A Day in the Life of a Student

You might think that heading to a classroom each day is the “normal” way to go to school, but there are lots of ways to learn! At PA Virtual, our students attend virtual classes and complete lessons with the help of their learning coaches and teachers, and they also socialize with their classmates online and in-person.

Below are some accounts from PA Virtual students. None can quite agree on the best aspect of PA Virtual, but some of their favorite parts of the school include:

  • The ability to work at your own pace – which can include doing your favorite, or tackling your hardest, subjects first!
  • Getting personalized help from supportive teachers each day
  • Participating in music lessons and sport clubs with other students
  • Being able to complete an entire week’s worth of a subject at once to free up time when they need it

Elementary School – K-4

Abigail, Third Grade, Lackawanna County

I usually wake up between 7:30 and 8:00 during the school year. I start my day off with brushing my teeth, washing my face or showering and then getting dressed; although some times I do stay in my pajamas.

Next, I go down stairs and get my breakfast but some times if I am not hungry; I will do my spelling then eat breakfast.

Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, History, Music, Science, and Art are usually the things I do first. Spelling is my favorite subject so I always do that one first. Spelling and Grammar don’t take a lot of time, but the other subjects involve a lot of reading and I am not a fast reader so they take more time.

Around noon I take a lunch break for an hour; then it’s back to work. My worst subjects are Math, Literature, and Composition. Since they are my least favorite, I usually do them last.

Some things I do about once a week are Handwriting, piano lessons, and soccer in the fall. I also attend several online sessions with my teacher. I really like these classes because I get to talk to my teacher and meet other classmates.

Intermediate School – 5-6

Serephina, Fifth Grade, Lancaster County

My name is Seraphina and my family has been in PA Virtual ever since it started in 2001.

I love PA Virtual and I love the flexibility of the program. I can have a morning piano lesson and not miss any classes for school. I get to create my own class schedule; for example if math just isn’t working in the morning I can move to another assignment and then receive extra help for my math from my teacher Mrs. Willits during her daily office hours or in scheduled online classes.

I have a choice between doing my literature with an online group and reading it at night before I go to sleep.

I can even decide if I want to complete the entire week’s assignments of history on Monday so that I free up some time to enjoy the fall weather, take a winter sleigh ride or catch a sunny spring day!

I don’t have to memorize a class schedule. I get to change it every day. That’s why PA Virtual is my school!

Middle School – 7-8

Claire, Seventh Grade, Erie County

BEEP BEEP! At 6:55 the alarm goes off on my clock. Slowly I get down out of bed to turn it off. I then walk downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast, I go back upstairs to brush my teeth and clean off the desk in my room for school.

Still in my pajamas, I turn on my computer and log in to Blackboard and the OLS. At around 7:40, I start school.

The first subject I do is math; I am really lucky that PA Virtual allows me to do 8th grade math in 7th grade.

After I finish math, I do language arts until 9:55. Then, on certain days, I log into my live science class. After spending an hour learning about some very interesting topics, I get dressed for the day (finally!) and do more of my schoolwork.

I take a break around 1:00 when I go downstairs to eat lunch with my family.

When I am done eating lunch, I go upstairs to work on my foreign language class and other work that needs to be completed for the day. When they are complete, I go downstairs again to see if my sister Grace is finished with her schoolwork.

If she is done, she and I play until I have to go to cross-country practice at 4:30. If Grace isn’t done yet, I go back upstairs in my room, curl up in my bed and read a book for a while or work on the book I have been writing.
Then I go to cross-country.

After practice, I shower and then eat dinner with my family.

After dinner, I give my little brother and sister a tub and read to them. Then I get in my own pajamas.
If there is a NOVA program on PBS, I watch that with my other brothers and Grace. Then I go upstairs, brush my teeth, and get ready for bed.

Once I am in bed, I read for about 45 minutes and then go to sleep.

High School – 9-12

Kyra, Tenth Grade, Philadelphia

When I wake up each day for school, I can’t wait to get downstairs! Being a part of the PA Virtual Charter School is truly exciting!

What I mean is that it is not every kid in the world gets to wake up each morning, log on to their computer from home and go to school. Doing this all from the comfort and safety of our own homes is just priceless.

When some of my friends ask me, “don’t you ever want to go back to a brick and mortar school?” I respond, “No!”

PA Virtual offers so much than regular school settings have ever done for me. The education they provide is top-notch. When I was in the ninth grade I was exposed to having advanced learning as well. I achieved a grade point average of 4.0 through taking honor classes.

That’s because of the great teachers at my virtual school. Did I mention, even the teachers are so wonderful! Sometimes I can become speechless just talking about the teachers and the amount of support they give.

I have attended PA Virtual for 6 years now, and in all those years, I haven’t ever met one teacher who has not been supportive.

Not only do I have great teachers but I also have a terrific volume of coach mentors. That would be my mother and grandmother.

I recently adopted my now adult brother as one too who was a former class graduate of 2010 at PA Virtual. They each give me encouragement and tremendous support.

On a typical day of school for me at PA Virtual it’s like going on an adventure. You will never know what the teacher will have in store for you that will make the learning discovery that much more interesting.

Once I log in on Blackboard Collaborate, which is a live classroom all the magic is exposed to my eyes and my ears are ready to absorb the learning treasure. I just can’t wait to hear the teacher’s voice and for him or her to begin teaching.

PA Virtual, it will have a student hooked on to learning! It’s that virtual kind of learning in which a student will enjoy and gain so much knowledge. I know I most certainly do!

After all classes are over, I go to my study space to finish up all remaining schoolwork. I sometimes wish for more because the will to learn becomes very contagious.

Even during the weekends, I might find myself engaging into my textbooks in advance for next week’s lessons, or writing in my personal journal about my learned experiences.

I love reviewing the things I have learned. It does not matter which subjects I enjoy them all.

Math used to be one of my least favorite subjects until I met with my teacher. Math and I have become best of friends and it changed my perspective view about numbers. Finally, “at the end of the day,” when school is completely over, I shut it all down then kick up my heels, and allow all of what I have learned just sink in and preparation for today’s journey has already been prepared.

I absolutely adore being a student at PA Virtual! I personally invite you to come to explore the new-found way of learning. I promise once you log in your voyage gets even the more fascinating.