Simon Youth Academy Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 5/5/2020 1:12 PM


1) Why is the SYA important to the Rose Tree Media School District?

The SYA improves some students’ access to their education.

Sometimes the traditional high school classroom is just not the right fit for a student any longer. That student needs another way to “do” high school--a more flexible, self-paced approach to learning that the SYA provides. A student may be a student who misses school for a variety of reasons including illness, involvement in outside arts or sports, personal or family issues.

If the traditional classroom is not for a student, that student may start falling behind, missing classes, or missing school entirely. As this unfortunate process continues, at some point it is extremely difficult for that student to catch up with the rest of the class, which causes even more issues. Because the SYA primarily uses an individualized, self-paced, online delivery of the curriculum, students who miss school do not necessarily fall behind their classmates; the student can begin where that student left off upon return. Students can always work at home as well to catch up or get ahead.

2) Who is a good candidate for the SYA?

The SYA is not right for every student. A good SYA candidate is generally an independent worker who may benefit from a small, supportive environment. A good candidate may need more flexibility in schedule but doesn't mind being in the same area for most of the day. 

3) Is the SYA a cyber school?

No. students must physically attend school every day.

4) Are teachers available to help the students in school?

Yes. The SYA has one teacher dually certified in English and Social Studies, another teacher dually certified in Math and Biology, and a part-time Special Education teacher to work with students with IEPs. 

5) Can SYA students work ahead academically?

Yes. RTMSYA students have a courseload similar to Penncrest students because SYA students need to meet the same district requirements for graduation. SYA students have the ability, however, to work through their individualized courses at a faster pace and finish the school year or even high school ahead of time. There are SYA students that finish early every year and use the time to begin college classes at DCCC or work at jobs in the area.

6) Can SYA students take Penncrest classes?

Yes. SYA students may typically take Penncrest classes during the last two periods of the day.

7) Do SYA students graduate with a Penncrest diploma?

Yes. The RTMSYA is part of Penncrest High School, and an SYA student is responsible for the same graduation requirements as every other Penncrest student to graduate with a Penncrest diploma.

8) Can SYA students take part in Penncrest activities, sports, and clubs?

Absolutely. An SYA student is still a Penncrest student and is encouraged to become involved in Penncrest and RTM activities and events.

9) How does a student become a Simon Youth Academy student?

The SYA intake process begins with a student's school counselor. If a student begins to have difficulties in the traditional high school setting or decides that moving more quickly through high school may work better, that student should meet with the school counselor to learn more about SYA.