CONTACT:  Sarah Potter
Communications Coordinator



Vol. 46, No. 30C
April 26, 2012


First School Fair Saturday for Imagine Charter School Students

Students will have access to a number of educational opportunities

Students of the closing Imagine charter schools will get a first look at the education opportunities available to them this Saturday at the first of two school fairs. The Charter Transition Office has invited St. Louis Public Schools, area charter schools and St. Louis County public, private, and parochial schools to the event this Saturday, April 28, at the Gateway Math & Science Elementary and Preparatory Schools, 1200 North Jefferson, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

“Our sole focus is to support the best educational opportunities for these and all Missouri children,” says Commissioner Chris L. Nicastro. “We are inviting schools throughout the St. Louis area to participate in upcoming school fairs for Imagine school students and sharing the full range of options for families with questions about educational opportunities for their kids.”

The transition office invited St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), area charter schools, St. Louis County schools and the principals of many private and parochial schools in the area. SLPS adapted policies and deadlines at magnet schools for Imagine students allowing them the opportunity to apply. The transition team hopes that schools across the St. Louis area will offer space to the students of the closing Imagine schools. Imagine school students also have the opportunity to attend summer school offerings this year made possible by area charter schools and SLPS.

The transition office reports that the Imagine school principals are currently focused on MAP testing and finishing out the year as normally as possible for the students.

“We’re working closely with the principals of these schools to develop closure checklists, and we’re reviewing closure procedures with the goal of smoothly transitioning children into their new schools,” says Gwen Westbrooks, transition office coordinator.

Parents and guardians of students currently attending the Imagine schools in St. Louis need to enroll their children in other schools as soon as possible for the 2012-2013 school year starting in August.

The transition office has established several resources for further information, including a toll-free number (866-791-4715), a website and an email address. The office has responded to more than 100 calls from parents and families asking questions about the closing of Imagine schools.

On April 17, the Missouri State Board of Education approved Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro’s recommendation to close six Imagine charter school buildings in St. Louis at the end of the 2011-2012 school year due to poor academic performance and fiscal management. The Imagine schools in St. Louis City are among the bottom 5 percent of schools in academic performance in the state, scoring well below the St. Louis Public Schools and Missouri state averages.

The State Board voted to close Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Academy of Cultural Arts (grades K-8, approximately 955 students); Imagine Academy of Careers Elementary, Middle and Prep High (grades K-12, approximately 1,620 students), and Imagine Academy of Environmental Science and Math (grades K-8, approximately 1,290 students), effective June 30, 2012.