May 1, 2021
As an important community stakeholder in our Rochester and Western New York community, I am pleased to present this information for your review. As part of our long-term strategic plan, the Buffalo Academy of Science is in the preparatory stages of expanding our services to serve more students by replicating our school model in Buffalo to Rochester.
Currently in Rochester, more than half of our children live below the poverty level and over the last five years, the number of schools in Rochester City School District (“RCSD”) in receivership has increased to ten. While the state appointed Distinguished Educator Jamie Aquino in July 2018 to help improve the school district, Aquino left his position a year later, citing that Rochester was “a community with low expectations for students rooted in a deep history of institutional racism.” With many families experiencing generational failure of educational outcomes, Rochester has become a city with some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the state, and there is both significant need and desire for high-performing schools in these neighborhoods.
Rochester Academy of Science (“RocSci”) is a proposed tuition-free public charter school for the students and families in Rochester. RocSci is seeking to open its doors to K-1 students in Sep 2022 and Grade 9 students in Sep 2023 and then grow to K-12. RocSci is part of the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School (BuffSci) system that is one of the highest-performing charter school systems in Western New York. Opened in 2004, BuffSci is a STEM-focused, college-prep charter school that has achieved great results for Buffalo students and has built a reputation for instilling a culture of excellence within our school community. As a result of the hard work and dedication of our students, teachers, and families, our students have demonstrated much academic success. We are proud of the great work and measurable outcomes that have been achieved within these walls, and we know that expanding our educational services will serve only to better prepare our students in Rochester for college and careers. But we cannot do this alone or in a vacuum – we need your support.
I would like to ask for your formal support of the RocSci school project. Support from our community stakeholders is a vital step in ensuring the funding and services needed to bring this project from fledgling stages to fruition. If you believe that providing a richly diverse and empowering setting, a quality STEM-focused education, and an overall rigorous, innovative curriculum to the young students of Rochester is important to the future of this great city, I encourage you to provide us with your letter of support. To better familiarize you with our school, I have attached a BuffSci fact sheet.
I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Thank you in advance for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you about this special request.
Joseph B. Polat, Director
Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
Draft Letter of Support
Your Address or Letter Head
Dear Joseph B. Polat:
The purpose of this letter is to express my support for the Rochester Academy of Science (RocSci)Charter School Project as a replication of Buffalo Academy of Science (BuffSci) a proven high quality charter school. I believe that the invaluable work that is done by the faculty and staff of BuffSci, particularly in STEM education and college-and-career readiness, is absolutely critical to the healthy development of capable, contributing citizens who are prepared to successfully meet the challenges of the globally-oriented 21st-century society.
Research shows that gaps in academic achievement, particularly in literacy and STEM, for students in underserved populations increase dramatically over time due in part to lack of access to resources. Early intervention supports provide children and their families with the necessary skills to facilitate their child’s academic growth and development. Providing access to and utilizing state-of-the-art technology, innovative teaching methods, and rigorous curricula to educate young children makes an incredible difference to the overall success of the child.
I believe strongly that young children have special needs which must be recognized and supported within our local communities. We greatly support and encourage the SUNY Charter School Institute and NYS Board of Regents to ensure the provisions that will allow the Buffalo Academy of Science to expand their services to Rochester. We believe wholeheartedly that if more students in the city of Rochester can attend a school such as RocSci that will keep them on par with their peers who have more access to adequate STEM education services, they will be prepared for success in the future.
<insert your name and title here>