PA Cyber
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PA Cyber Celebrates National School Choice Week, Reinforces Importance of Right Setting for Each Student

January 21, 2024

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is celebrating National School Choice Week by highlighting the importance of providing education options for all students. The online public school, which serves 11,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, is challenging the idea of a “traditional” education model, instead supporting that education takes all shapes and forms to meet the continuum of students’ needs.

“Most people have a standard in their mind of what education looks like,” said PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden. “However, what works for one student might not work for another – and that’s OK. Education is not a one-size-fits-all system. Therefore, it’s critical that families have options and access for students who have not had their needs met in other settings.”

PA Cyber educates all types of students, from those with medical needs or learning accommodations, to students who participate in time-intensive extracurricular activities, and more. Due to the online nature of the school, it can also, for example, serve military and rural farming families who otherwise face barriers due to scheduling and geography.

Many students also thrive in a virtual setting after struggling with mental health issues or having faced challenging social dynamics of in-person learning, such as bullying in schools, which has risen significantly over the past five years. According to the Boys & Girls Club of America’s annual survey of more than 130,000 kids and teens, 40 percent of youth said they were bullied on school property in the past year.

School choice has been shown to have a positive impact in these situations.

A January 2023 study from Western Carolina University found that increased school choice may result in improvements in student mental health. According to WCU professor Angela Dills, co-author of the study, school choice gives parents the opportunity to send their children to schools that may be better suited for their individual needs, personalities, and learning styles.

What is ‘School Choice’?

PA Cyber believes that families should have meaningful choice when it comes to their students’ education.

‘School choice’ comes in many forms – brick-and-mortar schools, trade programs, public cyber charter schools, private schools with or without religious affiliation, homeschooling – it comes down to which environment will enable each student to thrive. School choice – students’ having an option of when, where, and how they attend school – widens education access and ensures that everyone can find a suitable fit for their individual needs, ultimately delivering on the right of every student to receive a meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically (per the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania).

PA Cyber fosters engaging learning for students and their families across Pennsylvania through innovative, individualized education. The curriculum offers students flexible schedules, class formatting (live and asynchronous), and nine in-person locations across the state that provide year-round enrichment opportunities. Students can participate in discussions and collaborate with peers as well as staff and can meet in person via field trips and travel opportunities.

Learn more here about what PA Cyber offers students when it comes to school choice.


Jennie Harris /


Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instruction methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.

Education is not a one-size-fits-all system. Therefore, it’s critical that families have options and access for students who have not had their needs met in other settings.

PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden