Reach Cyber Launches New Freshman Academy to Support Student Transition Throughout First Year of High School

Reach Cyber Launches New Freshman Academy to Support Student Transition Throughout First Year of High School

HARRISBURG, PAReach Cyber Charter School officially launched its Freshman Academy for the 2020-21 academic year, aiming to equip ninth-grade students with the necessary resources and relationships that can help them find their groove and success in their first year of high school and beyond.

“The transition from middle school to high school can be difficult for all students,” said Michael Hinshaw, assistant principal at Reach Cyber. “We’ve found that many students transfer into cyber education at the outset of their high school careers, and with the added challenge of a new learning environment, new school and increased difficulty of work, we want to give our students the extra support they need, both academic and emotional, to set them on the path to success.  That’s the goal of the Freshman Academy.”

A top priority for Reach Cyber’s Freshman Academy is to help improve and maintain students’ well-being during their transition to high school, which plays a significant role in academic performance. Each ninth grader enrolled in the Freshman Academy has been assigned a homeroom with a family mentor who will provide social and emotional support to help them complete each day. The ninth-grade student body has been separated into four teams for the academy to foster community building among subsets of students.

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“Students need a network and support system that can help them boost their confidence and find themselves, especially as they enter their first year of high school,” said Hinshaw. “With the launch of our Freshman Academy, our team of instructors and family mentors will provide our ninth graders with the extra support and resources to help them navigate this major life transition, all while providing a comprehensive STEM-focused curriculum to prepare them as well-rounded students and citizens for post-high school life whether in college or the work world.”

Throughout the school year, Reach Cyber’s Freshman Academy will equip students with lessons on time management, social skills, unity and volunteerism – all with an infusion of technology. Special assemblies, pep rallies and team-based competitions will be incorporated to further learning and strengthen student connections.

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The Freshman Academy will also include access to professional development from Reach Cyber’s Career Pathways Program. Through the school partnership with Credly, a digital credentialing service, students have opportunities to earn certifications in Microsoft programs, which will help increase their marketability when applying for college or employment down the road.

Reach Cyber’s launch of its Freshman Academy occurs at a critical time for all. With a need now more than ever to address cultural insensitivities brought by the pandemic and other social and economic issues, the academy aims to address students’ specific concerns before they become a hurdle to their academic and personal development.

Reach Cyber Charter School is a Pennsylvania statewide, tuition-free, online public charter school for students in grades K-12. Serving nearly 8,500 students virtually across the state of Pennsylvania, Reach Cyber delivers an award-winning curriculum with STEM enrichment opportunities, engaging electives, technology tools, and online and in-person social experiences for families who want an individualized approach to education.

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For more information about Reach Cyber, visit

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October 24, 2020 11:16 am

Why are they not wearing mask and safe distancing? I am hope this picture was taken pre- pandemic.

Timothy Alexander
Timothy Alexander
October 25, 2020 6:15 am
Reply to  Lynne

It is just a stock photo.