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Virtual Cafe providing alternative path to graduation

EAST LAMPETER, Pa. - More uses of technology continue to expand the way we educate students. At Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster County, a virtual academy provides an alternative to the classroom and for homeschooling.

"I have never experienced anything as easy or as helpful than I have before," junior Alexis Rhoads said.

Rhoads is a teen mother. Without this education alternative, continuing her path to high school graduation would have been much harder.

“He [the program director] told me they’d be willing to work around my schedule completely, as much as they could. With my situation, I have a daughter who’s three so I need that flexibility in my life in order to take care of her and finish my education,” Rhoads said.

The program also aids students who both work quicker than other students to progress further and even graduate early. On the flip side, students can work at their own pace as well within reasonable time frames.

“They’re at home, at their own pace, not having to feel the pressure of their peers about clothing or about fashion or weight or anything else. They can be at home and grow at their own pace," advisor and teacher Linda Mercier said.

The program gained their own "internet cafe" for a focused place kids in the program can visit.

“To see some students are able to stay on task, be productive and have a pace that is very steady and even graduate early is a very good thing to watch," Mercier said.