Richmond School Board votes to review all-boys charter school

Posted at 12:56 AM, Mar 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-21 00:56:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A good education is a top priority for Richmond parent Felicia Delaney.

“I want nothing but the best for my child,” she said.

The RPS mother says her sixth grader, Tyrief has many goals for his future.

“I’m going for my doctor’s degree,” he said.

However, not every student like Tyrief in the Richmond Public School System may have that same vision.

“At this age,  this is when they’re going to decide which way they’re going to go,” said Delaney. “Are they going to follow the crowd, or follow a career?”

“Data shows that around the nation boys are not fairing as well in K-12 as girls, generally in the public schools,” said Tunya Bingham, one of the co-founders of Richmond Urban Collective.

Bingham said her organization wants to start an all-boys charter school for grades six through twelve. She said it would focus on urban students within RPS, as this kind of model has proven to help with graduation rates and student engagement.

“I wouldn’t say this is the answer, but I think it’s a part of the answer as an option for parents,” said Bingham.

Former state superintendent, Dr. Bill Bosher said the gender segregation could be an issue, but said an all-male school seems to offer more positives than negatives.

“This offers not only an opportunity for success, but it offers an opportunity for role models,” said Bosher.

Richmond School Board Vice Chair, Kristen Larson said the board has voted to accept the charter school’s application and to begin reviewing it.

“They’ll dig into everything, from the curriculum, the application process, to the logistics,” said Larson.

Delaney said she is anxious to see what comes of this possible new school, and just hopes for some positive changes in her child’s school system.

“I think it could provide a lot of structure,” she said. “I think it could head off a lot of unnecessary issues.”