What are the unique features of Imagine Discovery Public Charter School?

Imagine Discovery is a unique school, in many ways, and each of its unique qualities will lead to higher levels of student achievement.

For example, Imagine Discovery PCS has quickly become a prize-winning member of the Imagine Schools community. In our first year of operation, we won Imagine School’s 2009 “Parent Choice, New School of the Year” award, one of Imagine’s highest honors. Imagine Discovery also was given an overall grade of “B+” — the highest grade of all 27 new Imagine Schools opened in 2008- 2009.

In addition, Imagine Discovery is a member of a national family of public charter schools that empowers educators in partnership with parents to prepare students for lives of leadership, accomplishment, and character. Imagine Schools is dedicated to helping parents and guardians fulfill the important responsibility for the education of their children. Parents recognize the special spirit of our campuses, and students are excited to be part of schools where they are encouraged to take on new challenges, to explore new concepts, and to become people of character.

At Imagine Schools we celebrate the creativity, tenacity, and courage to take something good and commit to making it great. We are not afraid to try new things, to evaluate ourselves, to remedy and improve. We want students to share the excitement of creating and building something beautiful and enduring. We commit to love with abandon, teach virtue, and help our students to flourish in imagination and hope.

How would you describe the school’s academic program and curriculum?

At Imagine Discovery, we offer a thematically integrated program that provides children with the necessary skills, content, and context they need in order to be lifelong learners. Our educational philosophy is grounded in the belief that the content of what children learn is very important and that it is inadequate to focus primarily on teaching skills and techniques to pass tests. In order to help children thrive academically, learning must go beyond skill acquisition to the mastery of specific content that provides them with the ability to apply what they learn to new situations, solve problems, and create new ideas. This depth of understanding leads to a love of learning and an ability to independently develop innovative solutions to problems and create new knowledge.

Imagine Discovery uses the Core Knowledge Sequence to provide content standards that will guide coherent content instruction from grade to grade, encouraging steady academic progress as children build their knowledge and skills from one year to the next. Specific content covers a broad spectrum that must be integrated throughout the daily schedule in creative, intentional ways. The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts. These content standards form the core of a school’s curriculum and provide a solid, coherent foundation of learning.

Who is eligible to attend Imagine Discovery?

You must be a resident of Baltimore County to be eligible to apply for enrollment at Imagine Discovery. Proof of residence is a prerequisite of admission and must include the name and address of the person registering the student listed, along with any change in residence or any change in schools. Proof of residence may be established by any of the following documents: settlement papers, lease agreement, rental receipt, deed of property, or a tax assessment bill. The documents must be originals, not copies. (Note: If there is a question regarding the validity of documents, school personnel may require additional information, such as a recent utility bill or employment verification.)

Only a parent or court-appointed guardian may register a student in a Baltimore County Public School. If a student is residing with anyone else, they must either obtain legal court-appointed guardianship or apply for a kinship care approval/tuition waiver. A child may not be registered on a notarized statement giving guardianship.

What is the enrollment process at Imagine Discovery?

Enrollment at Imagine Discovery involves a multi-step application process. First and foremost, you must


If you have questions about enrolling your child, please contact our Enrollment Counselor at info@imaginediscovery.org.

What are the age requirements for children entering kindergarten or first grade at Imagine Discovery? Are they different from those of other schools?

As a public charter school in Baltimore County, we are required to follow the school system’s age requirements for all students.

  • Here is the age policy for students entering kindergarten, as mandated by the State of Maryland: “Children admitted to the kindergarten program in the public schools shall be five (5) years old on or before September 1 of the school year in which they are applying. Participation in public kindergarten or an approved alternative program is required for all students in the State of Maryland.”
  • Here is the age policy for students entering first grade, as mandated by the State of Maryland: “Children admitted to the first grade in the public schools shall be at least six (6) years old on or before September 1 of the school year in which they apply for entrance. Children cannot be enrolled in first grade unless they meet the age of entrance and have completed a public or private kindergarten program, one of the three (3) alternative program settings, or home school instruction. This applies to all children who are Maryland residents. Students who do not meet the age of entrance will be placed in kindergarten and the parent may nominate the child for Early Entrance to First Grade. A six (6) year old moving into Maryland from another state may be enrolled in first grade if the parent or guardian can provide proof that the child attended kindergarten or one of the alternative programs. If the parent cannot provide proof, the child must be enrolled in kindergarten. The parent or guardian must provide proof that they just moved into the state of Maryland and must complete the Affidavit of Disclosure (PA-15) to establish proof of their legal residence.”

Additional questions regarding the qualifications of any students should be directed to the Early Childhood Office, 410-887-4313.

What is the cost of tuition for attending Imagine Discovery?

Because we are a public school, there is no tuition. It is free to attend Imagine Discovery

I currently have a child with special learning needs who has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). What are your policies toward children with special needs?

As a public school, our doors are open to all students, including those who have an IEP, and we are committed to educating all according to their needs. The only issue would be if the IEP designates a disability that cannot be served in a least-restrictive environment.

Will Imagine Discovery have a pre-kindergarten program?

Imagine Discovery does not currently offer a pre-kindergarten. Pre-K programs are not funded in Maryland Charter Schools.

My child is pre-kindergarten-age now. Can we apply now to reserve a spot for the next school year, or do we have to wait a year?

Imagine Discovery cannot reserve a spot for your child for an upcoming year. You must wait until your child has reached school age in order to apply.

Will transportation and before- and after-school programs be provided for families of Imagine Discovery?

At this time, transportation service will not be provided for the 2011-2012 school year. Please check back for any updates. Parents/guardians will be responsible for transporting their children to and from school.

Imagine Discovery offers before- and after-school care program in partnership with PROGRAM. For more information, please visit the Before & After Care Program page.

Does Imagine Discovery provide breakfast or lunch to all students?

Imagine Discovery provides a fee-based meal program for students in compliance with the National School Lunch Program. Our school will also provide free and reduced price meals for those students who qualify. For more information, please visit the Meal Program page.

What are the hours of operation for Imagine Discovery? Will you offer a full or half day of kindergarten?

School hours are 8:30 am – 2:40 pm. We offer a full day of kindergarten. We also offer both an optional “Early Riser Program,” which begins at 6:30 am and includes breakfast from 8:00 – 8:25 am, and an “Extended Day Program” that includes enrichment activities to supplement the lessons learned during the day and homework assistance for students who may need additional support.

If our child is accepted at Imagine Discovery this year, will we have to participate in the enrollment lottery for next year? And what about siblings — will we have to participate in the enrollment lottery next year for our other children?

Once your child is accepted at Imagine Discovery you will not be required to participate in any future enrollment lottery. In future years, sibling preference will be given to those entering the school at the kindergarten grade level. Siblings entering above this grade level will need to go through the lottery process.

I home-school my child now. Is there a placement test that will determine his or her grade level? Can I volunteer as a parent-teacher in my child’s classroom?

The Imagine Discovery staff will be trained to accommodate children who have been home-schooled and may not fit within traditional grade-level categories. You should arrange a conference with the school principal to make placement decisions. An evaluation will be made to determine proper placement. This evaluation could include review of the portfolio materials, standardized testing, and/or interviews with the student to determine grade level and ability grouping.

For further information, you may contact Donna Sochurek, Baltimore County Home School Specialist, at 410-887-2896.

In terms of volunteering, because we will rely heavily on parent involvement to make Imagine Discovery a success, we welcome any offers to help. In fact, at Imagine Discovery, we believe that you, the parents and guardians, have the primary responsibility for each child’s education. Our professionals are committed to partnering with you to fulfill that responsibility. We set high expectations for ourselves and our students, in order to provide you with a quality educational and moral development program in a safe, nurturing environment.

Parental involvement is critical to the success of students, and thus parental involvement and communication will be a priority at Imagine Discovery. A significant body of research indicates that when parents participate in their children’s education, the result is an increase in student achievement and an improvement of students’ attitudes.

If our child does not get in to Imagine Discovery this year, can we reapply next year?

Yes, you and your child may reapply as many times as you wish.

What are the requirements for being hired by Imagine Discovery as a teacher or other staff, and when is the application deadline?

At Imagine Discovery, our goal is to employ highly-qualified individuals. Our staff will be diverse and will reflect the student body it is serving.

Imagine Discovery seeks dedicated professionals for teaching, administrative, financial, and school leadership positions. We offer competitive salaries and benefits and the opportunity to advance your career. Imagine Discovery will follow the guidelines of the Highly Qualified Teacher specifications under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, including all Maryland state-adopted guidelines. In addition, every Imagine Discovery teacher must meet or exceed state and federal teaching requirements, hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, and demonstrate competence in the areas they teach. Also, all candidates must be committed to upholding Imagine Schools’ Shared Values and Six Measures of Excellence for every student in the school.

If you are interested in joining the Imagine Discovery team, please email your resume to info@imaginediscovery.org.

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