SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — COVID cases are declining rapidly across the country. But the pandemic continues to change many aspects of our lives. That includes a push for virtual learning.

Not only are more and more kids making the switch, but the number of students enrolled at Scranton Cyber Academy has officially surpassed the number of kids at Scranton High School.

Learning online it’s not for everyone, but it is an option many people in the Scranton School District are opting for.

“The core of it is right there and the core idea of what we’re doing is trying to help students meet the standards, get the credits, pass their class and earn their diploma,” stated Corey McNulty, a teacher at the Scranton Cyber Academy.

There are 1,287 students currently enrolled at the Scranton Cyber Academy with only 1,213 kids at Scranton High School and 997 at West Scranton High School.

And it’s not just kids wanting to stay in their pajamas all day, there are some serious reasons behind why some kids choose virtual schooling.

“For some students—we’re in a growing age of social anxiety and a lot of uncertainty and not feeling comfortable in their own skin within a classroom setting. So, being able to provide that same education in a place they feel more secure and safe in I think is really beneficial for everybody,” explained McNulty.

Scranton Cyber Academy Program Supervisor Robert Butka says the pandemic played a big role in the sudden influx of online students.

He says some kids have to stay home to watch their siblings while their parents work to pay bills or vice versa.

“The pandemic has really hit families hard and out of pocket. We have a lot of students in our 7-12 cyber academy that work full time to help out their parents or grandparents or their guardians. They’re doing work at midnight, 10:00 p.m., 4:00 a.m. before they get up for their shift trying to get stuff done,” explained Butka.

He says he doesn’t see the trend dying down any time soon.

We know there’s also a teacher shortage nationwide and right here in our backyard. How does that come into play here?

There are several open teacher positions within the Scranton Cyber Academy right now, but one thing I found cool was that Corey for example who we just heard from teaches four classes because online allows for that flexibility.