Cayden Guerra is an elementary school student at Pecos Connections Academy (PCA). He lives with his family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and attends PCA along with his sister, Emma Guerra. Cayden’s switch to virtual school, the result of his mother’s medical treatment, was unexpected, but he is thriving in PCA’s high-quality education program. Cayden’s Learning Coach shares his story below.
"Our family’s story started at the beginning of the 2016–17 school year. Cayden had just completed kindergarten in the Albuquerque public school system and he was all set to move into the first grade. That is when his mother, Ashley Chambers, was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia. Suddenly, the traditional brick-and-mortar schools were no longer an option because of the risk posed to Ashley’s weakened immune system by the common illnesses children bring home from school.
We learned about PCA during a commercial on our local PBS television channel. As an online public school serving students statewide, PCA offers a professionally structured curriculum and provides not only the teaching resources but also the professional support our family needed to make a successful transition.
Cayden’s first year at PCA was so successful! After only one semester in first grade, Cayden was reading at a third-grade level. In January’s testing, he performed at a 3.11 grade level in overall reading and text fluency. Cayden likes the outdoor science experiments and wants to be a scientist one day. He is currently enrolled in second grade.
PCA’s online teachers have been incredibly supportive. They perform one-on-one evaluations, track progress and deficiencies, monitor test scores, and provide
Cayden with the individual attention he needs. They also provide additional tutoring as needed for the math and language arts LiveLesson sessions.
PCA also provides opportunities to socialize at arranged outings at parks, restaurants, and an art studio. We plan to take more advantage of these opportunities to allow Cayden to meet other PCA students and get to know his teachers better.
The best thing about PCA is that Cayden’s grandparents are also engaged as Learning Coaches. There is never a loss for conversation at dinner when the family reviews the day’s lessons. Cayden now leads the family Bible reading, and this has brought our family closer together."
I think PCA is fun, especially when I can wear pajamas to class anytime I want!