Public charter schools are integral to our communities because every student learns differently. It is important that we continue to provide New Mexican students the right academic options that fit their learning needs.
As a parent of a child attending a public charter school in New Mexico, I have seen first-hand the enhanced educational experience that public charter schools in our state are providing families and students.
My ten-year-old daughter, Emma, attends Pecos Cyber Academy, a public charter school in New Mexico that offers a unique virtual-only learning model for students across New Mexico. The students at Pecos Cyber Academy are connected each day with their teachers, learning advisors, and each other in a virtual learning environment.
I believe that this model has offered an unparalleled amount of achievement for Emma and the flexibility my family has needed in the past several years. When I was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2016, I knew that our family would need to seek out an educational program that would allow our students to be challenged in their academic studies, but also allow me to receive the intensive medical treatments I needed.
The innovative online learning platform gives our family access to a high-quality curriculum and state-certified staff to help Emma thrive in her academic studies. Because of the support of my loved ones and with the flexibility that Pecos Cyber Academy provided to our family, I am grateful to now be in remission with my children very much on track with their academics.
Emma continues to thrive at Pecos Cyber Academy because of its rigorous educational program, the support she gets from the excellent instructional staff, and the schedule that works around her learning needs.
While many schools in New Mexico had to quickly pivot to a virtual learning model during the early days of pandemic, Emma and her peers at Pecos Cyber Academy did not miss a single beat because of the existing online instruction foundation at the school.
Each day, Emma attends synchronous online sessions with her classmates and teachers at scheduled times in the day. We as her designated learning coaches spend the rest of the day working with her through her projects, subject materials, knowledge checks, quizzes, and class preparation. Because much of the work is completed online, Emma is able to complete a lot of this work based on her own learning needs.
If she needs to, she can lean deeper into the curriculum and we can work with her as her family to connect what she is learning to her other material to create a more holistic educational experience. If she needs extra help, she is just a phone call away from a teacher or staff member who can schedule an interactive online learning session. This learning environment provides structure and accountability for Emma, but also the flexibility and discretion for our family to help Emma succeed in her courses.
I have seen so many benefits for Emma as a result of her attending Pecos Cyber Academy.
Because her peers attend the school from across the state, she has been able to interact with an extremely diverse group of classmates. She has been able to challenge herself academically through the school’s gifted program and supplemental classes. And because of the flexible learning environment, I am proud that she has been able to dedicate time to our project to support cancer patients called Project RENEW. Our family delivers items of comfort during cancer treatments and medical visits, including blankets, coloring books, and other items that we hope provide some needed love and support to cancer patients.
I believe that public charter schools in New Mexico are helping students succeed in New Mexico because there is a unique school option for each type of student. Although we have greatly benefited from our relationship with Pecos Cyber Academy, there are a variety of high-achieving public charter schools in New Mexico that focus on everything from the arts to STEM, to project-based learning that is delivering results in New Mexico and helping students find their life’s passion.
To find a charter school that may best suit your family and resources to navigate this important choice, I encourage you to visit the school finder.
This post was written by our guest blogger, Ashley Guerra, a parent at Pecos Cyber Academy.