I would like to thank Style Weekly for its coverage of our charter school application (“City Faces Charter School Test,” Street Talk, Feb. 9). I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few points and provide a perspective on our application for charter status. Our board is looking forward to a constructive review process, positive contributions and a collaborative approach from the Richmond School Board, rather than “political resistance” as mentioned in the article. We value and greatly appreciate constructive feedback and cooperation, because we believe that only together we can build a better and brighter future for our children. We are always open to suggestions and ideas that would improve our application and eventually lead to the success of the school and our pupils.
As mentioned in the article, the Richmond Science Academy will be a sixth- through 12th-grade, college-prep charter school with a science, math and technology focus. At a time when bipartisan support for charter schools has been on the rise among state and national political leaders, we think that the Richmond School Board will consider our charter school as a viable alternative for Richmond parents and pupils.
Being challenged by emerging powers in the world, we believe that the United States can only continue to lead by investing more in education and in particular more in science and technology education. This is the primary driving force behind our efforts. Furthermore, the academy aims to contribute to the local and state economy by sending most of its graduates to college. If approved, the academy will provide another quality public education option for families and instill hope in young Richmonders about getting a college education. Hundreds of parents whom we have surveyed and tens of community leaders with whom we have spoken already have indicated their enthusiastic support for a tuition-free college-prep public charter school in our community.
We hope that the board and education leaders in Richmond will embrace the concept and provide our group an opportunity to make a positive impact on public education by playing a supplemental role to the traditional public school system.
Dr. Al Dalkilic
President, Board of Directors
Richmond Science Academy