In the dynamic world of online education, PA Virtual Charter School has embraced a holistic approach to student well-being through its High School Fitness Club. Spearheaded by Club Advisor and Health/PE Teacher at PA Virtual, Mr. Scholl, the inception of the club stemmed from a desire to provide students with additional avenues for self-expression through physical activity and to create positive friendships. Recognizing the challenges of online learning, the club serves as a platform for students to stay active, connect with like-minded peers, and work towards their fitness goals. Under Mr. Scholl's guidance, the club not only promotes physical health but also nurtures a sense of community among the students.
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As the crisp fall leaves make way for the winter chill, our thoughts turn to holiday festivities, family gatherings, and of course, the much-anticipated shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday. Beyond the long lines and doorbuster deals, there lies a rich history that traces the roots of this post-Thanksgiving tradition. Let's unwrap the fascinating story of how Black Friday became a cultural phenomenon.
Welcome to a moment of celebration here at PA Virtual Charter School! We're excited to share some fantastic news with our incredible community. For over two decades, we've been pioneers in public cyber charter education, nurturing the future leaders of Pennsylvania. And now, our excitement knows no bounds as we proudly announce our A grade on Niche!
A Journey through Polish American Heritage
Calling all curious, creative and inquisitive students! STEM Day is November 8th this year! You can embrace this fun topic both at school and home. Mix in some fall weather and objects to make this an even more seasonal experience. STEM allows students to ignite their problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills while engaging in hands-on experiments. As with any educational experience, make sure you set the scene correctly. Ask guiding questions, prompt your student to predict the outcomes and challenge them to change the procedures/materials to find an alternative result.
We can now officially celebrate the start of fall! No, it did not begin when the pumpkin spice latte was reintroduced in August. The autumn equinox marked the start of fall on September 22nd. Curious about what that means? Me too. There are two days during the year when the sun is perfectly positioned over the equator. This direct placement evenly divides night and day into equal portions. The first date is the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. The second date is the autumn equinox, bringing on that fall weather. So now that you are officially in the pumpkin spice season, what are you going to do? Fall weather in Pennsylvania generally brings warm days in the 60’s and cool nights in the 30’s. This is the perfect weather to enjoy the outdoors before getting cooped up inside for winter (don’t worry, we will have a blog for that too). While you’re marking that “interested” box on facebook events and subsequently forgetting them, I’m going to compile a few fall events for you by region below.
As the school year starts and students begin to hunker down to their studies, many families begin to explore the wonderful world of clubs and extracurricular opportunities. PA Virtual prides itself on its club offerings, with over 30 to choose from. Students can capture moments through photography in our Photography Club, delve into spiritual discussions in the Bible Blast Club & Young Muslims Club, ignite their passion for the performing arts in our Acting Club, sharpen their strategic minds in the Chess Club, find inner peace in Yoga Club, and countless other exciting options. These clubs are not just extracurricular activities; they are a gateway to fostering creativity, building friendships, and discovering new interests. Join us on this journey as we delve into a few of PA Virtual Charter School's club programs, where opportunities for growth and enrichment abound. For PA Virtual families, you will see who to contact if you want to be part of any of these clubs this school year. As we move throughout the year, look for more blog posts highlighting individual clubs!
High school is a realm of possibilities, challenges, and growth. As your teenager steps into this daunting and challenging world of education, your guidance as a parent becomes an even more essential compass. High school isn't just about classes; it's a time for self-discovery and laying the groundwork for the future. In this guide, we dive into five key areas that will equip both students and parents with the tools to navigate high school's intricate path with confidence and success.
Middle school—a period of exploration, growth, and new horizons. As your child takes their next steps on this educational adventure, your role as a parent becomes even more crucial. Middle school introduces fresh challenges and opportunities, and your support can be the guiding light that illuminates their path. From fostering curiosity to navigating the digital world, from personal development to embracing creativity. In this section tailored for parents, we'll dive into strategies that will empower you to not only navigate middle school alongside your child but also enrich their experience, ensuring they thrive both academically and personally. So, let's embark on this journey together, armed with wisdom and enthusiasm, as we prepare our middle schoolers for a fulfilling and impactful educational ride.
Summer is a time of relaxation and exploration, where children can immerse themselves in the wonders of the world around them. One of the best ways to unlock the potential of their imagination and keep their minds active is through enrolling them in a summer reading program at their local library, museum, or school. We'll explore the numerous benefits of summer reading programs and why parents should consider making this enriching experience an essential part of their child's summer vacation.
Every morning is a constant struggle to get your student to school. While they moan and groan, the incomplete assignments pile up. Emails and phone calls from school trickle in as a constant reminder that this challenge exists each day. You’ve discussed your concerns with the local school district, but it isn’t the solution you need. Your child is bright and you simply want to see them become successful. What more can you do? Are there any other options out there for your student? Do you have control over your child’s education?
Summer break is a time for children to relax, have fun, and recharge their batteries for the upcoming academic year. However, it's important to ensure that they don't completely abandon their learning routines during this time. By incorporating a few simple strategies, you can keep your child in educational shape over the summer break without compromising their enjoyment. Let's explore various ideas and activities that can help foster continued learning throughout the summer months.
As July starts, a few things come to mind; summer is officially in full gear, planned family vacations are finally happening, and America celebrates its birthday! It is well known that July 4th is America’s independence day, a time for fireworks, bar-b-ques, and reflecting on the freedom this country has. But many other symbols come to mind when thinking about America, including the bald eagle being America’s national bird. But how and why did that happen? This blog post will explore the origins of the bald eagle, America’s symbol of freedom.
In a Rolling Stone interview early in her career, Taylor Swift admitted, “I think I have a big fear of things spiraling out of control.” And that was before this past November’s Ticketmaster meltdown. Ted Kooser, a former Poet Laureate of the United States, inventively describes something we’ve all owned at some point in our schooling in his poem, “A Spiral Notebook”:
Every parent wants the best for their children. Choosing the best school can be a very stressful, daunting, and difficult task for parents because of all the factors they need to take into consideration. I have an ideal suggestion that I truly believe every family should try at least once. Whether you are applying for kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school PA Virtual has you covered. It is an amazing, award-winning, and innovative online school that works to individually cater to your child’s needs to reach their potential from the comfort of your home.
When parents are looking for a school for their child — be it a cyber charter school or a brick-and-mortar model — they want to know that the teachers and staff are giving 100% each day! Valued employees are important to school success, and their work directly impacts students. In this blog post, Ms. Alcott, one of our academic support teachers, explores some key values in cyber schools and how these concepts benefit the entire school community!
What is Ramadan?
We often hear about test anxiety, something that some students in cyber charter schools and brick-and-mortar models struggle with! In this blog post, we'll explore what test anxiety actually is, what you should be looking for to spot it, and ways to help your child address it.
So you're ready to make the switch to a cyber school! Congratulations! We're here with some help on how to choose the one that fits your child best — whether it's a cyber charter school, homeschooling, or other cyber options!
St. Patrick's Day is a popular day in March, but many people don't know the history of this occasion. In this post, we'll explore the origins of this holiday, and the legacy of St. Patrick and the Irish people!
When it comes to science, there's nothing like a good experiment to demonstrate concepts! In this blog post, we salute this important field of study, and share our six favorite science-related activities that you can do with your child!
After more than 20 years of cyber charter education, we find that some parents may not be able to distinguish between cyber schooling and homeschooling. In this blog, Cindy, a veteran learning coach and parent, explores the two schooling methods, and how to choose between them!
We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day each year on the third Monday of the new year. But do you know the history behind this important occasion? Find out more in this special edition blog post!
Sometimes families find themselves halfway through the school year, and their current option just isn't working out for them. In this blog post, we'll explore what it's like to transfer to a cyber school, what to expect (especially mid year), and more!
It's that time of year again! The temperatures are changing, and it can sometimes be challenging to find things to do during the winter. In this blog post, we explore 10 fun, educational things you can do to keep your child learning, right here in Pennsylvania!
One of the most popular holidays in November is Thanksgiving Day, commonly associated with food and feasts. But what's the day truly all about? In this blog, teacher Codie McGeever discusses Thanksgiving's history, what we learn from the day, and more!
Cyber charter school parents have big shoes to fill! Not only do they raise their children, but many also serve as a Learning Coach partner for their student’s education. Our cyber school parents are dedicated individuals who want to see their child thrive. In honor of Parent Appreciation Week, here are seven reasons why we love cyber school parents — especially cyber charters!
Each year, we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11. But do you know the origins of this historic holiday? And why we honor it? In this blog, cyber charter school employee Breanna explores why Veterans Day began, why it's important, and shares some ways to celebrate it!
Thinking about making the switch to a cyber school, but aren't sure where to start? Cyber charter teacher Ms. Dajczak is here to help with some do's and don'ts of PA cyber schools!
If you're looking to join the thousands of students across Pennsylvania who have moved to cyber school, then look no further! You may have questions and some concerns, but Parent Ambassador Coordinator Mrs. Lusk is here to address some top challenges — and the solutions that we have for them!
Cyber school has become more prolific in the past few years, and families all across Pennsylvania have discovered the benefits of virtual learning. Parent Ambassador Regional Coordinator and former PA Virtual parent Cindy explores the top 4 reasons why you should choose an online school — especially a cyber charter school!
When the first Monday in September rolls around, people in corporations, small businesses, and even cyber charter schools across the country pause for Labor Day. But what exactly is this holiday, sandwiched between August and October? In this blog, we’ll explore the history of Labor Day, and ways you can celebrate it!
Applying to and enrolling at a cyber charter school is a similar process to that of a brick-and-mortar counterpart, but sometimes small mistakes may delay your child's acceptance. In this blog, Enrollment & Marketing Specialist Ms. Weyant discusses some of the 10 most common mistakes, and provides some solutions!
Every student needs a little help sometimes! Whether it's a virtual learning setting or a brick-and-mortar model, students have access to resources for when they need some extra help. In this blog, kindergarten teacher Ms. Bornancini explores some of the assistance you'll find in a cyber school!
We're about halfway through summer, and it's been a blast! While you're enjoying time by the pool, family road trips, and barbeques, don't forget about incorporating reading into your plans! Kindergarten teacher Ms. Dajczak discusses why it's so important, and how to make this an easy addition to your summer schedule.
After more than 20 years of serving families across Pennsylvania, we've found that socialization is an important topic for many prospective families. But what does that look like in our increasingly digital age? In this blog, we'll explore how cyber schools offer socialization opportunities, and what this means for your child!
The Fourth of July plays a pivotal role in the history and independence of our nation. In this blog, we explore the origins of July 4th, its significance, and offer some celebration ideas!
Staying in Pennsylvania for the summer? Cyber charter students and brick-and-mortar attendees alike will love our list of fun things to do in PA these next few months!
You may have heard about Juneteenth, but wondered what this holiday is all about. In this blog, we explore the history of Juneteenth, the important role it plays in our country, and what you can do to honor this day!
Who's ready for summer? Break out the s'mores and flip flops as you jump into this time of leisure. Summer is also a time to find innovative ways to keep kids learning so that their knowledge stays sharp. In this blog post, Parent Ambassador Coordinator Darcie Lusk shares some tips on how to keep your summer fun, relaxing, yet educational!
Graduation season is upon us! As seniors prepare to step out into the wider world, they are full of questions related to the job market, their social circle, family, and more. In this blog post, cyber charter school veteran Lexi '17 shares some tips on preparing for post-graduation life.
We hear a lot about Memorial Day parades, cookouts, and even sales. But why do we acknowledge this important day? In this blog, we explore the history of Memorial Day, its significance, and offer some celebration ideas!
Making the switch to cyber school can seem daunting, but we're here to help! If you're considering enrolling at a cyber charter school, then you might have orientation to help acclimate you to the virtual environment. In this blog, one of our Orientation teachers, Ms. Slater, walks you through what you might expect to learn!
Many of us remember trips to the nurse's office in our brick-and-mortar schools. But did you know that cyber schools, including cyber charters, have health services as well? In this blog, Regional Nurse Ms. Olcese-Mercurio explores the role of these healthcare professionals, and how they help your child and family!
Attending a cyber school is an enlightening experience, and one that still allows for strong connections with fellow classmates as well as teachers! In this blog, cyber charter school alumna Lauren '14 shares her thoughts on cyber school, how it helped shape her desire to teach, and provides an insider's view into the experience!
Career preparation is more important than ever in our competitive, dynamic economy. In this blog post, Field Placement & Career Services Manager Gabrielle discusses the PA Virtual Career Services program, its goal, and how it prepares our students for bright futures!
Most of us have heard about Earth Day, which encourages everyone to consider sustainability and other environmental concerns. But what role do cyber schools play? In this blog, High School Principal and GLOBE Program Club adviser Dr. Shaikha BuAli answers that very question — and shares some ways to get involved on Earth Day!
Ah, the joy of Spring Break! After a long winter, and before the busy summer, families across Pennsylvania take this opportunity for some springtime fun. Whether you're at a cyber charter school or in a brick-and-mortar model, break is a great time rest and recharge for the the final end-of-year push. Check out these tips and activities to make your break relaxing and productive, while helping you stay healthy!
What's it like being an assistant principal at a cyber charter school? We're celebrating Assistant Principal Appreciation Week with this insider's view from Ms. Afshari, whose experience spans brick-and-mortar settings, teaching in a cyber school, and now administration!
What is kindergarten like in an online school? Find out what you can expect, what your child will learn, and more from cyber charter elementary teacher Ms. Bornancini!
Is high school different in a cyber school? Find out what it's like to teach at a cyber charter high school, featuring English teacher Ms. Slater!
Families considering online school often have questions about their options, the flexibility of programs, work load, socialization, and more. In this blog, Cindy Dingeldein, a Parent Ambassador coordinator and former PA Virtual parent, shares some of the important things you need to know about online education!
Think that school spirit is only for a brick-and-mortar environment? Not at all! As PA Virtual Proud Spirit Week approaches, we take a look at what makes our teachers, staff, and students love being at a cyber charter school, and how they stay #PAVirtualProud every day! Thanks to Ms. Varalli for sharing her perspective!
What's it like inside one of the cyber school classrooms in Pennsylvania? Heather Alcott, an Academic Support Teacher, gives us a snapshot of teaching in a virtual classroom — and shares her thoughts on the cyber charter school class experience!
Wondering just how parents relate to teachers, staff, and administration in a virtual learning environment? One of our Parent Ambassador Regional Coordinators, Cindy Dingeldein, shares her insight into how she, as well as other parents, connect with the school in a cyber charter school!
Presidents Day: a Monday in February that celebrates our former Commanders in Chief. As a cyber charter school, we appreciate the role that history plays in our lives, and we've compiled some fun facts for you to celebrate the day!
It's that time of year for shorter days, colder nights, and bundling up! For some, winter can be a challenging season, and many people find themselves emotionally sad or drained. But cyber charter elementary school counselor Ms. Romig has you covered with some tips to help you manage the mid-winter blues!
Coding, astronomy, writing — oh my! Think that cyber charter school is only about the core classes? Not so! We offer plenty of additional courses to help students explore their interests. Read on for 8 classes that you didn't know we offered at our cyber high school!
You may have heard about school choice, particularly as it pertains to cyber charter schools. But what exactly is it, and how does it impact your family? In this blog, we explore school choice's role in education, why it's important, and how it benefits your child!
Looking to transition to a cyber charter school model? In this blog post, Darcie — one of our Parent Ambassador Regional Coordinators — discusses some of the programs in place to help families who are new to PA Virtual.
Cyber charter school students and parents, just like brick-and-mortar families, want to know that they are valued! In this blog, school counselor Ms. Mathis discusses the key principles of PA Virtual as a cyber school — and how these key concepts benefit students, families, and employees!
Fireworks, parties, and food. New Year's Eve is an exciting time, as we say goodbye to one year and welcome the next. But how do people around the world mark this occasion? Check out celebrations from Denmark, South Africa, and more in this special edition blog!
Winter Break: two words that, for most students, signal rest, relaxation, and a temporary pause after a busy first semester. Whether students are in a cyber charter school, or in a brick-and-mortar model, this time typically elicits excitement from even the most dedicated student who loves being in school. Here are some tips for making your vacation both fun and educational!
Parents sometimes wonder what types of learning supports are available for students who need some extra help. All teachers — be they at a cyber charter school or in a brick-and-mortar setting — want to help their students succeed! Learn more about how PA Virtual achieves this from Heather, one of our Academic Support Teachers!
What's it like to graduate from a cyber charter school, begin a career or family, and then become a Learning Coach for your child at your alma mater? We recently sat down with Faith '11, a busy mother of two boys, to discover why she chose to have her oldest son attend here.
Ensuring that our students achieve their full potential means addressing multiple facets of education, such as parent involvement, engaging curriculum and technology, high-quality academics, and supporting students and families. PA Virtual 's Diamond Model of Partnership draws on this multi-pronged approach to prepare students for college, career, and beyond!
Every parent wants their child to receive an education that is comprehensive and teaches skills applicable to the world outside the classroom. But how does this work in a cyber charter setting? PA Virtual teacher Amy Dajczak takes a look at how cyber charter schools infuse real-world skill training with a virtual education.
As the world embraces the benefits of working remotely, parents might wonder what it’s like to work at a cyber charter school. Is it that different from a brick-and-mortar experience? Do employees really benefit from it? In this blog post, staff member Jennifer shares her honest review of working at PA Virtual.
In recent years, our country has seen a significant rise in concerns about bullying, with a particular emphasis on cyberbullying. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and we're here to examine some signs that your child might be experiencing bullying, as well as offer some tools and trips to resolve and even prevent it. Special thanks to our school counselors for providing insights for this blog post!
PA Virtual may be a cyber charter school that excels at virtual learning, but we still love in-person, family-oriented activities — especially those involving food! In this special edition of our blog, we're celebrating National Apple Day with some facts about this delicious fruit, as well as the connection between apples and our Pupil Health department!
When it comes to learning in a cyber charter school environment, we know that organization and communication are keys to success. But what about teaching at an online school? Faculty member Janese Claar has some best practices and tips for teaching virtually.
How do cyber charter school students participate in special subjects, such as art? In this blog, art teacher Tori addresses some of the highlights and important aspects of teaching art virtually, and how it supports students' creativity, provides interdisciplinary connections to other areas of study, and helps provide a well-rounded, cyber charter education.
What’s it like being a parent of a cyber charter student? Can one balance being a parent, full-time remote worker, AND a Learning Coach? Amy Page shares her perspective on being a PA Virtual employee and having her son enrolled at the school.
Ready for some fun autumn activities? Look no further than our list of 10 family-friendly things to do in Pennsylvania. Get out and enjoy the leaves, pumpkins, apples, and more while you can!
Finding the right school for your child is an important milestone in a family’s life. Should they be at a brick and mortar school? In virtual learning? What about the quality of academics, flexibility of programs, and safety? A cyber charter school is a tuition-free, public option for many families, with many students enjoying the flexibility of classes, the home-based environment, and innovative technology. But what about parents? As a PA Virtual parent and employee, I’ve witnessed the power of virtual learning. In this blog, I’ll share the lessons that I experienced as a Learning Coach, as well as some tips and strategies for cyber charter school success.
Each day, the teachers of Pennsylvania's 14 cyber charter schools find new ways to present content in a virtual educational model, offering their expertise to students from PreK through grade 12. But what is the experience like when you teach virtually, as opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar school? And how do you maintain connection with students? In particular, how do you keep younger children engaged in their learning? In this post, I’m going to share what it’s like to be a Kindergarten through grade 4 teacher at a cyber school.
Books are sources of wisdom, quests, truth, and hope — and are instrumental to building an extensive vocabulary. Every parent wants their child to love books and reading because they know it opens many doors. And helping children love books and reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Reading is an essential skill to have, and will lead your child on a path to becoming a lifelong learner. But how can we help a child love books, particularly in a world of many digital distractions?
Task management: two words that often conjure images of Excel spreadsheets, endless checkboxes, or even chore charts. Before we know it, we’re faced with a list as long as our arm — one that seemingly grows overnight. But does it have to be that way? In this blog, we'll look at strategies to optimize task (and, consequently, time) management for your student and family. Here are our tips for task management for cyber charter students and beyond.
For many children, returning to school is an exciting time of discovery, reuniting with friends, and growth. For others, the loss of carefree summer days can cause apprehension, even panic. Whether your child is attending a brick and mortar school, a cyber charter model, or being homeschooled, here are some ways to help address back-to-school concerns, and ease your child's transition back into the academic year. Here are five tips for managing child back-to-school anxiety.
You’ve always searched for the best option for your child, from the best bottle to the sturdiest bike. Now it’s time for you to choose the best education. We are so fortunate to have options for our children today. These days, you can think critically about your child’s amazing qualities and correlate them with a system that makes them successful for life. We’ve compiled some guiding questions, as well as an overview of your options in Pennsylvania, to help you determine what fits your child's unique academic needs. Here is our list of the best questions to ask when choosing the right education for your child.
It’s August, and you know what that means: nearly time to go back to school! We've compiled a list of some timeless tips to make the process less stressful for you and your family. Check out our helpful back-to-school tips for students and families.
Ready to squeeze in a few more family outings – and not break the bank? We’ve compiled a list of 10 free or low-cost activities for you and your family, all in the greater Philadelphia area. Note: Please confirm each destination’s health and safety protocols, as well as local guidance on masking and distancing, prior to your trip.
There’s lots to learn about cyber education and PA Virtual Charter School. Here’s a fun way to learn 26 things in just a few minutes!
If you’re a parent who is considering enrolling your child in kindergarten at a cyber school, this blog post is for you. We will discuss what a typical day looks like, the types of lessons and activities your child will participate in, the materials they will receive, and more. While the focus of this blog post will be on kindergarten at PA Virtual, we hope this gives you a good understanding of what to expect from any cyber school kindergarten experience.
We’ve heard the stories. Friends or family members who had their accounts hacked, or their identity stolen. You take great interest in these stories for yourself. Have you thought about using these teachable moments for your children?
Are you a parent of a school-aged child looking for educational options in Pennsylvania? Would you like a little more flexibility in the school day? Are you wondering if your student can get an excellent education online? Lastly, you may be asking yourself, “How hard can it be to cyber school my child?”
The National Education Association, Public School Review, and the National Parent Teacher Association agree. Parent involvement in education is key to student success. As NEA Today phrases it, “the most significant type of involvement is what parents do at home.”
Parents sometimes ask about school counseling, and if their child will receive support in a cyber charter school. The answer is YES! As a k-12 Pennsylvania public school, PA Virtual Charter School has a comprehensive school counseling program. We support students academically, on a social and emotional level, and in college and career planning. Although the themes we address are the same, the programs are delivered differently by counselors across grade levels. Each school counselor provides support in a manner that fits the developmental levels of the students served. In this blog, we'll explore what the school counselors do at PA Virtual, and the programming we offer our students.
Teaching reading in an online setting has evolved as technology creates more opportunities for virtual learning. Many parents wonder how teachers instruct students in reading in a cyber school, and how they support their learners. In this post, I'll draw on years of experience teaching reading in a virtual classroom to share some strategies for helping students learn, and the benefits that come with a virtual environment.
How do you prepare for online school? This is a serious question because when I went to school, I attended a brick and mortar. Parents know when their children go there, they’ll need crayons, pencils, and notebooks because these are tangible items students need to learn. Then, the students go to school and the rest is up to the teacher. But for an online school, what do you need to do to get ready? Maybe you’re thinking, “We received our computer and materials from the school so maybe that is all that needs to be done.” No, you need to do a little bit more to have a successful, enriching, and positive year with your student and for your student. If your child is starting cyber school for the first time, we have some tips on how you can prepare for a successful first school year.
Cyber School. It sounds so vague and different. Would your student benefit from this form of education? If you’re considering it, there’s a good chance that this may be the perfect model. Maybe it’s time to learn more!
What are the differences between cyber schooling vs. homeschooling? When you hear a family is homeschooling their child, it often doesn’t mean what it did 20 years ago. Many times the family is actually schooling their child through a cyber charter school, a home-based education program. PA Virtual Charter School is one of several cyber charter schools available to Pennsylvania families and has been serving students since 2001. While the phrases are often used interchangeably, it’s important to note that homeschooling and cyber schooling are not the same. In this post, we will cover the top three differences between attending a cyber charter school and homeschooling.
There are many reasons why a student might struggle to concentrate regardless of the type of school they attend. Oftentimes it can be due to factors in the environment or in their personal lives. If you're looking for some tips on how to help your child improve their concentration and focus, we have compiled a few general suggestions to consider that experienced Learning Coaches at PA Virtual have found helpful.
Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School (PA Virtual) was one of the first cyber schools established in the state and has served thousands of families for more than 20 years. We believe in providing a comprehensive education for each student. This includes personalizing learning for each student and providing social and leadership opportunities through monthly field trips and more than 30 online clubs.
Over the last 20+ years there has been a lot of misinformation distributed concerning cyber learning; especially cyber learning in the K-12 environment. However, cyber learning is a successful option for many families in Pennsylvania. The purpose of this blog is to give you some foundational information regarding cyber learning. Here are 5 things you may have not considered about cyber school.
When you think of schooling, you most likely think of the traditional school model, brick and mortar. So why would you consider online learning in a virtual environment? There are many reasons to explain why parents are moving away from brick and mortar and looking into online schools. Some of the reasons have to do with factors in our environment and society. Parents, you are aware that bullying in school can carry over into the community in which you are raising your child. There is also an increase in emotional, behavioral, and psychological conditions that are impeding students’ social, emotional, and academic development. Other reasons may be related to the overall quality of education within the districts.
Online schooling is no longer limited to just colleges and universities. Children in Pennsylvania have been attending cyber charter schools for more than 20 years! While that may seem like a long time, much of the public is still unclear about what exactly cyber charter schools are and how they work. In this post, we will explore the top ways in which cyber charter schools are similar to and different from your local district school.
My oh my, how governments, teachers, and students wished mid-way through the year 2020 that they would have learned more about distance learning beforehand. Nobody could have predicted how quickly and drastically our normal lives would change, specifically with work and education. The use of virtual, home-based learning systems was the talk of the town, and even the professionals ditched their offices and business suits for work from home environments.
There are always plenty of questions parents have about PA Virtual and cyber charter schools in general when they start looking into the online education model. Over the past 20 years of serving Pennsylvania families, we have noticed a handful of questions that are frequently asked by prospective parents. In this post, we’ll be answering some of the most common questions that parents ask before they enroll their child with PA Virtual Charter School.
This post is designed with you, the parent, in mind. You are considering cyber school for your child(ren) which can be a rewarding journey in itself. Cyber school students benefit greatly from invested adults monitoring the school day and at times giving instruction.
Think back to your kindergarten days. What do you remember? The smell of crayons and paint? Perhaps the texture of sand from a sensory table. Did you have a few favorite friends?
Have you been considering if your family would be a good fit for a cyber school? There are several reasons why your family could benefit from cyber education for your child. Many families look into the cyber model for reasons like flexibility, individualized learning, convenience and safety, among other factors.
There are many factors to consider as a parent when deciding which education model would be the best fit for your family. If you’re looking into the cyber model for your child, you likely have many questions. Will my child be engaged in this environment? How will they make friends? Is there more or less stress? If they are struggling in class, are there services provided like there are in a brick and mortar school?
Families looking into cyber school and other alternative methods of education may be doing so due to difficulties with their local school district. Before withdrawing a student, however, it’s important that parents understand Truancy Laws and how to avoid truancy issues. This blog will help you navigate this topic, and provide some solutions to avoid your child being truant!
Technology is ever-evolving in the 21st century and has created many opportunities for us all, including for online learning. Education has expanded beyond the traditional classroom of textbooks, paper, and pencils toward Google virtual classrooms, sharing Google docs, and computerized writing tools.
As we approach the end of the school year, it gets harder and harder for kids to stay focused on their school work. With the weather getting warmer, the days getting longer, and summer vacation just around the corner, it naturally becomes more difficult for children to concentrate on school. As a parent, there are some things you can do to help keep your child focused until school lets out for the summer.
Parents are often curious about how music experiences work for students who attend a cyber school. Learning music virtually is quite similar to what it would be in a traditional brick and mortar setting. We learn music by listening. We learn music by creating it, by playing instruments and singing. This is a field that continues to evolve, but in this post, I’ll explain more in-depth how music is learned and taught and how I connect with students through music in our virtual environment. If you're wondering, "how is music taught at a cyber school?" you've come to the right spot.
Being a parent isn't an easy job, and requires flexibility, patience, and the ability to wear multiple hats! Many cyber charter parents also serve as their child's Learning Coach, a role that is crucial to their student's success. In this blog, we'll take a look at some tips and tricks to for being a Learning Coach!
During my first week of teaching at PA Virtual Charter School, a parent hopped on at the end of a lesson. As a newbie, I naturally grew anxious that I had forgotten something! Was my mic off the whole time? Was the information irrelevant?
If you are a cyber school parent struggling to keep your student's attention where it needs to be throughout the school day, you are not alone! Keeping students focused is a challenge for many of us! Many PA Virtual Learning Coaches have experienced the same situation and have come up with tried and true strategies to help keep their child on task.
Over the past 20 years of serving families across Pennsylvania, we have noticed a handful of questions that are frequently asked by prospective parents. In this post, we've compiled a list below of the most common questions people ask regarding socialization and family support specifically, as well as some general questions people frequently ask about PA Virtual Charter School.
There are many challenges parents face when it comes to their child’s education, regardless of what type of school their child attends. Because cyber school parents are at home with their children and are heavily involved in their day-to-day schooling, it’s important to address these challenges and equip parents with the tools and resources to help their child reach their full potential.
“How have I survived without this online tool?” “How have I never heard of this app?” You will probably be asking yourself these questions by the time you finish reading this blog post. There are endless free online tools and resources out there to continually engage and teach students (and adults) year-round. Many of these tools are useful both in and out of school. Here are some of our favorites.
Comedian Michael Jr. is known for saying, ‘“When you know your 'why,' then your 'what' has more impact, because you're working towards your purpose.” In other words, it is just as vital in life to know why we are doing what we are doing, so we can produce value for ourselves and others. This is what I consider as I think about an honest review of cyber schooling. We had many whys, but the top of the list was for our daughter to become a lifelong learner. We kept that thought as an anchor throughout the years.
Prospective parents often wonder how physical education, a course centered on being physically active, can be taught in a virtual setting. Cyber charter schools continually find ways to keep students moving, and develop their knowledge of the importance of exercise, nutrition, and mental health. In this blog, we'll discuss how cyber charters make physical education a priority for students.
You may have considered a cyber charter school for your child but are not sure where exactly to begin. There are 14 cyber charter schools to choose from in Pennsylvania, so you have quite a few choices. These schools have some similarities but also many differences. Therefore, you may be wondering how to choose a cyber school in PA. It is important to do your research and to choose a cyber charter school that will be the right fit for your family. But, what questions should you ask? ln this post, we’ll discuss five important questions you should ask when researching which cyber charter school in PA is best for your family.
Every interest has an online learning opportunity. When learning can’t take place in the classroom, online learning websites can help support and increase learning. Homework help, enrichment, and fun can all be discovered with online learning. Free and fun online learning optimizes mastery in simple skills to more complex learning needs. If your child needs enrichment activities or fully assembled lessons, online learning is a great way to supply those needs. Check out these online learning websites!
Have you ever feared speaking or performing in front of a group of people? Maybe you were feeling stressed just thinking about an upcoming presentation, performing in a concert, or taking an upcoming test. Some people perform or present without hesitation while others feel anything from a sense of nervousness to dread or fear. For many of us, just the thought of being watched by others is intimidating. But, for those who suffer from performance anxiety, getting up in front of others is a very stressful experience. Extreme nervousness experienced before or during participation in an activity taking place in front of an audience is called performance anxiety. This condition is more common than you may think and there are ways to help alleviate the symptoms.
It’s no secret that your child has preferences! The countless shirts with “llama-corns,” or the reoccurring Lego lunchbox. That particular dinner that they always finish. Kids are not shy when it comes to their own unique style, but have you caught onto their learning style? Chances are, they’re showing it to you, and you haven’t picked up on it yet!
Have you ever wondered if a better option existed for your child’s education? Did you know that you, as a parent or guardian in Pennsylvania, have the right to choose the educational environment that works best for your child?
Families in 2021 have many options for educating their children. Homeschool, which began on a larger scale in the 1970s; private schools, which have been available for many decades; local public schools, which are utilized by the majority of PA families; and for the past 20+ years, we have encountered the “new kid on the block”: charter & cyber charter schools. When it was our family’s turn, many of our friends were at the end of the decision process. It seemed there were so many questions and so many decisions to be made. This was our journey.
One of the biggest questions people have before trying something new is, “What does this experience look like?” For students moving to a cyber charter school, it can be difficult to imagine what school will be like in a different environment. I would love to tell you about what being a student at a cyber charter school is really like. I attended PA Virtual from kindergarten through 12th grade. During my time here, I developed valuable skills, made great friends, and genuinely enjoyed learning. If you’re considering virtual school but are feeling nervous about the change, let me put your mind at ease.
A quick Internet search for the definition of the word “test” reveals something remarkable. Anxiety and stress are never listed as synonyms. However, that is exactly how most of us feel as soon as the word test is mentioned. Although often dreaded by our students, various types of testing can be beneficial for teachers and parents to gauge student progress and performance. But how can we help our students get over their reflexive barrage of nerves so that they can actually achieve success during those inevitable exams? In this blog post, I will be sharing some tried and true tips for relieving test anxiety before and during the test, as well as how to use the experience after the test to better prepare for the next one.
From a young age, Abigail Kauffman had a passion for music and knew that it would be a significant part of her life. She sang her first solo before she started kindergarten, and growing up, she would sing around the house any chance she got. She participated in different ensembles and competitions throughout middle school and high school, and her passion for music continued to grow.
At PA Virtual, we offer both asynchronous and synchronous learning models for our students based on their academic performance, learning style, and need for academic support and socialization. So, what exactly do those terms mean and how are they different?
I think you will find many areas of life enjoy a different reality than original expectation. This is true of parents and students when a family enters the cyber school setting. Parents are now alerted to what the student is being exposed to throughout the day. Students may expect easy learning. As a parent, I was naïve enough to believe every day was going to be a great one. I forgot to take into consideration what the day would be like if one of us were tired or not in a great mood. And, I was guilty of thinking a Kindergarten student had the attention span of an adult. Learning to navigate the software takes some time to become familiar, too. Let’s take a few minutes to look at some of the expectations I had for education in the cyber setting and the actual reality of the day-to-day business of educating at home. Check out our blog on Cyber School: Expectations vs. Reality.
For families who are just beginning homeschooling or cyber schooling their children, it can be a little intimidating to figure out how to get started. One of the pieces of advice we hear most often from experienced families is that it helps to set up a specific area where school “happens.” Keep in mind that an elaborate space is not necessary. The school area can be as simple as the kitchen table or a section of the living room. Here are 6 helpful tips on how to set up your child's learning space.
Over the past year, interest in cyber schools has skyrocketed, for obvious reasons. While you may have heard other parents talk about the different class types, the materials provided, and their role in working with their child, the process of enrolling with a cyber school may still feel like something of a mystery. This blog will help demystify the process and provide you with valuable resources for enrollment.
January is nearly synonymous with fresh starts. It seems to be the perfect time to evaluate, plan, and improve. As parents, many of us like to take a close look at our school day during this time of year and do just that before starting into the second semester. Sometimes, very simple changes can go a long way to making the school day smoother and more productive. One great place to start is to consider the morning routine, because that really sets the tone for the whole school day. If you don’t already have a morning routine that seems to be working well for your family, consider the following ideas to get your school mornings started off on the right foot:
I attended PA Virtual for thirteen years. People sometimes ask me why my family chose cyber school, or why we stayed when I could have gone to a public or private school. Today, I thought I’d tell you the story of how the Dingeldein’s found Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School.
More than ever, communities are aware of how crucial support is for students. It is not only necessary for their physical, emotional, and mental well-being, but also for their overall success, both in and out of the classroom. Yet in order for student support to be as effective as possible, parents must be equally supported. For families that are new to the cyber-school model, it is especially important that year-round supports are in place to provide helpful resources, timely communication, and meaningful connections to make the school year a success for the whole family. This blog post will explore ways that parents are specifically supported in one cyber-school model.
Many times when families are transitioning to the cyber model, it can be a challenge for parents to find the best ways to motivate their students to follow a daily school routine. The home environment can bring distractions, and it can be tough for students to adapt to the idea that school happens at home. Whether you have multiple students or just one, adhering to a school routine in a home environment can be tricky at times! Here are a few tips that veteran PA Virtual Learning Coaches have found to stay on track with the school day in spite of the distractions a home-setting can involve.
Is your high school student looking to explore options other than the traditional classroom? Are you, as a parent, a little nervous about the thought of homeschooling your student? Take a deep breath… You have options, and they don’t have to be scary! In this post, we will explore what is involved with being the parent of a high school student who is engaging in home-based learning, including homeschooling and virtual charter schools.
It’s 2020, and many parents are looking in a new direction for the education of their children – schooling from home. Homeschooling is a home-based education program created by the parent, and in the past, consisted of a parent creating and executing lessons for their child at home. When it comes to home education, technology has created a new opportunity – for online schools to better cultivate and support both students and parents. So, you may be wondering, "How hard is online school compared to homeschooling?"
As temperatures begin to drop and winter approaches, your children will begin to spend more time indoors. To make an effort to limit screen time this winter, encourage your children to read more. Of course, this can be easier said than done. Below are some helpful tips on how to get your child to read more this winter season and into the New Year.
Traditional brick and mortar schools have long been the standard in education in the United States. The introduction of school choice along with the increase in popularity of charter schools and homeschooling has caused district schools to reevaluate their teaching methodology. The continued impact and implications of school choice only further the idea that different schooling options work for different learners. Having a variety of choices to meet the various needs of learners can only serve to positively impact educational paradigms overall.
There are hundreds of cyber charter school teachers across the state. You may be considering joining our ranks; however, there are so many questions people have about what it is like to teach at a cyber charter school! If you have a curiosity about making the leap, you may be asking yourself things like, “How do cyber teachers connect with their students?” or “How is teaching virtually different from teaching in a traditional brick and mortar school?” Well, sit back, reheat that coffee for the billionth time, and read on. In this post, I’m going to share with you what it’s like to teach at a cyber school, including the benefits (yay) and challenges (sigh) of teaching virtually.
During my thirteen years of cyber education, my Learning Coach and I sometimes had to defend our family’s school choice. Usually, the objections came from well-meaning people who heard stories from others or assumed that cyber school just didn’t cut it. Today, we’re going to debunk five common myths about cyber school. Here are 5 myths about cyber school debunked.
It can be a challenge to keep kids focused while schooling from home, especially if they tend to get easily distracted by things in their environment. Many students struggle with this, but there are things you can do to help to improve their focus. Here are some tips from seasoned PA Virtual Learning Coaches who have helped their students with this same challenge.
You may be wondering, "Is virtual learning a substitute to traditional schools?" When speaking with parents, this is one of the most common questions we hear. In short, the answer is no, virtual learning is not a substitute to brick and mortar schools; virtual learning is an alternative. In some cases it can be a superior form of education – for the right student, if you choose the right school. There are certain advantages which virtual schools offer that traditional schools do not.
A good high school education is critical for young adults whether they plan to enter the workforce, join the military, or enroll in a college or university. Whatever your child's post-secondary plans, a high-quality high school education lays the foundation for developing the skills necessary to succeed post-graduation. The local district high school is not the perfect learning environment for every student. Some students require a different option. You may be wondering, "What is a good alternative for high school?" This blog will explore the benefits of cyber charter schools and why they might be a good fit for your child.
If you would have asked me during my graduate program what the likelihood of me working at a virtual school was, I would have told you slim to none. However, sometimes life has a funny way of taking control of things. As you can imagine and possibly relate to, I was furiously applying for jobs once I received my diploma. I applied to anything and everything available because I was determined to get a job in my field. I didn't have anything against virtual schools – I just simply knew nothing about them. My internships prepared me for working with large and diverse caseloads in a brick and mortar setting, and I was surprised to see just how well those skills transferred into this virtual setting.
School-related anxiety can develop as the result of many different factors. Managing it can sometimes be difficult, but there are options available to help your child. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and to know when your child needs access to professional care. It is also important to support your child with compassion and understanding while you research steps that can be taken and choices you can make to help. Children often work through their anxiety while remaining in their current school setting. But, sometimes parents look for alternatives to their local public school in an effort to decrease the anxiety their child is experiencing.
Studying is an essential skill when it comes to academic success, but studying doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Whether you are a student struggling to find a study strategy that works for you or a parent looking to help your student improve their study habits, there are specific approaches you can apply to develop better study skills and get results. In this post, I will be sharing study tips that will help students succeed in school and in their future life experiences.
In a cyber school environment, establishing and maintaining a solid daily school routine is important not only for the student but also for the parent. It can help save time, reduce stress, and increase student cooperation. Sometimes it can be a challenge for families to maintain a steady routine, whether they get off track or don’t accomplish as much as they planned to for the day.
Thanks to the year 2020, several people are trying cyber schooling for the first time. For many families, distance learning is a new concept. For my family, though, it was a reality for thirteen years, as I advanced from kindergarten through high school in a cyber education model. I know that getting into a rhythm for cyber school can be challenging, but once you find that rhythm, this model of schooling will offer you so many opportunities to grow and succeed. Today, I want to focus on tips I can give you as a veteran of cyber school.
As cyber schooling continues to gain increased awareness and popularity, many families often question how exactly it all works. Parents wonder how much cyber education will cost and quickly discover that cyber charter schools do not have a tuition fee. Some questions we frequently get asked at PA Virtual are “If your school is free for families to attend, then how are you funded?” or “How can cyber schools and everything they offer be at no cost to the family?” This post is going to explore how cyber charter schools are funded and how they actually receive less funding than their district school counterparts.
Hi everyone; I am Mrs. Cindy Willits, M.Ed. I have had the pleasure of teaching online with PA Virtual since 2006 and have taught in various other capacities for many years. I am here to share with you some amazing ways that an online education can truly become a hands-on and immersive experience for your child! I always strive to make my classes engaging and to connect with my students meaningfully. Through innovative thinking, creative planning, use of webcam and online tools, getting hands-on with my online classes is amazingly memorable, and has become my favorite way to work with students! Join me now for some examples and PICTURES of how this works!
Kayla Turner attended PA Virtual from 4th grade through 12th grade. She has been staying busy since graduating from PA Virtual in 2015. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in chemistry, and when she is not busy with her schoolwork, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. This past summer, Kayla decided to enroll her daughter, Demetria, into 4th grade at PA Virtual for the 2020-2021 school year. We recently caught up with Kayla to learn more about her decision to enroll her daughter at her Alma Mater.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to learning, so there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to educating our children. Every child learns differently, which requires varying forms of delivery to ensure each child receives an education that meets their individual needs. The way we choose to educate our children will have a lasting impact on them throughout their lifetime.
Being a parent at a cyber school is a big time commitment, and it can certainly come with its challenges. If you have multiple children enrolled in a cyber school, it can be an even bigger challenge as a parent to provide the necessary assistance to each of your students when their live classes occur simultaneously.