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PA Virtual Pride Art Contest Winners

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PA Virtual students are celebrated National School Choice Week (#NSCW16) by participating in our statewide art contest! All PA Virtual students were invited to submit a photo of one original work of art that shows off their "PA Virtual Pride."

Thank you to everyone who submitted artwork and supported the contest by voting! Over 500 members of our community voted for their favorites. Here are our winners!

PA_Virtual_Art_Contest_Tianna_E_GrK      PA_Virtual_Art_Contest_Robert_P_Grade9

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Posted on: January 29, 2016 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Insider Perspectives

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National School Choice Week Art Contest

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Another way PA Virtual students are celebrating National School Choice Week (#NSCW16) is through participation in our statewide art contest! All PA Virtual students are invited to submit a photo of one original work of art that shows off their "PA Virtual Pride." After we receive all submissions, winners of the contest will be determined by our own students who will vote on the top three pieces of art. Check back in February to see the winning entries posted here and on the PA Virtual Facebook page.

Throughout the year, cyber schools can bring students together with online activities like this no matter where they live. Our family support coordinators also schedule regional events so students can meet other cyber students in their local area. Cyber school students also constantly interact with one another using the various online platforms.

NSCW_Logo_HorizontalDid you know? Yellow is the official color of National School Choice Week. According to popular color theory, yellow (the color of sunshine) is associated with joy, happiness, and intelligence.

Feel free to share your thoughts, plans and pictures here, on social media, or through the blog about National School Choice Week!

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Posted on: January 25, 2016 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Insider Perspectives

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Celebrating National School Choice Week

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On Friday, January 29, PA Virtual students will join with others across the nation and celebrate National School Choice Week!

Our family support coordinators have worked to put together local events around the state and we hope you join us. Each year since 2011, NSCW works to raise awareness of the various types of educational options for children everywhere. Join the social conversation and tag #NSCW16 on Facebook and Twitter!

Cyber charter schools have been in existence in Pennsylvania for almost 15 years with close to 40,000 students enrolled in 14 different institutions. Families select a cyber charter education for many reasons. Flexible scheduling allows for a custom educational experience that works with students who are on the go, committed to their community or activities or have special needs. Some PA Virtual graduates even found they were able to advance quicker in their studies than if they were in a traditional school setting, allowing them to graduate early!

PA Virtual families can join us at one of the following events on January 29:

  • Franklin County – Roller Skating
  • West Moreland – Ice Skating
  • Philadelphia – Roller Skating
  • Bucks County – STEM event
  • Northampton County – Ice Skating

Feel free to share your thoughts, plans and pictures here, on social media, or through the blog about National School Choice Week!

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2016 MLK Day of Service at Cyber School

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Service Learning is an important aspect of community life at PA Virtual. The mission of the Student Services Department is to provide PA Virtual students and families with an atmosphere that supports the needs of self and family and encourages a spirit of leadership through community outreach. 

In January 2016, millions will come together to volunteer and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, who never stopped asking the question, "What are you doing for others?"

On January 22nd, the PA Virtual (as a cyber school community) will honor the MLK Day of Service by working together to fulfill Dr. King's vision for a better America - it's a day "on" instead of a day off. PA Virtual will be providing school-wide volunteer opportunities across the state.

PA Virtual students will be volunteering at the:

In recognition of the national MLK Day of Service, PA Virtual would also like to encourage everyone to make Monday, January 18th, “A Day On! Not a Day Off”. Please take some time on January 18th to celebrate the contributions and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by performing a service related activity in your area such as:

You can find other volunteer opportunities on January 18th on the MLK Day of Service website. Roll up your sleeves and find a service related activity in your local community on the 18th!

Feel free to share your plans and pictures about how you are spending “A Day On! Not a Day Off!”

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Posted on: January 14, 2016 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Media Advisory

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Myth Busting Cyber Charter Schools: Part 1

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Where does cyber school funding come from?

There are plenty of myths about the state of cyber education in Pennsylvania. Many families who are interested in alternative education, but may not be able to afford private or parochial options are turning to cyber charters as a solution. This series of blogs aims to answer many of the questions that our enrollment department hears on a daily basis.

Up first, is the common myth that charter schools – both brick and mortar and cyber schools - deprive or steal funding from your local school district. Cyber charter schools are part of the public education system in Pennsylvania. Let’s take a look at how education funding in PA is distributed:

  • PA is one of several states that does not have a mandating funding formula. The current legislature admits that the system is flawed for all schools not just charters.
  • Cyber charters are not immune to funding challenges inherent in the existing model. Our students are just as affected as any other students by the disparity of resources in public education because they come to PA Virtual from traditional school districts. During the recent budget impasse, several school districts elected to stop paying charter schools as a way to save money, instead of focusing on educating students equally.
  • Additionally, both charter and cyber charter schools are funded according to fluctuating calculations based on Average Daily Membership (ADM), which is the number of students enrolled, and the per-pupil expenditure rate in each sending district. School districts may take deductions outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), such that only 60 to 80 percent of that per-pupil sum follows a student to a cyber charter school. 
  • Since the per-pupil allotment varies greatly from district to district, the amount of money cyber charter schools receive for each student varies tremendously. 
  • Of the top ten school districts with the highest enrollment of students at PA Virtual, we receive less than one percent of the school district’s budget.

Cyber education is a tuition- free public school option – the district sends a portion of your child’s per pupil allotment directly to the charter school of your choice, at no additional cost to you.

Feel free to share your thought about this topic with us!

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Posted on: January 13, 2016 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Did You Know?

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How Parent's Resolutions Can Affect Kids

Positively Throughout the Year

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At this time of the year parents everywhere are making the same resolutions for the New Year we’ve all heard before – eat better, lose weight etc. Some parents may be happy with how things have gone with their children this year, but others might be looking to make some changes. Take a moment to reflect - how have you handled tough situations this year? What could you have done better? Here are a few ways parents can go above and beyond making the “normal” resolutions this year family focused:

  1. Celebrating Family Milestones: Outside of birthdays and holidays, how much emphasis does your family put on celebrating the little things? During 2016 pick a few milestones your family can celebrate that reflect an important mark in your child’s education or personal growth. Depending on your children’s ages, anything from finishing a book to a college acceptance is a major milestone! Before you think you have to go and celebrate everything – keep it within reason. Set a goal for your children (receiving a certain score on a test) and plan the celebration (cooking their favorite meal) beforehand.
  2. Create “You” Time Once a Week: Parenting isn’t easy. Everyone needs a little detox time after the holidays, but creating time for you is important year round. Take as much or as little time as you like, but making sure it sticks is key. Whether you need a few minutes and a cappuccino alone, or a few hours to watch your favorite football team, makes sure your family knows what time is “mom time” or “dad time.” Unplug for a bit, and you will soon see the benefits of a regular recharge.
  3. Build Your Parent Network: We all want our kids to be socialized – but what about you? In your hometown or online, you can make a resolution to build your parent network this year! Being active in your community is just one way to create this new friend group. PA Virtual offers several online opportunities for parents to connect with other parents through the school. Our New Parent Orientation and Parent Learning Sessions bring together parents from all over the commonwealth. These can help introduce you to other parents and families who are just entering the world of online learning, or those who have been here for years.
  4. Cozi-Family-Organizer-AppEvaluate Organization: Feeling like you just couldn’t keep up with crazy schedules this fall? Planning is everything – creating a family calendar is a quick and easy way to let everyone know where everyone is. This can be handwritten in a traditional calendar, on a whiteboard, or use an app on your phone like Cozi! Who needs the car when, and who is responsible for driving little ones places can be seen at a glance.
  5. Bonus tip! Work meal planning into your family calendar. Meals bring families together – planning ahead so your family knows what nights they will be eating a home cooked meal, take out or leftovers can eliminate everyone’s least favorite question, “what’s for dinner?”

Resolve this year to show your children that family and love are your priorities.

Feel free to share your New Year's resolutions and stories with us!

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Posted on: January 07, 2016 by M. Dubbs in

Quick Tips in Education

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