- Why Parents Choose or do not Choose Cyberschools for their Children
- Year Issued
Parents and guardians have many options regarding the type of educational institution that their child can attend. The two most common options for school-aged children are a traditional brick-and-mortar school or a cyberschool. Since children come from diverse backgr...
Show moreParents and guardians have many options regarding the type of educational institution that their child can attend. The two most common options for school-aged children are a traditional brick-and-mortar school or a cyberschool. Since children come from diverse backgrounds, have individual needs, and learn differently, it is important for children and their parents and guardians to understand what each type of school has to offer so they can make an informed decision. This study aimed to understand the specific reasons why parents and guardians choose cyberschools for their children. Ten participants were asked to complete a survey and answer open-ended interview questions; answers were analyzed using Weiss’s 4 I’s framework to determine key factors of school choice. Furthermore, participant responses and collected enrollment data were analyzed to determine student enrollment trends over the past five years at six cyberschools in Pennsylvania. The findings of this study indicated that there are specific, but different, characteristics that both cyberschools and brick-and-mortar schools possess that influence parents and guardians choices regarding educational institutions. Based on this study some parents and guardians prefer the safety and teacher communication that cyberschools offer, and some parents and guardians prefer the extracurricular activities that brick-and-mortar schools offer. Additionally, this study analyzes if the Covid-19 pandemic persuaded parents and guardians to choose one type of school over the other. The data collected from this study can help parents and guardians make informed decisions, based on their children’s needs, to which type of schooling would be most beneficial to them. Additionally, data can help school administrators make changes within their school to help maintain or increase student enrollment by meeting a larger range of student needs.
- David Furka