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


United States
Coordinates34°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 typePublic Residential High School
FounderWilliam Jefferson Clinton[1]
OversightUniversity of Arkansas
CEEB code041148
DeanDr. Rheo Morris, Bob Gregory
DirectorCorey Alderdice
Age range15-18
Education systemSemester
Hours in school day9.5[2]
School color(s)     Hunter Green
     Navy Blue
Athletics conferenceSLAMT
MascotCyborg Dolphin
National ranking13th[3]
School fees$850 max per year[4]
Graduates (2017-2018)100%
Original Residential Building, currently under renovations. Parts of the building are still used for faculty offices.

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.[5] The school was originally known as The Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences (abbreviated ASMS). The school is accredited by AdvancED.[6]

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. All courses are taught at the Honors level or above. ASMSA offers approximately 50 courses for university credit through a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith as well as other advanced high school courses for elective credit. ASMSA graduates finish their two-year experience having earned an average of 50 college credit hours. ASMSA has an arts program, which was added in 2004 by the state legislature. Though not yet at the depth of the school's STEM-based programs, investment has been made in recent years to enhance experiences in studio and digital arts. Since 2015, the school has added three full-time faculty members in studio art and music to acheive this goal.

The school was created in 1991[7] 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. 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 spend their time in a dormitory away from their homes. The dormitory is not co-ed, and there is no co-mingling outside of the two designated and approved co-ed mingling areas.[8] The students are supervised by full-time Residential Mentors.[9] Most of the campus of the school itself is located in the former St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital in the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Park in the historic district of Hot Springs, and it is surrounded on three sides by the Hot Springs National Park.

All faculty have at least a master's degree in their field, and 48% have a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field.[10] 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 teachers at the school also instruct during the summer at the Arkansas Governor's School. The current Director of the school is Corey Alderdice.[11]

A new building called the Creativity and Innovation Complex is currently being constructed and is set to open in the year 2019. The first floor will be named the Dan Fredinburg Technology Center in memory of ASMSA Class of 1999 alumnus Dan Fredinburg.[12]


ASMSA students have a number of projects and activities that completely fill their time. One of the school's trademarks is FIRM, a longitudinal research project which culminates in the school's participation in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, Senior Research Symposium or Arts Capstone, depending on the project. Students select a research topic at the start of their spring semester as a junior and 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 late 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, as well as publication in local, statewide, regional, and nationwide news outlets.[13]

Student life[edit]

New Student Life Center built in 2012. This is currently the residence for ASMSA students

Student involvement at ASMSA is present and there are a plethora of clubs, associations, and groups. The cultural awareness ADAPT Club shares and discusses different heritages, often with cultural foods, games, movies, stories, and music for the members as well as the general student body to enjoy, accept, and appreciate.[14] There is also the SGA (Student Government Association) for those students exhibiting leadership in the school environment and policy. Other clubs, associations, and groups include: the Dolphin Dance Team, Model UN, Beta, Delta, National Honor Society, FBLA, Youth Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Medicine, Music, and Liberal Arts (NAASTMML), SLAMT Sports Alliance, Community Leaders (CLs), Student Ambassadors, and many more.


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  5. ^ Institutional Members Archived July 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, NCSSSMST, Retrieved 2012-07-11
  6. ^ Institution Summary, AdvancED, Retrieved 2012-07-11
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^,About[permanent dead link] ASMSA
  11. ^
  12. ^ "ASMSA holds groundbreaking ceremony for new academic building". Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]