April Newsletter

21st Century Cyber Charter School

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

Have you seen someone named Joe Cyber, or Cate Cyber, or any of the “Cyber” family in your Live Class? They are there because of our "Joe Cyber" Project. This project came about when one of our teachers, Joe Michener, shared his vision for helping teachers truly understand our school from a student’s perspective. Last month my turn finally arrived to don the “cloak of invisibility” with a Cyber student identity and experience 21CCCS from the student’s point of view.

My favorite part about being a cyber student was the very same thing you mentioned in the survey: flexibility. How fabulous to choose what I want to study, where I want to sit, and when I was ready to submit my assignment! My teachers helped me with every question, and I had a lot of questions! And the students in Live Class welcomed me even though it was my first day in the class. I totally enjoyed emailing my teacher my extra credit assignment!

Some of my more personal take-away's from my experience:

  1. I needed quiet. Working from home in my comfortable chair was great, but even just cars driving by seemed to drown out the voice of my Live Class teacher. I was thankful for earbuds.

  2. Distractions! The struggle was REAL! Words with Friends, my adorable, playful dog Dash, household chores, my mom calling because I was “working from home” - these are just a few of things that attempted to distract me from schoolwork.

  3. My philosophy of “the brain that does the work does the learning” should apply to Live Class. Sometimes I felt I was just sitting invisibly in a virtual desk without really having to do any learning.

With these very real challenges that face a cyber student during any season, now Spring has sprung, and the struggle might get even more real for some of us! One of my favorite college professors said every spring that “when the sap rises, the grades drop.” My recent visit to a maple tree farm helped me understand this old saying. The sap in the maple tree freely flows in early spring. Early settlers learned that they could tap the tree and boil down the sugary water to make a syrup, which gave them a quick burst of energy for spring planting. Metaphorically speaking, many of us experience the “sap rising” rejuvenation of spring as the sunshine brings longer days, budding trees, blooming flowers, and chirping birds returning from their southern migration.

This last quarter of the school year, more activities will vie for your time, tempting you to spend less time on schoolwork. As the warmth of the sunshine beckons, go to the window, take a walk outside, “stop and smell the roses,” then rush back to your computer to complete the academic race with the same energy and zeal you had in August! You have just a few more weeks to “tap your maple sap energy” and complete your assignments for the year, so don’t lose sight of the finish line! Stay focused, disciplined, and diligently committed to finishing the school year with the most points you can possibly earn. Remember my favorite quote: Always do your best in anything you do. For anything that is worth doing is worth doing well!

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

It is hard to believe that we are three-quarters through the 2017-18 school year. Please mark your calendar for the following events happening in Quarter 4:

PSSA testing for middle school students is Monday, April 23 through Wednesday, April 25. If you have any questions regarding testing, please contact your child’s Academic Advisor. We encourage students to get a good night sleep and eat breakfast before testing days.

We have several events happening during quarter four, including King’s Gap Orienteering on April 5th, the Talent Show on April 11th, a visit to the Erie Art Museum on April 13th, and our big field trip to Gettysburg Battle Field on May 3rd. Please check the School Events page in Moodle for more details.

We are looking forward to a strong end of the school year!

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

In the last newsletter we addressed “soft skills.” One soft skill that is important to develop is the skill of communication. Communication skills among children have changed due to the norms of social media interactions. It is important that our students know how be an active listener, use friendly/appropriate tones, and speak clearly. When your child enters the VO our teachers reinforce these important skills. Communication skills that you can practice at home include appropriate body language and eye contact. Working together to improve our students' communication skills helps to ensure success in post-secondary life.

2018 Graduation

We will hold two ceremonies this year:

Downingtown Area

Saturday June 2nd

Immaculata University

1145 King Rd, Immaculata, PA 19345

Graduate and family arrival time: 10:30 am

Murrysville Area

Thursday June 7th

Westmoreland County Community College

145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697

Graduate and family arrival time: 5:30 pm

2018 PSSA and Keystone Exam Information

Just like Spring, PSSA and Keystone testing are right around the corner!

PSSA testing is scheduled for April 23rd, 24th and 25th from 8am-3pm.

Keystone exams are scheduled for May 14th, 15th and 16th from 8am-2pm.

An email has been sent to you and your child with your specific location for testing.

We respectfully ask that you please encourage your child to take these tests seriously and do their best. The PSSAs and Keystone exams are state-mandated tests that provide 21CCCS information on how to continually enhance the education we provide students. Keystone scores are also reflected on students high school transcripts. Just as musicians and athletes practice for months for a performance, these exams provide students the opportunity to demonstrate everything they have learned throughout the year.

It is very important that your child arrive at the testing site on time each day. Students should arrive at 8:00 AM and can be picked up no earlier than 3:00 PM for PSSA exams and 2:00 PM for Keystone exams. In order to maintain a disruption-free testing environment, please understand that students are not permitted to leave the testing session until all students have completed their test. As per PDE guidelines, we are required to collect all cell phones and electronic devices prior to the beginning of testing and return them once testing has been completed for the day.

Your child will need to bring his/her laptop, power cord, and school-issued calculator each day to testing. Kindly remind your child to fully charge his/her laptop the night before testing. 21CCCS will provide light snacks and we ask that you please also send a bagged lunch for your child, as we will take a lunch break in the middle of the day. Students are encouraged to get a good nights rest and eat a hearty breakfast prior to testing.

As a small thank you for transporting your child to/from testing, we will provide you a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts (or Sheetz in some locations) each day! We will also provide each student a 21CCCS t-shirt at the conclusion of testing! If you have any questions, please contact your child's Academic Advisor or School Counselor (Ms. Wark, Mrs. Moynihan or Ms. Cooke).

Any questions of concerns contact Mrs. Sanna McCoy @ 484-875-5434 or smccoy@21cccs.org.

Counselor's Corner

Hello 21CCCS Family, happy spring!!! This is a great time of year to open up the windows in your home, let in some fresh air, clear out the clutter and GET OUTSIDE! While you are thinking about spring cleaning keep in mind that April is National Community Service Month. Getting involved in your community helps you grow into a well-rounded person. You not only help others in need but you also get some exercise, develop your social skills, and it is a great resume booster. Here are some ideas for you to get involved in community service this spring:

  • Clean out your closets and donate unwanted clothes

  • Clean a local park

  • Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

  • Volunteer at a hospital, nursing home, animal shelter, or soup kitchen

  • Help a neighbor with landscaping

  • Check your community website for volunteer opportunities

  • Volunteer as an assistant coach

Please reach out to us if you are having a hard time finding an idea for community service and we will help you find something in your area.
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Teacher Talk

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Field Trips

There is no field trip information for the month of April. We look forward to seeing you at the end of the year party in May!

Adventure Club

Click here to view more details and to RSVP for our upcoming events.
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Upcoming Events

Join us in our first-ever CyberStrong 5K Run/Walk

Event Date:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Event Location:

Kerr Park and Struble Trail
Park Lane, Downingtown, PA US 19335

Event Schedule:

8:00 am Race day registration.

9 am 5K run/walk start

10:00 am Award ceremony (Following the race)

21st Century Cyber Charter School is hosting the first-ever CyberStrong 5K Run/Walk to provide a fun and engaging event for 21CCCS families as well as the community. This event will benefit the Chester County Food Bank and the 21CCCS scholarship program.

Participants will enjoy massage treatments, yoga, and reiki sessions during the event. All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a variety of gift certificates from our sponsors, including martial arts and fitness packages, yoga and reiki sessions, performance training programs, chiropractic and massage treatments, free gym memberships, and other gift cards.

The CyberStrong 5K Run/Walk will be chip-timed, and all runners will receive bibs. Chester County Running Store will be providing chip-timing services. Early registration costs $20 until May 7th, $25 after May 7th. The event day registration starts at 8:00 AM.

Parking for this event will be available at 21st Century Cyber Charter School on 126 Wallace Avenue, Kerr Park, and the Downingtown Library.

For more information, please visit 21cccs.org/5K

We are looking forward to seeing you!

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21st Century Cyber Charter School

Downingtown Location

126 Wallace Ave
Downingtown, PA 19335

Murrysville Location
221 Blue Spruce Way
Murrysville, PA 15668