Imagine Charter School at Firestone is an Amazing school! Everyone at this school cares about the students from the Teachers to the Administrators. The principals can call every student by name. There are no problem children at this school, they have ways to work with every student regardless of what problems they had at previous schools. There is a huge amount of parent involvement from volunteering to committees. I know my children's friends and I know exactly what is going on in the classroom. My children are challenged according to their appropriate levels. I urge any parent with a child repeating a grade to choose this school. My eldest is repeating 1st grade for various reasons and the overwhelming support shown to him has been amazing. The transition has been seamless. There have been zero instances of bullying from the kids who moved on, in fact, now he just has friends in two grades. There is no stigma here for kids needing to repeat. My children also receive personal one on one instruction, as well as small groups and classroom instruction. This is a school that prepares children for real life, developing morals and character as well as a superior education.
With Ryan starting Kindergarten, we wanted him to learn in an environment that reinforces our shared values. Imagine incorporates what we as parents try to instill in our children - integrity, justice and FUN! Imagine stands out to me specifically for their "Core Virtues" - every month the school as a whole focuses in on things like Respect, Responsibility, Diligence & Gratitude. Students are recognized for excellence in modeling these behaviors, Ryan was recognized for Respect! We wanted to know he was in a place known for the guidance of teachers and staff alike who not only love their jobs, but love their students. With countless positive recommendations from trusted friends and family, liking the school was inevitable, falling in love with the staff the way we have was an added bonus. I can say without hesitation Imagine has already had a huge impact on our family, knowing our child is in a place where he is more than a student, but is truly loved! Ms. Baker is a parent's dream come true!
If you are looking for a school that actually helps and cares about your child, this is not the school for you. Yes, they have "higher test scores" than some of the other area schools. This is because they will not help the children that need extra help and force them to leave. My children were great students with high test scores, but I have seen so many that are frustrated and leave because their child needs a little extra help and the school will NOT provide. You are pushed off for months. Also, the bullying policy is a joke. It took 4 times of talking to a leadership member and still nothing happened (although they tell you it is being taken care of, they just cant tell you what is happening for confidentiality reasons) If you like military style teaching where kids are not allowed to talk during lunch, how many rivets are on your childs pants matter, or what color your childs socks are sign up now. I understand there is a dress code but I don't understand how the color of socks can be a distraction. The expectations are a little extreme and there is no consistency with ANYTHING (from dress code, to rules, to teachers--the turnover is unbelievable) Communication lacks.
There is zero leadership at the school, the turnover is atrocious, and the Dean of Students has told parents there are no school wide policies that will be enforced because of the lack of leadership. Her words regarding bullying were 'each teacher has their own policies for their own classroom because of the leadership, they will remain autonomous, so there will be no school wide anti-bullying policy.' Many families have left over the years because they do nothing for student to student relations or bullying. If your student is average, they will probably do fine but if they are behind or advanced, they will be lost in the incompetent mix of average leaders. Many of the teachers are wonderful, but the school has yet to find its place and probably won't until leadership changed - again.
We stumbled upon Imagine Firestone purely by chance. We toured the school and it had a welcoming environment from the moment you walk through the doors. Lots of smiles from various people and the front office staff is actually friendly (unlike most schools we have been in). My son had a heartbreaking start at another school within the district which prompted us to check out this school. After touring and visiting with staff, we transitioned him into this school. He is now thriving! He loves his classmates, his teacher is kind and the school still feels welcoming. We drive 30+ minutes everyday for my son to attend this school. There are struggles for the school such as not having any athletics for the middle school and the traffic around the school is terrible! I feel sorry for the new neighborhood that has to share the area with the school! It is manageable if you are willing to be patient dropping off and picking up your kid or if you park a few blocks away.
Imagine is a good school following core knowledge and fostering a culture of respect and dedication in their students. The teachers are dedicated and enthusiastic in their roles in guiding their students to succeed. Imagine needs a new principal for Imagine to excel. A principal who shows a dedication and interest in Imagine and its teachers/students/parents.
Middle School is poorly run, preschool is glorified daycare. The school lacks adequate facilities to support what "real" schools can. There has not been a consistent teacher retention since it has opened (possibly 1 has continuously taught). Administration urges teachers to lie to parents about enrollment. When you read how Imagine teachers are giving the best resources to teach, it is a lie. Here is an idea, keep good teachers by getting some administrators who respect the staff, got there by their credentials and not being a "yes" person, and maybe the teachers will stay. I cannot comprehend why a small school needs 3 administrators. Only 32 percent of Imagine at Firestone s revenue is spent on instruction. The school s 2010 audit showed $1.3 million of its $4.3 million revenue going to instruction. The audit shows that Imagine at Firestone is paying its educational management provider Imagine, Inc. about 23.6 percent of its revenue, or $1 million, for the lease on its building and other equipment, and another 14.6 percent, or $625,000, for services.They need to spend more money in the classrooms
I absolutely LOVE this school! My son is in third grade and this is his first year at Imagine. I love the curriculum and feel like my son is challenged and grouped for instruction appropriately based on his ability. The other think I love about Imagine is the sense of community/family. Teachers, Administrators, Students, Parents all seem to really come together and support the students at this school whether it be volunteering, fundraising, task forces for educational improvement, etc. My son loves his school and his teacher and is really thriving here! Great job Imagine!!! Keep up the good work!
Both of my boys have been going to Imagine since it started up and my oldest daughter transferred from Adams County schools this year. I have been so impressed by the school and the staff. My middle son has had excellent teachers every year, and that makes a huge difference in getting them excited to go to school. I tell everyone I know how much I love our school!