Family finds support and resources they need at CCA

The Russos had issues with bullying and safety at their previous school and enjoy the cyber school’s flexible schedule.

The Russo family needed to find a new school for their children. Their younger daughter has special needs and suffers from seizures. The parents have medical conditions that require frequent doctor’s appointments. Their daughter was struggling academically and needed additional services and support that their school couldn’t provide. 

“We had our girls in a private school. With our younger daughter, we weren’t getting the help we needed,” said Ben, the father. “She was struggling in certain areas with her academics. They said they couldn’t do much more, so that’s when we started looking at other schools.”

The Russos are from Pittston, Luzerne County. They needed to get out of that school situation. The public school in their area has issues with bullying and safety. 

Search for a new school

Ben and his wife, Shannon, started looking into other options for their two daughters, Julianna and Makenna. They knew a family who had a student enrolled at CCA, and that family seemed to enjoy the flexibility that CCA provided. 

“Their son is in the local career technical center,” Shannon said. “So he’s able to do both, and that was something that we liked – how flexible the program is.”

Ben and Shannon decided to attend an open house in their area to see for themselves what cyber school at CCA was like. They fell in love with what the cyber school offered their family. 

“The support has been phenomenal,” Ben said. “Any time we have a question, somebody out there is going to answer it. We looked at a lot of different places. There are a lot of different schools out there. Not a lot of them are equal. With CCA, we found a good place for them to be. It’s almost like a family.”

Ben and Shannon’s daughters are close in age but have very different educational needs. Julianna is 16 years old and will be in 11th grade in the 2020-21 school year. She has received guidance from CCA to take courses that will help with her pursuit. She’s taken medical terminology, and counselors are directing her to courses that will prepare her for that career. 

Makenna is 15 and will be in 10th grade in 2020-21. She has an IEP and needs additional support to grasp certain concepts. She needs teachers who are attentive to her and can adjust lessons to accommodate how she learns. 

“It can take her a while to process everything,” Shannon said. “She will go back and review a lesson over and over until she’s ready to take the test. That’s encouraging for me to see that she’s able to do that and feel comfortable on her time frame.

“She went from failing four subjects because she wasn’t getting the right help. Now she’s excelling. The teachers and all the support staff at CCA have been wonderful.”

Flexible schedule benefits families

The Russos have been with CCA for two years. They enjoy the flexibility that CCA offers. 

“Both girls really like it,” Ben said. “Our younger one is able to do the work better and get more help. Most teachers are able to keep her focused and provide the structure that she needed. 

“With the older one, she can go and excel. She can do as much as she wants. They can really focus on what she excels in. They have the resources there at CCA to get kids the help when they need it.”

Ben and Shannon also love the socialization opportunities that CCA provides and allows them to pursue outside traditional school hours.

Julianna and Makenna are in the choir at church and help in the nursery. Makenna participated in competitive gymnastics for a few years, and Julianna loves helping her dad with projects around the house. They both like to go fishing. 

“CCA is more flexible with family activities we can do,” Ben said. “We’re really involved with our church. They like going on a lot of the field trips that CCA offers.” 

CCA teachers care about students

The Russos have been impressed by the teachers at CCA. They said the teachers and staff take a genuine interest in students.

“The teachers at CCA seem to have more of a heart and a desire to be involved with the kids,” Ben said.

Shannon recalls a time when one of CCA’s teachers reached out because she noticed something was off with her daughter. 

“They could sense that something wasn’t quite right with my daughter, and they called asking if everything was OK,” Shannon said. “That means the world to us.”

Julianna and Makenna regularly go to their regional Family Service Center to do projects. They also have been on a field trip to Harrisburg to see the aquaponics lab. 

Having such enriching, hands-on experiences and the opportunity to do school at a time that’s convenient for them is important to the Russo family.

“I think it’s important to know what your kids are getting when it comes to education,” Ben said. “The other thing I see with CCA is the stability. If we have appointments, it’s so flexible to stop doing class and make up your work. The kids won’t get behind. We can always keep track of them and look at what they’re doing.”

Flexibility. Compassion. Support. These are the characteristics that make CCA special for the Russo family. Their children are happy and successful. That’s what every parent wants for their kids.

“CCA works for my family with the flexibility it provides,” Shannon said. “The staff are phenomenal. They’re always there for you, and they are genuine. They love interacting with their students.”


High School Learner