This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Great Hearts Academies - Veritas Prep1
Posted August 19, 2014
- a parent
Veritas is a shadow of what it once was. The school once had the creme of the crop as far as administration and teachers. The schools sports programs are more or less what other schools refer to as intramural. The school hangs it hat on the volleyball program that is more or less a travel team with the travel coach. The school last year was in the news several times for less than good circumstances. The school has fallen in it standardized testing which is evident by its current scores. you need to ask yourself why over twenty teachers and administrators left this past year. Why the turn over rate is so high? why the school does not have cheer leaders, why the school has no student body. The school appears to be run with disregard to the students desires. The few dances the school has, the administration tells the children the theme. i was told the school was an all honors program yet the majority of instate colleges do not accept the weighted GPA s from the school. As well the high schools in the valley do not accept the weighted grades. In the end always follow the money and ask yourself why the money is taken from the children? Why no senior trip next year?
Veritas Prep Academy - Phoenix is a fantastic school which offers both an excellent classical education along with sports, clubs and other activities that our kids want to be part of. Frankly, our students who've attended for 3 years now are easily well ahead academically of their friends and peers attending other local public schools and major name Arcadia area private schools.
Amazing school experience. We are continually amazed with the way this program is run. The focus on teaching students to be well rounded students and respectful citizens is something you dont' see at too many schools. We love Veritas!
I toured the school recently and popped into some classes. One class was reading line by line through Dante and debating whether a certain punishment represented poetic justice. Another class was engaged in a Greek text and debating the relative merits of different forms of government. We wandered into a French class to watch a lightning conversation that this former student of the language could barely follow. The school is a lot of work and the discipline is strict. Some of my fellow parents don't seem to appreciate that some of the rules that seem arbitrary are being used by the staff to shape the culture of the school. The academics and focus on character development is outstanding. It's not everyone's cup of tea but if your child is up for the challenge they will be richly rewarded with an incredible education.
We cannot say enough good things about the Great Hearts program, in particular our experience with Veritas. We have an autistic son and were nervous he would get swallowed up due to the rigorous academics and have found the opposite. We have had the most open door communication with our IEP from teachers, school therapist (Mrs Gordon), speech, tutors...every single person has gone way above and beyond anything we had experienced in our past school. Our son still struggles, but he has a team of teachers that have supported him more than we could have ever imagined. There has been zero tollerance for bullying and our son has a place he feels safe and is developing the skills to be successful on his own. We could not ask for anything more in a school than one that focuses more on EDUCATING our kids and less on the politics of EDUCATION. We love Veritas!
A school that focuses on creating well rounded independent thinkers. Students are taught to think and discuss (socratic method) not be taught at. If you are interested in having a "honor" student and grades are important, this may not be the school for you. The standards with earning an A are much higher than most schools, so your child may end up as a C student. I have learned that C students at Veritas are worlds beyond an A student in a mainstream school. The focus is on learning and developing scholars, not grades. We have been very impressed.
Veritas is a great school. My daughter has attended through her middle school years, after transferring fromScottsdale Prep, another Great Hearts Prep school due to location. She has taken excellent study habits, confidence, and respect from this school experience. It is very hard, however, to keep her from wanting the high school that several friends will be attending since it has more of the activities she is looking for. As for another comment, about teaching catholicism at the school.. our family does not approve of religious teaching, but this is only exposure to music and history pertaining to different time periods. There was a time in history when only the clergy were taught to read, write poetry and compose music. It is ignorant to assume this is catholic education when all religions eventually come into play. If you want a well rounded student, you do not shut them away from learning about culture. Reading about the Quran and from it has been included too, does that mean they are an islamic education?? Get a grip.
My son attended Veritas school briefly. He would have been very happy there, but I discovered they were teaching Catholic liturgy in the music class. I spoke to the principal, explaining that for religious reasons he could not participate. I said it would be fine if he missed the class, even if it meant getting a grade of zero in music. The principal said that he could either participate in the music class or leave the school. I checked with a regulatory agency, and although the school observes the letter of the law, they said the principal was "acting like a jerk". I had no choice but to transfer him out of the school mid semester due to the obduracy of the princpal. If you are looking for a Catholic education, this school is a good choice. Personally, I feel a publicly funded institution should be more inclusive.
Veritas Prep is a wonderful school. I have watched my child learn so much, just in a few weeks of school. They have very high expectations, not only of school work but of the student as a whole. They have exemplary teachers and staff and I feel very fortunate to have my child attend this school.