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PA Cyber Charter School hits 10,000 enrollment

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Program hits 10-K in tenth year of existence

MIDLAND, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 27 2010 – Tiffany Spencer, 16, is an 11th grade student from Clearfield County who wants to be a nurse. She also is the 10,000th student this school year in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.

“In 2010 we celebrated our 10th anniversary and this year we received another five-year charter renewal from the PA Department of Education.  In the midst of this we met all requirements for the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the second straight year,” said CEO Dr. Nick Trombetta. “Now, reaching an enrollment of 10,000 caps a remarkable year for all of us at PA Cyber.”

Dr. Trombetta said reaching the milestone is a testament to the quality of instruction and high level of service provided to students and their families by the school’s teachers, administrators and support staff. He said the school has grown in enrollment every year since it opened in 2000 and that word-of-mouth is its best source of new students.

Dr. Don Williams, director of admissions, said enrollment once was concentrated from April to August, but now “the phones keep ringing after the start of fall classes. Also, in our charter renewal the state encouraged us to make enrollment more accessible and convenient for families. Now we enroll year-round and offer more events and offices across the state.”

Tiffany Spencer lives in Philipsburg, Pa. with her grandmother, Marilyn Spencer. She began this school year in her home school district’s own cyber program, but decided to switch after talking to a friend and researching online school.

“I talked to my neighbor and he was in PA Cyber,” said Tiffany. “I read up on the Internet about the school. My Nan is disabled; this way I can stay at home to help her.”

A junior, Tiffany is enrolled in geometry, chemistry, English 11, and U.S history. After high school, she wants to train as a licensed practical nurse and find a job close to home.

As executive director of PA Cyber, Andrew Oberg said he understands and is humbled by the enormity of the number.  “Ten thousand students is an amazing number, but each number represents an individual student and the trust that families from across the commonwealth have put into PA Cyber,” said Oberg. “At PA Cyber we have a saying: ‘Every child by name.’ As long as we remember that, our growth will continue as we individualize the educational experience.”

PA Cyber was Pennsylvania’s first cyber charter school to offer all grades K-12 and the first to accept students statewide. PA Cyber students who took the SAT and ACT tests this year scored higher overall than peers in the state and nation. The school enjoys “Made AYP” (Adequate Yearly Progress) status, meeting all 29 performance targets in statewide PSSA testing in both 2009 and 2010. Headquartered in Midland, Pa., PA Cyber has regional offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

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