Archive for the ‘Happenings & Perspectives’ Category

Celebrating National School Choice Week


On Friday, January 29, PA Virtual students will join with others across the nation and celebrate National School Choice Week!

Our family support coordinators have worked to put together local events around the state and we hope you join us. Each year since 2011, NSCW works to raise awareness of the various types of educational options for children everywhere. Join the social conversation and tag #NSCW16 on Facebook and Twitter!

Cyber charter schools have been in existence in Pennsylvania for almost 15 years with close to 40,000 students enrolled in 14 different institutions. Families select a cyber charter education for many reasons. Flexible scheduling allows for a custom educational experience that works with students who are on the go, committed to their community or activities or have special needs. Some PA Virtual graduates even found they were able to advance quicker in their studies than if they were in a traditional school setting, allowing them to graduate early!

PA Virtual families can join us at one of the following events on January 29:

  • Franklin County – Roller Skating
  • West Moreland – Ice Skating
  • Philadelphia – Roller Skating
  • Bucks County – STEM event
  • Northampton County – Ice Skating

Feel free to share your thoughts, plans and pictures here, on social media, or through the blog about National School Choice Week!


Learning Center Grand Opening


PA Virtual is pleased to announce the opening of our new learning center 
in Harrisburg! Please join us for a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the
Grand Opening of the new central regional center for PA Virtual.

  • When: Monday, June 1, 2015 from 11 AM – 1 PM
  • Where: 909 Green Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102 Google Map
  • What: Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the Grand Opening
    of the new central regional center for PA Virtual.


You Can Catch More Flies With

Honey than Vinegar

BankStreetCollegeRecently fifteen PA Virtual Learning Coaches completed a course with Bank Street College in New York entitled “Meaningful Discipline”. The classes were geared toward ages
5 – 13 and even though our daughter is approaching her 16th birthday,
I nonetheless benefited as a Mom and Learning Coach. Our instructor, Virginia Perrin kept the classes lively and gave many tips for teaching your children discipline as well as how to discipline for positive results.

My most important reminder throughout the weeks was that our students are people. People with personalities, strengths and weaknesses, a mix of different learning styles, and sometimes quirks. Not only that, but I too am a person with a personality, strengths and weaknesses, a particular mix of learning styles and yes, at times, quirks. Student and Learning Coach may find themselves similar or poles apart. That certainly can make the school day interesting.

Nevertheless, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. There are many thoughts as to the original meaning of this expression, however; it could propose one can achieve more with pleasantness than not. (That doesn’t negate consequences for bad decisions/actions, however; communicating those consequences ahead of time gives a student the fuller picture on discipline.) Accordingly, during the school day, if your student needs more attention in a certain concept, give it to them. If both of you need a break, take one. Plan regular snacks/drinks to stay focused on learning instead of hunger. Perhaps giving choices would allow your student to be more involved in the day. Listen to your tone as you speak to your students. Purposefully make your tone one you would respond well to yourself. Learning Coaches do well to acquire new concepts and keep on top of the schools expectations. Learn to bend a little in the present so you don’t break later. Be proactive in giving your students the best you.

One way to ‘catch your flies’ is to consistently communicate expectations and schedules with your student(s). Giving processing time for change during the day works much better than springing a demand on a child (such as – ‘get in the car, we are going to the dentist’). Good communication can result in a student(s) taking on responsibility that actually makes the Learning Coaches’ day more productive.

Personally, I had many ideas to take away from our class time and understood more than ever that we learn not only from the instructor but also each other. (PA Virtual outings are a great avenue for this.) As we completed our homework assignments and discussion boards; both initiating conversation and responding to others comments, I began to follow individual Learning Coaches’ threads as they acted upon the positive in their daily routine. Being proactive in that manner didn’t mean instantaneous success but enabled a Learning Coach to approach their daily role with suggestions from others as to what may work well in their own home. Conclusion – learn all you can from others, trying new ideas – they may have just what you need to ‘catch your flies’.

Cindy Dingeldein
Central Parent Ambassador Regional Coordinator

Special Opportunity for Cyber School Athletes

special-olympics PA Virtual

specialolympicslogoSpecial Education & Life Skills teacher, Stacey McGowan spends all year working on social skills and training students in the online setting. Next week, for the 11th year in a row, PA Virtual Students will compete in the Montgomery County Special Olympics held at Souderton HS.

Cyber education in Pennsylvania tends to attract a high percentage of special needs students due to the opportunity and flexibility families can have with their education in their own homes. Oftentimes, cyber charter schools are also able to accommodate the needs of the student with added care and individualized learning curriculum.

At traditional brick and mortar schools, teams take special education classes together during the school year. However for the PA Virtual students, many of them will be meeting for the first time on Monday. The opportunity to bring students from a virtual setting together is truly unique to cyber learning. “It is really the highlight of the year for me as the coach and teacher and for the students as well,” McGowan says.

The mission of Special Olympics PA: Provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Each region or county has a chapter that organizes events in the area.

In the area? Come out and cheer on your friends from PA Virtual and all of the participating athletes! Opening Ceremonies start at 9 AM and events will take place throughout the morning. Closing Ceremonies will take place after all of the events have ended, which is usually around 12:30 PM.

Event Details:

May 16, 2015

Montgomery County Area Special Olympics

Opening Ceremonies: 9 AM

OClosing Ceremonies: Upon the conclusion of all events, around 12:30 PM

Souderton Area High School – S.A.H.S. Stadium

625 Lower Rd, Souderton, PA 18964 Google Map

Overflow parking is available at Indian Valley Middle School


Google Education on Air –

Bringing Technology into the Classroom


This week, Google Education On Air will offer a completely free online education conference which will focus on the impact of technology and education around the world. Over the two days, Google will pose the question “how do we prepare our students for a future that is ever-changing?”

Online education choices offer a wide range of technological advancements that prepare students to enter the world after their K-12 education is completed with a knowledge base that is imperative for success. Students need to be prepared differently in this digital age, and with the fast paced advancements, we look for every opportunity to share resources that could help us all learn a little something.

The conference is open to anyone with internet access – which is perfect for our cyber learning families! Sessions will cover topics that interest students, administrators, teachers, parents and IT professionals. Anyone who is interested in using technology to further their educational process would benefit from these sessions. On Day 2, viewers can also select sessions that are relevant to particular themes such as “Digital Citizenship” or “Empowering Students,” as well as by what grades / ages that are relevant to them. Tune in and join the conversation using the hashtag #GoogleEduonAir

Session Dates & Times:

  • May 8: 10 AM – 3 PM (Eastern Time)
  • May 9: 7 AM – 9:30 PM

A full list of sessions & speakers can be found here: