the past two decades $1.2 million has been provided to fund mini-grants for local schools to enhance learning.
--The Educator Intern Shadowing program invites community members to shadow a Volusia County School Board employee in an effort to create a collaborative environment between our schools and our community.
These are just a few of our ongoing programs, and we are proud of what we do. Please contact us if you would like additional information about our activities. We support and encourage open communication between the community and our schools, and, most of all, we welcome your interest.
Bobby Thigpen, President
FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools Superintendent's Message
Here we are off to another great start of a new school year! Thanks to the hard work of staff over the summer months, we were well prepared to welcome our students back.
We remain committed to our "Team Volusia" motto meaning all instructional and non-instructional staff members work together to ensure that each student will learn. Not only do we focus on strong academic expectations for our students, but importantly, we also demonstrate that we are genuinely very caring.
Our district theme this year is "Imagine-Believe-Achieve." This theme needs to be adopted by our families and communities, in addition to our schools, so that we can reach the goals we have for each and every student.
The leadership of the School Board stands out in making sound decisions based on what is best for students and also in supporting employees. Their policy setting provides us with the framework needed to attain a quality school district.
The Volusia County School District strives for excellence in providing a quality education for all students. Teachers, administrators, and support staff are dedicated to the academic achievement of our students. Support and involvement from our parents, businesses, community members and leaders makes a significant difference in student success.
Collaboration and partnerships are the hallmarks of Volusia County Schools.
Yours in Education,
Margaret A. Smith
In 1985, although the school system had support from the various chambers of commerce, the new superintendent and school board felt that a more cohesive, county-wide organization was necessary. After thorough research and investigation, a direct-support, private, non-profit organization was formed under Chapter 237.40, Florida Statutes. With the voluntary assistance of an attorney and the school board attorney, Articles of Incorporation were written and filed March 14, 1985.
The original 16-member board of directors included some of the county's most respected business, civic and community leaders working in partnership with the five-member Volusia County School Board. The first meeting of the board took place on March 21, 1985. The school superintendent, school board chairman and school board attorney served as ex-officio members in order to keep close communication with the school district while also maintaining FUTURES autonomy.
The name FUTURES was taken from the term used in the risky commodities market. It suggests that although there is no guarantee of a return on our investment in young people, the promise of future success is great. It is important to note that the future of our nation is increasingly dependent on public support of education.
Back in 1985, the FUTURES board adopted a mission statement and goals, divided into subcommittees, and proceeded to raise money to finance its original budget of $46,225 for its projects. The budget for 2010-2011 has increased to over $400,000.
Today, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools continues to encourage business and civic leaders involvement in, understanding of, and commitment to public education. Through education and close involvement with the superintendent, school board and district, individuals can be vocal in their support, not only throughout the community, but in the state, and in Tallahassee.
FUTURES provides an avenue through which individuals in the community can focus their efforts as well as provide financial support for recruitment assistance, scholarship opportunities, and leadership training programs which enhance the quality of education in Volusia County Schools.
Neither local nor state dollars can be used for certain items like recognition and motivational programs which are meaningful to children and staff members. In fact, these are the very kind of things that business and industry have long recognized improve morale and performance, but which school districts are unable to provide. By sponsoring and attending the Teacher of the Year Celebration, the New Teacher Breakfast, and the mini-grant reception, board members enhance the image of public education in the community and raise the level of self-respect held by teachers and other staff members.
Because of FUTURES leadership and support, the community's attitude about our public school system has evolved from one of "benign neglect" in 1985 to one of "committed involvement." FUTURES board members have brought a feeling of renewed dedication and enthusiasm to public education! While the funds FUTURES raises enables the school district to expand its programs and projects, the true value of this organization is that it demonstrates that civic and business leaders recognize that the economic and cultural future of our county is strongly related to the quality of public schools.
As the school board and superintendent set new directions and implement changes, FUTURES provides strong support in the community which enables the school system to be progressive and innovative. FUTURES provides an avenue for citizens to invest in students and to recognize that all Volusia County residents have a stake in the future of our public school system and the growth and development of our community.
The FUTURES Board has been, and continues to be, committed to reaching for the highest standards of educational excellence and has made public education a top priority as it carries out its mission statement "To support educational quality for the Volusia County Public School System by directing resources toward areas of identified need, increasing community involvement and support, and encouraging open communication between the community and our schools."
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