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Visit the school's website at www.fwsafe.com.
As students walked into Don Hall's Guesthouse Ballroom A on Tuesday, they were greeted with a firm handshake from one of a number of Smith Academy for Excellence teachers on site to assist parents with registration paperwork.
The registrations, which continued through Thursday, gave parents and students a taste of what the school will be like. Although Smith Academy, or S.A.F.E., Principal Thomas Smith said school hasn't secured a location, it has 78 students registered to attend, with classes beginning Aug. 13.
Smith said the school is currently in negotiations to lease space for the school, after the building it originally opted for required expensive renovations. He said he could not comment on the possible location, other than that it was near where the school had hoped to locate in the area of Paulding and Hessen Cassel roads
Smith, a former administrator with Fort Wayne Community Schools, will run the school with the help of his two sons, Corey and Cameron. The charter school will be the first and only all-boys school in the area. It's being authorized by Grace College and managed by the Leona Group, a for-profit charter management company that also manages Timothy L. Johnson Academy, another Fort Wayne charter school.
A total of ten teachers have been hired for the students in grades 6 through 8. Eventually, the school plans to offer grades K-12.
During registration, students learned that if they didn't complete their work during the six-period school day, they would be required to make it up during an extended period 2:45-3:30 p.m. while those students who completed their work participate in clubs and enrichment activities.
"Our goals is to make you as successful as you can possibly be," Smith told the young men gathered at Tuesday's registration.
The building the school is looking at may not have air conditioning, so the uniform in the first year will be more relaxed. S.A.F.E.'s average class size will be about 22 students, a number Smith hopes will become the maximum.
As other districts have cut field trips, Smith told parents and students S.A.F.E. will make field trips a priority, ensuring students learn how to behave in public and that they experience learning outside the classroom. The school will also provide transportation to and from the future school site, with an activity bus to take student athletes home after practices.
The school plans also to offer free textbooks.