The Lackey family was recently interviewed by WPVI’s Erin O’Hearn for the Channel 6 Action News segment know as “Your Life,” which aired in the Philadelphia area on November 2, 2016. The family was interviewed about their experience using a new filtering device to enforce internet safety and time spent in front of the computer. The new system is called Circle; it is designed to make the most out of technology while still keeping families connected and safe over the internet. While PALCS places a security filter on all of our devices known as iBoss, the Lackey family wanted to explore an additional internet filtering system for their personal devices, as well.

The Lackey family is in their second year here at PALCS and have two students enrolled with us. Their son Simeon is 11 years old and in the 6th grade and Micah is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. They live in Philadelphia County, and they homeschooled prior to enrolling in PALCS.

We had the chance to speak with Simeon and Micah’s mom, Heather, about her family’s experience with Circle and PALCS. The Lackey family started using Circle last January in place of the subscription service they were paying for monthly in order to filter their internet. Heather explained that she would rather pay the one-time fee for Circle and be able to customize all the controls than pay a monthly subscription for a general filtering of the internet.

As explained on the Circle website, “Circle pairs wirelessly with your home Wi-Fi and allows you to manage every device on your network. Using the Circle app, families can create unique profiles for each family member. From here, kids will have a connected experience that is designed just for them.” With Circle, parents are able to filter the content that their children view, while limiting screen time and are able to set a bedtime for any device within their home.

As Heather explains it, “my boys really hate circle, which tells me its working! One of the features I love and they hate is the ability to pause the internet or their specific devices. I do this as a discipline method or for family time (i.e. dinner).”

We also spoke with Heather about her family’s experience transitioning from homeschooling to PALCS. She explained that they first came to the decision to stop homeschooling because it became too easy to skip the difficult assignments and move on to the next subject. They were looking for more accountability in their students’ academic world and wanted to enroll them in a more formal school, yet they did not want to give up the flexibility they were use to coming from a homeschool environment. They decided that Cyber School would give them the best of both worlds, a quality education with room for flexibility. As they researched different PA cyber schools, they found PALCS and decided that it was the right school for them. “My boys really liked that PALCS offered a coding class elective. None of the other cyber schools did,” said Heather.

When the Lackey family first enrolled at PALCS, Simeon had just been diagnosed with ADHD and a math learning disability. The special education department at PALCS worked with Heather to develop a plan to help Simeon with his math, and his math scores and ability dramatically improved within his first year at PALCS. “I love PALCS. I like that field trips are included as part of the curriculum and I love the special ed department,” exclaimed Heather.

We would like to thank Heather and the Lackey Family for taking the time to speak with us about Circle and their experiences! We are so happy to have them in our PALCS community! Click here to see their interview on Channel 6 Action News.