We were very hesitant when our daughter expressed a desire to do cyber school part way through her seventh-grade year. We explored other options such as PA Cyber, but were grateful to learn about Bellefonte eLearning Academy. We liked the idea that she could give it a try, but make a smooth transition back to Bellefonte Area Middle School if she decided it wasn’t a good fit. We also liked that she’d still be a student of Bellefonte Area School District and have access to all of its resources such as the libraries, and opportunities such as band, orchestra and choir.
Rebecca Leitzell was a great resource – she was very kind, helpful and encouraging. We’d been warned at the initial meeting to learn about BeLA that it was very rigorous and would require a great amount of self-motivation and discipline. That was indeed the case. Our daughter loved the flexibility of working at her own pace and when she felt most productive. However, it was easy to fall behind in assignments and then feel very overwhelmed. Visiting Ms. Leitzell during her office hours to get help with assignments was very valuable. For our daughter’s health circumstances at the time, BeLA was a good fit in that it provided flexibility in her schedule to attend necessary appointments. However, being alone and withdrawn from the energy of her peers wasn’t ideal.
Together we made the choice for our daughter to return to BAMS in eighth grade. She did so with a greater appreciation for the traditional school setting and her peers and teachers. Afterall, learning algebra on your own is tough! We’re grateful to live in a district which recognizes that not all students learn in the same way and therefore provides options, opportunities and support for our students to best meet their needs.
We decided to enroll our daughter in Bellefonte eLearning Academy after she had a very traumatic and emotional start to the school year in 2018. She suffered a tremendous personal loss, and she needed a mental break from all the pressure and rigor of a typical school day in order to sort through everything and recenter herself. BeLA was a wonderful experience! The added one-on-one support that was offered with Ms. (Rebecca) Leitzell made all the difference. She was attentive and involved in our child’s daily learning process, which made her transition very easy. She answered all of our concerns promptly and helped us navigate the system when we were having trouble.
Our daughter thrived in her online studies. She was able to continue to attend band during the school day, as well as field trips, dances and special events and activities. This helped her continue to stay in touch with her friends and feel a part of Bellefonte Area Middle School. She loved to be able to work at her own pace, pick and choose the subjects she wanted to start and finish first, and be in control of her own day. This gave her the time, space and confidence she needed to go back to BAMS this year. She is back in regular classes and she doesn’t feel behind.
I’m very grateful that our district is able to offer such a comprehensive alternative learning option for students who need it. This program is the best of both worlds – offering academics and social and extracurricular opportunities.
-Leah, BeLA mom
The BeLA program is great, but it’s Miss Leitzell who truly cares about the kids and goes above and beyond for them. Without Bellefonte eLearning Academy I would not have graduated. It gave me the opportunity to do my schoolwork without being in the confines of a brick-and-mortar high school. I am thankful this was an option for me while attending Bellefonte Area School District.
-Drew, Class of 2018
I like BeLA because it gives me the flexibility to work on my time, while also allowing me to work one-on-one with a teacher. You don’t have that in a traditional classroom setting.
-Lily, Class of 2020
I started BeLA in the middle of last year and it has helped me improve my grades. I can work online and with a teacher when I need extra help, and have the ability to work at my own pace, without feeling pressure. I’m excited to graduate on time as a Bellefonte student at the end of the year with my mom in the crowd to see it.
-Alyssa, Class of 2020