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MVCA student Kayla Mason takes her M-Step tests with her beloved stuffed cat, Amber.

Rising 4th grade Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA) student Kayla Mason is extremely spirited, bright, and hard-working, despite the physical disability she bravely faces.

“Kayla has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk, sit up, or use either of her hands efficiently on her own,” Kayla’s father, Bruce Mason, said. “What Kayla does have is an incredible mind and unstoppable spirit.”

Bruce enrolled Kayla in online schooling at MVCA as a second grader so that he is able to provide her with the one-on-one attention that allows her to thrive. Before MVCA, Kayla was unable to get the attention she deserves because she was one of 40 students at her school that needed support.

While Kayla must spend great amounts of time at her physical therapy lessons, she works extremely hard to stay on top of her schooling. Robin Glassner, Kayla’s homeroom teacher, even reported that Kayla studied over her winter and spring breaks in order to succeed in her coursework.

“We spend a lot of time balancing her important physical therapy sessions with her equally important school work,” Bruce said. “Thankfully, she is making great strides with both physical and academic progress, and we hope and pray for continued improvement.”

Ms. Glassner reports that Kayla is held to the same high expectations and grades as other MVCA students, and that Kayla has shown a lot of growth in her schooling.

“The MVCA model has had a very positive impact on her learning,” Bruce said. “She has a very smart twin brother who attends a highly regarded charter school, and Kayla is clearly ahead of him in all areas of learning.”

Kayla uses a laptop with a special keyboard, provided by MVCA, in order to do activities independently. She has become extremely comfortable using the keyboard and has a lot of fun with it – Kayla often finds Katy Perry videos on YouTube using her computer and keyboard and loves to sing along.

Kayla also enjoys fashion, going to the movies, swimming, and spending time at the beach. Bruce says that Kayla, despite her physical challenges, is “every bit a normal child” as any other 9-year-old. Sometimes, she even seems unaware of her physical challenges.

“She does not allow her disability to slow her down and she finds different ways to accomplish her tasks,” Bruce said. “Every day is a struggle for her, but her constant smile and positive attitude are ever-present.”

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