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More than 60,000 students attend one of 14 public cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania today. While cyber charter schools have grown in popularity, so, too, have the voices of their critics. Many students find success in being able to learn in a different way. Let’s break down some of the biggest misconceptions about this education option in our Commonwealth.
Myth #1: Students in cyber charter schools don’t have opportunities to socialize.
Cyber charter schools offer an array of social activities, both online and in-person. Students interact with peers and teachers in virtual classrooms through discussions and projects. Online clubs allow participants to explore shared interests with peers. Families can mingle at in-person activities, including field trips to zoos, museums, and historical sites. Prom and graduation ceremonies mark key milestones and capture traditional aspects of brick-and-mortar schools.
Myth #2: Cyber charter schools are private, for-profit schools.
Cyber charter schools are, in fact, public schools. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees cyber charter schools’ financial reporting and sets their academic and curriculum standards. Like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, cyber charter schools do not charge tuition and are funded by taxes—the primary difference is where the students learn.
Myth #3: Only one type of student attends a cyber charter school.
I often hear the stereotype that cyber charter schools are primarily for students with behavioral issues; however, they support a broad range of learners. Students from all backgrounds enroll in cyber charter school because their previous school wasn’t the right fit for them. Some want more academic challenges. Some need better special education support. Some have time-intensive extracurricular activities, such as athletics or creative pursuits, and flexible scheduling enables them to pursue their passion. Some want more time to volunteer, work, or with family.
If your child’s current education situation isn’t working out, perhaps a cyber charter school is a better fit. Learning online isn’t ideal for everyone, and that’s okay. However, gone are the days when education is one-size-fits-all, and families have more options when choosing the school where their children can succeed.
Learn more at pacyber.org or call 724-643-1180.