CSDC Partnership Provides New Facility for Charter School Serving Military and Civilians on Joint Base Andrews
(Hanover, January 18, 2013) With the start of the new year, students and staff at Imagine Andrews Public Charter School return to school in a brand new, permanent facility on Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base). The facility for Imagine Andrews, one of the first charter schools to be opened on a military base, is the result of a unique partnership between the Air Force, Clark Realty and Charter Schools Development Corporation, in a model that CSDC hopes to replicate on other bases.
Serving 318 students in grades K – 4, the 35,000 square foot, single-story building houses 18 classrooms, a gymnasium and a courtyard, and also incorporates some unique building and security requirements of military bases. The new building has been designed to allow the charter school, which has a waiting list of 150 students, to add a grade per year until it reaches its full capacity, serving 500 students in K – 8 grades. Access to quality on-base schooling has proven a strong draw for military families, whose children make up 65% of the student enrollment. Imagine Andrews, located in the heart of the base’s new housing area, has quickly become a critical component and anchor for the Joint Base Andrews community. “We are immensely grateful for all who made this possible,” said Col. William Knight, 11th Wing/JBA commander.
In addition, Imagine Andrews will serve as a national model for innovation and excellence in public education for military bases, with a focus on addressing the unique needs of students in military families, including those whose parents are deployed in active war zones. “Imagine Andrews will be essential in making Joint Base Andrews a base of choice for American service members and deepen the already strong ties between this base and Prince George County,” said Knight.
At the same time, Imagine Andrews plays a valuable role in the larger Prince Georges County community where the base is located, and from which it draws 35% of its student body. Rooted in the Imagine Schools mission to prepare students for “lives of leadership, accomplishment, and exemplary character,” Imagine Andrews provides a challenging learning environment for all its students. Imagine Andrews is part of the national Imagine Schools network, 70 charter schools serving 38,000 students in 12 states and the District of Columbia, which use five Measures of Excellence to evaluate the effectiveness of each school, including academic growth, character development, economic sustainability, parent choice, and shared values. In its inaugural 2011-2012 school year, Imagine Andrews was recognized for excellence in academic growth and achievement, parental satisfaction and shared values, and was named best new Imagine school in the nation.
The school opened in August 2011 in a temporary building, and CSDC was brought in to develop and finance the permanent school facility under a long term leasing arrangement with the Air Force. The project broke ground in June, 2012, and was completed in December, 2012. “CSDC is honored to be a part of this collaboration with the military and local community. We’ve created a template with Imagine Andrews that we look forward to bringing to other military communities around the country,” said Rebecca Secrest, CSDC’s Vice President.
Charter Schools Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and Community Development Financial Institution, promotes innovation and excellence in education by helping charter school entrepreneurs and leaders finance, build, expand and replicate their school models, to create great public charter schools nationwide. For more information, visit www.csdc.org.
For more information on Imagine Andrews Public Charter School, see http://imagineandrews.org/ and http://www.imagineschools.com/2011/05/imagine-andrews-public-charter-school/