“All of the students are at home working on their computers, which we provide,” said Lynn Rodden, senior director of communications at the school’s Pittsburgh-area center. “We are a public school that is open to all students in Pennsylvania and it is tuition free. Most of the kids are on-line and that removes barriers and helps them to become friends. They get to know each other for real and are not afraid.”
The Achievement House Cyber Charter school was created in 2004 after the Pa Department of Education granted the school a charter to serve students in grades 9-12.
In the fall of 2009, it expanded to include grades 7 and 8.
In March, it opened an office for grades 7 and 8 in Oakmont, and hopes to have a physical 9-12 facility operating for the 2012-2013 year.
It also has offices in Exton, which is near Philadelphia, and in New Florence, Pa near Ligoner. The Oakmont location began housing students in late April.
“It’s exciting to be getting in on the ground floor,” Perlman said.
According to the school’s mission statement, students experience an improved individual outcome measured by academic achievement in a personalized and rich learning environment.
The Oakmont location boasts 850 students (20 percent of which is African-American) and has students from all areas throughout the Pittsburgh area—including Penn Hills, Plum and Pittsburgh—and Erie.
Students are permitted to attend classes at the Oakmont campus, which is located at three Allegheny Plaza, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Administrators are working on opening the school Monday through Friday for students.
Achievement House Cyber Charter School offers a variety of classes including Algebra, Calculus, drivers education, 39 AP classes are taught as well as honors classes and an English language learners class.
Freshman can enter the Microsoft IT Academy, which allows students to learn 40 to 50 different Microsoft programs like Excel, Power Point and Word.
“It gives them a real skill that they can take with them into the work place,” said Perlman, Achievement House Cyber Charter School’s project specialist. “Parents can take the courses too, if needed, but we don't pay for them.”
Rodden said about 95 percent of the school’s budget is driven by enrollment and “while we don’t know what our enrollment will be next year, we will probably end this year at approximately $8,000,000.”
Approximately 30 students will participate in this year's graduation ceremony, which will take place on June 9.
“This is going to be our biggest graduating class ever,” said Perlman.
(For more information of the Achievement House Cyber Charter School visit www.achievementcharter.com or call 1-877-570-1675.)
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