At Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), we don’t only personalize education based off academic needs, scheduling conflicts and outside activities, we also offer a special education program to make sure students with unique needs are getting the best education possible.
Because we are not confined to a brick-and-mortar setting, we don’t face the problem of having limited special education teachers for classes, which allows students and their families to have better access to their teachers.
The CCA special education program’s success is due to its uniqueness. The program offers students with special needs the ability to customize strategies and interventions of services, allowing them to be fully integrated into the cyber school program from the safe, comfortable environment of the student’s home. Special education-related services can be provided in the student’s home by expert and attentive providers who care about the students as learners and people. Through these classes, you will be able to witness the instruction provided to your child, allowing you to ask questions as they arise, and navigate with your child through his or her educational and developmental progress.
The special education program operates on your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) documentation, which is based on the evaluation done on the student. The virtual program used for your child is unique to the IEP’s demands, and may require either minimal support or necessitate the use of many different services in your home.
Our online school employs more than 70 special education teachers and professionals. We serve approximately 1,800 special education students throughout Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania.
At CCA, we have the ability to help more students with special needs than brick-and-mortar facilities thanks to our cyber school environment. All Commonwealth Charter Academy special education teachers are certified by Pennsylvania in special education. As a public school, we fulfill all regulations and requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, which is not a requirement of private schools throughout Pennsylvania, including in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Students with an IEP may have different needs. Some students may need to sit away from other students or require different pacing in lessons. Since CCA is a cyber school and students can learn from the comfort of their own homes, students with special needs don’t need to worry about sitting too close to other students. Since all lessons are recorded, students who require different pacing can rewatch the lessons to fully grasp what is being taught.
The pacing of virtual instruction courses is controlled by the student and his or her family. Pacing is critical in a student’s education, and is difficult to individualize in brick-and-mortar settings. As an online education provider, CCA can give families the ability to control the level of instruction. Students learn to self-advocate because they can choose the pacing, depending on the topic. A cyber school setting affords students this opportunity, allowing them to customize the strategies and interventions that work best for them.
Parents are able to witness what their child is being taught in their classes. You do not have to worry about your child becoming upset and not understanding why. This is especially important for students with verbal and other communication challenges.
An IEP serves as the common point of communication between a parent, student, the student’s learning support teacher and all teachers that clarifies the most effective ways in which the student learns. The IEP includes information on student psychoeducational testing results, interests and learning preferences.
Additional information includes a student’s learning strengths, needs, academic recommendations found in testing and strategies that a student has acquired and actively used in the classroom.
IEPs are dynamic documents that evolve with the student as he or she grows and changes as an individual. When a student with special needs enrolls at CCA, we review and adopt the IEP within 30 days. After 30 days, we convene an IEP meeting to apply the IEP to our cyber school setting.
A parent can request to have an IEP assessment performed by a certified school psychologist. This assessment will address any concerns voiced by the parent or teacher. These assessments are done in the home.
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CCA will provide your family with information and support your family by connecting you to regional resources in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the rest of Pennsylvania. CCA will contract providers to handle the following services, among others:
While districts attempt to move to 1:1 laptop programs, CCA is already there. Each student receives a laptop loaded with cutting-edge technology tailored to their individual learning needs they can use at home. At CCA, the development of the student’s IEP may include a variety of assistive technologies to help students learn to their full potential through the courses we offer.
Examples of a few of those programs are:
The Read Live program specializes in web-based intervention and assessment. Students are provided with differentiated instruction to support their fluency, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension. Students are taught key vocabulary important to what they are reading, and predict what will happen next in the story. Your child will learn proper pronunciation, expression and phrasing by reading along with a story recording.
Students are assisted with language-based learning differences with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program. This program turns spoken words into printed words. Students with language-based learning differences often have difficulty turning their ideas into written words. Dragon makes the writing process easier and more efficient, as students speak and find their speech turned into words on their computer screen.
As the world’s largest library of audio textbooks and literature, Learning Ally helps students improve reading comprehension, increase their vocabulary and improve their fluency by listening to an audiobook and following along with the text.
The WYNN program highlights text as it is read, and this literacy software tool transforms printed text into understandable information. WYNN enhances your student’s success at overcoming reading and writing challenges, while improving reading and writing fluency, encoding and decoding, and comprehension.