Getting Started Guide to Cyber School

Considering cyber school for the first time? Education policy expert and cyber school parent Marc LeBlond explains how to get started and the options available for Pennsylvania parents:

As schools across the state work to develop safety procedures, schedules, and remote continuity of education plans, Pennsylvania’s 15 cyber charter schools are largely instructing as usual.

If you are considering cyber school for the first time, I can relate. My kids are starting in the Fall.

Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools open to all students. They are held to state academic and financial reporting standards, but they have more flexibility than district schools in terms of curriculum, school calendar, length of school day, and teacher qualifications.

Cyber charter schools are charter schools that deliver instruction over the internet, allowing students to attend classes from home. Cyber charter schools provide all the required equipment for learning, plus a stipend for broadband internet access.

Here’s a directory of cyber charter schools operating in Pennsylvania and their contact information to explore what they offer. As you consider the various alternatives, some things you might want to consider are the size of the school; the curriculum used; synchronous vs asynchronous options; and whether they offer in-person activities in your area.

Each school has its own enrollment procedure, so be sure to check the school’s website or call for more information. Note that in some cases, enrollment may take seven–10 days to process.

Be sure to have documents ready, such as:

  • Proof of age, such as birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of residence, such as utility bill or mortgage statement (or lease agreement)
  • Proof of immunization, such as immunization records from prior school or doctor

Additionally, you can help schools get a jump on knowing how to serve your child by providing academic records, such as transcripts, report cards, 504 plans, and IEP plans.

Every family has their own unique reason for choosing cyber charter school learning. For my family, it was the result of onerous regulations at our district school stifling teachers’ well-meaning innovations to educate our children virtually this spring. Despite the best efforts of our teachers, the virtual platforms and curriculum provided by the district were sorely lacking. As parents, we want the flexibility a cyber education will provide, from a provider who’s been educating kids online for years.

Have a question about exploring cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania? Ask below to receive a personal response.

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