Bridging the Gap in Education: The Virtual Charter School Solution

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 1/31/24 9:54 AM

Bridging the Gap in Education

Bridging the gap in education is a hot topic among parents of Pennsylvania school-aged children, and for good reason. Traditional public schools are failing many of our children, leaving them wholly unprepared for life after high school, whether they pursue higher education, learn a trade, or enter the workforce. 

This article identifies some of the glaring gaps in traditional public schools, offers some ways to determine if your child is falling behind academically, and discusses how a virtual charter school can get your child’s education back on track. 

Identifying Gaps in Traditional Public Schools

It will come as no surprise to anyone with a child enrolled in a traditional education curriculum and setting that America’s education system is failing. According to the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • 44% of public school students are behind grade level in at least one subject
  • Less than 25% of high school seniors are math proficient
  • Barely 27% of eighth graders write at grade level
  • 65% of fourth graders are proficient in reading 

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly took its toll on the US education system, there are other reasons so many kids are falling behind. For example:

  • Overcrowded classrooms mean that teachers can’t possibly connect with each and every student. It’s hard enough for instructors to just keep up with lesson plans.
  • Bureaucracies get in the way. When innovative solutions or the latest teaching methods are posited, or pathways to progress for struggling students are presented, implementation is often stymied by red tape and school board politics.
  • Not every child thrives in an environment that requires strict adherence to classroom bell schedules. Some kids need a more flexible learning environment and a chance to pursue passions like music and athletics. 

Telltale Signs Your Child is Struggling in Their Traditional Public School 

If you think your child might benefit from an alternative to traditional public school, you’ve probably already identified one or more of these telltale signs:

  • They seem distracted and bored. Once kids lose interest in learning, it’s an uphill battle to get them re-engaged. 
  • They feel rushed to complete assignments, or they get way ahead in their work. Either way, they aren’t getting the personalized attention they need and deserve, and they’re not reaching their full potential. 
  • They seem anxious and overwhelmed by the rigidity of following a traditional class schedule. 

Virtual Charter Schools: Strategies for Academic Success  

The virtual charter school model — like the one adopted by PA Distance Learning Charter School — offers several pathways to bridging the gap between home and school learning environments. 

  • Technology, combined with direct instruction, personalizes learning so each child’s specific needs are met. This personalized approach meets each child where they are and helps them progress at a pace that will produce the best learning outcomes for them. 
  • Virtual schools offer self-paced coursework, allowing students to breeze through subjects that they have an affinity for while offering them time to master subjects that they find more challenging. The result? Boredom is eliminated, and anxiety is diminished. 
  • The flexibility of the virtual charter school model allows each child to develop their whole person, as they balance outside interests and responsibilities with academic learning. 
  • Since virtual charter schools are online by design — rather than online because of the need for expediency or to solve problems unrelated to education, like the global pandemic — they are run by distance learning experts who are technology masters and know how to challenge and engage in a virtual environment.

What to Look For When Choosing a Virtual Charter School

Like anything else, not all virtual charter schools are alike. Don’t be afraid to investigate the school thoroughly and ask questions. After all, your child’s education is at stake. Here are some suggestions when vetting a virtual charter school: 

  • Make sure the curriculum meets your standards and your child’s needs. Look for interactive and engaging online courses and opportunities for self-paced learning. And make sure the coursework is approved by the relevant credentialing organizations for your state. 
  • Research the school’s reputation. Look at online reviews, talk to parents whose children are enrolled in the school, and contact the school administration directly for any questions you have about how well they serve their student body and how robust their academic offerings are. 
  • Find out what the school offers students outside of academics. Do they offer field trips and student clubs or activities? 

How PA Distance Learning Addresses the Whole Learner 

As you explore virtual charter school options and your child’s best strategies for academic success, we invite you to consider PA Distance Learning’s approach to home-based schooling. Regardless of where your child falls in their education journey — from elementary to middle to high school — PA Distance Learning’s blend of teacher-led live learning and supportive activities assures they’ll receive a personalized first-class education. 

To learn more about  PA Distance Learning’s strategies for academic success, contact us today. Ready to enroll? Begin with this form or by calling our enrollment team at 1-888-997-3352.

Recent Posts