EASD aims to create new cyber academy, citing millions lost in revenue over the pandemic

Written by on December 8, 2020

EASD aims to create new cyber academy, citing millions lost in revenue over the pandemic

By Tyler Pratt

December 8, 2020 

Photo |Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo

The Easton Area School District is looking to build its own cyber academy. District staff say the current program isn’t working for many families. And as WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, it appears to have cost the district millions of dollars.

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EASD switched to hybrid instruction earlier this year. And parents were given two remote options. One taught by district teachers, the other – a cyber academy, with a separate curriculum, taught by a third party. Ryan Cron is District Supervisor of Cyber Education. 

“What I did hear from a lot of our families is that they were confused with the remote and cyber academy and I think that may have created a little bit of anxiety and some issues with some of our families,” Cron said at the December 1st district board meeting.

A perk of cyber academies is they specialize in online learning. But Cron the program the district chose – to the tune of about 2 million dollars – was overwhelmed. 

“They couldn’t keep up with the demand and that was very unfortunate and that led to them not being responsive to our needs and to our family’s needs.”

Cron says over the past few months, hundreds of students dropped out of the cyber academy. And District superintendent, David Piperato, says some students have gone to other virtual schools, which EASD has to pay for.

“There are a hundred some students that cost the district 2.4 million,” said Piperato.

EASD is now working to reinvent the cyber academy, using district curriculum and teachers. The five-year cyber plan will be presented to the school board early in the new year. 

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