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Going green: 5 tips for electronically submitting assignments, documents​​

Think CCA is environmentally friendly? Of course we are, and you can help.

Here’s a rhyme for Commonwealth Charter Academy parents and learners to remember when submitting assignments and required documents. “If you can, don’t scan!”

We realize that nobody’s getting an A in American literature for that jingle, but it’s meant to send an important message. CCA is going even greener than we already are, and our families can play a big part.

As a leader in virtual learning, CCA believes in harnessing electronic communications to help save our planet’s precious resources. That’s why CCA has embarked on a green initiative to achieve three important goals: use less paper, save money and make it easy for learners and families to comply with schoolwork and documentation requirements.

New and green

We’ve examined our procedures and found three key areas where virtual documents can replace paper. CCA families are a big part of each change.

Don’t scan. Take a picture. Smartphones put scanning technology in the palm of your hand. Whenever possible, submit student assignments by simply snapping a picture and sending them by webmail. It’s better for the environment, and it’s easier for you, too.

PayPal accounts. CCA’s field trips are a delight for all involved, and now planning to attend is more convenient than ever because CCA has established a PayPal account. No more sending a check in advance. Just sign up online and click the PayPal option.

Blanket waivers and permission slips. Imagine the blizzard of paperwork that once accompanied every CCA event. For each trip to Sky Zone, for example, every family had to submit a media waiver and a permission slip. The next field trip somewhere else required the same procedure. Last year, CCA eliminated the one-at-a-time process and adopted a blanket waiver and permission slip. It’s signed electronically by the learning coach and student. It’s good for the entire year.

Snapping the best pictures

Of course, any change in routine has its hiccups. Going green is often more convenient, but it means changing old habits. Here are five tips for submitting photos of classwork and supporting CCA’s green initiative.

Take clear pictures. The teacher should be able to read your child’s work clearly and easily. When submitting smartphone pictures, bring the image into focus before snapping. Align the camera in the same direction as the document, vertical or horizontal. Capture all words and images on the page. Use natural or lamplight, and avoid using the camera’s flash, which can wash out the image.

Make space. It’s always annoying to shove piles of stuff aside when you have to put down a document and get a photo. Keep a clear, well-lit spot in the student’s learning space to use for taking pictures of the materials.

Send properly. Every email program works differently. If you need help figuring out how to send a photographed document, find instructions for popular programs at

Organize. Prevent your child’s schoolwork from getting jumbled with family photos by creating a folder on your phone and filing it there.

Ask for help. If you run into trouble, there’s no need to fret. CCA family mentors are always happy and prepared to help. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

One of CCA’s founding principles as a public cyber school is the minimal use of paper. The green initiative takes our pledge a step further. We’re examining our practices, determining where we unnecessarily use paper and coming up with electronic means that help save the environment while making life a little bit simpler for our busy, hardworking families.


Commonwealth Charter Academy


November 2nd, 2016


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