New Charter School in Springfield Accepting Applications

A new charter school in Springfield that will provide an early focus on college prep and admissions is now accepting applications for its lottery, and hosting information sessions for parents.

Veritas Prep Charter School will be a tuition-free, public school for students in grades 5 through 8. It received approval from the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education earlier this year, and its doors will open in the fall of 2012. Rachel Romano, the school's director and principal, says she's eager to reach out to parents of current fourth-graders because the school will start by filling a single class of 5th graders.

"All residents of Massachusetts, students who reside in the state of Massachusetts, are eligible to apply for the school. Because the school will be located in Springfield, Springfield students will get priority."

Veritas Prep students will have a longer school day, just over eight hours, and a 190-day school year, which is 10 days longer than the current Springfield public school calendar. Romano says emphasis in the classroom will be on math and literacy and students will be engaged in discussions about college early on.

"We want Veritas Prep students to not be asking the question, "Am I going to college?" but to be asking the question,"Where am I going to college?" and so really putting kids on a path to college long before high school and making sure that they're going into high school prepared for college prep curriculum."
Romano says the school is about to sign a lease for a building near Springfield's South End. The application process for parents is free and involves filling out a form with basic contact information. Parents and students are applying to enter a lottery, and the deadline is January 31st. Parents are invited to attend an information session on Monday evening at 6 in the Springfield Public Library on State Street.