By Tamas Mondovics

In its second year serving the community at its Riverview campus, Valrico Advantage Academy, is showing no sign of slowing down, now ready to expand with a new school across its current location on Boyette Rd.

Considered by many as one of the fastest growing charter schools in the greater Brandon area, school officials were pleased to announce last month the plans to open the academy’s brand-new sister school, appropriately named Bell Creek Academy, to be located just east of its namesake at 13221 Boyette Rd.

Slated to begin serving its students this fall, the tuition-free school is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year for grades six through ten, with additional grades added to grade twelve.

Marcia Weed with Charter School Associates said that Florida law requires a charter school to conduct a lottery if there are more applicants than seats available in any given grade level, however, at present that is not a concern.

“I am not aware of the necessity of a lottery just yet as we still have some room for more students,” Weed said.

The new 70,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility, which will sport several science labs, computer labs, art and music rooms, a dining and multi-purpose room, spacious classrooms and other accommodations as needed by students, will be built in two phases with a first year capacity of 800 students.

“Once phase two is completed the academy will have room for 1,150 students,” Weed said.

In an online presentation, school officials emphasized the academy’s mission of focusing on providing students with a well-rounded middle school education, through a challenging program, focused on mathematics and science using innovative, reform-based instructional methods in a stimulating and nurturing environment that fosters maximum student achievement.

“From college preparatory education to integrated program of academics, service and extra-curricular activities Bell Creek Academy is promising the same excellent program offered at Valrico Academy,” Weed said.

Regular, advanced, honors and Advanced Placement coursework in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts are all on top of the list as students will participate in reading, fine and practical arts, physical education and foreign languages.

All Charter Schools are funded by the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). Students do not pay tuition and while there are no textbook fees, some activity fees may be assessed according to student schedule, field trips and interest in sports.

Bell Creek Academy will follow the Hillsborough County traditional student calendar for opening and closing dates, as well as holiday breaks and teacher work days, but will not participate in early release days.

Students will wear a uniform to school, following the administration’s belief that when students are dressed appropriately for school, the atmosphere becomes one of respect and academic excellence, allowing students to enjoy recognition for their successes in the classroom.

The school is hosting a parent information night on Thursday, April 11 at the Valrico Advantage Academy cafeteria located at 13306 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, from 6–7 p.m.

For more information about the school and registration, please visit


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