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Imagine MASTer Academy released from probation

Statement issued Wednesday by the Imagine MASTer Academy:

FORT WAYNE, IN – The Ball State University Office of Charter Schools (OCS) is applauding the Board of Directors of Imagine MASTer Academy (IMA) in Fort Wayne for making major improvements to its policies and practices. Having determined that the board successfully completed a list of ten requirements outlined in a February 2010 Corrective Action Plan Letter, OCS Interim Director Dr. Robert A. Marra notified school board members on Monday that Imagine MASTer Academy is released from probationary status effective immediately.

“I commend your effort to achieve this milestone,” wrote Dr. Marra in a letter to IMA Board President Pat Sheean. “Based on the observations of OCS’s staff since the issuance of the 2010 Letter, it appears that the School’s governing board better understands its roles and its responsibilities.”

“This is great news for Imagine MASTer Academy. Since receiving the Action Plan early last year, our governing board worked hard to get to this point,” said Board President Pat Sheean. “I’m proud that our board members were able to meet and in many cases exceed each of the expectations and timetables given to us.”

In its role as authorizer of the public charter school, the Ball State University Office of Charter Schools took action when questions arose about board governance at Imagine MASTer Academy. OCS took steps to ensure that all board members better understood their roles and responsibilities. In its 2010 Corrective Action Plan Letter, OCS outlined ten steps including ongoing board training and development; the creation of a board policy manual; and revisions to the board’s bylaws to ensure compliance with the Indiana Open Door Law among other steps. The letter also included timetables for the completion of each action step. OCS determined that Imagine MASTer Academy would be placed on probation until each of the action steps was completed.

Although only Imagine MASTer Academy was placed on probationary status, the boards of Imagine Schools on Broadway and Imagine Bridge Academy in Fort Wayne also adopted the steps outlined in the plan, including extensive board member training by nationally recognized board governance expert and author Dr. Brian L. Carpenter, Ph.D.

“Ball State University has been courageous in providing educational leadership in Indiana through its sponsorship of charter schools,” said Sheean. “This has been a challenging learning process for all of us however this process has undoubtedly led to marked improvements that benefit all of our stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, staff and taxpayers.”

“We look forward to our continued relationship with Ball State University to serve families in Fort Wayne for generations to come,” Sheean added.

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