Getting to Know Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School: Could Your Child Be a Cyber Student?
Online learning begins at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School!
Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School is one of the top-ranked cyber-schools in the state and the nation! What do you know about online schooling? Are you wondering if it’s appropriate for atypical learners? Our Philly Family community has been abuzz with questions, and we took them to PALCS for their expert replies.
Philly Family Community: How does PALCS support students with learning differences? What about special needs?
Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School: It’s our mission to provide an academically challenging, knowledge-based curriculum, one that is individually designed for each student’s needs, whatever those needs may be. With the understanding that each child is different, we make accommodations as needed on an individual basis.
PALCS has a dedicated Special Education Department comprised of a supervisor, teachers, school social worker, guidance counselor, psychologist, reading support specialists, and nurses. We are a public school that provides “free and appropriate public education.” As such, just as in a brick-and-mortar school, if your child has an IEP or 504, PALCS takes responsibility for using a variety of different services, providers, and programs to meet your child’s needs. If services are documented as necessary in your child’s IEP/504 such as speech, occupational therapy, or physical therapy, this support is provided. Any student will receive the help and support he or she needs, even without a formal IEP/504.
What’s an IEP? What’s a 504?
“The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.
The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.”
PFC: If my child is in the arts, like dance, theater, or fine art, what kinds of programming will she find at PALCS?
PALCS: PALCS is proud to feature our Center for Performing and Fine Arts (CPFA), a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary arts education program for students in grades 6-12. In order to attend, students must be enrolled in PALCS, as it is a supplemental program unique to our school. CPFA is an elite and immersive program requiring an additional admission and audition process. This program is offered virtually on a statewide basis and with an online/onsite blend in West Chester.
PFC: My child thrives in a challenging, academically rigorous environment. What does PALCS have to offer for gifted children?
PALCS: PALCS students interested in an advanced honors college-prep program will find a focused, fast-tracked set of courses for students in grades 6-12 in our University Scholar Program (USP). This is a highly competitive education program for accelerated and motivated learners and requires an additional admission process. USP accepts applications almost a year in advance! This program is offered virtually on a statewide basis and onsite in West Chester.
PFC: My son is not the strongest reader, but he is performing well above his grade level in math. How does PALCS work for students with an asynchronous learner profile?
PALCS: Through continuous monitoring of a student’s progress, PALCS is able to assess levels of achievement on a weekly basis. We useformative assessment procedures such as teacher observations, questioning, and student sample work to evaluate progress in each subject. Teachers can determine if a student is struggling or excelling with a particular subject during virtual class time.
If a student is struggling with reading comprehension or vocabulary development, or needs support with reading remediation, we can offer virtual lessons with our Reading Specialist. If further support is needed, PALCS can implement a more formal process, including a special education diagnostic evaluation, which would allow a deeper level of support.
Do you think cyber-school is right for your family? Don’t forget to consider PALCS clubs, groups, and activities available to your students at elementary, middle, and high school levels, like Student Government, Photography, Science Lab, Art Group, Debate, Student Newsletter, and many more.
In addition to student clubs, opportunities for field trips and travel help reinforce the academic curriculum, and to connect students in person to help foster the social development and fun kids need to grow.
Parent resources are also in abundance. Along with teachers, guidance counselors, principals, and other staff to work with you, parents can connect with each other via the PALCS parent network to share tips, perspectives, and to arrange gatherings with other PALCS families in the area.
Learn more about online schooling with Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.