There are newer employer reviews for PA Leadership Charter School
There are newer employer reviews for PA Leadership Charter School

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Dedicated staff, ready to help a good school get better.

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Teacher in West Chester, PA
Current Employee - Teacher in West Chester, PA
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I have been working at PA Leadership Charter School full-time (More than 5 years)

Pros

The culture at PALCS is generally positive and very much focused on educating our students. If one focuses on providing education, their job is very satisfying. A cyber school is an exciting, innovative place to work. Much of what we do sets the trend for the education industry and causes many school districts to devise new ways to compete with us. From the industry stand-point, we are in the enviable position of leading with our innovation. Based on state testing data and graduation rates, PA Leadership is consistently one of the best cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania. We're succeeding where many other cyber charters are failing. This is something that we're all proud of and know we can sustain if given the right tools and opportunities.

Cons

Depending on the school district, teachers and staff at PALCS earn between 10-20% less than local public school employees. The bonus structure closes some of that gap, but is not guaranteed and still leaves many employees well underpaid compared to their other public school peers. This is an industry-wide trend for charter schools, both on-site and cyber, and is not exclusive to PA Leadership. Benefits at PA Leadership are very good, but diminishing. Last year, spouses were allowed to stay on the group health plan for a fee. This year, any working spouse is not allowed on the group health plan. Even though my individual cost is much less and I see more money in each paycheck, this new arrangement ultimately costs my family more money and exposes us to significantly more risk, as my working spouse's health plan is not as good. I consider this a loss of compensation. I also don't appreciate the school's hired benefits providers get on a political soap box while giving a benefits presentation (which has happened a few times). These are people who are hired to provide us a service, not give us political commentary. Regarding educational decision making, I can not comment. I work in a department where academic decisions are often collaborative and made with the consultation of the staff of the entire program.

Advice to Management

Many staff would like to have a stronger opinion in the educational direction of the school. These are people with advanced degrees who are considered among the top in their fields. Administration does not always seem to take their opinions seriously into consideration when making academic decisions. Many staff would also like to see transparency in budgeting and financial processes. We all view ourselves as stakeholders in education and stewards of public monies. Those who perform their job efficiently and professionally deserve honest answers about the educational direction and financial health of the school and ought to be included in these conversations. Administration may be pleasantly surprised with the ideas brought up by employees who previously felt they had no voice. As conditions for charter schools in Pennsylvania improve, we expect that our situation will likewise improve. This includes committing to pay bonuses and following through with those commitments (The board committed to pay much of the previous 4 years of bonuses in Sept. 2012 but didn't specify a time frame for paying a majority of those bonuses). Many of us have signed petitions, displayed bumper magnets on our cars, solicited friends and neighbors to attend our school, and some of us have even joined administration in Harrisburg to lobby legislators for our cause. It's time we harness the tremendous advantages we have in innovation, efficiency, and dedication to education to not only improve the educational outcome for our students, but also ensure the happiness and continued dedication of the teachers and staff who enabled the school to become one of the best cyber charters in Pennsylvania.

Other Employee Reviews for PA Leadership Charter School

  1. Helpful (2)

    My experience at PA Leadership has been very positive and wonderful.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Chester, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Chester, PA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Wonderful and flexible bosses. Very appreciative when I do a good job. The freedom to express myself and know that I am being heard.

    Cons

    PA Leadership is such a wonderful place to work I cannot think of any downsides. I love going to work in the morning 1

    Advice to Management

    Keep being sensitive and in communication with employees. We appreciate it. We appreciate knowing what is going on in the organization, and knowing that you are interested in what we think and what our concerns are.


  2. Helpful (3)

    In these troubled economic times, we are blessed.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Chester, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Chester, PA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I would like to convey my own experience at PALCS. This is very important to me because, after reading some of the reviews on this site, I feel some of the opinions are not accurate. It is unfair for any one individual to use their feelings or views to describe the working environment shared by all of us at PALCS. The negative people that have posted these things seem to have another agenda. As I read the frustration expressed in these comments, it is very easy for me to relate to them. I believe anyone who cares about their job will feel confusion and fear even in the best of economic times. There have been times I could have easily been labeled as disgruntled. Over time, I saw the bigger picture and to be frank, I believe that most of my frustrations were simply my own unrealistic expectations. What I failed to see is, this company is genuinely wanted me to succeed. It offers all it can and when it can. In these troubled economic times we are blessed with leaders that work harder and stay later than the rest of us. At times this company has had to fight for its very existence. Between the brick and mortar school’s undermining of us and the fact that this is still a brand new industry, keeping these doors open is a huge accomplishment. We have not only survived massive system failures (that would have shut down ANY other school) we made ourselves better and we have positioned ourselves accomplish great things. And the most important thing is we are educating more students with better results and we get better at it every day. Every day our country see’s more and more angry people blaming their own CEO’s for their company's demise. Obviously some of these men and women deserve the blame. But, as I look around myself I see young, happy teachers, using new technology, I simply disagree with the negative few that have posted on this site.

    Cons

    It is a young company and needs to adjust some things. If there is a "con" it is the unrealistic expectation that all people can be made happy.


There are newer employer reviews for PA Leadership Charter School
There are newer employer reviews for PA Leadership Charter School

See Most Recent

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