Cyber School Centers Embrace Community Values

OCTOBER 24, 2013 | by JOHN BOUDER, JESSICA BARNETT

Cyber schools have been falsely maligned as impersonal and anti-social environments for learning, but the truth is far different. Case in point: Achievement House Cyber Charter School is bringing blended learning options to kids across the state—most recently in York.  

Nikelle Snader at The York Dispatch highlighted a new Resource Center where local Achievement House students can drop in whenever they need a little extra help. The center is primarily designed to complement online classes and extend hands-on help and support to struggling students. But it will be used for even more.

The centers host parent meetings, medical screenings, face-to-face instruction, study sessions, and standardized testing. Special education and bilingual instructors also regularly visit to provide more specialized learning options for those who need it. Achievement House now offers 11 such centers across the state, including three in Philadelphia alone.

William Rodriquez, a senior at Achievement House, feels drawn to the familial environment of the Resource Center. “I don’t feel like something’s about to happen,” he said—a welcome change from his previous two schools.

Safety also motivated Stephen Frank to attend 21st Century Cyber School, where he flourished without the threat of physical bullying. This Saturday, as part of its “Kindness Matters” program, Agora Cyber Charter School is hosting an anti-bullying event in York, as well as similar events elsewhere in the state during the month of October.

Cyber schools have become a very real presence in the lives of more than 35,000 students and in their communities.

But Resource Centers require funds to operate, and major cuts recently passed by the House put Achievement House’s efforts in peril. Slashing funding for schools that already receive 20 percent less per student ignores the success stories of students like Jake Swink, who has spoken out against treating cyber school students as second-class citizens.

Click here to let the State Senate know that you oppose arbitrary cuts to cyber school funding.

A recent poll found that 87 percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania think parents should have the option to choose the type of public school that’s best for their children—do you?



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