Arts organization gets creative with back to school options

Scranton. Beginning Aug. 31, students enrolled in one of Pennsylvania’s cyber school options can engage in their studies under the supervision of Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA.

29 Jul 2020 | 04:34

As area parents grapple with the evolving reality of what school will look like for their children this September, the teachers of the Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA are unveiling a new program that just might be the answer for some.

Beginning Aug. 31, students enrolled in one of Pennsylvania’s cyber school options can engage in their studies under the supervision of the academy’s professional staff at the historic Ritz Theater in Scranton. These instructors will work hand in hand with each student to ensure they are getting the full benefit of a cyber education while also having the support of in person adult supervision to assist with tutoring, organization, and guidance on a daily basis.

Students grades 3 through 12 will receive daily academic support and supervision by the academy’s professional staff of academic support coaches Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Students will also participate in special on-site educational opportunities, clubs and activities to enhance their cyber learning experience. This program works in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s accredited cyber schools.

Students will be divided into small age appropriate groups that will move through the day in pods of approximately six to eight children, with registration currently limited to 40 admissions.

“These area schools are doing the very best they can in a next to impossible situation,” said Sheri Melcher, the owner and director of the academy. “They are developing smart plans but even the best ideas won’t work for everyone. We are hoping to provide another option for parents to find the best fit for their families.”

Offering social engagement

In addition to academic professionals, support staff is being brought in to provide numerous activities, clubs and social engagement for the students outside of class time. These activities are not exclusively arts-based but span a broad range of interests. Students will play an active role in planning for these clubs.

Recruitment for these positions are currently taking place with a special focus on candidates with experience in youth activity planning for resorts, theme parks and cruise lines. Much of the planning was already underway as part of the Poli Institute, a full-time performing arts intensive school that will open at the Ritz in September 2021. The Poli Institute will be an auditioned school with a single dedicated cyber partner to provide academic studies.

Families interested in setting up an admissions interview for the cyber campus should email Sheri@CaPAA.org for more information. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are being established by the Ritz Foundation and managed through the Scranton Area Foundation.

The academy’s mission is to provide a quality education in the creative and performing arts to young children, teens and adults in an environment that honors achievement, creativity and personal growth, regardless of ability or resources. Its goal is to nurture and inspire a lifelong love and appreciation of the creative and performing arts and provide unique opportunities for cultural exchange and community understanding.

“These area schools are doing the very best they can in a next to impossible situation. They are developing smart plans but even the best ideas won’t work for everyone. We are hoping to provide another option for parents to find the best fit for their families.” --Sheri Melcher