By Tamas Mondovics

Hard work by students, teachers and staff at Bell Creek Academy/Bell Creek Academy High School (BCA) and Valrico Lake Advantage Academy (VLAA) were rewarded last month after area schools were notified of preliminary grades for the 2014-2015 school year by the Florida Department of Education. The officially released grades for Hillsborough County schools acknowled that BCA (grades 6-12) and, VLAA (grades K-5) have both earned A ratings.

Part of The Charter School Associates, Inc., Network Schools, and currently located in Riverview, Bell Creek Academy at 13221 Boyette Rd. and Valrico Academy located across the street at 13306 Boyette Rd., are both premier tuition-free public charter schools.

The two are Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Accredited and Cambridge International Schools, boasting of a curriculum enriched with S.T.E.A.M.

Students for both schools are equally pulled from a number of surrounding area communities including Riverview, Apollo Beach, FishHawk, Bloomingdale, Valrico and Brandon.

According to Charter School Associates Program Manager and Spokesperson Denise Herrera, besides its “A” rating and, the addition of the Cambridge International Program to its curriculum, BCA has also implemented three new academies beginning in ninth grade.

“Business and Finance, Law Studies, and Marine and Environmental Science, as well as a computer science strand which includes video gaming and coding and digital arts are all on the list,” Herrera said.

Proud of her students and teachers, BCA Principal Margaret Fahringer quickly pointed out the reason for the schools success when she said, “The best part of my job is interacting with the students and watching them acquire new skills and new ideas. If Bell Creek Academy can produce scholars with critical thinking and problem solving skills, we have prepared them for any future they desire.”

Valrico Academy Principal Lauren Herbert agreed, as she emphasized that VLAA, provides a high-quality, rigorous academic program that is rich with opportunities for students to reach their highest potential.  

“I am extremely proud to be part of Valrico Academy,” Herbert said. “I am fortunate to have wonderful teachers and staff who are dedicated to partnering with families and creating an atmosphere focused on student success.”

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