Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

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Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
ASMSA Color Logo.png
Great Seal of ASMSA
200 Whittington Avenue
Ouachita Mountains
Hot Springs, Arkansas, Garland, 71901
Coordinates 34°31′05″N 93°03′29″W / 34.51807°N 93.05798°W / 34.51807; -93.05798Coordinates: 34°31′05″N 93°03′29″W / 34.51807°N 93.05798°W / 34.51807; -93.05798
School type Public Residential High School
Established 1991
Opened 1993
Status Open
Oversight University of Arkansas
CEEB Code 041148
Dean Bill Currier, Bob Gregory
Director Corey Alderdice
Grades 11th-12th
Gender Co-ed
Age range 16-18
Enrolment 230
Number of students 230
Education system Semester
Language Multilingual
Hours in school day 9
Campus William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Park
School color(s)      Green
Athletics conference SLAMT
Mascot CyborgDolphin
Accreditation Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)
National ranking 13th[1]
Average SAT scores (2013-2014) 1779
Average ACT scores (2013-2014) 29.4
Publication Tangents
School fees ~$305
Tuition Free
Graduates (2013-2014) 100%
Affiliation NCSSSMST

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (ASMSA) is a two-year, public residential high school located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is a part of the University of Arkansas administrative system and a member of the NCSSSMST.[2] The school was originally known as The Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences (abbreviated ASMS). The school is accredited by AdvancED.[3]

School Description[edit]

Academically, the school is modeled after the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Studies focus on mathematics, computer science, science, and humanities, the largest department at the school. All courses are taught at the Honors level or above. ASMSA also offers a number of AP-level courses and courses that go beyond the AP level, especially in mathematics. ASMSA has an arts program, which was recently added by the state legislature. However, the state legislature neglected to fund the project, so the arts program at the moment is little more than a formality.

The school was created in 1991[4] with backing from then-Governor Bill Clinton. The charter class enrolled as juniors in 1993 and graduated in 1995.

Prospective students apply during the spring of their sophomore year and submit application forms, grade transcripts, SAT or ACT results, and three letters of recommendation. Generally, students can only enter the school as a rising junior, although there have been cases where a student from another state magnet school transferred to ASMSA. Additionally, some students will repeat their junior year of high school at ASMSA because they didn't apply in time to be admitted with their regular class.

Students who attend ASMSA live in a dormitory away from their homes. The dormitory is not co-ed, and there is no co-mingling outside of designated co-ed areas. The students are supervised by full-time Residential Mentors. The school itself is located in the former St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital in the historic district of Hot Springs, and it is surrounded on three sides by the Hot Springs National Park.

Teachers have at least a master's degree in their field, and 45% have a Ph.D.[5] Notable professors at the school have included Dr. Don Baker, who was a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Department of State; Mrs. Melanie Nichols, who has served on several AP committees and has been active in the math education community, was a mathematics teacher at the school before becoming Dean of Academic Affairs in 2006; Dr. Brian Monson, who has previously taught at the University of Tulsa and the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, is chair of the science department and teaches AP Physics C, Optics, and Folk Music and Acoustics, and plays the harmonica and the mandolin; and Charlie Cole Chaffin, who was a chemistry teacher at the school, was a member of the Arkansas State Senate.

Several former and current professors at the school also instruct during the summer at the Arkansas Governor's School. The current director of the school is Corey Alderdice[6]


ASMSA 001.jpg

ASMSA students have a number of projects and activities that completely fill their time. One of the school's trademarks is FIRM, a yearlong research project which culminates in the schools participation in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair or Senior Research Symposium, depending on the project. Students select a research topic at the start of their spring semester as a junior, and they will continue to research this project for the next fourteen months through a class titled Fundamentals in Research Methods. This project ends during Science Fair week, which is generally in mid February. ASMSA competes as its own region in the state competition because of the quantity of projects it produces every year - often a hundred or more. Projects sometimes culminate with substantial monetary awards, governmental recognition, and publication.

Student Life[edit]

Student involvement at ASMSA is present and there are many clubs and associations. The cultural awareness ADAPT Club shares and discusses different heritages, often with food for the members to enjoy. There is also SGA (Student Government Association) for those select number of students willing to assume roles of leadership in their school environment. Other clubs include the Dolphin Dance Team, Model UN, Beta, National Honor Society, FBLA, and many more. Students may form clubs based on common interest and present it to a teacher who then sponsors their cause.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Institutional Members, NCSSSMST, Retrieved 2012-07-11
  3. ^ Institution Summary, AdvancED, Retrieved 2012-07-11
  4. ^
  5. ^,About ASMSA
  6. ^

External links[edit]