School Districts in the Lehigh Valley are quickly adopting the idea of cyber school programs or virtual learning programs. These programs are designed to teach courses entirely or primarily through online methods and allow students to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere.
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is a public charter school with over 9000 students enrolled to date. 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of this online learning experience and continues to promote success and higher learning.
Every student receives a custom-designed course of study to meet his or her individual needs and abilities. Parents, along with their child’s instructional supervisor, play a vital role in the school by keeping the student on task, motivated, and challenged. As a public school, PA Cyber provides services at no cost to students and families.
The benefits of cyber school programs go way beyond the fact that most services are free. These programs allow children to learn in a way many find not possible in a traditional classroom setting. Southern Lehigh and Whitehall-Coplay School Districts plan to join the Lehigh Valley Cyber Consortium, of which Parkland School District is already a member, to start their own cyber school programs this fall, and bring back those children who have already left for other cyber charter school programs.
Excerpt from The Morning Call:
Administrators for the districts say the consortium will save about $4,000 per student over the cost of sending them to an independent cyber charter school and allows districts to share courses and resources. Administrators hope the prospect of receiving a diploma from their home schools will help entice cyber students to return.
Administrators from all the districts said they chose VLN, which stands for Virtual Learning Network, because it develops online courses based on each district’s courses. ”We could put our curriculum online through their teaching staff,” said Troutman of Parkland.
One particular benefit of a cyber school program is that it allows students to continue learning even if they are physically unable to attend the school. For example, if a student is injured playing sports and will be recovering for an extended period of time, he or she will be able to continue learning the curriculum by enrolling in the cyber program. The transition from the cyber program back to the traditional classroom setting will be seamless because the student has been learning with online methods.
The cyber school options offered by these three school districts are different than a cyber charter program in that they follow the curriculum being offered in the classroom, making it easy to transition back and forth. If anyone has additional information regarding cyber school programs, please tell us below.
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