By Stephanie Skolnik, CCA Parent
Five years ago, school was just not working for my oldest daughter, Kelly, who has ADHD and anxiety, and was struggling as a student. We had tried public school and private school but nothing seemed to work. My daughter was trying so hard as a student, and I was trying so hard as her mom to help her. The constant struggle and frustration took a toll on our relationship, as well as our social lives. Every evening was spent completing her homework and studying for tests. I have three other children, Rachel, Grace, and Emily, and everyone could feel the tension in our home.
Exhausted and in desperate need of a change, we decided to try a different learning choice. We joined Commonwealth Charter Academy—Pennsylvania’s largest public cyber charter school—and at last, we found success!
Commonwealth Charter Academy was the perfect fit for Kelly. She was able to take breaks when she needed them. She had flexible deadlines so we were able to work on things at our pace and in our time. This freed up our evenings and for the first time, we could participate in community activities and sports. We had every textbook, study guide, and worksheet at home or online so there was no more nagging about items she had forgotten at school. Every assignment was posted online so there was no more wondering what she had to do for homework.
The teachers and special education department at Commonwealth Charter Academy went above and beyond. I no longer felt like I had to beg for accommodations for my daughter. Kelly was reevaluated, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) was developed, including speech and occupational therapy.
The communication and support from the teachers at Commonwealth Charter Academy were amazing! My daughter learned that she could reach out to her teachers and that they would answer her quickly with a genuine desire to help her. The teachers were willing to meet one on one as needed for extra help. The teachers helped her to break assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Kelly’s grades and her confidence grew. She went from a struggling C-average student to an independent A-average student. I watched my daughter become a happy and successful learner. With the educational frustrations gone, our relationship was renewed. Kelly and I became a team. We smiled, we laughed, and we learned together. Love filled our home.
In 2019, my daughter auditioned for acceptance into Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. She was accepted as a media arts major. She has transitioned beautifully, and I give the credit to Commonwealth Charter Academy for preparing her as a student. In November, she was selected as student of the month, and she holds an A/B-average. I am so proud of my daughter!
I share this story during National School Choice Week (January 24-30, 2021), because school choice made this success story possible. School choice gave my daughter the opportunity to find the educational environment that worked for her. Personally, school choice gave me back my relationship with my daughter. Today, my family is stronger than ever and our home is a happy place to be. And that is why I support National School Choice Week!