Selected readings on US charter schools
UTICA, N.Y. — Fall is in the air, alongside the smell of fresh paper and pencils. But this year will be quite different for parents and kids at the Utica Academy of Science. The dean of students welcomed some families in Bosnian, as well as English.
“We saw a lot of community members showed an interest in the Bosnian language. So we put that in as well, because at the end of the day, charter school is all about community,” Superintendent Tolga Hayali explained.
So as Hayali addressed his students for the first time, he spoke of a new community.
“It’s the first school that provides an option, public school, free, public, accessible, equal and quality education. It’s the American promise, and here we are,” he said.
The academy is all about being different. They say their education philosophy is about thinking “glocally.”
“Which means thinking globally, acting locally,” Hayali said.
Hayali told the sixth through ninth graders he wants them prepared to be global leaders within their city. That’s why, he says, they focus on STEM education, college prep and are trying to expand their languages.
“Especially non-European languages would be phenomenal. But yes, Bosnian and Spanish, this year, we are offering to our students as an elective. Down the road, we would like to offer more,” said Hayali.
Parents like Brenda Martin, whose daughter is starting sixth grade, appear into the concept.
“With all the cutbacks going on with the district and the state standards and the changes being made, we thought this would be an excellent opportunity and a good advantage for her,” said Martin.
At least that’s what they hope, as they turn over this new page.
The Utica City School District voiced wide opposition to the academy during the chartering process. They say the money they’ll lose to the school could hurt their budget.
The Utica Academy of Science has a plan to expand during the next couple of years.
Source: YNN – by Andrew Sorensen