Virtual Learning via PA Cyber Charter School
An Overview of PA Cyber Charter School
A Glimpse At Our Success With PA Cyber
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School "Helping Families build schools...out of choices not bricks."
In 2006 I'd decided to place my son in a new type of school. Previously he had been in public school for his kindergarten year. There were many concerns with public schools so I gravitated towards a private christian school. After five years I'd been told not to expect anything but C's and D's from him throughout his educational life. No additional information or help was given so I knew it was time to take him out. Where to place him? He wasn't a behavior problem so we couldn't get state help. No one could pinpoint the problem to explain his failures. I knew he was intelligent and that he could learn but something else was going on with him. That summer my father told me about something called cyber school which he'd heard about on a radio broadcast. I had no idea what this was all about but I took a chance and set up an interview with admissions.
We talked to the administrators about the curriculum and took a tour of the facility (the support center) and before we left the office I'd decided to try the program. My son was a 6th grade student with a 504 Plan (accommodations/modifications for learning disabled students) attending The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (at that time it was a new institution only 6 years in with about 500 students. The name at that time was Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. The name change was due to the expansion to servicing Pennsylvania state.) He was assigned an instructional supervisor who coordinated all of his courses and materials. I was to be his home facilitator, guide, parent teacher as you would call it. I loved the program and with the one on one attention he managed to become an A-B student. With his success and my smooth adaptation to the workings of online education I'd made up my mind to enroll my daughter into the Pre-K4 program.
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), has many online and on-site programs for students and parents. With several satellite offices and support centers across the state we are always close to our school. They currently have a parent online resource center library where they have information on topics from coping with grief and building confidence to dealing with learning disabilities. Basically they focus on any subject that deals with parent/child situations that can come up in all stages of life. The information is printable, audible, and/or downloadable. Each section is broken down into elementary, middle, and high school levels.
The school has enrichment electives aside from the traditional English, math, history and science. World languages including Spanish, French, German, Latin, Chinese, Italian and Arabic. Business electives, introduction to business, money management, marketing/advertising, project management, and vc entrepreneurship. Technology electives, Microsoft© office skills applications, computer aided drawing & design, and computer programing. Multimedia electives, game design, web design and photoshop. Career explorations, life skills, PA driver education, SAT prep (math & verbal), emerging minds english and math, family and consumer sciences, sports media and broadcasting. They also have a strong fine arts education program, and advanced placement (AP) courses.
And get this each year they are adding more to the course list, all credits are transferable.
PA Cyber has made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Like any other educational institute they have costs that do not necessarily come out of the "parents pockets." The funds filtered into the school is a combination of state funding, donations, grants, etc. These funds are available to provide students with desk computers, laptops, ipads, printers, calculators, physical education equipment (all grade based), books, pens, pencils, folders, etc. I have had to pay for nothing out of pocket for my children. Parents are reimbursed for internet service, physical education programs and outside music & arts programs. We are also provided with online group or individual, on-site and off-site tutoring services when necessary.
PA Cyber has structured the entire program for the betterment of child education and parental support. Giving the family the option of Virtual Classes or independent courses. Through PA Cyber Family Link (a program that helps connect families throughout PA), we get a chance to meet other homeschooling families. We are a collective community of parents, students, educators and professionals coming together for a positive cause. That cause is our children's education. We communicate through voice, email, social media, online chats, you name it-we use it.
In 2011, Pa Cyber became the first cyber school in PA to be granted accreditation through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. They are also National Honor Society (NHS) participants.
This year my daughter is a rising 4th grader. Over the summer she will be participating in PA Cyber's first spelling bee. She is signed up for their 2 week summer camp (as she has attended for the past 3 summers.) She has already participated in a cooking course and Spanish. This summer she will study french and take part in their reading program.
My son no longer attends PA Cyber. The decision to withdraw him had nothing to do with the program. This is a case where the social aspect was available through PA Cyber's workshops, outings and field trips, he just refused to join in. Over the 3 years he spent at home he became withdrawn from outside life. He now attends a wonderful brick and mortar charter school. I have to attribute his ongoing success in writing and math to the rigorous foundation that PA Cyber laid for him. I am certain that without that foundation he wouldn't be as strong in literature, writing or math.
Although issues have and will come up I am confident that PA Cyber is an asset to our family. Their dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators all work hard to make it right.
I am proud to be a PA Cyber parent. This is an investment of time and energy towards enriching our children's educational well being. I also understand that all things aren't right for all people, so my suggestion is if you are not sure about where to place your child look into it yourself. It may be the right choice for you.
Connecting Families Across Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School
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The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is a public cyber charter school and the premier online K-12 educational provider for Pennsylvania students and their families.