Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How is PA Virtual different from other schools?

We use the highly-respected K12 curriculum and offer flexibility in learning style with both synchronous (live, online) courses and asynchronous (self-directed, teacher-supervised) courses at all grade levels. While working from home, our students have the support and guidance of certified teachers and principals as well as their Learning Coach. In addition to academic support, we also have staff dedicated to non-academic support. They help with things like guidance services, college and career planning, pupil health services, field trips, attendance, technical support, orientation for new families, parent support and learning, and more.

What are my responsibilities as a parent or Learning Coach?

The Learning Coach works alongside their children every day by accessing structured, comprehensive, online lesson plans. You support their progress by assisting with the completion of online lessons, ensuring class attendance, assuring the completion and submission of coursework and projects assigned by the teacher, and logging academic hours. Your partnership with PA Virtual teachers is essential in helping your child to meet benchmarks, both academically and socially.

How is attendance taken at PA Virtual?

Attendance is recorded every day by signing into Blackboard, our ‘virtual schoolhouse’. In addition, student participation in synchronous and asynchronous classes is documented by both the teacher and the Learning Coach. All students must complete 900 school hours (K-6th) or 990 school hours (7th-12th) annually in accordance with state law.

How do PA Virtual students socialize with other students?

Our students take part in many academic and social outings statewide each year, which can include trips to museums, zoos, parks, and other community destinations. In addition, our students have opportunities to participate in service learning projects and can get involved in PA Virtual clubs. Students are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in their district of residence.

Will a computer be provided for my child?

Yes. PA Virtual provides the materials your child needs to learn at home, including a laptop, printer/scanner, and all curricular materials. We also provide technical support, troubleshooting, and a set internet reimbursement for enrolled students.

Academic Questions

Do PA Virtual students participate in state testing?

Yes. In accordance with ACT 22, the PA Charter School Law, our 3rd-8th grade students are required to take PSSA exams in Math, English/Language Arts and Science. Students are required to take the Keystone Exams upon course completion in Algebra, Literature, and Biology. Both PSSAs and Keystones involve travel to a face-to-face testing site.

Can my child work at his or her own pace?

Our program is geared towards students with varying learning abilities. Teachers will partner with you to determine the appropriate pace for your child to achieve mastery of standards mandated by the state.

How much time is spent doing schoolwork each day?

Your children will average five to six hours of schoolwork each day, depending on their grade level. However, the time you spend working with your children does not have to be continuous; regular breaks are encouraged. Your direct parental participation during the school day can range from 80 percent for early grades to about 50 percent for higher grades.

Is Physical Education a part of your curriculum?

Yes. K-8 students are required to log up to one hour each week of structured, organized and supervised activities. In grades 7 and higher, the P.E. course is taught by a certified teacher. High school students take one credit of Physical Education as part of their graduation requirements. Many students go beyond our requirements to take part in sports and recreational activities in their communities.

Does PA Virtual provide special services for students with an IEP?

We adhere to applicable federal and state laws that govern special education. Each student with an IEP is assigned a PA-certified special education teacher. That teacher works with a regular education teacher, parent or guardian, and other team members to create an appropriate IEP and implement each student’s specially designed instruction.

Enrollment Questions

Is there a cost to attend PA Virtual?

No. PA Virtual is a free public school; there are no tuition fees.

Is there a residency requirement?

Yes. Students who reside in Pennsylvania are eligible for admission. If you do not live in Pennsylvania but are moving here in the near future, you will be eligible once you establish residency.

Are there age requirements to enroll with PA Virtual?

Yes. PA Virtual enrolls school-age students, as defined by the PA Department of Education. This includes students from the age of 5 through 21. To enroll in kindergarten, children must meet the age requirements of their resident school district.

When can my child start with PA Virtual?

Students must stay enrolled and attending at their current school while completing the registration process. At your Enrollment Conference, you will be given a start date with PA Virtual and a withdrawal date from your current school.

Can my child enroll if they are currently expelled from school?

No. Students who are currently expelled must return to their current school after the expulsion period has passed and meet all the conditions imposed by their current school during the expulsion.

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