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Veritas Academy, Indian Rocks Christian School share Largo campus

Shana Williams, the third- and fourth-grade teacher at Veritas Academy, works in her new classroom. Veritas Academy, with 96 students, is operating on the same campus as Indian Rocks Christian School in Largo.

PIPER CASTILLO | Times

Shana Williams, the third- and fourth-grade teacher at Veritas Academy, works in her new classroom. Veritas Academy, with 96 students, is operating on the same campus as Indian Rocks Christian School in Largo.

It's official. Veritas Academy, which has had three locations since it started in 2005, has a permanent home.

The university-model school, offering part-time classroom instruction to homeschooled students, has partnered with Indian Rocks Christian School.

The two private schools are now operating side-by-side on the property of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks on Ulmerton Road.

Although Veritas students have been receiving instruction at a temporary site on the property since the fall, they are now able to attend classes inside the new, permanent building.

It's a win-win situation, said Don Mayes, superintendent of Indian Rocks Christian School.

"The administration at Indian Rocks Christian School felt Veritas students would be strengthened by having access to our extracurricular programs,'' Mayes said. "And our community would be strengthened by having Veritas come here because it gives parents a second choice. They now can choose either our five-day traditional school setting or Veritas' part-time, university-model program.''

Kira Wilson, administrator of Veritas Academy, agrees. She likens the schools' coexistence to having different dessert options.

"It's like having a choice between a chocolate cake and a cheesecake with strawberries on top," she said. "We appeal to different people.''

Veritas Academy includes 96 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Wilson, who received her education degree from University of Florida, co-founded the school with Rick Hermanns after educating her own children at home.

Veritas instructs the elementary students two days a week, Monday and Wednesday, and the older students three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"We help guide the parents to be very involved on those off days,'' she said.

Indian Rocks Christian School, in its 25th year, has 903 students. Extracurriculars include football, baseball, soccer, track, cheerleading, band and chorale.

Both schools operate as nondenominational Christian schools, according to Mayes.

Veritas Academy

Where: 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo.

The program: It's a university-model school, based on a program that began in Arlington, Texas, in 1993. University models aim to give parents the chance to be more involved in their child's education without the pressure of full-time homeschooling, according to Kira Wilson, school administrator.

Tuition: Ranges from $2,550 to $3,700.

Upcoming: An informational meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24.

For more information: Visit www.veritas-IRCS.org or call (727) 593-8791.

Veritas Academy, Indian Rocks Christian School share Largo campus 02/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:31am]

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