Myth Busting Cyber Charter Schools: Part 3

PA_Virtual_SPP_Scores

What is a SPP score? Why do cyber charter schools have lower SPP scores than traditional brick and mortar schools?

No cyber charter school in the state has a School Performance Profile score of 70 – but that does not mean it is not achievable.

To understand the School Performance Profile (SPP) scores of cyber charter schools, it is important to remember that the summary building-level score is not easily applied to a single school serving students in grades K-12 from hundreds of districts. Some of the metrics that are used to calculate SPP scores do not apply to cyber charter schools, meaning cyber charters receive a zero points towards their final score in some categories.

Additionally the metrics used to measure SPP have changed from year to year, making it difficult to compare to past years. To complicate the process further, only schools who have a grade 11 cohort of students have received an SPP for this year. There were marginal increases and decreases in the cyber schools this year, and despite the ups and downs PA Virtual still ranked at the top of the pack. It is also important to consider the score in the context of our student populations:

PA Virtual employs six state-certified principals and enrolls 2,500 students, which makes us larger than 60 percent of the school districts across the state. We are one of the largest cyber options in the state and educate students from all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

  • The majority of cyber charter school students reside in struggling urban and rural school districts. It is not uncommon for larger cyber schools like PA Virtual to enroll hundreds of new students each year, who have struggled in their traditional school district.
  • A large number of students enroll in cyber school two to five years behind grade level.
  • It takes time to identify students’ intellectual and emotional needs. We accommodate each student with a tailor-made plan of individualized instruction and support, which may affect standardized testing scores, which are used to calculate SPP
  • Cyber charter schools are also an option for students with extraordinary obligations that limit their ability to attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school. In addition to providing students with extra attention, online education creates flexibility that allows students to advance at their own pace.

According to the 2014-2015 School Performance Profiles, PA Virtual is one of the highest-performing K-12 cyber charter school in Pennsylvania with a building-level score of 64.6.

Cyber education is a tuition- free public school option – the district sends a portion of your child’s per pupil allotment directly to the charter school of your choice, at no additional cost to you.

Feel free to share your thought about this topic with us!

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