PA Cyber
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Is cyber charter school right for you? Debunking 5 common myths

January 18, 2024

The following article was written by Brandpoint and picked up by The Morning Call, Baltimore Sun, New York Daily News, and more.

Public cyber charter schools are becoming more popular and are a beneficial educational setting for a diverse set of students. However, this rising success also draws the attention of naysayers who voice misconceptions about what an online education looks like.

Are you considering enrolling your child in a cyber charter school but don't fully understand how it works? Read on to learn the top five myths about cyber charter schools so you can separate fact from fiction and decide if a cyber charter school is right for your family.

Myth #1: There’s no socialization

One of the most prevalent myths about cyber charter schools is that students lack opportunities to socialize. However, online platforms foster engaging learning, allowing students to participate in discussions and collaborate with peers as well as staff. Also, many cyber charter schools offer in-person events, clubs, field trips, programs and other interactions.

For example, Pennsylvania (PA) Cyber Charter School has nine regional offices around the state, offering year-round enrichment opportunities, such as STEM and art workshops, career days and game nights. Students can mingle at field trips at zoos, bowling, theater performances and historical landmarks, enabling them to learn and become confident, unique individuals who feel a sense of belonging.

Another bonus is that cyber charter school students can broaden their social network by interacting with students from a wider range of ages and from more regions of the state.

Myth #2: Cyber charters are private, for-profit schools

When you think of cyber charter schools, do you associate them with private, for-profit institutions? Unfortunately, this common misconception can sometimes deter parents and students from considering cyber charters as viable educational options.

In fact, cyber charters are nonprofit public schools that report to their state’s department of education. In Pennsylvania, PA Cyber Charter serves 11,000 students throughout the Commonwealth, reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and offers open enrollment to any school-age children residing in the area. Public cyber charters are funded the same as brick-and-mortar public schools—through taxes—and the primary difference is the educational setting.

Myth #3: Cyber charter schools are only for a specific type of student

All types of students attend cyber charter schools. These schools recognize that many students have not had their needs met in other settings. Online public schools can provide flexibility and personalization that aren't feasible in brick-and-mortar school settings.

PA Cyber serves just about every kind of student, from those who thrive in a virtual setting, to those with medical needs or learning accommodations, to students who participate in time-intensive extracurricular activities and more. Also, because of the online nature of the school, it can serve rural farming families who otherwise face barriers due to scheduling and geography.

Myth #4: Cyber school is easier

Another common misconception is that cyber charter schools offer an easier academic experience. However, cyber schools must be accredited and meet the same rigorous standards as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Because of this, cyber charter school students face the same academic challenges as their peers in traditional school settings.

Also, attending cyber charter schools is often tied to successful academic outcomes. According to PA Cyber Charter, data shows that students who attend their school have improved standardized test performance.

2022 standardized testing score data show that 65% of students who entered PA Cyber in kindergarten scored at the Advanced or Proficient level across all subjects on PSSAs and Keystones.

Myth #5: Cyber charters are not as financially accountable as brick-and-mortar schools

Public cyber charters are held to the same fiscal standards as in-person public schools. They are audited by the state and federal government to ensure they follow educational guidelines, regulations and laws. Accountability to these levels of government ensures students receive a high-quality education.

Cyber school may be what your student needs to succeed. Though, not every student thrives in an online environment and that’s OK. To learn more and explore whether a cyber charter school is right for your child, visit