Guide to Online High School in Pennsylvania

Apr 24, 2018

Online high schools can offer students more flexibility than traditional high schools. If you live in Pennsylvania, let us help you decide if online schooling is the right choice for your student.

The state of Pennsylvania offers many choices for students interested in online learning. Five online high schools are highlighted here that offer varying curriculum to best meet your family's needs and budget.

Online High Schools in Pennsylvania

Although Pennsylvania has many options, the five schools profiled below are a comprehensive selection of the different types of available.

School Name Institution Type Unique Attributes/Considerations
View High School Private Offers the option to earn transferable college credits
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School Charter Tuition-free public school that is only 1 of 2 cyber charter schools accredited by Middle States Association
Agora Cyber Charter School Charter Utilizes a multi-tiered teaching system designed to address both students' academic and behavioral needs
Penn Foster High School Private Offers students the option to pursue career pathways like plumbing and healthcare while earning their high school diploma
The Keystone School Private Students can attend either full-time or part-time

Sources: School Websites

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Description of Online High Schools for Pennsylvania Students

View High School and Penn Foster High School offer college preparatory programs. The Keystone School has flexible scheduling options, while the two cyber charter schools are tuition-free.

View High School

Accredited by the AdvancEd's Northwest Accreditation Commission, View High School (VHS) employs a staff of six teachers that instruct students in courses like algebra, history, physical science, and Spanish. One benefit of this school is that they offer many courses that can be applied for credit at over 2,000 colleges and universities. VHS has several enrollment options, ranging from one course to a year-long plan. Regardless of which enrollment option you choose, all students must earn 21 units of VHS credit in order to graduate.

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School

Started in 2000, the Pennsylvania (PA) Cyber Charter School is free and open to any student in the state. The school offers a robust curriculum, with courses in creative arts and advanced placement classes. In addition, the school has a Title I program that is based on a three-level response to intervention process. Students have the option to complete courses on their own time or via live instruction.

Agora Cyber Charter School

Like PA Cyber Charter, Agora Cyber Charter School is also tuition-free and open to the public. Students will have one teacher for each core subject area. Students with special needs, which account for 20% of the student population, will have an individualized education plan. The multi-tiered teaching system employed by the school focuses on quality curriculum, while conducting universal screenings and progress monitoring for students in need.

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster High School was started in 1956 to offer students a choice other than public high school. Today, the school has a population of 60,000 students, with over 25,000 graduating seniors every year. Penn Foster is accredited by several organizations, among them the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Although a private school, one benefit of Penn Foster is no interest on tuition payment plans. Students are required to complete 21.5 credits, including 5 elective credits.

The Keystone School

Started in 1974, the Keystone School boasts accreditation or approval from five organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools and AdvancED. Keystone's curriculum includes more than 150 courses, including six foreign languages. Such a broad curriculum enables students to perform better than the national average on exams like the SAT. Tuition packages are based on half-credit or full-credit courses and whether you choose an online or correspondence course.

State Regulations for Online High Schools in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, cyber charter schools adhere to provide the same education as public schools do. In addition, some districts offer the option for students to do a mix of traditional and online classes. The Pennsylvania Department of Education website provides a list of approved online, or cyber, schools. Students interested in enrolling in an online school that's not approved through the state can only do so through homeschooling. It should be noted that while some institutions will accept a diploma from such schools, the state of Pennsylvania will not.

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