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Q & A with Kimberlee Bonura, PhD, MFA 

CMASAS Parent of a 6th and 8th Grader

When did you enroll in CMASAS?  Three years ago, we switched to CMASAS during the pandemic. Our public school was returning to in-person classes with optional masks, which wasn’t suitable for our family due to my child’s asthma and grandma’s COPD. I wanted a virtual school that would provide a solid education and validated transcripts, so if we decided to return to public or private in-person school we would have the necessary documents.


How did you hear about our school?  I searched online and read reviews of all the virtual schools through established education sites such as


How does CMASAS’ flexible and personalized education help your students?  Both my children are twice exceptional learners (2E), characterized by high IQs, neurodiversity, and physical health challenges. Public school posed challenges for us. In the first year of kindergarten, my older child missed over 20 days, all with doctor's notes due to a combination of therapy appointments and acute illnesses. As they grew older, some of their unique needs became more apparent. For example, a highly intelligent and verbal child struggling with tasks like standing in line or putting away a backpack may be misinterpreted as motivation or behavioral issues by teachers. However, it's clear from research on neurodivergent kids that they have "spiky" ability profiles, requiring support for their challenges and opportunities to excel in their areas of strength and special interests. CMASAS has been exceptional in providing this tailored support for both of my children.


Tell us about your experience with your Personalized Education Coaches (PECs).  Our PECs are wonderful. They both care very much about my kids as students, as learners, as people, and offer a lot of overall support.

My younger child has been with Kristen Darling from day one, and the continuity of relationship is wonderful. We texted her pictures from our cross-country adventures, including submission of a 4th-grade science project about how faithful Old Faithful is!


How has CMASAS been beneficial as it pertains to you being a military family?  We are a U.S. Army family. My children have experienced significant disruptions due to our military lifestyle. In our last year of public school, my oldest was a 4th grader who had already attended four different public schools in four cities across three states, while my youngest was a 2nd grader with three schools in three cities spanning three states. Just having the continuity of one school, one set of instructors across military moves is huge. It also matters to me that CMASAS is accredited, and follows one US state curriculum, so they'll have validated transcripts for future schools and/or the college application process, should we stay with CMASAS through the end of the journey.


Have your students made any friendships at CMASAS?  They have both had fun engaging with other kids, chatting through clubs and during activities and homeroom sessions. We've done lots of clubs, and the flexible model is nice to support my kids as their interests grow and change.


As a mother, what were some concerns that CMASAS was able to alleviate regarding educational and social development?  I have a PhD in Educational Psychology and 15 years experience as a faculty member of an online university. I came to CMASAS with a lot of experience in online education, so I wasn't worried about the educational aspect. Our initial experience coincided with the COVID lockdowns, making it a more socially engaging choice than what most people were experiencing. The CMASAS model provided us with the flexibility to partake in various social activities that wouldn't typically be feasible. For instance, we could schedule therapy and doctor appointments during the school day when offices were less crowded, thanks to our adaptable schedule. Additionally, during a cross-country move, we didn't have to wait for the busy summer period, as we could relocate while continuing with school, ensuring our kids remained on track academically.

The first year we were in CMASAS, my younger child succinctly pointed out how much "time we wasted standing in line" in public school, and that it felt like the online model was a much more efficient way to learn. We still feel that way!

My older child’s current PEC is Corey Rauterkus. He has transformed my child from being extremely math anxious to doing well in math.