February Newsletter

21st Century Cyber Charter School 2018

A Note from the CEO, Mrs. Kim McCully

Your opinion is important to us! Kim McCully, the CEO of 21st Century Cyber Charter School, would like an opportunity to hear from you. To make it as convenient as possible we will come to you and host a focus group meeting in each of the six regions of Pennsylvania.

The regions are as follows:

- Region 1: Inn at Reading, Reading PA

- Region 2: Altoona Grand Hotel, Altoona, PA

- Region 3: Westmoreland County College, Youngwood, PA

- Region 4: Butler County Community College, Butler, PA

- Region 5: PA College of Technology, Williamsport, PA

- Region 6: Marywood University, Center Valley, PA

Every student and parent will get an email with specific information (the date, time, and location) regarding the focus groups. If you are interested in participating in the focus group, we ask that you reply to that email to let us know. The deadline for replies is March 9, 2018. We will then hold a lottery to choose 12 parent and 12 student participants for each region. Once the lottery is complete and participants have been chosen, those parents and students will receive an email to let them know.

If you sign up as a parent, your student cannot register for the student session. Likewise, if your student would like to participate in the focus group, you will not be able to sign up for the parent session. We are formatting the sessions this way so that our CEO can hear from a wide array of families.

We will have a morning session available for parents and an afternoon session for students in each region in April. Exact information will be disclosed in the email you receive. Remember, only one family member from each household will be eligible to sign up. Please note that parents will not be allowed in student sessions, and likewise students will not be allowed in parent sessions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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A Note from the High School Principal, Dr. Teresa McSweeney

What's Cool About Cyber School?

Earlier this school year we asked teachers to tell us ‘what’s cool about a cyber school.’

Five of our teachers mentioned the “flexibility” of cyber school. One teacher wrote, “Flexibility. Cyber School can bend and mold to an individual's schedule much more than a typical brick and mortar school ever could. Do you have sports practice or music lessons all morning? That is fine! You can log in later in the evening and catch up on your work!”

Several of the responses mentioned student relationships. One teacher noted that “Students get to be friends with people who have common interests, regardless of any differences that might be a barrier in brick & mortar schools.” Another teacher was excited to share about relationships with teachers and students: ”The interactions I have with students are just as meaningful as in traditional school but more individualized!”

Cyber school can also offer a new environment to students who don't feel safe in their home school. One teacher explained how this safe environment can help students focus on academics: “Cyber school gives students the opportunity to work in an environment in which they feel safe and are free of typically school distractions. This allows students to focus on learning: they can strengthen the skills they already have and not be nervous to ask for support in those areas in which they need it. Students have access to one on one help in the VOs where they can get personalized guidance from their teachers. Safe, distraction free, personalized learning that allows students to SHINE is COOL!”

One final theme, and perhaps the coolest thing about cyber school, is the individualized learning. One teacher wrote, “You (the student) are in charge! You still have to abide by scheduled dates, but within those windows you get to organize your time for work, help and socialization, and it can be done from anywhere that there is an internet connection! There is also no dress code!” Another teacher wrote, “The ability to work at your own pace to complete your schoolwork and to fit around your personal schedule.” And this teacher might have coined our new slogan with the “what’s cool about cyber school” response, “School is where you are, and fits your needs! No boxes, no walls!”

Students, what are your thoughts? Click the link below to share your answer to the question, What is cool about cyber school?


A Note from the Middle School Principal, Mrs. Monica Frank

A new semester brings new courses to our middle school. During quarter 3, 6th graders are taking our new technology education course, Design and Modeling. We are excited to see what they will create! Our 7th graders are taking a Guidance class that will encourage them to plan for their future, be good digital citizens, and more. Our 8th graders continue exploring new apps as we continue our iPad pilot for the rest of the year.

We have an exciting and active next few months in Middle School! Please mark your calendar for these events:

  • Middle School Course Selection and PSSA Information Night for parents: Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00 PM. This night will help you understand more about our classes for next year, how students can register for classes, and PSSA state testing.
  • Course selection starts Wednesday, February 14th. Students will be sent a link to start the process. This is a great time to talk to Academic Advisors and School Counselors to plan for your child’s educational future.
  • “Power Up for PSSA” session: Friday, February 23rd. Join us for some PSSA preparation and fun socialization! We will be holding this session at both our Downingtown and Murrysville Locations.
  • PSSA testing: Monday, April 23rd through Wednesday, April 25th. An email was sent this week regarding PSSA testing locations. Please submit the form as soon as possible.

We look forward to a successful quarter in the Middle School!

A Note from the Director of Special Education, Dr. Nancy Giagnacova

As a parent, you have a special ability to help your child learn and grow. One way you can do this is to ask them questions about what they are learning. As they speak about content material, their brain has a chance to process the information in a different way than it does when they submit responses in writing during the school day. Providing your child with a chance to repeat words, read passages aloud, and share facts not only helps them master the material but also demonstrates that you value their learning.

I challenge you to spend ten minutes a few times a week engaging your child in questions about their learning. I hope that you learn something new from your child. As I listen to our teachers instruct students I am constantly learning new information about various topics. I hope you receive the same pleasure engaging with your child.

I would love to hear about your experience! Please email me your feedback at ngiagnacova@21cccs.org.

Counselor's Corner

Happy February 21CCCS Students and Families! We hope you are staying warm!

This month we would like you to focus on diversity during your family conversations. Students, when you were younger, most of you were taught to not point and stare at people because it is considered rude. However, you were just curious about seeing someone or something that was out of the ordinary to you. Now that you are young adolescents you know not to point and stare at people; but what do you do when you see someone who looks or acts differently than you do? Do you ask them questions? Do you make fun of them? Do you just assume they are weird and ignore them?

Students, you will encounter all sorts of people throughout your life, many of whom will be different than you. We ask that you talk to your families about any curiosities that you may have. We ask you to take time out of your free time to look up another culture, learn about a specific disability or maybe learn how to greet someone in another language.

Guardians, your role goes beyond teaching your students not to point and stare. Now you are raising teenagers who are trying to identify who they are as an individual. It is important for them to know where they came from. Talk to them about your own family history and any traditions that you had growing up. Maybe consider bringing some of those traditions back for your family now or start a new tradition. Students who are self confident are often less hesitant to reach out to others who are different. Guardians, once you talk to your students about their culture, encourage them to go out and meet different people. Exposure and experiences will have a more profound influence than conversations.

Here are some ways you can help your children become more well-rounded individuals:

  1. Encourage cross-racial/ethnic/religious/ability friendships.
  2. Expose your students to foods from different cultures.

  3. Attend different events/festivals that celebrate a particular ethnic group, holiday or personal accomplishment, like the Special Olympics or the Chinese New Year

  4. Take family trips to museums or have a movie night with a movie set in another culture

The most powerful influence on a student’s cultural awareness and respect to diversity is what they see from their parent or guardian. Students are empowered to take a stand against bias, racism or insensitivity when their guardians model this for them. Students, this does not mean sit back and wait for your guardians to lead the way. You are all old enough to form your own opinions and educate yourselves. Students, families and friends, let’s work together this month to embrace the differences and the similarities that make us all human.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

~ Ms. Wark, Mrs. Moynihan, and Ms. Cooke

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Save the Date:

Course Selection &
State Testing Information Nights

February 13th at 7pm Middle School Selection & PSSA Information Night
February 20th at 7pm High School Selection Night & Keystone Information Night

These informational presentations will start promptly at 7pm in the Auditorium Virtual Office. Students and Parents will be able to ask questions at the conclusion of each presentation regarding the scheduling process and upcoming state standardized testing.

More information is to follow via email.

We look forward to "seeing" you then!

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Teacher Talk

This year's Science Day will be provide an exciting opportunity for grades 6-12 students to learn about the history, coding, and programming of robots! The highlight of the day will focus on Onexia Corporation from Exton, PA. They will bring their robots to the Downingtown Office to demonstrate how industrial robots work and also teach students how to program and control them. Students in the Murrysville Office will participate via video conference and have hands-on activities at their location. All students will need to bring their school laptops to participate in the coding and programming portion of the day. A bagged lunch is also required. Space is limited. Please download the permission slip located on the School Events page and RSVP to Ms. Leskinen at sleskinen@21cccs.org.
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Field Trips

We're looking forward to seeing everyone for our February field trip to Longwood Gardens! We are in the process of planning our March trip to the Erie Zoo and hope that many of you are able to join us for a fun day.

If you have any requests or ideas for trips for the future, we would love to hear them!

Please contact our Field Trip Coordinators, Mrs. Heleniak and Ms. Kemmerer.

Click here to view our past and upcoming school events.

Adventure Club

Adventure Club Presents:

Go Karts at Arnold's Go Karts

Join the Adventure Club as we take our first trip to Arnold's Go Karts. We will meet at Arnold's Go Karts by 4pm. For only $12 we will enjoy Arnold's full facility, including Go Karts, Laser Tag, and their arcade.

RSVP by Wednesday February 14th

Click here for more information, payment and waiver form.

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Archived Newsletters

21st Century Cyber Charter School

Downingtown Location
126 Wallace Ave
Downingtown, PA 19335

Murrysville Location
221 Blue Spruce Way
Murrysville, PA 15668