Agora Cyber Charter School, an online public school established in 2005, has delivered an uninterrupted education to Pennsylvania students in grades kindergarten through 12th for the last 16 years.
“Agora’s elementary program builds a strong foundation of skills as students transition from learning to read to reading to learn,” explained Jansen Hornbake, elementary school principal. “The students develop a deep conceptual understanding of math skills that lay the groundwork to success in their later years of schooling. Students who begin their journey here at Agora are able to shine as this learning progression continues through each school year.”
Students in kindergarten through second grade are with one teacher for all core subjects. However, in grades 3 to 5, students work with a team of teachers who each teach a specific core subject. Agora elementary teachers use their talents to develop and execute engaging, academically challenging lessons to meet the diverse needs of the learners in the classroom. Agora teachers and staff work alongside students and Learning Coaches to develop warm, caring learning environments where students can take academic risks in a safe space.
Agora’s middle school is the grade span in which youngsters are most transformed throughout their academic career. They enter middle school as children and leave as young adults.
“We help students become independent with their learning and take responsibility for their education, as they continue to find their unique strengths and encourage them to flourish as they move toward high school,” said Bridget Kozar, middle school principal.
In middle school, Agora students are offered a standards-based curriculum in four core content areas: history, science, math and ELA. In addition, students may have the opportunity to participate in teacher-led electives of music, art and physical education. Agora’s goal is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom, so middle school students are exposed to a career-readiness course as well as a computer-literacy course.
The high school team has designed courses and instruction to engage the 21st-century learner, with multiple units, lessons and activities that allow for differentiation, practice, exploration, and assessment of learned skills. Parents can easily support their students by accessing the student calendar, which clearly illustrates assignments, due dates and grades in one easy-to-use tool designed to improve student focus.
Agora’s high school credit-based program values a well-rounded individual and believes that students who study the arts as well as history, mathematics, science and language arts have the best chance to be competitive members of their community after graduation. Agora students are offered a variety of career paths to post-secondary life. In addition to the core subjects, students have the option of choosing from 80 electives, 19 AP courses, and 14 honor courses.
Destinations Career Academy offers industry-relevant pathways in Healthcare, Business and Information Technology and are complementary courses to the traditional high school program.
“At Agora, we support your student in charting a new course; whether it is a career pathway or college prep, we have courses that will guide them on their path to success,” said Jeff Miller, high school principal, adding that 18 Agora school counselors are on hand to assist students with their academic, social, and emotional needs to help them navigate high school and beyond.
A rigorous curriculum is delivered to all Agora students in real-time by PA-certified teachers. Live classroom instruction provides students with an engaging education while going to public school in the safety and comfort of their homes. Deciding which educational opportunity best fits a child’s needs is crucial, and Agora has spent more than 16 years ensuring their online educational model allows each student’s needs to be met.
Agora teachers incorporate a variety of options to differentiate and work with the range of skill levels that exist within the classroom, believing that a student succeeds best when there is a strong partnership between home and school—one that thrives on communication. It is Agora’s vision to assist students in becoming lifelong learners.
Agora’s enrichment programs span throughout all grades with the National Honor Society chapters available for grades 4 to 12. Elementary and middle school have Advanced Learners Programs, and high school has 19 AP courses and 14 honors courses. Agora’s student-driven programs and curriculums are designed to provide all students with the best educational options to meet their individual needs.
Approximately 28 percent of Agora students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Upon enrollment, the student’s IEP is immediately implemented, and a review of the special education documents and curriculum-based measures are then completed. A meeting with the family is conducted and the IEP is adapted to cyber education. Specially designed instruction and a standards-based curriculum are delivered by qualified staff to meet the educational, emotional, and physical needs of all students.
Unique to Agora are the 83 family coaches who are the first point of contact to welcome the families to Agora and online learning. As Agora’s boots on the ground, they are regionally located throughout the state. They are the liaison between the school and the family and provide an extra layer of support to the student for a successful educational experience. The family coach also organizes social opportunities for the students; during the last year, this was done online.
Sixteen years of perfecting online cyber education has allowed Agora to offer robust schooling to any child in Pennsylvania who desires it, no matter the circumstances. Upon enrollment, each student receives a laptop, printer and all resource materials needed for online success. From the first contact with the Enrollment Concierge, to the orientation and school advisers, principals, teachers, and family coaches, Agora’s staff rallies around the student—with the parent as an essential support—for a successful cyber education.
Register to attend Virtual Open House and meet live with an Agora Enrollment Concierge at www.agora.org or call 844-462-4672.