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 FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools is of primary importance to us. We are celebrating our 32th consecutive year as a non-profit, direct support organization committed to quality education for Volusia County K-12 public school students.
FUTURES' goal is to enhance the excellent educational programs already in place in Volusia County Public Schools with additional resources to support teachers, students, administrators, and staff. We are proud of, and committed to, the following important initiatives:
--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 Program provides the opportunity for a Florida Prepaid college tuition scholarship for at-risk, low income students. Our TSIC scholars will successfully complete a set of standards that include maintaining a required 3.0 GPA and meeting with their mentor throughout their high school careers in order to earn this scholarship.
--FUTURES' Mini-Grant Program awards grants up to $1,000 to teachers for innovative teaching activities. Over the past three decades more than $1.5 million has been provided through mini-grants for local schools to enhance learning. FUTURES has funded more than $80,000 this school year through its online mini-grant portal at www.FindItFundItFlorida.com/Volusia.
--Through FUTURES, the School District Education Foundation (SDEF) Matching Grants program provides opportunities for low performing students, literacy programs and STEM initiatives. This year FUTURES will match $97,120 in money raised privately at 13 schools for 18 projects within this Florida legislatively funded program.
--Teacher recognition programs are in place including the annual Teacher of the Year Program recognizing 71 outstanding teachers from across the district complete with a banquet hosting more than 900 attendees; First Year Teacher awards; New Teacher Recruitment Reception; and New Teacher Pre-Service refreshments.
--Several staff recognition programs are in place: Principal of the Year awards; Superintendent's Outstanding Achievement awards & breakfast for non-instructional personnel; Transportation Fun Day complete with a driving skills test; and Bus Driver Appreciation.
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.
John Guthrie, President
FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year. At the start of each school year, there is always a sense of anticipation of the many possibilities for our students, and our district theme this year captures those sentiments perfectly. "Igniting Dreams: Where Students Reach Their Highest Potential." The theme is indeed a lofty one, but throughout the summer months, plans and preparations have taken place on every school campus to make it a reality.
Volusia County Schools follows three Guiding Principles that capture the spirit of the work within our district. These guiding principles guide us to what is right and will also unite us together in service to our students.
1. Dedication to Increased Student Achievement
2. Commitment to Finding Solutions to Problems
3. Mutual Respect and Positive Relationships with All Stakeholders
This year, three focus areas encapsulate the priority areas of our work as they uphold the Guiding Principles.
- Building a Culture for Learning: Building positive relationships with students is the lynchpin for learning and student engagement. There must be a commitment to building a culture of respect and positive relationships with all people; therefore, we must seek opportunities to know our students and their families.
- Making the Instructional Shifts: This is teaching the Florida Standards with fidelity and providing rigor in the classroom that is appropriate to the level of each standard. It has been said that "no one rises to low expectations." While scaffolding and differentiation (personalized learning) will be necessary to reach students at their individual levels, we must keep raising the bar so that our students reach their highest potential.
- Personalized Learning: Personalized Learning is designed to meet the needs of individual learners, which includes both students and adults. Personalized learning might look like small group instruction, virtual instruction, learning in pairs, blended learning, providing students choices about ways to demonstrate learning, or even project-based learning.
As you can see, there are many pathways to opportunities and success for VCS students, yet these all bear the same results - allowing students to reach their highest potential.
Superintendent of Schools
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 $27,000 for its projects. The budget for 2015-2016 has increased to over $700,000.
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." FUTURES Board of Directors FAQS