Case Study: PA Cyber
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is a nationally recognized leader and innovator in K-12 online education, and Pennsylvania’s largest and most successful cyber charter school.
Chartered in 2000, PA Cyber was the first cyber charter school to make a free public school education available to students from every part of the commonwealth. It was founded and remains based in the small town of Midland, Pa., which had to close its high school after the steel mill that was the major employer shut down. School and community leaders turned to the new idea of cyber learning to ensure an educational future of their children. In so doing, they opened the doors for a quality education to every child in Pennsylvania regardless of where they lived, whether their community is rich or poor, urban or rural.
PA Cyber created many of the online teaching methods and technologies which have been widely imitated by the cyber schools which followed. Yet its dynamic leadership and talented workforce have enabled it to continue the high level of innovation and service to students and families and have kept it in the forefront of online K-12 education. A STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Initiative is answering the national call to train a new generation of scientists and engineers. Creation of an office to help at-risk students furthers its commitment to help students who have failed in traditional school to achieve a high school diploma. The opening of multi-service Educational Support Centers in Pittsburgh (Wexford), Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and satellite offices in State College, Greensburg, East Liberty and Northside Pittsburgh provide physical locations for tutoring, Building Blocks kindergarten, arts experiences and other innovative “bricks and clicks” programs to supplement the online learning experience. Dozens of organized family social activities and field trips bring cyber students together for cultural and recreational experiences.
At no cost to families, every student receives a laptop computer, all in one printer and other accessories, high-speed Internet access, all textbooks, teachers, and a custom-designed course of study to meet his or her individual needs and abilities. Parents, along with their child's instructional supervisor – a certified teacher who guides the family and monitors student progress - play a vital role in the school by keeping the student on task, motivated, and challenged. Courses are offered in both asynchronous (self-paced) and the increasingly popular Virtual Classroom, which is a synchronous or real-time classroom experience. Each class session is recorded and may be replayed for better comprehension.
PA Cyber enjoys “Made AYP” status, the federal standard of school effectiveness under the No Child Left Behind Act. It is the largest charter school of any type in the nation ever to make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) and has done so for three consecutive years.
To learn more, please visit: www.pacyber.org