UMS and homeschool co-ops should not be equated. Homeschool co-ops are a good way for homeschooling families to pool their resources and expertise for specific and usually short-term study projects. One parent, for instance, may be especially proficient in math or science and teach a group of students that subject for a period of time. Generally speaking, homeschool co-ops are age-integrated, specialized, parent-run, and do not simulate a college structure. In some cases, co-ops also take over the primary responsibility of teaching certain courses instead of integrating the teacher and parent effectively for each course as is done in the University-Model®. UMS is also different by virtue of having specific grade levels, consistent accountability from semester to semester, a full spectrum of courses complete with prerequisites and diploma plans, and a professional administration and faculty responsible for curriculum and instruction, partnering with parents to deliver some instruction in the lower schools.
Parents need not have teaching experience. Veritas Academy takes the lead in the area of academics. New concepts are introduced and taught at school by paid professional faculty while the application of the concept often takes place at home, much like that of college studies. Veritas Academy teachers provide detailed course overviews and online assignment sheets each week while maintaining open lines of communication. Parents act as co-instructors under the guidance and direction of the classroom teacher. In addition, the academy offers training to parents in various areas including academics and character development. Finally, bear in mind that as a child progresses to higher grade levels, the academic role of the parent gradually migrates from that of co-instructor to proctor/mentor, so that by the time a student graduates he is prepared (trained and experienced) to assume the individual responsibility required for success at the collegiate level.
A rule of thumb at university-model schools is that for every hour spent in the classroom, an additional hour to hour-and-a-half on each core subject (Math, Language Arts, Science, and History) is required in the “satellite classroom” at home. This rule, of course, varies according to the need and increases a bit as students progress to higher grades. If a student is academically strong in a particular area, perhaps less time will be needed. If a student is weak in a subject or the subject is particularly challenging, then more time will be needed. Parents need to be alert to each of their children’s individual needs and lead them accordingly in the structuring of their time.
Probably not. One of the most important ingredients in the success of the university model is an available parent who can assist and properly work with the student. For a family in which both parents work outside the home on a full-time, or almost full-time, basis, a more traditional 35-40 hours/week school is probably a better choice.
Communication between teachers and parents plays a large role in a UMS, and there are several ways that clear communication can take place. First, each course is described, along with its prerequisite and parent role, in the school catalog. The parent role is defined for each course so that parents understand the required level of assistance for their children. Vitally important are the weekly lesson plans and assignment sheets that are prepared by the classroom teacher and made available to parents and students online. Instructions to parents are included as part of these assignment sheets, as are long-term study projects that are forthcoming. Parents are also invited to communicate any of their questions back to the teacher as needed.
Yes, our academic standards meet or exceed the requirements for grade levels in the public schools in Texas as published by the Texas Education Agency.
Yes, especially at Veritas Academy where almost all of our graduates attend one of their top choice colleges and universities. The majority of graduates have been awarded scholarships for academic achievement, student leadership, and athletic or artistic ability, with our first 50 graduates (Classes of 2012-2014) earning $6,899,308 in scholarship awards. Our course offerings meet and exceed college standards, and our students are attractive to colleges because of their strong work ethic, successful study habits, leadership skills, and character as demonstrated through various student activities—academic, athletic, artistic, and governmental.
Without exception, they report that they were extremely well-prepared for their freshman college classes. First, they were prepared by the university-model system itself. The schedule, work ethic, and independent study skills were dynamics to which they were already accustomed. Second, they were prepared academically: the Veritas course content was consistently more than adequate to prepare students for college. It also has not been uncommon for Veritas graduates to begin college with several college credits already on their transcripts, having placed out of certain courses by virtue of their high school preparation.
Veritas Academy is located in southwest Austin at 13401 Escarpment Blvd, 78739.
Yes, as part of the Admission process, an entrance exam will be required to assess the likelihood of success in the school and to determine the appropriate placement of incoming students.
Yes, Veritas does admit transfer students. However, due to the model of our school, we are unable to admit transfer students after the start of the school year. It is important that all applicants go through our complete Admissions Process and attend our Paideia Conference and Camp in August to help prepare for the unique partnership with Veritas.
Yes, Veritas Academy students are strongly encouraged to take Latin. The grammatical structure of English is based on Latin, as is about 50 percent of English vocabulary. Consequently, the study of Latin tends to expand students’ vocabularies, as well as enhance their grammar skills. Latin also prepares children for the study of other foreign languages: French, Spanish and Italian are all related to Latin. In addition, contrary to popular belief, the study of Latin guards against arrogance. In his studies, a child begins to recognize that his world, his language, his vocabulary and his way of expressing himself are only one way of living and thinking in a big, complicated world. Finally, the very process of learning Latin is a rigorous exercise that requires mental gymnastics that strengthen the mind.
Yes, Veritas Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in Texas and governed by an independent school board.