If you ask teenagers and kids today how they feel about school, you will find many are unhappy with their placement. At my school, however, this is not the case. I attend a cyber charter school, and ever since switching from public brick and mortar, my life has become infinitely better.

Before the pandemic, I attended my local public middle school in a highly rated school district. I went to school five days a week in person, and I was emotionally drained from the toxic environment and copious amounts of busywork. I was not being challenged enough, either. In addition to schoolwork, the environment was anything but ideal. A classmate was heavily bullying me to the point where I would cry every day after school. What made it even worse was that I am Jewish, and this school had numerous antisemitic kids. I was extremely dissatisfied with my education, but I was fortunate to have parents who sought alternative options.

Once the pandemic hit, I transferred to an online cyber charter. I immediately was impressed by the academic rigor and the cooperative environment. In eighth grade, I found genuinely extraordinary human beings I am lucky to call my friends. Everyone was much more accepting of other people, and people were more diverse in their interests. In addition to the more welcoming environment, kids are more emotionally mature, and meaningful conversations occurred daily.

Many adults who have little experience with cyber charters assume that students receive no social interaction, but that is false. Through my new school, I can socialize with my friends while also not being drained from seeing people constantly. We also have Zoom classes every other day where we can interact in live time with our peers and teacher. Another criticism is that cyber students do not learn anything, but that is wrong. I have learned more in two years of cyber school than in five at a public school.

My life drastically changed for the better. No longer am I bullied, bored, and dreading school. I genuinely enjoy going to school to learn, and my teachers are beyond helpful. On top of this, I obtained the 504 plan I needed. At my old school, they denied accommodations requested by my doctor because I am a straight-A student despite having ADHD and anxiety. With my cyber charter, I have extra time and am less anxious about tests.

Additionally, more neurodivergent kids accept you for who you are at my cyber charter. There is less ableism and we are all focused on bettering one another. Going to my new school is honestly the best decision my parents and I have ever made.

Some students in brick-and-mortar schools could benefit from attending a cyber charter but are afraid to express their concerns to their parents. Numerous parents are not open to cyber charters due to misconceptions. That needs to change. My advice to my peers is to talk to your parents if you have fears or dislike brick-and-mortar school. Finding a school that is best for you should be the most important concern for your family. My advice to parents is to research cyber charter schools. Find the facts and how they work, talk to people who work there, and most importantly, listen to your children. Children should have a say in their education because it is their lives.

Cyber charter schools have remade my life in the most magical way. I am genuinely filled with joy while learning, and I am no longer doing busy work just because I finished my assignments early. I found true lifelong friends who share the same values as me. All of this is because my parents listened to my concerns and found a better option. Giving cyber charters a chance may offer a positive change in your child’s life.

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