To Bennu and Back!

osiris-rex-educational-science-posterHello FLVS peeps!

I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.

Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?

In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.

It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)

So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading


Using Hamilton the Musical in the Classroom

hamilton-blogThe winner of the 2016 Tony for Best Musical was “Hamilton,” an untraditional, hip-hop musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of Alexander Hamilton.

The popularity of this musical is impossible to deny – and the most amazing thing is that this hip-hop soundtrack to a founding father’s life has captivated teenagers in a way perhaps no other musical ever has before.

There is no denying this musical crosses age and cultural gaps and has brought a new love for musical theater that is refreshing and powerful. Many teachers are using this incredible soundtrack to start discussions about our history and to reinvent how students study such an important time period.

It is possible teachers of any content could use Hamilton’s addictive appeal to energize their classrooms, but I will share some ideas specifically for English and History teachers. Continue reading


Meet the FLVS Math Literacy Coach

We are celebrating the 2016-17 school year with blog posts featuring FLVS faculty and staff. Meet the creative and dedicated individuals who make every day a great day at FLVS!

5-questions-math-literacyWhen you hear the term “literacy,” you might not think the subject of math applies.

Well, it does! Math has a language all its own.

Mathematics has a unique literacy that relates to vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, sequencing, and more. It takes a very special professional to support math instructors by way of literacy skills and professional development. Professional development offered by our coaches takes place year round and is based on in-depth educational research.

Coaching takes a lot of time and effort. At FLVS, we value all of our instructional coaches who work so hard behind the scenes supporting our instructors and providing them with best practices and tools so our students can be successful. Continue reading


Meet an FLVS Lead Teacher

We are celebrating the 2016-17 school year with blog posts featuring FLVS faculty and staff. Meet the creative and dedicated individuals who make every day a great day at FLVS!

5-questions-lead-teacherThe role of lead teacher at Florida Virtual School is one of expertise and support for the content area they serve.

Instructors work closely with their Lead Teacher to ensure best practices in the classroom are maintained and innovations applied when the need presents itself. Another important support provided by the lead is vacation coverage for instructors. As the lead is well-versed in their content area, the coverage is seamless and students know that they have someone to ask questions to during their teacher’s vacation.

Theresa Bauman is the Lead Teacher for FLVS Parenting Skills and has been in this position for three years.

She is a veteran of the United States Army and served in Washington, DC during her service tenure. Moving into education years later, she earned her master’s degree in education applying her real-world experience with the ever-changing landscape of our schools. Continue reading


Meet a New FLVS Instructor

We are celebrating the 2016-17 school year with blog posts featuring FLVS faculty and staff. Meet the creative and dedicated individuals who make every day a great day at FLVS!

5-questions-instructorHave you ever thought about how exciting it would be to be an FLVS instructor? Well, meet Kevin Kessler who just came on board this fall to join FLVS Full Time as a dynamic science teacher!

Kevin Kessler is someone who is very friendly and gregarious. I met Kevin last year as we are both enrolled in the doctoral program at Florida Southern College and attend the same cohort.

Kevin has a warm rapport with people and is very knowledgeable about education around the world. A born traveler, he brings a rich and unique perspective to his FLVS Full Time science classroom having had adventures all across the globe.

When he first approached me about joining FLVS, I was not only excited that he could possibly join our faculty, but thought of all of the world experiences he would bring into the lives of our students. Focused on helping each and every student achieve their very best in his classroom, Kevin believes that all students can be successful and reach their highest potential. Continue reading


What Models Don’t Say

This is the second post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

makaila-nyfwHey everyone, Mak here. If you missed my first post, this year I will be writing about my experiences as a student and in the modeling industry. This week, I wanted to inform you on what the fashion industry is really like – and how it changed my life for the better…but also the worst.

Fashion is the most cut-throat business. One day you feel like the most wanted person in the world, and the next you question what made you join the business in the first place. Many people assume that it’s just fun and glamorous all the time, but it’s not.

When I 14, I was told to look and act a certain way (more on that in a later post), but the point is, I was asked to become someone I was not. I shouldn’t have let them change me, but how was I supposed to know? Continue reading


Chase Your Dreams – You Might Catch One

This post was written by Shalyah Fearing, FLVS student and contestant on The Voice, Season 10.

shalyah-fearing-flvsHave you ever dreamed about a goal that you want to accomplish in life? I have.

Chase after your dreams. You might actually catch one!

I always wanted to audition for “The Voice.” I thought the show was unique compared to all the others. The chairs aren’t facing you during your audition! They can’t judge you off of your looks or style. They can only judge by your voice and that’s it. Genius!

I decided at the age of 12 that I was going to audition for this show and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Here comes that ping of doubt sitting in the corner of your mind. The kind of doubt that only comes out of its corner to crush your dreams when the time comes.

“Shalyah. Do you honestly think that out of thousands of singers here to audition, that you’ll get a slot? Why try?” that voice would ask me. Continue reading


FLVS Student Pursues her Passion for Animals

This post was written by tenth grade high school student Madison Toonder. Read about Maddie’s oyster research in a previous blog post here

madison-toonderIn October 2015, I was awarded a scholarship to attend any pre-collegiate program of my choice for winning second place in the nation in STEM mathematics at the Broadcom MASTERS national science fair competition in San Francisco, California.

I chose the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University’s two-week summer intensive in Massachusetts because it is directly related to my career path.

Tufts’ program is designed to give high school students insight into the rigors of veterinary school. During the program, we attended lectures, studied animal anatomy through fascinating dissections and hands-on palpitations, completed hospital rounds with fourth-year veterinary students, and explored the many different possible career paths within veterinary medicine. My daily agenda was varied and included activities such as learning proper techniques for handling animals, observing surgical procedures, and learning how to perform routine check-ups on a variety of different animals. One of my favorite activities was suturing bananas to practice proper technique. Continue reading


A Critical Course to Take in High School

popquizWhat would you consider to be the most important courses to take in high school?

How about Math, Science, History, English…and Parenting Skills!

Want to determine just how prepared you (or your students) are for parenthood?

Take our pop quiz to find out!

1. How many hours of coursework are required for people wishing to become parents?
2. How much money does it cost to raise a child to the age of 18?
3. What can be done to prevent child abuse/neglect before a child is even born?

How do you think you did? Continue reading


FLVS Joins St. Jude’s Walk for Children

st-jude-walkAt FLVS, our teachers and support staff make up the heart and soul of our organization. All of our efforts are centered on the lives of the individual students we serve.

This month, one of our staff members and his daughter (a student at FLVS) are especially representative of this mission as we join the statewide 5k Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mike Smith, FLVS Peer Counseling and Critical Thinking Skills teacher, says that his family has been a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than 25 years. His cousin (who happens to be getting married the same day as the walk this year) was treated and cured there in the early 1990s. Now, Mike’s family is once again part of the St. Jude mission to cure all children stricken with cancer.  Continue reading