FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Philadelphia, Pa. – August 30, 2021. Esperanza Cyber Charter School Outlines the Critical Needs Addressed During Covid-19 Pandemic.
Esperanza Cyber Charter School (ECCS) for the past 9 years has delivered educational services to some of the most underserved students in the City of Philadelphia. Situated in the heart of Hispanic North Philadelphia in the Hunting Park neighborhood, one of the poorest districts within the city of Philadelphia.
During the pandemic, ECCS was one of only three schools within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that never closed. These shutdowns exacerbated decades of disinvestment and poverty in Hunting Park and in low-income communities nationwide.
A recent AP News Article, Virtual Schools Saw Little Disruption, Got Equal Virus Aid, criticized the awarding of COVID relief funding to cyber schools, noting a lack of need for covid investment and a “business as usual” approach.
Dr. Jon Marsh, CEO of ECCS notes, “The notion that a school like ECCS, serving an incredibly high-risk population, would not need COVID-19 crisis funding is unfounded and demonstrates a lack of understanding about not only cyber education but the educational, social and other contexts in which we operate. These are children who are already at an academic disadvantage and whose educational opportunities outside of the quality education we provide are limited. Families here have an average household income of $24,000 per year according to Statistical Atlas data and faced high rates of COVID-19, hunger, gun violence, and upheaval.”
As noted by the American Rescue Plan Act, children in low-income neighborhoods are expected to face lasting impacts from the health and economic crisis spurred by COVID-19. In the face of these statistics and challenging realities, ECCS seeks to defy the odds – by ensuring its students can continue to pursue and accomplish their goals and dreams undeterred. ECCS has a 95.7% economically disadvantaged population with the next closest cyber being in the lower sixtieth percentile. ECCS’ student demographics dictate the allocation awarded under the law and ECCS should be commended for serving the very community the funding sought to support.
ECCS deployed the funding to address critical needs: protective measures for in-person locations for laptop distribution; an innovative approach consisting of an expanded team of social workers to outreach to families and visit homes within health and safety parameters to ensure that children’s immediate needs were met so they could remain engaged in online learning; critical support resources including a transition coordinator, school psychologist, one-on-one tutoring, a team of English Language Development specialists, and bilingual academic specialists in fields such as math, reading and science; internet resources for families in need; diagnostic testing; and dual enrollment opportunities for students to gain college credit.
Proactively planning, ECCS deployed resources to strengthen the educational program and position the school to respond to funding for charter schools across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that are likely to fall significantly over the next three years, increasing the need for sustainable planning in support of the educational progress of our students.
For media inquiries, please contact Samantha Martinez at (215) 324-0746 ext. 480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Esperanza Cyber Charter School (ECCS) is a public cyber charter that prepares students in grades K – 12 to meet the challenges of living creatively and productively in an increasingly technologically sophisticated and interconnected world. Esperanza Cyber Charter School offers a quality education that prepares critically thinking, socially capable, spiritually sensitive and culturally aware young adults who can use English and Spanish while providing an academically rigorous, yet flexible, online learning program that tailors learning experiences to each child. ECCS is targeted toward under served and at-risk students who have not always found success in traditional schools with a goal to place students on a pathway to post-secondary success. For more information about how to access services offered at Esperanza Cyber Charter School visit https://www.esperanzacyber.org/