2012-13 was my son's first year in Agora. Coming from a school that stripped all but the core classes, it was a bit overwhelming to suddenly have so many classes. There is also a lot of testing, but in my opinion, if a teacher isn't sitting in front of your student every day, collecting classwork, how can they ensure your child is learning from the program? It seems perfectly logical to have a face to face assessment several times throughout the year. I am not a fan of PSSA's, but that's a statewide public school test, not Agora's fault. As for all the online assessments, classes, then you have to find time for your lessons... it can be frustrating. However, it IS worth it. Last year I spent every day from the moment my son got home from school, until bed time fighting about homework. NOW he has 3x as many classes and while we do sometimes work long hours, we have the flexibility to take a day, morning or afternoon off! I read reviews complaining of attendance issues, tech issues etc. In September we had some tech issues, Tech support was wonderful & when we were down, we used our time wisely, doing offline work. Attendance we had no problems at all. Just email the office!
AGORA'S TECH & ATTENDANCE DEPARTMENTS ARE LAME (pt. 2) 4. Their attendance office is a joke, but they're not funny. Our children have ONLY MISSED ONE DAY combined (older son a few years ago) when he had the swine flu. However this year we received a truancy notice, threatening to fine us and call Children and Youth, because we did not call with excuses. The letter also noted that our family coach had tried to reach us several times, unsuccessfully. She (FC) has acknowledged that this was incorrect (by the way, she is superb), and that Agora had made a mistake. Agora eventually found their mistake, but now they are telling us that our other child has been absent without an excuse 4x. They will most likely be losing us, not because of their teachers (who are wonderful), but because of these inept departments. A note to Agora's administration: 1. completely revamp your tech department and 2. Don't send letters to parents, threatening fines or C & Y involvement, without being ABSOLUTELY SURE that you're attendance department is CORRECT in their data collection! And even if a student has unexcused absences, you should first call the family before sending a threatening letter.
I have 2 children who have been with this program for several years. Every year it's gotten worse. This is mainly due to the amount of testing. They have four face-to-face tests every year, four required turn in's, 2 4 hour tests online, the PSSA's, and every day a 10 question test on what you learned. Plus: Every month they test in reading and math. It's gotten to the point where it's just excesive testing. It exhausts the kids and teachers. IT DOESN'T HELP! Nothing is important in education BUT the PSSA's scores. There is NO music, art, charecter building, or history. This is just sad. If you want to teach your kid one of these...go ahead but they will not assist you. If you have a high achiever student, they may benifit because the daily online classes will be optional for the "advanced learners". If not...then your kid is stuck doing classes for hours PLUS a daily plan of books, and online cirriculum. That doesn't nec. follow the online teaching. It's confusing for the students, and I don't think it leads for a well rounded students. We're looking at options to get out of this particular cyber charter school program. Good luck!
"I'm a student in this school" continued. If you're internet isn't working for the day or the morning and you don't call tech support you get another illegal absence as if tech support can fix my home internet! Overall if you end up on the academic plant for not submitting work although the teachers don't say a word about it till its past due, your life will become a living hell till the school day is over. I have about 20 and counting illegal absences although I've completed all my work or as much as I can in the small time period and I attend every live session of the day, the attendance office tends to just mark you absent for a few random days too, and when I "kmail" my family coach the attendance office says its they're fault but never anything about them being excused. I've kmailed my teachers and learning coach multiple times about having way too heavy of a work load to have it all completed by 4 and all I ever get back is. "I understand the academic plan is hard to keep up with and how it can seem very hard to do but I cant do anything about it on the academic plan". Just never send your kid here or pacyber it'll be the biggest regret you make!
My child has attended Agora for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Overall it is a great academic program and the teachers are very experienced. We supplement with some other group classes in sports and the arts to gain social interaction. The kids also socialize before class starts each day and at organized school outings every week or two. The program allows you to work ahead if your child is gifted in an area and provides focused specialists if your child needs help in math or reading. It is a lot of work for the parent to supervise a younger student but the overall result is very rewarding. In recent surveys, parents using the k-12 program have 90%+ positive feedback.
I have 3 children enrolled in Agora (1st, 3rd, 4th) this is our 2nd year with Agora and we love it. The curriculum is catered to their individual learning styles. The teachers and family coach are always available to answer any questions I may have. There was some technical difficulties the beginning of the year but all the problems were worked out. I plan on keeping my kids enrolled until highschool, because I do want them to have the high school experience. They play sports 4 times a week so I don't have to worry about them socializing with kids their age. Great school!
I can't say enough good about this school. My son was bullied in traditional school. He was an angry, unhappy child. After 1 year (although he's been in 3 now) EVERYONE would comment about how different he was. He is happy, learning, self confident and thriving. Went from C's and D's to straight A's with a HARDER work load. His family coach is awesome, as are all his teachers. I wish we would have found this school much earlier.
My daughter is attending Agora and she is learning way more than she did in public school. She and I love it! I was reading the reviews and one person gave a 1 star and said they quit after the first week. You can't quit during the first week and claim one got back to you. You aren't assigned a teacher until week 2. Week 1 is only orientation. Oh well, we are living proof that Agora rocks!
I love this school so far, I have 2 in agora and 1 in pa distance and Agora is so much better, my son is special ed and i love the support there giving us.
I am a student at Agora and this is my first year. I love it! I had a rough time at my regular public school. I thrive at agora and it is basically the same curriculum as my public school. The teacher are ALOT nicer and are more caring. I missed like 24 days in my public school. I have not missed one day yet at agora. I love going here. Considering I hated school til I came here I recommend this school to anyone that has a student that has a rough time at school (bullied, hate it etc.)
We quit after about 2-3 wks. Tech control had issues, my husband fixed it the family coach hardly got back to us it was a hard time to explain to them she needed a higher level of math eventually it was fixed the kids kept chatting kids could not read well even in 8th grade, my daughter told me she wanted to go back to brick and mortar after the fiasco, phone numbers they gave me were usually ghost numbers ("leave your name and number", and never got a call back from a supposed counselor), and I would pick no stars if this would allow me to
I'm a student and I've just enrolled this year and I believe when you don't have faith and devotion towards something, sometimes you may think a situation is terrible. The only reason you're going to feel like Agora's being a fuss is because honestly you don't really care about it-- you just want to take off your anger on something else. I had Earth Science and many other classes and I say it's very well organized for us to prepare and so far my grades haven't flunked even though I've taken 2-3 hours a day to work on every subject. When you do something you love you excel in it with passion. ^.^ The more negative and judgmental you become with something the more you waste time and you're not solving any problems you have. It's great that Agora avoids the central bullying and leads more to a healthier and flexible schedule.
I was with Agora since 2007.agora was a school that had some decent caring teachers,and a good curriculum.In the last two or three years I've watched this school dwindle.I've had an issue where I had to find a a school for my son because I called customer care because I wanted to return the computer ,cause I purchased one.Next thing my son is withdrawn from the school.I had a great family coach ,who tried to help but confused by how that occurred.So I either have to now start the enrollment process again or find a new school.Then the other issue Agora lies to parents I went to they first week of orientations and they specifically said Aims testing is face to face for k-2 only.I checked my k-mail an hour later they're introducing new regional testing for k-6.So more aggravation ,I have two kids left in there and I had thought we had passed the face to face Aims a while ago,now you have to do this three times a year.Also attendance has changed,if your child doesn't come to live sessions ,and even though you put attendance in ,its considered an absence .Beware
I have 3 children enrolled in Agora, and we love it. I started off with my first child in a public school, then we moved and I became a single mother moving into a poverty area and the school we would of had to go to was horrible, I tried schooling at home by myself but missed many gaps. After putting my son in agora he improved dramatically. Now its been 3 years, all my children are in with 2 years ahead of their normal grade averages. They are given the choice each summer if they want public school or back with agora and each year they have chosen agora. They are so proud of their accomplishments and I as a parent and so proud of them and of Agora, had it not been for agora my oldest son would of really struggled I believe for many years. Thanks Agora for your help and thanks to the teachers who supported my sons needs in the begining and all the way thru for each child. lansdale, pa
I entered our son in Agora 2011-2012 school year. He thrived in this curriculum. The teacher support was phenominal. Always available for questions and support. My son was not flourishing in our local public school and we decided to try this and see how it would go. My son was picked on daily and had 2 hr school bus rides. When we made the switch together as a family, our son's grades jumped, his attitude towards learning changed, and he was able to focus without the distractions and frustrations of waiting on others in the classroom in certain subjects and being slower in other subjects than others. He is able to work at his own pace now while learning the fundamentals needed. He is no longer discouraged and angry with his performance but is excited and enjoys what he is learning. The time spent in public school was also a struggle for him. He is a self motivator and gets frustrated when he feels his time is wasted. He now has time to volunteer at our local retirement home once a week as well as his karate 3 days a week and 4H classes learning to care for animals and show them for fairs. What a great experience Agora has been for our family! Kudos!
This is my first year with agora and i cant wait to switch school for the 2012-2013 school year. The attendance office is trying to say ive missed 4 days this year when ive really only missed one and it was excused. Each day that i supposedly missed i have turned in assignments but according to agora i had "no user activity". My mom has to pay a fine for my absences the dont even exist . She is extremely mad about these absences because i show her my grade everytime i take a test and each day that ive "been absent" on was a friday, which are the days that i take tests on. The same thing was happening to my best friend before she left agora, so i know i cant be the only one this is happening to. I really do not recommend sending your child here.
I withdrew my child, a straight "A" student with Distinguished Honors from 1st - 6th grades, from the B&M school bec. it was lacking in academic structure and his teacher & the school Asst. Principals were all ineffective at doing their respective jobs. I called K12 and enrolled my child in Agora in 3rd qtr. It was the best decision I made. My child likes school again! He looks forward to his Live Sessions with his teacher, enjoys going on field trips (which he hadn't done since we moved to PA 2 yrs ago), was surprised to see the grade appropriate vocabulary words (he was previously learning 2nd grade level words in 6th grade), and has been doing really well in keeping up with his scheduled class/homework. The teacher is wonderful and always responds quickly to all my questions, the FLC has also been very helpful and informative. We haven't experienced any tech. issues thus far and I'm quite satisfied with the academic structure and process. My only concern is that my child seems to be breezing through the lessons. Not sure yet if this is a good sign or a concern. In the mean time, I tell him to slow down and spend more time before moving on to the next lesson. Recommended.
Big Problems with Agora!!!! My daughter keeps getting attendance notices for days she is not absent. This has happened 18 times this school year. It is really hard to get someone from the school to contact you, they correct days and 2 months later say she was absent on those days again. It is really difficult. We have been told to take a truancy elimination course 2 times now and when they corrected the absences they had already corrected once they reappeared. They are having some kind of serious technical issues. Is anyone else experiencing things like this in the 2011-2012 school year? My daughters friend had issues with her second quarter report card. She should have had all A's. Instead she got C's and D's. It took her family almost 3 weeks to get it corrected and have her As back.
I have just one problem with Agora.....COMMUNICATION. I have had a couple of issues with Agora within the last 2 years. I have had trouble with getting a response from the attendance office, teachers and administators. I have sent in papers and then been told they have not received them. I have had trouble communicating with teachers to let them know that my daughter does not do A+ for reading. I keep getting phone calls and k-mails saying that she did not complete it. I find it hard for teachers to assess my daughter if they don't know what they are assessing. You can not speak to anyone in the attendance office and they do not return k-mails or phone messages. Really thinking about a change of schools.
I have been at Agora sense September 2011 and i gotta say, This school is GREAT! The teachers are always nice, informative and sometimes VERY funny! The school is relativity simple to get around when it comes to finding classes/Live sessions. The teachers are ALWAYS kind and offer MANY opportunities for extra credit or to complete over due homework.
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