February 18, 2013
Dear Imagine North Port Parents,
As your partner in education, I’m writing to let you know that you recently received communication from Mr. Justin Matthews that is inaccurate. I want to provide you with factual and legally accurate information regarding our school, Imagine North Port, and the recent actions taken by the Board.
As we return to school on Tuesday, I believe it’s important to reassure you that your school and your child’s teacher remain full-fledged members of our Imagine Schools family. We are the parent company of Imagine North Port and not a management company to your campus. This means we have been here from the beginning, partnering with parents, community leaders, and the local Board to found this school. We have taken on long-term and multi-million dollar financial commitments to support Imagine North Port. More importantly, we have worked with parents and teachers, creating the culture and learning environment that has empowered students to grow and succeed in school and in life. It is this support that has enabled Imagine North Port to distinguish itself as an A+, award-winning campus including the Imagine Schools 2012 Shared Values and Parent Choice awards, and the 2011 Economic Sustainability awards, among others.
As the parent company of Imagine North Port, we take great pride in the growth and achievement of our students and school. We assure you that all of the same services and support that have led to your child’s achievement remain in place.
The following information should help address some of your initial questions so we can avoid any further miscommunication and confusion.
On Friday, February 15, 2013, the local Imagine North Port board expressed an intention to sever affiliation with Imagine Schools. There are several fundamental misunderstandings in the Board’s belief that they have the legal ability to make such a decision and we are working to address and positively resolve this with the Board members. For example, the charter is held by a subsidiary of Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc. and the Board of Directors violated the Bylaws of Imagine North Port when it took the action it did on Friday. Despite this, we are working to address and positively resolve this with the board members.
In the meantime, it is important for you to know Imagine North Port is – and will continue to be – an Imagine Schools campus with all of the support, services, and operating structures that have led to your child’s success still firmly in place. As such, we are confident we can positively resolve these legal realities with the Board while maintaining our unwavering commitment to your child’s continuing success at Imagine North Port.
As a parent, you may have questions about how this affects your child’s learning environment. The following information should help address these questions.
What this means to your child’s classroom.Our teachers and staff will continue to utilize the same curricula, instructional strategies, procedures, and philosophies that have helped your child experience academic growth and achievement. Our Shared Values remain in place. So does our emphasis on serving students and families, preparing students to be successful in school and in life.
What this means to your child’s teacher and our staff. All of our teachers and staff at Imagine North Port are Imagine Schools employees, not employees of the Board or school. They will continue to receive salaries, benefits, and retirement from Imagine Schools without interruption while we resolve this misunderstanding with the Board. This will allow them to focus on what is most important; namely, your child’s continuing success.
What this means to your school campus.While we work to positively resolve this situation with the Board, we have reached out to Mr. Matthews to communicate our intent to place him on administrative leave. It is our sincere hope that for the benefit of our entire school community, Mr. Matthews will cooperate with our leadership team to positively resolve this situation without further misunderstanding.
In the meantime, we want our teachers and families to have direct communication with Imagine Schools so we avoid any further miscommunication. Ms. Christine Watson, Regional Director, will be on campus working with Imagine North Port’s leadership team, teachers, parents, and students. Ms. Watson offers years of seasoned experience as a principal, classroom teacher, and curriculum teacher. She brings a deep understanding of the needs of teachers as well as the priorities of parents and will be a valuable resource during this time. Ms. Watson is the sole source of official communication from your school and we encourage you to reach out to her at any time with questions or concerns.
As educators, we are committed to maintaining a positive learning environment centered on our students and doing what is best for them. As your partner in education, we thank you, in advance, for helping us maintain this priority while we work to positively resolve the legal misunderstandings with the Board.
As part of our Imagine Schools family, we promise to update you regularly as we make progress in resolving this issue. In the meantime, please be assured of our continuing commitment to support your child with all of the same services, programs, and instruction that have led to the academic success you have come to expect and appreciate.