Online charters typically attract 1. Pre-professional kids in piano, skating, other and need the flexibility of an online school while valuing discipline/high academics. 2. Those who did not for whatever reason, fit into traditional school and can often bring a host of social/behavioral issues with them (and parents who expect the charter to deal with the demands) & can greatly affect the school culture and quality of the class experience. CVA seems disproportionately saddled in middle and high school with the latter. This strains the social fabric and strength and lessens joy daily in relationships. We experienced great differences in work load and communication with teachers. Sometimes wholly insufficient and totally overwhelming with unrealistic goals for the child resulting in much stress. However, the headmaster seems very willing to improve outcomes/child experience and work with families, but he results of new planning remain yet to be seen. Teacher quality runs the gammet. One female in particular is a bully. Outdoor play and offline experiences need to be more highly emphasized for better well rounded kids, as do hand crafts. Children learn through authentic play.
This is our first year at CVA and we couldn't be happier for our 3rd and 5th graders. The only challenge is for families to figure out how to orchestrate Thursdays and Fridays which are online days, but the study center is open so if kids do need to be school that is always in option. Other than that, it is full steam ahead! Project based learning, teacher collaboration, open communication, students working at their own pace, friendly kids, small personal classes, no bullying, great teachers, great leadership. And cool projects for such a small school -- science fair, history day, project citizen, mini-society, school musical, talent show, community volunteer fair, PE and art/music every onsite day, field trips. We could not be happier! It's like a private school hiding out as a charter school. Kids do pull from all over the Twin Cities so it can be hard to connect with school friends and other parents, and they're working on that. There is also a learning curve with the technology and tracking projects but we got the hang of it after about a month and my kids are producing great work and so independent on Thursdays and Fridays. They are empowered and confident. Love CVA!
My son is finishing up his first year at CVA, and we are SO impressed by this gem of a school. It is the best kept secret in St. Paul, with small classes, a warm atmosphere, and lots of attention to the needs of each individual child. Teachers are well-esptablished and seem to be happy working there. Gifted, including profoundly gifted, and/or kids with LD's or on the spectrum have their needs very well met at CVA, but so do all the other kids. The at-home/at-school combination is well organized. It's a great happy medium for people on the fence about full-time homeschooling. The curriculum is rigorous, so it's an adjustment for kids who come from a school with much lower standards, but there's lots of good support for getting there. One downside for us is that people drive from pretty far to CVA, and are already putting in a lot more effort with their child's education than is typically required, so those things impact the level of parent involvement. There's an active board, but not too much more, and because it's a small school, extracurriculars are somewhat limited. That said, the parents themselves are lovely people who clearly care about kids and education.
Our student started this year and LOVES this school. The teachers are all involved and great at motivating students to learn. They do a great job of communicating with students and parents when concerns or questions arise. They readily see not just where the students need to improve, but also their strengths as well. They really focus on the learning and research process--connecting ideas, concepts, discussions through several disciplines. Since starting this school, our student has not complained once about going to school, which is WONDERFUL because other schools were "boring" and went at a too slow of pace. This school allows students to proceed at the pace they are able to and places them where they are at academically (not by an age or grade level). This is great because students might be better and learn more quickly in some subjects than in other subjects and this allows them to reach their potential. The online class days are very specific on expectations and assignments but teachers are avail. to answer any questions.
CVA is a great school! It s very personal. The teachers and staff are extremely dedicated. They have been very flexible, patient and supportive in helping my child through a very tough couple of years. They are very responsive to the needs of individual children. I think they are almost as excited to see the improvement as I am. The small size of the school promotes a close and positive environment. The teachers are very involved and spend a great deal of time outside of the classroom leading various extracurricular activities including sports, clubs, music, camps and even trips out of state. CVA supports the kids on project such as Science Fair and History Day by breaking it down, giving weekly assignments to progress through to the end, and supporting it throughout the curriculum. They really teach them HOW to do it. They don't just assign it and say 'Have it completed in 3 months. See ya then!' The school promotes community involvement by encouraging community service and compassion for others. At the end of the year there is a community service fair in which the kids share their experiences.
My son just started school at CVA this year. He was miserable at his old school last year so we wanted a school that had smaller class sizes and would work with him on his anxiety issues. He loves school, loves the teachers and is excited about learning again.
This school over the past 3 years has impressed me more and more each year. The environment is very much so like a village. It's a smaller school and the classrooms are not packed. My children get the attention they need and they love their teachers.The kids learn team work, they do so many great hands on projects and are learning more than I ever thought they would. One of my children is receiving some special ed services and the teachers are so in tune with her that she is surviving very well and gaining more and more confidence every day! I could just go on and on about all the great things at this school, but I guess it's just better if you visit and check it out for yourself! You have to see it to believe how great it is!
We are so impressed with Cyber Village Academy. The curriculum is rich and in-depth; the teachers are supportive, knowledgeable and accessible; the students are respectful, friendly and generous. This is the third year our son has been in the school. We just love it!
I am an 8th grader currently attending CVA. This is easily the best curriculum I have ever seen in any school. The teachers are very supportive, and they get involved with students instead of just giving them work. The fusion program (3 days on campus, 2 days online) is a brilliant and well-executed idea. The social life at CVA is also very good; most of the students are friendly. It is easy to make long-lasting relationships here. Overall, CVA is a great school, the teachers are great people, and life here is great in general. I am very sad that I have to say goodbye at the end of the year (as I am graduating), and look forward to keeping in touch with teachers and all the wonderful friends I have made here!
Small class sizes, non-traditional class schedules, supportive teachers, and families that want to be involved in their children's education make this a very unique school environment. We are a long-time home schooling family, but have found this school to work extremely well for one of our kids who needs that extra push and structure that the home setting doesn't provide for him.