A new tuition-free educational choice for families is opening in Wellington this fall. Somerset Academy of the Arts is now accepting applications for kindergarten through eighth grade.
Located at 1000 Wellington Trace, Somerset Academy will occupy the 13-acre former Eagle Arts Academy campus. It is currently being renovated, and the school will host weekly open houses each Tuesday starting June 4.
Somerset Academy will be the sixth Somerset Academy school in Palm Beach County. Since 1997, Somerset Academy Inc. has offered high-quality K-12 educational programs in Florida, Nevada and Texas that continue to achieve academic success.
Although all Somerset Academy schools share a vision, each campus has a unique and enriching educational program that is tailored to its community. This formula, along with strong support from parents, has made Somerset Academy a nationally recognized, award-winning family of high-quality public charter schools. As a network, the schools are fully accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In addition to the core curriculum, Somerset Academy will provide an elective track for music, dance, visual and performing arts. The arts will also be integrated throughout the curriculum, and a highly qualified faculty will use research-based techniques and methods to engage students at all learning levels.
Principal Elizabeth Sauri will lead Somerset Academy in Wellington. Formerly the assistant principal at Mater Academy of International Studies in Miami, Sauri has multiple degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in special education with varying exceptionalities, a master’s degree in international business administration and a second master’s degree in educational leadership. She is excited to share her educational and leadership experiences with the Wellington community.
“Somerset Academy of the Arts will distinguish itself by providing every student with a rigorous learning environment enhanced by creativity and personal artistic development within the visual and performing arts,” Sauri said. “Unique educators facilitate our students’ learning experiences with creative lessons that not only academically challenge the students but empower their creativity and self-expression.”
Students can apply to Somerset Academy regardless of their zip code or community. Enrollment is based on a lottery process. Once the school has reached capacity, additional applicants will be placed on a waitlist and notified when vacancies occur. Sauri hopes that parents will take advantage of the summer tours and register for the lottery early.
“Students enrolling before the summer registration have the best chance to be admitted in the first lottery, since all of the seats are open,” she said. “Students enrolling now will be invited to tour the school with their parents to see where they will create years of memories, which will shape their future educational endeavors.”
Because this is a new school, families have a chance to be part of something special — the first class. “As an extra bonus, any student registering before July 15 will have two votes in selecting the school mascot,” Sauri said.
In addition to the core curriculum and arts electives, students will have opportunities to participate in learning experiences outside the classroom through field trips and partnerships within Palm Beach county’s diverse arts community. School-sponsored art showcases and afterschool activities will round out the robust offerings.
“We will develop extracurricular activities throughout the school year to meet student visual and performing art needs. Students will also participate in school shows, exhibiting art, music, dance and theater,” Sauri said. “We’re also looking at afterschool enrichment clubs based specifically on student demand and needs.”
As the renovations on the campus continue, Sauri is excited to meet families and show off the progress. Somerset Academy plans to be not only an exciting and welcoming learning environment, but a safe and secure place for students and teachers alike.
“Student safety is of the utmost importance to me and my fellow educators,” she said. “We are building in several safety features, from a state-of-the-art camera system, to fencing and on-campus security guards.”
Charter schools are public schools that are publicly funded based on enrollment like other public schools and are held accountable to the same state and federal academic standards. Teachers are certified, and students take the same mandated tests that other Florida students take, and schools receive grades from the Florida Department of Education. A national survey revealed that 78 percent of parents with school-age children support having a public charter school open in their neighborhood.
Somerset Academy of the Arts is on Facebook and Instagram at @somersetartspb, and parents can apply online by visiting www.somersetartspb.com. Open houses are held every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. starting June 4, although the campus will be closed the week of July 4. Tours can also be arranged by calling (561) 421-5510.