Petition to the ABRSD School Committee
The Russian School of Mathematics is an after-school enrichment program that teaches high-level mathematical topics to students from Acton and the surrounding communities. We have been established in this community for the past seven years, and have served a countless number of students in grades K-12. As of right now, approximately 1 in 12 students from the Acton-Boxborough school district attends classes at RSM Acton.
Although RSM Acton is a local business, we consider ourselves to be an educational facility, and we make the enhancement of grade-school math education our highest priority. Our mission is consistent with the ABRSD stated goal, in that we “prepare all students to attain their full potential as life-long learners, critical thinkers and productive citizens.” We provide students with invaluable opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. For example, we invite hundreds of students each year to compete in national and international math competitions at our facility, many of whom receive awards for their achievements (our Math Olympiad teams have placed in the top 5% in the nation for the past two years). We have also had the opportunity to employ a number of our students as math tutors at our school, providing them with beneficial work experience to add to their college applications.
As an after-school program that seeks to enhance math education, we strive to make our classes accessible to as many students as possible. We offer a variety of class times for each grade level in order to meet the needs of families with more strict schedules. We also provide partial scholarships to a number of students who may not otherwise be able to attend our program due to financial difficulties. Lastly, we have been able to offer RSM Acton as a bus stop from the elementary and middle schools in Acton to accommodate students who do not have other transportation options to our afternoon program. Our Main St location is conveniently located on currently existing residential bus paths, and does not require modifying the bus routes. Local realtors have noted that having after-school programs like RSM accessible by bus routes is an important consideration for families looking to move into the area, an important factor for the town of Acton because of its shrinking schoolchildren population.
Recently, the ABRSD transportation committee has proposed to change its busing policies to exclude businesses like ours from serving as a stop on Acton bus routes. We oppose the proposed changes because this would create transportation issues for many of our families and may preclude their children from attending after-school classes at our facility. We would like to request that the current busing policies remain unchanged so that we can continue serving the community with a high-quality math enrichment program that is accessible to all students.