Riverdalian Alec Diacou has revived his plans to open a charter elementary school in Community Education Council District 10, which includes Riverdale and Kingsbridge.
Last winter, Mr. Diacou submitted a letter of intent to the Board of Regents. He and the charter’s nine other founding members then decided to postpone the application a year to tweak the school’s model and build more partnerships.
They’re beginning the application process again and intend to open Rosalyn Yalow Academy in the fall of 2014, according to Mr. Diacou, who runs Yes the Bronx, a non-profit that aims to erase negative stereotypes about the borough.
The school is named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who lived in Kingsbridge for more than 60 years and conducted her research at the James J. Peters VA Medical Hospital.
Mr. Diacou, a Riverdale Senior Services board member, said he wants to create a “rigorous” school that will prepare students for college, noting that the results of state tests for District 10 are “very, very bleak.”
If approved, he said the academy would begin each day at 8 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. Mr. Diacou said the ten-hour day was designed to accommodate working parents. During its second year, the school would require students to attend class on Saturdays.
Mr. Diacou, who is self-employed and works in real estate, has partnered with a variety of organizations to expand the school’s curriculum. He intends for the school to offer arts through a collaboration with the Bronx Arts Ensemble; chess with help from Kasparov Chess Foundation; a science curriculum by partnering with the American Museum of Natural History; and fencing.
Rosalyn Yalow Academy incorporates many activities that Mr. Diacou said his three sons participated in while attending District 2 pubic schools in Manhattan.
“The American Museum of Natural History is a second home to my kids,” Mr. Diacou said. “They’re all in sciences and it’s become part of their DNA. That’s what we want to do for kids in District 10.”