Despite the growing population of online learning, there is still some confusion surrounding how a cyber charter school actually works. There are several misconceptions, myths, that we hope to debunk.
Myth #1: Cyber Charter Schools are not real schools.
PALCS is a public school that provides an academically challenging, knowledge-based curriculum, that is individually designed for each child’s needs. Brick and mortar charter schools generally enroll students who live close by. Cyber-charter schools serves students and families across the state.
PALCS provides free appropriate education to any student, living in Pennsylvania in grades K-12.
The main difference between traditional school districts and charter schools (cyber included) is that charter schools provide an alternative choice in public school education. Additionally, cyber charter schools are able to enroll students from across Pennsylvania, not just within the local school district.
Myth #2: Cyber Schools are easier
Cyber Charter Schools must meet the same academic standards as traditional school districts. Cyber charter schools provide a program of study, curriculum, and courses that meet these standards. PALCS follows the PA Common Core standards for all of it’s lessons.
The misconception that cyber charter schools are easier may come from the way cyber schools are structured. Teaching time is more concentrated, so students do not lose valuable class time. There are no more changing classes, taking the bus to and from school or dealing with classroom interruptions. Cyber school students learn the same core subjects as brick & mortar students. This allows students the flexibility to develop areas of interest and/or take more elective courses. Cyber school students learn essential time management skills. This creates independent learners, allowing for more “me” time that in a traditional school setting.
Myth #3: Cyber Schools limit socialization
Cyber students have many opportunities for socialization. Students can connect with their peers via the school messaging service and email. Many students forge friendships that then lead to additional communication such as texting and social connections. Students and families are encouraged to attend field trips, international trips and participate in any of the numerous clubs that are offered. Many students and families find that the flexibility at PALCS, provides an opportunity to access extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or even working a part time job.
PALCS students participate in:
- Virtual classroom & teacher chats, educational and recreational field trips, foreign travel, community service projects, picnics, proms and more.
- Out of school activities, such as community sports teams, youth groups, religious programs, volunteer opportunities, etc.
- Extracurricular activities/sports at their home district (protected by law).
Myth #4: Colleges won’t accept diplomas from Cyber School
Colleges all around the country have accepted and will continue to accept, diplomas from students who have completed their school years online.
PALCS graduates receive a Tier 1 PA Public School Diploma upon graduation. 79% of PALCS graduates chose to enter a post-secondary school, 18% entered the workforce, 2% chose military and the other 1% chose other options right after graduating high school.
Myth #5: Cyber School Teachers are not Highly-Qualified to Teach
All of PALCS teachers are state certified, meaning all teachers have completed at least a bachelors degree and have met their requirements in order to teach in PA. Many PALCS teachers have also earned a Master’s Degree in their subject area. Several teachers have obtained or are working towards their doctoral degrees
As with all PA brick & mortar schools, PALCS must also meet the state requirements of having a high qualified teaching staff. There is also support staff available for guidance, technical help, and other student services to provide the best education and support for each student.
Online education may not be the right fit for everyone, but cyber school is certainly a viable education for many students.
PALCS provides students with the flexibility, an interactive curriculum, and highly skilled teachers who help students stay engage in their education. PALCS students are able to create relationships by making friends through our variety of clubs/field trips, and are challenged in learning in a way that works best for them.
For information on enrollment visit our enrollment page.