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Cyber Students & Socialization Opportunities


A common misconception about cyber charter students is that they lack the opportunity to socialize with their peers. In reality, many students who chose online learning do so because flexible learning schedules enable them to become even more immersed in outside activities. These outside commitments to arts, athletics or entrepreneurship thrive on interaction and growth.

Many cyber charter students also participate in their home districts athletics and activities programs, and clubs within their home communities. There is no denying that today we are more connected than ever and cyber charter options allow students to become connected to hundreds of their peers across the state – not just the 20 or so in a classroom!

A great example of these connections on a nationwide level took place just recently. The Franklin County 4-H Team Biohazard 4050 participated in, and won the Robotics division at the FIRST Championship Chesapeake Regional. On Team Biohazard 4050? Eight cyber charter students.

Their success at this regional event allowed them to move forward, and spend four days in St. Louis for the FIRST finals, a national competition. Cyber charters are able to give students the ability to have these experiences without the stress and worry of missing out on any of their school work.

FIRST was founded to bring together young people from around the world who excel in STEM Programs and let their creativity flourish. Team Biohazard 4050 connected with thousands of other young people this past week, all of whom share the same common interests and academic strengths. The FRC is more than just a high school event – it is a true example of the real and professional world. Huffington Post blogger (and aspiring engineer) Natalie Kalin points out that these students have the opportunity to start professionally networking and attain scholarships, but her key takeaway is the “gracious professional” environment. To present and explain these complex projects, each member must have excellent communication and social skills.

PA Virtual plans three regional social outings per month, and there are plenty of staff is on hand to help plan those events. These outings can range from educational opportunities, community service days, sporting events, or visits to regional attractions in the area. Now, don’t think that all cyber charter students just travel the world nonstop (only sometimes!) – Cyber charters teach students balance between education and socialization.

Just as in traditional schools, cyber charters offer support staff that assist students and their families in all aspects of the education process. However, cyber charter teachers, counselors and administrative staff are in place to make sure that your child’s education is individualized to accommodate varying schedules, travel plans, and even various learning styles. Many times cyber students are immersed in music, the arts, or athletics – and have the ability to dedicate the time needed to master those skills as part of a team, or traveling group.

With these many options, how far could your child go?

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Posted on: April 24, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

In the Community, Super Student


Relieving Student Anxiety For State Testing

This month, Pennsylvania students began a series of standardized tests in various subjects and concentrations. From the inner cities to the most rural farm towns in PA, students will feel the pressure of standardized testing over the coming weeks.

Despite the myths, cyber charter students do take the same exams (PSSAs & Keystone Exams) as those in traditional brick and mortar schools, and are held to the same standards.

Regardless of the type of school they attend, some students manage testing with a natural ease - but for others, the fear and anxiety of underperforming impacts everything from sleeping to eating to social habits. Fortunately, testing anxiety can be reduced. Following are a few tips for both students and parents to make the best of the test!

Student Tips

  1. PREPPING - Don’t over-study – at some point, our brains can only handle so much info! If you constantly are trying to remember new facts and formulas; chances are that you are forgetting others. Know when to stop and recharge your energy.
  2. DRESS FOR SUCCESS - Wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers- the testing environment may not be what you are used to, and it is important to be as comfortable as possible.
  3. START RIGHT - Read all directions completely and carefully before answering any questions – when in doubt remember to RUN! (Read the instructions, Underline what to do, Note any special requirements!)
  4. MANAGE YOUR TIME - Manage your time by answering easier questions first, and going back to more difficult questions later.

Parent Tips

  1. KEEP THINGS "COOL" - Maintain your children’s normal routine as much as possible – just like over-studying, over-focusing on the exam and forcing your child to miss regularly scheduled weekly classes or practices may have a negative impact.
  2. REST FOR SUCCESS - Make sure your children get a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast. It may seem like common sense, but a nutritious breakfast filled with brain food with sufficient rest are a few vital ingredients for success that are sometimes overlooked during test time.
  3. KEEPING CONFIDENT - Don’t obsess, and don’t ignore the tests. Each day, have a short discussion with your children about the test. Each day will be a new experience for your child based on the subject matter tested. Assure your child that performance on a test is not a condition for your accepting and loving the person he or she is. 

So…what helps your family prepare? If you have more tips or tricks that you think others could use, leave them in the comments below - and get ready to rock the PSSAs!

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Posted on: April 17, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

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