Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a University-Model Schools (UMS)?
(A registered trademark of the National Association of University-Model Schools®; used with permission)
A University Model School takes the best aspects of traditional, full-time public and private schools, as well as home schools, and molds them into one model. Students meet on campus two or three days a week under the direction of professional teachers, and complete lessons at home on alternate days with parents serving as co-teachers. UMS preserves and strengthens the family relationship through increased time together.
- What is Classical Education?
Classical education leads to an academically rigorous comprehensive education by:
- Being language intensive, requiring students to use and understand words, not video images. Language requires the mind to work harder by forcing the brain to translate a symbol (words on the page) into a concept. Images, such as those on a screen allow the mind to be passive.
- Being history intensive, providing students with a comprehensive view of human endeavor from the beginning to present. All other subject areas are linked to history studies and are interrelated. For example, the student who is studying ancient history will read Greek and Roman mythology and study the science, art, and music of that time period.
- Training the mind to analyze and draw conclusions through the interconnectedness of the subject areas and the systematic study of subjects.
“The Trivium applies in nearly every educational sphere because it accounts for the entire range of what education is supposed to do: The learner must acquire information, grasp it intellectually, and use it purposefully. To master any subject is to learn its language. The Trivium integrates the theoretical and the practical, tying together facts, arguments, and real-world applications.” (Source:Classical Education by Gene Veith)
- What is the difference between homeschool co-ops and University-Model Schools (UMS)?
Homeschool co-ops are a way for families to pool their resources and expertise for specific and usually short-term study projects. UMS is 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 (much like a traditional school) partnering with the parents as co-teachers.
- What if parents aren’t teachers? How can they teach their children if they have never homeschooled?
Parents need not have teaching experience. Valor will take the lead in the area of academics. New concepts are introduced and taught at school by professional teachers while the application of the concept often takes place at home. Teachers will provide detailed course overviews and online assignment sheets each week while maintaining open lines of communication with parents. Parents act as co-teachers under the guidance of the teacher. Valor offers training in various areas including academics and character development.
- Will there be an entrance exam for admission to Valor Preparatory Academy?
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.
- What grades will you offer?
Valor will offer Pre-K – 7th grade for the 2017-2018 school year. We plan to add a grade every year until we provide Kindergarten – 12th grade. We will add grades as quickly as there is need and interest level.
- I have children in several different grade levels. How much time will each need to spend doing schoolwork on their days at home?
Times will vary greatly by student, but generally you can expect something along the lines of:
- Kindergarten 2-3 hours
- 1st-2nd 3-4 hours
- 3rd-4th 4-5 hours
- 5th-6th 5-6 hours
- 7th 5-6 hours
- Since parents are team teaching with the teachers at school, how does communication take place between the two?
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 parents understand the required level of assistance for their student. Vitally important are the weekly lesson plans and assignment sheets prepared by the teacher and made available online. Instructions to parents are included, as are upcoming long-term study projects. Parents are also invited to communicate any of their questions to teachers as needed.
- Does this type of schooling fulfill state requirements?
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.
- Is this type of education elitist or exclusive by nature? How do you reach out across cultures?
Classical education is not about exclusivity, but is about excellence. We believe that classical education, delivered via the university-model, will, in fact, have the opposite effect of elitism by making an excellent quality of schooling available for substantially less than the cost of traditional prep schools. Affordability increases accessibility by a broader spectrum of people.
- Is Valor Preparatory Academy governed by a church?
No, a board of men and women from the community independently governs the school. We are a non-denominational, Christ-centered school. We are also in the process of applying to be a non-profit organization.
- What is the cost of tuition?
Because of the nature of the university-model the cost of tuition for a student is less than a traditional five-day-a-week school. The tuition for the 2017-2018 school year is $4,200 per student. Every year we will strive to make it as affordable as possible while continuing to achieve a high level of excellence. We will not offer any set discounts, but after the first year we hope to offer a tuition assistance program.
- Will Valor Preparatory Academy teach Latin? Why?
Yes, Valor students will study 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. It also prepares students for the study of other foreign languages including French, Spanish, and Italian. In Latin all new material will be taught by the teacher, and parents will review and work on memory drills at home.
- How can we as co-teachers teach Latin when we have never studied it?
In Latin all new material will be taught by the professional educator and parents will review and work on memory drills at home. One of the main benefits of the University model is how it presents a wonderful opportunity to learn something new as a family.
- Will you make accommodations for students with special needs?
We will meet with parents on a case-by-case basis and make a mutual decision on whether the student would be well-served at Valor. We are very committed to serving students of all abilities, but because of our staff size most of the accommodations would likely take place during home days with a parent.
- What about uniforms?
We do require simple, affordable uniforms. More information about where to buy the uniforms is forthcoming.
- What do UMS graduates who are in college say about how well-prepared they were in high school?
Graduates from the original University-Model School in Arlington, Texas, report overwhelmingly 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 necessary study skills were dynamics to which they were already accustomed. Second, they were prepared academically: the UMS course content was consistently more than adequate to prepare students for college. It also has not been uncommon for many UMS graduates to begin college with several college credits already on their transcript, having placed out of certain courses by virtue of their high school preparation.