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Letters of Support

Without the support and dedication of parents, community members, students, RUSD and other stakeholders, RLA would have never become a reality.  The letters of support provided here are examples of the kind of support and dedication we have received from parents and other stakeholders.
May 2, 2006

Dear Friends:
Please accept this letter of support on behalf of Ms. Rosie Ramos, Mr. Martin Gonzalez and Mr. William Redford, who are Developer Members of the California Charter Schools Association, the professional and membership organization for the nearly 600 charter schools in the State of California, serving almost 200,000 public school students.

As you are aware, a petition to establish and operate a charter school in your district was submitted by the petitioners above, to better serve dual immersion, Spanish-speaking students in your area. Please be advised that we are working closely with this developer group to ensure that their proposed program is developed to the highest quality and that all elements of the charter petition are aligned with best practices, as defined by the State Board Model Petition, the appropriate Education Code governing charters, and the Charter Schools Association’s Quality Statements.  As Developer Members, the petitioners are receiving advocacy support and policy advice, as well as program review from our offices, to ensure not only a quality program, but also full compliance with and awareness of the provisions of the law governing charter school petition processes and procedures as they negotiate their petition review with your district. 

We would be most pleased to answer any additional questions you may have about the petitioning process or the District’s responsibilities as a charter authorizer under the Education Code – we offer support to charter authorizing entities as well. Please feel free to call on us with any questions or concerns. Additionally, the CDE’s Charter Schools Division has provided support to this development group, and we are working closely with the CDE to ensure that the proposed charter school in Riverbank will meet the highest standards of excellence for the families in your area.

Very Best Regards,

Myrna Castrejón
Vice President – School Development and Operations Support
May 2, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

The Charter Development Alliance (CDA), a non-profit organization, is pleased to announce its support for the development of the Riverbank Language Academy. Founded in 2000 with the goal of creating excellent public schools utilizing the charter school mechanism, CDA is dedicated to supporting high quality charter schools. We believe that charter schools are an excellent mechanism for improving public education by providing flexibility, focusing on student achievement, facilitating creativity, improving parental involvement and sharing best practices with local public schools. 

Now in its sixth year, CDA has experience in developing charter school programs for pre-K through twelfth grade. Its own dual immersion charter school, El Sol Science and Arts Academy, demonstrated the power of the dual immersion strategy with 2005 API growth scores of 103 for the school as a whole and 135 points for the economically disadvantaged subgroup. We are also very proud of the parent and student support we receive which was demonstrated this past semester when 95 out of the Academy’s 295 students had perfect attendance.

The Charter Development Alliance is presently acting as the fiscal agent for the Riverbank Language Academy’s fundraising efforts and will continue to assist in the development and fundraising efforts in accordance with the schools charter petition and under advisement from the school’s board of directors.  

We look forward to working with the teachers and parents of the Riverbank Language Academy in creating a charter school that will benefit the Riverbank community and the Riverbank Unified School District.


Susan Mas
Executive Director
The following letter of support was written by the former RUSD Superintendent in support of our formal relationship with UC Berkeley and CSU Stanislaus:
Dear Dr. Burns:

I am pleased to provide this letter of support for the Riverbank Language Academy’s (RLA) participation in the Federal Improving Teacher Quality grant project of the Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence (CREDE).  It is my understanding that this grant project is a 3-year collaboration among University of California, Berkeley, California State University Stanislaus and local education agencies such as RLA.
As you know, Riverbank Language Academy is an active member of the CSU Stanislaus Dual Language Consortium of Schools.  In fact, during the recent Dual Language Immersion Conference at CSUS, a number of RLA teachers lead workshops that were delivered at the conference.  The RLA Community is excited about the opportunity to work in collaboration with both Stanislaus and Berkeley in an effort to improve student achievement through the improvement of teacher quality.  At RLA, our focus on student achievement is achieved through integrated thematic instruction; the use of a 90:10 Dual Language Immersion Model; bridging home and school communities; and the development of students and teachers as lifelong learners.

I have reviewed the aims and outlined activities presented in the CREDE Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RLA, and I approve of the professional development and evaluation activities described.  The district is aware of the informed consent process, including the right of any teacher to withdraw from the project at any time.  I am also aware that personnel may want to videotape classroom instruction or professional development activities for evaluation purposes or for the creation of professional development products such as CDs or DVDs on best practices.  I will support this as long as parent permission is acquired in advance (and in accordance with RUSD policy) if students are to be seen or heard in the products.  

I look forward to improving student achievement from this collaboration.


Joseph A. Galindo