Reach Cyber Charter School offers a bilingual support system
The free online school has a culturally diverse curriculum that creates a unique learning environment for students of which 15.6% are Hispanic or Latino.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
Reach Cyber Charter School is a free online school focused on empowering parents, fostering strong community relationships, and having educators that are passionate about what they do.
To continue this mission, the charter school offers a bilingual support system to families in Pennsylvania because of its large population of bilingual speaking families.
Reach Cyber’s current enrollment is 7,195 students throughout Pennsylvania in grades K-12 of which 15.6% of the student population identify as Hispanic or Latino. In total, the number of students registered as Hispanic or Latino is 1,122.
In a interview with AL DIA, Amanda Batista, who manages Reach Cyber bilingual support for families across Pennsylvania explained the importance of accessible language—“being able to communicate and interact with families as a whole instead of just focusing on the student(s) themselves demonstrates the importance of attending to the needs of each family so that the students can be successful in their learning.”
Reach Cyber has made significant strides to have a culturally diverse curriculum that creates a unique learning environment for students. Also, it “strives for excellence” with 98% of parents agreeing the curriculum is high quality and are satisfied with the helpfulness of teachers.
According to Reach Cyber’s website, “teachers use an individualized approach to learning throughout the year called Personalized Performance Learning (PPL), which allows them to evaluate the needs of a student and customize accordingly.”
Additionally, 93% of parents agree their student is making good progress and 94% of parents are satisfied with the variety of learning activities provided by the program.
“With the approval and support of our CEO, Jane Swan, Reach has formed a DEI Council to strategically address the 22 different dimensions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in order to fully realize our school’s mission and vision,” the Charter school emphasized. “We have also hired a Manager of Organizational Effectiveness and Belonging to lead our efforts in maintaining an environment of inclusion where everyone feels like they belong.”
One of its fundamental curricular goals is to have students see themselves represented in the curriculum.
“This not only applies to images that they see in pictures and videos, but also in the stories they read, the problems they solve, and projects they create,” Reach Cyber Charter School said. “We do this intentionally with our beautiful diverse student population in mind.”
The Charter school also focuses on providing special education services that ensures the education of students in the “Least Restrictive Environment.”
Also, the charter provides three flexible graduation pacing options, ideal for students seeking a rigorous academic curriculum, wish to graduate early, health concerns, prefer distance learning, to name a few.
To read more about high school graduation requirements click here.
“We also want our families to feel that we are here to help in any way we can so that our students can be successful in their education as well as having the families participate in guiding their students to be successful in their education and preparing them for whatever comes next,” said Batista, who is also a parent of two students enrolled at Reach Cyber.
She entrusted Reach Cyber with her children’s education because during 2020, her previous place of employment at the PA State Police had rotating shift schedule— “schools went to virtual learning due to Covid, it was so hard for me because some weeks, I worked 7am-3pm and could not get my kids to attend real time class during the day,” explained Batista, who upon enrolling her children at Reach Cyber was able to catch up on assignments because of the flexibility.
However, Reach Cyber offers support to its Hispanic students by hosting several events throughout the school year—multicultural picnics, host lunch chats twice a month called “Hablemos con Amanda.” The second Wednesday of each month is “Hablemos con Amanda durante el almuerzo,” (Lets chat with Amanda during lunch), which is held from noon to 1pm. Also, on the fourth Wednesday of each month “Hablemos con Amanda durante la cena,” (Lets chat with Amanda during dinner), which is held from 6pm to 7pm.
These times were selected to accommodate Reach Cyber’s families schedules.
The virtual “Hablemos con Amanda” chats are hosted by the Outreach Department at Reach Cyber and it serves as a way to allow those involved in the student’s education to ask questions and receive the support they need. Also, Regional Community Coordinators attend these chats. They are responsible for organizing social gatherings for Reach Cyber families.
“These events have improved Reach Cyber’s relationship with the Hispanic/Latinx community by giving the families a sense of belonging and that there is someone they can reach out to if they feel stuck or concerned about any component of cyber school,” explained Batista.
She shares that Reach Cyber is the ideal school for Hispanic students because “every employee is passionate about their role—understands what potential challenges could arise and how we can help dissect those challenges together.”
As a Spanish-speaker, Batista can relate to the sense of security it gives as a parent knowing there is someone in a school that is readily available to assist and “would make me feel welcomed and heard.”
For more information regarding Reach Cyber Charter School click here.
LEAVE A COMMENT:
Join the discussion! Leave a comment.