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SPRINGFIELD — Veritas Prep High School welcomed its inaugural ninth-grade class for their first day of school on Aug. 29. Located at 225 Carando Dr. in Springfield, the school offers the opportunity for scholars to meet essential high-school graduation requirements while earning college credits toward useful degrees. After more than a year of renovations, the school welcomed its inaugural class of 100 students.

“It has been a dream of ours for many years to continue to educate students past their middle-school years,” said Rachel Romano, founder and executive director. “We have created an innovative, wall-to-wall, early-college program that will address many barriers to higher education our students face. With the help of more than 200 Springfield community members, current and former Veritas scholars and families, and Veritas teachers, leaders, and staff, we have been able to reimagine what high school looks like.”

Veritas Prep Charter School was founded in Springfield in 2012 with the mission to prepare students in grades 5-8 to compete, achieve, and succeed in high school, college, and beyond. In 2020, Veritas Prep was approved to open a high school and began the work to open this new location. All Veritas Prep Charter School eighth-grade students were guaranteed a place in the new high school, and a lottery was held to fill the remaining spots. The high school will expand by one grade per year up through grade 12.

“Currently, only 26.4% of Springfield residents obtain a higher-education degree, compared to almost 50% statewide,” Romano noted. “We are determined to change that statistic, preparing our students for the world after graduation. With our model, students will graduate with college credits already under their belt, allowing them to enter a higher-education institution with a leg up over their peers.”

A grand-opening celebration will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. The evening will include a short ceremony, including a dedication of the gymnasium to alumni Joshua Hurst, along with tours of the school and light refreshments. Those interested in attending can RSVP at veritasprepma.org/high-school-grand-opening-rsvp.