Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School expands - Technical.ly Philly

Sep. 8, 2009 8:30 am

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School expands

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, an online-based school providing K-12 instruction, has announced that its Philadelphia enrollment has nearly doubled from 800 to 1,500. As a result, the school’s administrative centers will moving into larger offices. The school’s new Philadelphia branch, located in Ridley Park, will be having an open house today, from 4 to […]

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, an online-based school providing K-12 instruction, has announced that its Philadelphia enrollment has nearly doubled from 800 to 1,500.

As a result, the school’s administrative centers will moving into larger offices. The school’s new Philadelphia branch, located in Ridley Park, will be having an open house today, from 4 to 6 p.m.

“In the past two years our office has added 10 professional staff members and 700 students. We now have more than 30 instructional and administrative staff and this year will serve 1,500 PA Cyber students in the Philadelphia region,” said Eric Woelfel, Director of the School’s Eastern Support Center in a press release.

Upon enrollment, students are provided with a laptop, a high-speed connection, a printer, textbooks and a supervising teacher. Though most instruction takes place online, each administrative center offers in-person tutoring and support.

As a graduate of a New Jersey high school, I think I can speak for the entire state in saying: We were gipped.

The Cyber School, founded in 2000, is available to any state resident and has its roots in the demise of the state’s steel industry.

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School was founded in Midland, a Western Pennsylvania town that found its tax revenue, and thus school budget, decimated when locally-based steel companies closed down. The declining enrollment combined with the drop in tax revenue forced the town to close the local high school in 1986, with the remaining students being bussed to Ohio for studies.

The Cyber Charter School was created in 2000 with a $25,000 state grant to educate the remaining Midland families, but soon other state residents began enroll and the online school has emerged as a legitimate method of cutting costs.

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Currently, the school, with offices in Elkins Park and in Harrisburg, serves over 9,000 students from all areas of the state and was recently toured by the former U.S. Education Secretary. And, for reasons unknown, the school also sells camo jackets on its Web site.

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