10 Things to Consider When Searching for a Cyber School

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 11/29/21 8:32 AM

Every school, and especially every cyber school, starts with a vision that comes from a specific instructional strategy or teaching method. At PA Distance, we use a unique blend of proven classroom teaching techniques with educational technologies to promote academic growth for all students from a variety of backgrounds, learning styles, and individual needs. The difference between our school, and other public schools, is that we do it all online. 

Before deciding on online education for your child, whether it be public or private, it is vital to review and compare the components that make up each school:

1. Curriculum & Instruction

Like we said before, at PA Distance we use a blended learning model that promotes growth for all of our students.

This means that our students directly learn from their teachers during a Live Learning Session (LLS) every day, or multiple times a week, depending on their grade level. The LLS allows students to interact with their teachers and classmates, in real-time, in a way that they are comfortable.

2. Management & Governance

PA Distance is a non-profit charter school that is independently managed with a Board of Trustees and governed by the Department of Education. A common misconception is that public charter schools aren’t held to the same standards as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. PA Distance is held to the same, if not higher, standards as other schools across the state.

3. Cost

PA Distance, and other public charter schools, are tuition-free and recognized as public schools - like their brick-and-mortar counterparts in local school districts.

4. Enrollment

PA Distance has a dedicated enrollment team that works directly with parents to answer any questions they may have prior to enrolling. The enrollment team does more than provide information and check submitted paperwork. They also work to empower parents to understand that they can choose where their child receives an education and help them make the right choice for their child

5. The Teachers & Staff

At PA Distance, all of our teachers are credentialed and specialized. Our small student-to-teacher ratio in all subjects—not just core subjects—ensures that each student is receiving the personalized education they need to grow.

6. Special Needs Support

At PA Distance we take special education, and the specific needs that come along with it, very seriously. Our students don't have to worry about being singled out when needing special education services. We provide a caring and supportive environment where students can get the help they need without feeling alienated.

7. Equipment & Technology

At PA Distance, we supply each student with their own laptop, and other technology necessary to successfully learn at home, at no cost. In addition, we offer an internet reimbursement program to help offset costs for you and your family.

PA Distance personally handles all equipment and sends each student all of the tools and supplies they need for their classes. From physical education courses to science and math, our students receive personal equipment that helps them learn and grow.

8. Socialization & Extracurricular Opportunities

Our students are learning online but they aren’t isolated. They have opportunities to connect and build relationships through a variety of extracurricular activities like virtual school clubs, summer camps, and in-person field trips. We also host Open Houses and other in-person events throughout the year so students can meet teachers and staff. 

PA Distance even started its own Esports Team where students work together to compete against other schools across the country (and the world)\

9. Communication & Collaboration 

Our parents, teachers, and counselors collaborate to set up each student’s academic schedule. Teachers and counselors not only monitor each students’ progress but also engage and encourage them along the way.

We create a learning environment that is as unique as each child and the journeys that molded them. When they enroll at PA Distance, we let them continue that journey with safety, care, and understanding.

10. Community Engagement

The PA Distance Community Engagement (CE) team facilitates open communication between families while offering ongoing support when they need it. The team travels across Pennsylvania, in our fleet of Community Connector Vans, building personal connections with our students and offering support during locally scheduled office hours each month.

The CE team also hosts virtual Parent Orientation Sessions for the parents and guardians of enrolled students.


About PA Distance Learning Charter School

Since 2004, PA Distance has been providing a welcoming virtual learning environment for students in grades K-12 across Pennsylvania. Students at PA Distance engage in a blended environment that combines “synchronous” and “asynchronous” learning. PA Distance’s mission is to blend proven classroom teaching techniques with educational technologies to promote academic growth for all students.

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