What are the unique features of Imagine Andrews Public Charter School (PCS)?

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

Foremost, Imagine Andrews will serve as a national model of excellence for innovation in public school education for military bases and their surrounding communities across the country. A growing body of research supports the demand for schools that address the individual needs of students whose parents are deployed in active war zones. Specifically, researchers have linked parental deployment (usually defined as “father deployment” or “father absence”) to several youth outcomes.

In addition to addressing the individual needs of the military students, Imagine Andrews also reaches out to the larger community around Andrews Air Force Base. Not only do we educate and meet the needs of the military student, but we also invite students from the surrounding communities to attend and take advantage of our solid curriculum and challenging and rigorous instructional program. This unique feature provides for an enrollment structure that brings together two diverse communities of students and parents that together can build a much stronger community.

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

At Imagine Andrews PCS, we offer a thematically integrated liberal arts 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 liberal arts 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 Andrews PCS has selected 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 liberal arts 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 Andrews PCS?

You must be a resident of Prince George’s County to be eligible to apply for enrollment. The student body will be comprised of both students from military families as well as students from non-military families. According to Maryland charter school law, a public charter school located on a military base must reserve 65% of its seats for families who are assigned to the base (through official PCS Orders) and who reside on-base; the remaining 35% of its seats must be reserved for all other families.

What is the enrollment process at Imagine Andrews PCS

Enrollment at Imagine Andrews involves a multi-step application process. First and foremost, you must obtain a Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) student identification number to be eligible to enroll. Parents and/or legal guardians of students not currently enrolled in a PGC public school may obtain a student identification number by presenting a proof of residence and birth certificate at their attendance-boundary (or “home”) school. If your child attends a PGC school, you can locate the student identification number on your child’s report card or obtain it from the registrar at your child’s current school.

(NOTE: You may complete the online application without having obtained a PGCPS student identification number. However, you must obtain a student ID number prior to enrolling in Imagine Andrews.)

Second, you must complete the Lottery Application form in order to be eligible. Go to http://imagineandrews.org/families/enroll-your-child-2012/ to submit the application online. This will automatically enter your child’s information in our database and alert our Enrollment Counselor. Next, after the lottery has been held, parents/guardians will receive information regarding acceptance or wait-list status, along with detailed instructions for accepting seat and physical enrollment at the school.

For additional information regarding the enrollment process and to fill out a lottery application, please click here.

What is the “home school” for families who reside on Joint Base Andrews?

The “home school” for the families residing on Joint Base Andrews is Francis T. Evans Elementary School, which is located directly off-base. The student number required for the application process may be obtained from this school.

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

As a public charter school in Prince George’s 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. 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, 301-808-2707.

What is the cost of tuition for attending Imagine Andrews PCS?

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

Are students who attend Imagine Andrews PCS required to have a form of identification separate from the parents’ identification cards?

No. Imagine Andrews PCS students are not required to have identification to attend the school.

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.

Does Imagine Andrews PCS offer a pre-kindergarten program?

Imagine Andrews 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 Andrews 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.

Does Imagine Andrews offer a before- and after-school care program?

Yes, Imagine Andrews provides a before- and after-school care program, in partnership with a youth development center located on Joint Base Andrews. Families can sign up for either before- or after-school care, or both. Monthly fees are based on a sliding scale, depending on family income. Click here to download a list of FAQs addressing the hours of operation, registration process, a list of services, and the pricing schedule.

Does Imagine Andrews provide lunch to all students?

Imagine Andrews provides a fee-based lunch for students in compliance with the National School Lunch Program. Our school also provides free and reduced price meals for those students who qualify.

Is transportation provided for families who are assigned to Andrews but live off-base?

Due to funding restrictions, transportation is not provided for students. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their children to and from school.

What gates should parents use to enter and exit the base?

There are three primary gates that parents should use to enter and exit the base:

  • 1) Main Gate,
  • 2) Virginia Gate, and
  • 3) North Gate. The Main Gate is open 24 hours a day, but is rather busy between 7:00 am – 8:00 am.

Virginia Gate opens at 5:00 am and closes at 11:00 pm. The North Gate opens at 5:30 am and closes at 7:30 am.

In terms of the non-military families of children who are accepted at Imagine Andrews, are they subject to a background check or other means of security clearance?

Yes, a background check is required of every non-military family accepted to enroll at the school. (Military families will already have been subject to one as part of their military service requirements.) These background checks will be performed after the lottery has concluded, as part of the enrollment process requirements.

The following is the information needed to perform background checks via the National Crime Information Center (NCIC):

  • FULL NAME (including middle name)
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number and state of issue

These background checks involve confirming the validity of the subject’s driver’s license and reviewing any recorded criminal history. We are not contacting friends/family to ask questions, and the information uncovered is used only to determine the subject’s fitness for access to a military installation (e.g., Joint Base Andrews). The information is destroyed immediately after a decision is made and cannot be accessed again by our team for at least 30 days.

Below are examples of criminal record information that will prevent someone having access to Joint Base Andrews:

  • Any person convicted of a felony crime at any time.
  • Any person convicted of a narcotics or drug charge in the past 3 years or twice in the past 5 years.
  • Any person convicted of a weapons-related charge once in the past 3 years or twice in the past 10 years.
  • Any person convicted of a theft or larceny charge in the past 12 months or twice in the past 5 years.
  • Any person convicted of an assault charge in the past 12 months or twice in the past 5 years.
  • Any person convicted of a hate crime or violent act in the past 12 months or twice in the past 5 years.
  • Any person registered as a convicted sexual offender at anytime.
  • Any person who is the subject of a current protection order (restraining order) and is considered armed and dangerous as flagged in the NCIC System.
  • Any person who is the subject of a current protection order involving a resident or employee of Joint Base Andrews. Contact the issuing jurisdiction for details of the protected person’s employment/residence.
  • Additional variations of crimes may be considered for denial of entry upon review of the Visitor Control Center (VCC) non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) and approval of the S5 Superintendent or higher.

Additionally, any person convicted of DUI currently serving state suspension or any person convicted of two or more DUIs in the past 5 years will be issued a Non-Driver badge and may be denied access to Joint Base Andrews. Persons with extensive motor vehicle violations are subject to receiving a Non-Driver badge at the discretion of the VCC NCOIC. Any appeal to such a decision may be made through 11 SSPTF/DD or higher.

Please remember that Joint Base Andrews is the base used by the President of the United States and security is of utmost importance. No exceptions will be made in this area.

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

School hours are from 8:30 am – 2:40 pm. We offer a full day of kindergarten.

If our child is accepted at Imagine Andrews 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 Andrews 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?

Imagine Andrews staff will be trained to accommodate children who have been home-schooled and may not fit within traditional grade-level categories. At least two weeks before you intend to enroll your child at Imagine Andrews, you must complete and mail an application for Admission into Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) from Home Schooling (Form PS-48). You may obtain this application from the Department of Pupil Services and Guidance at (301) 749-4389 or online at http://www1.pgcps.org/homeschooling/. Upon enrollment, the parent should arrange a conference with the school principal to discuss the placement decision. An evaluation will be made by the school to determine proper placement. This evaluation could include standardized testing and/or interviews with the student to determine grade level and ability grouping. For further information, you may contact the PGCPS Home Schooling Office at (301) 333-1001

Of course, because we will rely heavily on parent involvement to make Imagine Andrews a success, we welcome any offers to help.

If our child does not get in to Imagine Andrews this year, can we reapply next year? Are there other charter school options in the area?

Yes, you and your child may reapply as many times as you wish. However, if your child doesn’t get into Imagine Andrews, there are other Imagine charter schools in the area. You may select these other schools when you complete a charter school lottery application at the Charter and Contract Schools page of the Prince George’s County Public Schools Web site, see http://www1.pgcps.org/homeschooling/.

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

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

Imagine Andrews 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 Andrews 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 Andrews 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.

Additionally, Imagine Andrews will incorporate a heightened understanding of the stressors facing students of military families as part of its mission and its professional development training. Each staff and faculty member will learn how to recognize and react to the unique needs of the military child.

If you are interested in joining the Imagine Andrews team, please contact us at (301) 350-6002. There is no application deadline.

If my child has been enrolled in the Prince George’s County school system, do I still need to provide all of the same documentation for registration at Imagine Andrews?

To register with Imagine Andrews, you will need to provide the following documents (copies are fine): a birth certificate, immunization records, last report card, property tax bill/lease/deed/settlement papers, and two major utility bills. If these documents have not changed, you can obtain copies at your child’s current school.

Those who live on base do not have to pay traditional “major utility” bills, such as gas and electric. Do cable bills or other secondary bills suffice for proof of residency? Is the lease enough to satisfy residency?

Proof of residence may be established by any of the following documents: settlement papers, a lease agreement, a rental receipt, a deed of property or a tax assessment bill, and two utility bills (including cable, phone, and mobile phone). Utility bills must be must be originals, in the name of the parent registering the student, and show an address consistent with proof of residency.

What process do we need to follow to enroll our child if we are currently homeschooling? Do we need to provide you with the form from the County showing that we have been accepted as a home schooling household?

You will need to provide all of the home schooling reports that have been provided to you from the district’s home schooling office showing the grade level of your child.

What are the health requirements for students who plan to enroll?

A physical examination is recommended (though not required) for each child entering the Maryland Public School System for the first time. If you choose to have an exam, it must be performed within nine months prior to school entry and up to six months after. The form is available at each school or can be accessed from the Health Services page on the school system web site, http://www.pgcps.org.

All children need to have an up-to-date copy of immunization records to be enrolled in, and to attend, a Prince George’s County school. If immunization records need to be updated and parents can verify an appointment within 20 days to obtain immunizations, the child can be temporarily enrolled pending receipt of required immunizations.

All newly enrolled students in pre-kindergarten through grade 1 must submit a Lead Screening Certificate form (DHMH 4620). The form is available at each school or can be accessed from the Health Services page on the school system web site, http://www.pgcps.org.

What is the process for transporting students from the school to the youth center?

The youth center will assign staff to walk students to and from the youth center. During inclement weather van transportation will be available.

Are families permitted to purchase uniform items from any outside vendor?

All required uniform items — shirts, ties, and sweaters/cardigans — must be purchased from our vendor, By Grace Uniform Outfitters, because they will bear an official Imagine Andrews logo that is specific to our school. However, khaki pants, skirts/ scooters, and shoes may be purchased elsewhere.

What are scooters? Can girls wear a skirt or a skort in lieu of a scooter?

Scooters are skirts with “built-in” shorts. They differ from skorts because they have a “full skirt” look. We recommend that female students wear scooters for added privacy. However, parents may use their discretion on this matter as long as the child’s skirt is khaki-colored and meets the length requirement (must reach the top of the student’s knee caps).

How do we place orders for uniforms?

At this time, uniforms can be ordered/purchased by going to our approved vendor, By Grace Uniform Outfitters, located in Clinton, MD. For more information, visit http://www.bygraceuniforms.com. Online ordering will be available starting July 1. The Imagine Andrews access code will be 4798.

Are the cardigans/sweaters a required part of the school uniform? What about ties and black shoes — are they required?

The cardigan/sweater is an optional part of the uniform. However, they must be purchased from our vendor, By Grace Uniform Outfitters, to ensure they bear an official Imagine Andrews logo.

Ties are required for students in grades 1-6, and optional for students in kindergarten.

All black shoes are required, but parents are permitted to purchase black sneakers in lieu of dress shoes. All shoes must have soft soles.

Are there stipulations regarding when students wear short- and long-sleeve shirts, or pants and shorts?

No. Parents may choose when students wear short- or long-sleeve shirts, and shorts or long pants. Scooters/skirts may also be worn at the parents’ discretion.