A+ Schools Program

Established by the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993, the A+ Schools Program is a school improvement initiative that seeks to raise academic standards in Missouri’s high schools. Francis Howell High School (FHHS) went through the A+ designation process from 1997-2000 and became an A+ designated school in 2000. This A+ designation may enable every student at FHHS who meets the A+ criteria to receive two years of paid tuition to any public community college or public vocational/technical school in the State of Missouri.  

During the 2008-2009 school year, Francis Howell Central High School (FHC) and Francis Howell North High School (FHN) began the three-year A+ Schools Program designation process.

Student Requirements

A+ Students must successfully meet the following requirements:

  • Enter into a written A+ agreement with the high school prior to graduation (FHSD policy is before September 1st  of the student’s senior year)
  • Attend a designated A+ School for three consecutive years prior to high school graduation
  • Graduate from high school with an overall GPA of a 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Maintain a 95% attendance record for the four years of high school
  • Perform 50 hours of tutoring of other students on FHSD property, under the supervision of a FHSD employee (FHSD policy is that all tutoring must be completed by January 1st of the student’s senior year).
  • Maintain a record of good citizenship (According to the State A+ Schools Program, FHSD Code of Conduct, and the FHSD Student Handbooks).  
  • Maintain a documented, good faith effort to secure all available federal post-secondary student financial assistance funds that do not require repayment.
  • Parents must complete and submit the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) form by April 1st of the student’s senior year. This can be completed through FAFSA online
  • Male students must register with the Selective Service upon their 18th birthday. Male students may register through The Selective Service online.

The following sections explain the goals, procedures, and policies in the Francis Howell School District. If you have questions, please call your schools A+ coordinator.

A+ Goals

All students will:

  • Graduate from high school
  • Complete a selection of high school studies that is challenging and that has identified learning expectations; and
  • Proceed from high school graduation to a four-year college or community college or post secondary vocational/technical school; or high wage job with work place skill development opportunities.

All efforts of the A+ initiative in the Francis Howell School District have been designed to achieve these goals.

Grade Point Average Requirements

A student must graduate with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. The cumulative grade point average includes all four years of high school. Students have until the day of graduation to meet the 2.5 GPA requirement.  The GPA is final and cannot be appealed.  

Tutoring/Mentoring Requirements

A student must perform 50 hours of unpaid tutoring of other students.

Each student must attend an A+ tutoring training session offered by the school before tutoring can begin. These training sessions are offered 3 times each year at the start of each tutoring semester. At the training session, each student will receive information regarding available placements and will have the opportunity to request a particular school.

  • Sign and submit the A+ tutoring agreement form, transportation agreement and tutoring placement forms to the A+ office.
  • A log sheet will be maintained by the student and turned into the A+ office at the end of each month.
  • Tutoring may begin after the completion of the student’s sophomore year.
  • All tutoring assignments must be arranged and approved by the A+ Coordinator.

 A+ students are expected to show responsibility toward the tutoring experience. The student should be present at the agreed on day and time. If an absence must occur, the A+ student is expected to notify the teacher at the school where the tutoring takes place. Notification should occur as soon as the A+ student knows he/she will be absent.

Most tutoring occurs at the elementary schools, middle schools, and the Early Childhood Programs after the high school dismisses for the day. Students must provide their own transportation to and from the tutoring site. In cases of inclement weather, A+ tutoring will be canceled.

Attendance Requirements

A student must have at least a 95% attendance record for the four years of high school. The cumulative attendance record maintained by the Francis Howell School District will be the official A+ record.

Enrollment Requirements

Students must attend an A+ designated school for three consecutive years immediately prior to high school graduation.  Students may transfer to and from another A+ designated school and retain their eligibility. If a student withdraws or transfers from an A+ school to a non-designated school after the beginning of his/her sophomore year, the student will not be eligible for the financial incentives of the A+ Schools Program.

Citizenship Requirements

Students must maintain a record of good citizenship.  In the Francis Howell School District, discipline records will be the basis of the citizenship review. Students who have been involved in drugs, alcohol, weapons, or violent acts are not eligible for the A+ Schools Program. The student’s discipline record will be reviewed annually by the A+ Coordinator. Please see the student handbook for specific citizenship guidelines.

A+ Appeals

A parent may request an A+ appeal for attendance or citizenship infractions within 10 days of receiving a drop letter from the A+ Schools Program.  All attendance appeals must accompany documentation in the form of a doctor’s note on physician letterhead or a prescription pad, proof of hospitalization, etc. for review by the A+ appeals committee. Attendance appeals should only be made for long term extenuating illnesses that required hospitalization or homebound instruction.

Monitoring A+ Status

At the end of each semester, each participating A+ student and parents/guardians may request a status update reporting his/her progress in each of the required areas.  The GPA and attendance information can be found on the student’s report card. 

Federal Financial Assistance

The student is responsible for completing the Application for Federal Student Aid, which is available in the guidance office. The information is sent to the post-secondary institution that the student plans to attend. The FAFSA should be submitted after January 1st and before April 1st of the student's senior year. Failure to complete the FAFSA may result in denial of A+ benefits.

Post Secondary A+ Student Benefits

Students who graduate from an A+ school and who have met the specified requirements, may be eligible to receive tuition to a public community college or vocational/technical school in Missouri. Students must be considered full-time by that institution and must complete the two-year course of studies within four years of graduation from the A+ high school. A 2.5 or higher GPA must be maintained at the two-year institution.

All funds for the A+ Schools Program are subject to yearly state budgetary appropriations. For more information about the A+ School Program in the Francis Howell School District please contact your school's A+ Coordinator. More specific information can also be found in the Student Handbook and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website



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