Veritas Prep is a charter school. What exactly does that mean?
Veritas Prep is a tuition-free, nonselective public school that is overseen by our Board of Directors and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). As a public school, we are accountable to DESE standards and must apply for renewal every five years. Any student in Springfield can apply to Veritas Prep and students are chosen via a lottery held each year.
I’ve heard that charter schools are for-profit and often don’t serve students with disabilities or multilingual learners (students learning English). Is that true?
Veritas Prep, like all public schools, is a tuition-free nonselective nonprofit and serves students with disabilities and students who are learning English. The percentage of students receiving special education services at Veritas Prep is 20%, which is comparable to that of the Springfield Public Schools at 25%.
How does an applicant and family learn about Veritas and the lottery?
Veritas has several strategies for engaging students in Springfield who are entering 5th grade. This includes:
- Flyers and applications at local businesses
- An online portal with an application
- Mailers with applications sent to all rising 5th grade families in Springfield
- Marketing and attendance at community events to spread the word
Is the enrollment/lottery application easy to complete? Are Veritas staff available to help?
The application is very easy to complete. Applications are available online, are only one page, and are written in both English and Spanish. We ask only for basic information such as:
- Names of student and parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Previous grade
- 1 proof of address
Our front desk staff is also available to provide support in filling out the application and can provide a paper application if requested.
If an applicant gets a spot via lottery, how are they notified?
All applicants, regardless of whether they are offered a spot, receive a letter with their status (enrollment offer or waitlist) at the mailing address listed on their application. Letters are sent out one week after the lottery.
How does a student get on the waiting list?
There are 120 spots available for the 5th grade. The first 120 applications pulled through the lottery are offered a spot. All other 5th grade applicants are placed on the waitlist.
All grade 6–10 applicants are automatically placed on the waitlist. If spots become available in grades 6–10, applicants are pulled off the waitlist in the chronological order of their waitlist number.
If an applicant gets a spot and accepts, they must complete an enrollment packet. Is the package in both English and Spanish? What type of questions and information requests are in the packet?
The enrollment packet is in both English and Spanish. Each page is translated line by line. The enrollment packet includes a letter outlining our ELL program (as required by the state) and asks for information including:
- Proof of address
- Medical record
- Previous school records release
- Media release
- Emergency contacts
- Notice of an IEP or 504
- Home Language Survey for ELL students
- Formal enrollment intent with a signature from the parent
Does Veritas offer help completing the enrollment packet?
Our front desk operations staff reviews every enrollment packet we receive and can provide support filling out the application in person or over the phone.
Does Veritas have to accept all lottery applicants, including those who may not speak English, those with learning disabilities, etc.?
Veritas Prep serves students who are learning English as well as students with disabilities. All applications, regardless of a student’s English language or disability status, are accepted. We do not know or request any information about ELL or learning disabilities status for the application. We do not ask for this information until after the student has been offered a spot through the lottery process.
Do students in 8th grade have to apply again for the high school?
No. Veritas Prep is one school with two campuses: middle school and high school. All 8th graders continue to 9th grade at the high school campus.
Does Veritas Prep offer enrichment or specials classes? What about extracurriculars and sports?
Yes. At the middle school, students have art, theater, wellness/physical education, and music. At the high school, students can take technology, physical education, and Spanish. We also offer sports at both campuses, including, but not limited to, basketball, volleyball, cross country, and baseball. Extracurriculars include drumline, Veritas Voices, Art Club, Theater Club, and Dance Team. We look to expand our programming each year.
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