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As the School District Agonizes Over Cuts, Imagine Prepares to Almost Double in Size

| March 28, 2011

This way to an expansion that could add 400 students to Imagine's current enrollment of about 500. (© FlaglerLive)

Imagine Schools operates 73 public charter schools in 12 states, including 17 schools in Florida. One of those is Imagine’s Town Center campus, open since 2008. Even as population and student growth stalled in Flagler County, Imagine’s enrollment has grown each year as parents have sought out its alternative to the traditional public school setting.


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These days Imagine’s K-8 school has an enrollment of 539. The school is expanding to enable almost a doubling of its student population by next school year–to 910 students. The new building is scheduled for completion by Aug. 1. That expansion dovetails with the Florida Legislature’s plan to increase charter schools and charter-school enrollment in the state.

“I am confident that we will reach our enrollment number of 910 for next year. It’s nice to feel like we have a firm toehold here in Flagler. We have a high district standard to hold ourselves to,” Brett Cunningham, a teacher at the school, said in an email. “I’m very excited to be growing because it solidifies what we do and the niche we fill in the county. I’ve traveled to many other Imagine schools, a number inside of Florida, and a couple up North, and the success comes from a can-do spirit of innovation and a want to help students everywhere.” Besides additional classrooms, the expansion will include a library, a computer lab, and two science lab rooms.

Thursday evening the school hosted an open house to inform parents and others about the expansion.

Charlotte Marten covered the event:


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21 Responses for “As the School District Agonizes Over Cuts, Imagine Prepares to Almost Double in Size”

  1. Gina B. says:

    palmcoaster,
    “Did you volunter in our traditional public schools while your children attending? I imagine that just not any student is accepted in charters..am I correct? Then, if so our public schools will be left to deal with the more trouble kids.”

    I am a parent of a child with several significant disabilities and am so grateful to be able to have a different choice for my child’s education. I am also a parent that was very involved with the public school and my children’s education, which we attended for four years. I logged in over sixty hours of volunteer work a year, was a regular attendee and PTO member, SAC member and mentor to children who barely hung on. I am saddened by your comments and lack of understanding or willingness to understand. The public school system wasn’t working for us and having another option was refreshing. I was no longer forced to accept that my child was being side stepped because they lacked to help the ‘exceptional child’. There was now a choice.

    If you want to talk about a system where only ‘certain children’ are accepted, well then your public education is just that. Children with any kind of disability in the public schools do not fall through so called cracks; they fall through canyons, not even close to holding on. I have been with Imagine now for two years and Imagine not only took him in but has been working side by side with me and other team members throughout the school to make his success attainable. I have volunteered and mentored children at both public and now charter schools and I beg to differ. They value my input and encourage it. I continue to mentor children ‘trouble kids’ at Imagine, so I know personally that your statement is just not true.

    “Family good communication and values are two thirds of the ingredients that will make our kids successful. Do not expect any school to resolve it all”.
    I also have great communication and values in our home, but if you are not a parent with a child that has a disability and is forced to watch their child try and try only to fail because the schools refuse to listen, I’m sorry but the understanding of having other options hasn’t hit home and your heart, like it has for mine. I expect my child to have the same opportunity to succeed and do not expect the schools to resolve it, but working as a team to tackle the struggles together is more like the family you are stating.

    You will find children and families in all walks of life and I am happy that Imagine is there willing to help if parents choose to go there. I am thankful for the choice! They have my support all the way! I am curious however, when was the last time you stepped into a classroom, public or private?

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  2. Kevin says:

    I see you are one of those who like to insult others because you master the rigourous technical challenges of spelling and elementary grammar, elevating you to genious correct? You would be surprised just how stupid you can be made to look regarding other bodies of knowledge that can’t be mastered by pulling a book of the shelf and reading it once over “get it” so be more careful with that ignorant line.

    Outside of that point, I completely agree with you and your examples. Have a delightful day Dearie.

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  3. PCer says:

    If schools would get back to teaching kids, this conversation would be a moot subject. As it is now, our public schools put their administrators and teachers first, not the students. They like to act like students come first, but in reality, it is their own jobs that they care about. I remember watching a local administrator break down into tears because he thought the school grade was going to get him fired. Unfortunately, he is still in the county. From what I see, Imagine seems to put students first. When this happens, you get success. Some point out that FCAT grades are not high, but those are just a portion of a student and schools success. I will be looking into Imagine for both of my children next year.

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  4. May says:

    Maybe all of you complaining about “your tax dollar” should research charter funding forst. …. we imagine people should complain about paying public school taxes when our children are attending a school funded by its own Finance LLC called Schoolhouse funding LLC providing long-term real estate financing for many of the school buildings that are home to imagine’s public charter schools across the country. We do our own fundraising for school buses and computers. Our kids aren’t in nice new buses like the public county school kids are. We are ran totally different from government funded schools…just saying!

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  5. May says:

    Kevin…read your own comment before submitting and complaining about someone elses grammar or spelling!…just saying!

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  6. Thinkforyourself says:

    May – you are or have been grossly mislead. Your schools COMPANY may be financing it’s real estate investment but that is because it will be able to pay that off with public tax dollars from the school district. They are called PECO funds and Imagine will be getting over $200,000. This was discussed at a recent Board meeting. Also, the funding follows the child. They are tax dollars.

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