Charter Transition Message from Commissioner Nicastro
When we see schools that are failing children, and we know there are better options for them, we must act. As a parent and lifelong educator, I understand that moving children to another school due to the closing of the Imagine charter schools is a very difficult thing to ask. But it would be a disservice to the children and the community – and run counter to the mission of the State Board of Education – to allow the underperforming and poorly managed Imagine Schools in St. Louis to continue to operate.
This decision was not made lightly or hastily. The State Board of Education had to take this action as part of its mandate to ensure public schools – including charter schools – are held accountable for student performance and fiscal management.
I want to assure the parents and guardians of these children that there is a seat for every child displaced by these closings.
The St. Louis Public Schools are seeing improvement and are making adjustments to accommodate these children. The other charter schools operating in St. Louis City have capacity to welcome more students and offer improved education opportunities compared with the closing Imagine Schools.
We have created a Charter Transition Office to work with families whose children attend Imagine Schools and the employees who work at the schools. Student fairs and job fairs are scheduled in April and May, and meetings and presentations will be scheduled through the summer. This transition web page will be updated regularly, and a toll-free number and email address are open.
The school years are precious and few. The time we have to reach children is short. We pledge to make this transition as smooth as possible as we work to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of our young people.