"AFSA has all the qualities I wanted in a school: rigorous academics, top-notch staff, and a nurturing community. Also important are the built-in opportunities for service and leadership skill development. My daughters are extremely well prepared for their futures and I couldn’t be happier with our choice of school!" - Kathy Weyer, parent Virginia, class of 2019 and Elizabeth, class of 2017.
The AFSA Difference
Agricultural careers make up nearly 20% of all jobs in the United States; AFSA was created to provide information to urban and suburban students about the wide range of careers available to them in this highly technical field. AFSA is not preparing students to be farmers, but rather to be wise consumers, savvy decision makers and successful, career-oriented life-long learners. AFSA offers students AgriScience courses in five career pathways: Animal Science, Environmental Science, Food Science, Mechanical Science and Plant Science.
Charter schools are subject to the same testing requirements as traditional district schools. AFSA has always made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AFSA earned commendations by the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation in 2009, earning the Spotlight Award for increased student achievements.
AFSA courses all meet or exceed state standards. Each course has a fully developed scope and sequence. A detailed course syllabus is provided to students and parents for each class taught at AFSA. Course syllabi include information on state standards, grading standards, homework requirements, textbook or reading list, required materials and an outline of activities for the class.
VARIETY OF COURSES
For the size of the school, AFSA is able to offer quite an array of choices for students including more than 18 different AgriScience course offerings, a dozen language arts courses, math courses ranging from Pre-Algebra to CIS Calculus, four years of science for all students, three levels of Spanish and courses in theater, creative arts, political science and psychology.
SMALLER CLASS SIZES
The average class size at AFSA is under 25 students and in some classes may be as low as 10. One or two classes per year may have 26 or 27 students, but the goal is less than 25. This smaller class size allows teachers to get to know the students on an individual basis. They can spend more time with each student, providing enrichment activities for those that are ready to move ahead and provide an extra review for those who need more time. Each teacher is responsible for four classes each day, which means they will be in contact with about 100 students per day, far less than those schools who have 35-45 students per class and 6-7 classes per day.
Critical thinking skills are important for today’s learners. Often the real-world connections provided by projects or experiential learning opportunities create the opportunity for students to develop those important skills. Teamwork and cooperative learning are also important elements to student success. All classes at AFSA incorporate projects for students to demonstrate their knowledge.
AFSA classes and activities provide many opportunities for students to develop their leadership potential. From student officer positions in the FFA and National Honor Society to committee chairpersons for community service or fundraisers, students have many opportunities to get involved in their school community. Competitive activities are provided in all curricular areas.
Students at AFSA all participate in a variety of Community Service Activities. These opportunities help the students learn how to give back to their communities and build an appreciation for the world around them. Past activities have included: Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, Hurricane Relief in New Orleans, Park Trail Restoration at Glacier National Park, Volunteering for the DNR at Lake Superior, cutting Buckthorn in local parks, and assisting local agribusinesses with spring and fall clean ups.
AFSA offers many opportunities for students to get involved in their school community. From dances to sports to academic competitions, AFSA students can participate at their individual interest level. Some activities offered include:
- FIRST Robotics
- Art Club
- Drama Club
- Athletics (soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball, basketball, Nordic ski)
- FFA (awards, leadership, competitions, workshops, fun)
- Gaming Clubs (D&D, Magic, Video)
- National Honor Society
- Prom (all school)
- Science Fair (local, state and national participation)
- Model Assembly
- Model United Nations
COLLEGE PREP EDUCATION
Students at AFSA are prepared for post-secondary education. This includes curriculum designed to prepare students for college entry, such as a two-year world language requirement for all students, four years of math and science required and College in the Schools and Advanced Placement opportunities. In addition, annual visits to 2-year, 4-year, public and private colleges and universities are arranged for AFSA students. An annual career fair is held for AFSA students that include participation by several area colleges including the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the University of Minnesota which are the two top campuses that AFSA students select for their college education.
NUTRITIOUS HOT LUNCH AND BREAKFAST PROGRAM
AFSA High School has a fully licensed kitchen facility in the school. Cost for a nutritious lunch is $3.00, which includes a hot entrée selection, salad bar, vegetables, and milk. Breakfast is $1.50. AFSA participates in the federal lunch program and provides lunches free or at a reduced price for those who qualify.
AFSA has staff members available every day after school for tutoring. Students can sign up for assistance in any subject area. Staff members can provide organizational assistance, subject matter tutoring or assist in finding other needed resources. Teachers are also available on a regular basis to assist students before and after school.
AFSA is a very safe school. Students and staff all get to know each other quite well. Students meet daily with their advisor to discuss any school issues. The small environment helps to hold all students accountable for their actions.