We are looking to finish the strong this week as we head into Spring Break. Our students are laser-focused on the typical end-of-quarter assessments this week, but perhaps it is prudent to look up for a moment and consider the broader panorama that is our ultimate aim as an Academy. One of Great Hearts' Philosophical Pillars states it quite well: "We do not dispute the usefulness of a liberal arts education, and we gladly prepare our students for college studies, but our main purpose is the formation of the heart and mind."
As it turns out, keeping our eyes focused human flourishing actually achieves quantifiable results. Recently, the Arizona Board of Regents released a report on the college graduation rates of Arizona's (public) high school class of 2009. Veritas Preparatory Academy's class of '09 had the second-highest college degree completion rate in the state, with 77.8% finishing a 4-year program within 6 years. Topping the list for the first time was Tempe Prep, at 81.3%; BASIS Scottsdale lagged in 4th place with a 70% college graduation rate. Area district schools came in even further behind. Horizon High School’s rate is 49%, Shadow Mountain’s is 37.5%; North Canyon’s is 29.8%, Paradise Valley’s is 26.1%, and Thunderbird’s is 23.8%.
The key point is this: our "AP free" liberal arts prep school model is getting kids through college faster--and therefore less expensively--than is the AP model employed by other schools. We fully expect that when our first high school and college graduates are included in future years, North Phoenix Prep will claim her spot along with Veritas near the top of these state rankings. The reason for this is that our model prepares young people with moral and academic lives that have been well-structured, and this allows our students to thrive in the freedom of higher education without becoming distracted or burned out. Our model prepares students to love learning and pursue it with passion and discipline in their college years and beyond.
We are proud to partner with you in offering this to our students, and we thank you for your continued support in the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.