Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school, which operates independently of existing public schools in its area. Charter schools encourage the use of unique and innovative teaching methods to improve learning experiences for all students. Since charter schools are public schools, they are tuition free, with funding coming directly from federal, state, and local taxes. Charter schools receive funds for operating expenses from the state, but do not receive capital/building funds.

For more information, visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools/.

How do I enroll my child in ARS?

ARS is a public charter school and therefore required to use a lottery system to admit students. Our Enrollment Application is available in January and our lottery is held in March. For further details, please visit our Enrollment page.

What is meant by "looping"? What are the benefits?

ARS utilizes a looping system in grades K-1. This means that in these first two grades, the students remain with their classmates and their teacher during these years. By staying with the same teacher for a looping cycle, students are able to develop a deeper relationship with their teacher and students in their class, and this in turn, positively impacts their learning. This multiple year experience enables the teacher to get to know students well, as learners, so they can successfully and appropriately challenge them in all academic areas while elimating wasteful time that is taken to "learn" each student from year to year.

Can I make a donation to ARS?

ARS welcomes public and private assistance in our efforts to fund our school. For further details on how you can contribute, please visit our Support page.

Do you provide bus transportation?

ARS does not provide bus transportation. Parents are responsible for the transportation to and from school for their child.

ARS owns an activity bus which is used to transport students to and from field trips and service learning opportunities. Students are taught and are expected to follow appropriate and safe passenger behavior.

Do you provide care for students before and after school?

ARS does provide before and after school care to our students on a first come/first serve basis. For more information, see the Parent Resources page.

Do you have a library?

ARS is a "downtown community school," and classes have the unique opportunity to make frequent trips to the Iredell County Public Library. We do have a small media center with many books at all age/reading levels and a computer lab accessible to students.

Do you have a cafeteria?

The ARS Elementary building does not have a cafeteria, while the Middle building does have a cafeteria space. Students can bring in their own lunches or order lunches from our monthly lunch menu. For more information, visit the Parent Resources page.

What if I'm late for dropping off or picking up?

If you arrive after arrival has closed in the morning, please park and walk your child into the school building through the front door. You will need to sign your child in on the computer at the front desk.

If you arrive after pickup has closed in the afternoon, Middle School students need to be picked up in the front. For Elementary School students, please park and come to the back door entrance of the Elementary building. Your child will be waiting for you in the after-school care area.

Can I walk my child in?

We encourage you to drop your child off in car line in order to nurture independence. However, if you need to walk you child in before the school day begins, elementary students may be walked in with parents through the front doors only and accompanied all the way to their classroom. Parents may accompany middle school students to the front desk.

What if I need to pick up my child early?

Please walk into the school through the front doors and sign your child out on the computer at the front desk. The receptionist will phone your child's classroom and your student will come to the front to meet you.

What if my child is absent due to illness?

As a courtesy, please email/call your child's teacher. Upon return, please send an excuse note in with your child. For more detailed information, please see our Student/Parent Handbook.

In order to maintain a healthy environment for all our students, we ask that you follow these guidelines to assist you in determining whether you child should attend school:

Please keep your child home...

  • Until they have been fever free (less than 100° F) for 24 hours.
  • If they have vomited/had diarrhea within the last 24 hours.
  • If they have red conjunctiva of the eye with discharge.
  • If they have an unexplained/undiagnosed rash.
  • Until they have had a prescribed antibiotic in their system for 24 hours.

Can staff administer medication to my child?

Each school building has a nurse that can handle your child's medical situation. For more details, please see our Student/Parent Handbook. Please remember that school nurses can only administer medication as prescribed by your child's doctor, including over-the-counter medications.

What is your inclement weather policy?

During times of inclement weather, we communicate our operating hours via Facebook, website, and email messages as well as through local news outlets. To view inclement weather our policy, please see our Student/Parent Handbook.

Do you offer Gifted Education?

We are currently developing and implementing an Academically or Intellectually Gifted program to provide opportunities for advanced enrichment inside and outside the classroom for identified students. If you are interested in learning or or volunteering to provide enrichment opportunities, please contact Tracy Turner at turnert@arsnc.org or 704-878-6009.

What is the discipline policy?

ARS uses PBIS - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. For more information, refer to PBIS.org.

What is the parent role at ARS?

Parents play a vital role at ARS. Learning should continue outside of our school buildings and we expect parents to encourage learning at home. Support from our parents is essential for the teachers and the school as a whole. We have many opportunities for parents, grandparents, and other members of our extended ARS family to support our school. See the Support page for more information on these opportunities.

How do you communicate with parents?

We utilize an email and phone message system called Schoolmessenger. At the beginning of each school year, we ask that you fill out a form providing your contact information and indicate which form of communication you prefer. We will make every effort to ensure we communicate administrative information to you via your preferred method. Teachers may also use email, PowerSchool, or Canvas to communicate with parents of students in their classes.

Do you offer services for EC? How do you identify students for EC services?

We offer EC programs from separate adaptive learning classrooms to regular services through an inclusion model. We offer Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Vision Impaired services to meet our students’ needs. For information about our Child Find Process, see the attached brochure. For questions about Exceptional Children's Services and Section 504 Plans at ARS, please contact Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm at rosenbalmb@arsnc.org.

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