Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a charter school?
A: A charter school is a public school that has a specific mission. The school is funded through taxpayer dollars and is tuition-free to the students that attend. According to the Maryland State Department of Education, and in accordance with state law, a charter school is defined as:
- Nonsectarian and nondiscriminatory in its programs, policies and operations
- A school of choice, open to all students on a space available basis
- A program of elementary or secondary education or both
- Tuition-free for all eligible students
- In compliance with health, safety, state, and local laws
Charter schools must meet the same academic requirements as traditional public schools but are also directly accountable to parents and their authorizer.
Q: What are the unique features of an Imagine Maryland charter school?
A: Imagine Schools of Maryland is a member of Imagine Schools, 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 of Maryland, 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.
Q: How would you describe the Imagine Maryland academic program and curriculum?
A: At Imagine Maryland, 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.
Most Imagine Maryland schools select 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.
Q: Who is eligible to attend an Imagine Maryland charter school?
A: You must be a resident of the Maryland County in which your target school is located to be eligible to apply for enrollment. 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.
Q: What is the cost of tuition at an Imagine Maryland charter school?
A: Because we are a network of public schools, there is no tuition. It is free to attend all Imagine Maryland charter schools.
Q: What is the enrollment process at Imagine Maryland charter schools?
A: Each Imagine Maryland public charter school is open to all children living in its specific Maryland county, and each is tuition-free. In order to enroll your child at an Imagine Maryland charter school, you must apply through the individual school's online lottery process, available at its website. You can find a link to each school on the home page of, and along the bottom of, this website.