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What are the Best Cyber Charter Schools in PA? [An Honest Review]

What are the Best Cyber Charter Schools in PA? [An Honest Review]

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.

We are experts in our field:

  • PA Virtual received one of the highest Act 82 Building Level Scores out of all cyber charter schools in the state, per the Pennsylvania Department of Education in 2019.
  • PA Virtual was also the first cyber charter school in the state to have its charter renewed by the Department of Education in several years; PA Virtual’s charter has been approved through 2024. 

PA Virtual is a trusted resource for families exploring the cyber model. We are passionate about k-12 education and understand how important picking the right school is for families. But of the cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, which is the best? It’s a difficult question to answer, as each family has unique learning needs, but in this blog, we’ll share some of the schools with solid reputations for serving students and families.

Best Cyber Charter Schools in Pennsylvania


PA Virtual Charter School

Founded: 2001

PA Virtual has over 3,000 students enrolled in grades k-12. PA Virtual has the highest Annual Growth Expectations among PA cyber charter schools in Science/Biology.

PA Virtual was one of the first cyber schools established in the state and has served thousands of families over the years. Per the Future Ready PA Index, PA Virtual consistently ranks high among cyber charter schools in ELA/literature, science, and biology. 

The school also has a growing career readiness and preparation program, with dedicated career educators helping students explore their interests, gain internship or shadowing experience, and more.

21st Century Cyber Charter School

Founded: 2001

21st Century is a smaller school with just over 2,500 students and serves students in 6th-12th grades. 21st Century also has some of the highest Future Ready PA index scores among the 14 cyber charter schools.

Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School (PALCS)

Founded: 2004

PA Leadership is a mid-sized cyber charter school serving students in grades k-12. The school offers a Center for Performing and Fine Arts pre-professional program with a brick-and-mortar center in West Chester, PA, and also offers the program online.

Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA)

Founded: 2003

Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) is one of the largest cyber charter schools in the state, with more than 16,000 students in grade k-12. CCA recently opened a state-of-the-art aquaponics facility called AgWorks at their main campus in Harrisburg. Students learn about aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics at this facility.


Reach Cyber Charter School

Founded: around 2016

This K-12 school of more than 8,000 students is more focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with virtual and face-to-face learning through partnerships with STEM-oriented organizations.


Final Thoughts


These are cyber schools you may wish to consider depending on your family’s specific needs. For an overview of your options, check out our 5 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Cyber Charter School post.

Are you interested in learning more about cyber charter schools? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Attending a Cyber Charter School In PA. This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of cyber charter schools and help you decide whether your child would benefit from a cyber charter school. In addition, this guide shows examples of curriculum and includes an extensive comparison of all cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, and much more.

Want to learn more about PA Virtual? We invite you to attend an upcoming online open house. We are a PA cyber school serving students and families all across Pennsylvania, and we're currently enrolling for the fall.

This online open house will be much like an open house you would attend at any other school. You will learn about our curriculum and teaching methods, you will get a peek inside our virtual classroom and see how it works, you’ll get a hands-on demonstration of the technology we use, and of course, you will get to meet other parents and staff here at PA Virtual Charter School.

RSVP to an Open House!

Note: This blog was originally published in June 2021, and has been updated for accuracy of content.