Fulton Academy Of Science and Technology
Campus Development Plan 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
What is FAST?
The Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) is a charter school attended by 560 elementary school students in Roswell, Georgia. FAST opened in August 2016. FAST is focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) preparatory skills so that our students may enter high school programs offered elsewhere with exceptional capabilities. FAST serves children in grades K-8 who reside in the Fulton County School District and apply to the school via a lottery. There are no academic requirements or entrance exams to attend FAST.
Why do parents choose FAST for their children?
Parents know that a STEM based education is a requirement for future success. The school concept for FAST goes beyond STEM. FAST students have an additional four hours of school each week for a class called Innovation where students invent and build using design thinking principles from Stanford. FAST students take computer science and learn coding starting in kindergarten. FAST students learn by doing team-based projects which mimic the real world of work. FAST uses innovative curriculum such as Singapore Math and FOSS Science. The innovative concepts that FAST offers are above and beyond what is offered in traditional public schools. FAST feels these are the key differentiators that will define the future success of our students.
Is FAST a private school?
No. FAST is a public school that is free-of-charge for all of its students. FAST operates under a state- and county-sponsored charter that defines certain operational and curriculum parameters. It is therefore called a “charter school”. The charter was written by a pioneering group of parents who wanted their students to get more science, technology, engineering and math skills in 2015. FAST operates under the leadership of Principal Christopher Mahoney who reports to the Governing Board. The school is required to follow all guidelines outlined by Fulton County Schools and the Georgia Department of Education.
Who pays for FAST to operate?
Our Charter agreement with Fulton County Schools and the Georgia Department of Education provides funding as determined by a funding formula that may be found here. Note that charter schools do not receive any funding toward facility costs while regular public schools do have their facilities paid for by the state and county. To be able to afford our programs, charter schools must operate very efficiently.
Is FAST a good school?
FAST scored an overall 89.9 on the 2018 Milestones exam administered to all public schools. The elementary school (grades K-5) scored 88.7 and the middle grades (6-8) scored 93.7. Scores for other local schools may be found here.
What are FAST’s plans for campus development in 2019?
In 2019, FAST plans to begin construction of a new classroom building on part of the existing FAST property at the corner of Crabapple and Strickland. Additional parking and carpool lines will be built as well. This project will allow us to accommodate approximately 300 additional students in 2020.
Why is FAST developing the campus?
Our innovative curriculum is achieving exemplary results. As a result, FAST turns away hundreds of students each year because there is simply not enough classroom space. The campus expansion plan will allow the school to serve a larger population. FAST is approved to have about 900 students.
How is FAST going to finance the development?
FAST will be seeking bond financing in the spring. FAST is eligible for a tax-free bond, which is a private bond financed with private investors at a market rate. This bond is not backed by tax payers. The school does not have access to SPLOST money. If a charter school fails there is no obligation for the state or the district to make payments on the bond. The bond proceeds will be used to purchase the property from the current owner and to build the new classroom building, do the site work needed for carpool stacking and to build a gym and cafeteria as funds allow.
What’s the campus development schedule?
Over the summer of 2019, FAST will start construction. By the fall of 2019, we plan to have the campus separated into zones such that the school can operate safely while construction continues. In early 2020, we plan to begin using new classroom space and remove the modular temporary classrooms that are currently on campus. Our aim is for the project to be complete by the opening of school in the fall of 2020.
Who will approve the building plans?
The building plans must be approved by the Georgia Department of Education and the City of Roswell must provide permits to begin construction. The FAST site is zoned ‘Civic’. FAST is a charter school and is defined as a Public K-12 school in the Roswell Unified Development Code.
GADOE has approved the FAST site for about 900 students. There are DOE guidelines for campus acreage. Those guidelines are not requirements. Many schools obtain waivers for those guidelines based on available property.
How is FAST going to manage traffic?
FAST works closely with the city of Roswell and traffic engineering firms to ensure that our impact on surrounding traffic is as contained as possible. This effort will continue with the new construction, which additional car-stacking on the campus, off of Crabapple road. It also includes additional fencing to deter parents from releasing students without coming on campus.
How can I find out more?
The FAST governing board holds public meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 6pm at the FAST facility. These meetings include the opportunity for anyone to address the governing board. In addition, the FAST administration can be contacted at the school campus.