FLVS Yearbook Club: Unbound

FLVS Yearbook ClubNearly five years ago, the first edition of the Florida Virtual School yearbook, Unbound, was published.

Many things have changed since then, but one thing has not – this is a yearbook created by and for “unbound” students. At FLVS, students are not bound to four walls of a classroom, nor are they bound to lectures that feel endless. Unbound was created to show off these exemplary students and our exemplary school.

My name is Scott Schneider and I am the Editor-in-Chief of this year’s Unbound yearbook. I am a Junior at FLVS Full Time, and I can testify to the unbound feeling that FLVS provides. Our goal is to provide that same feeling to students in the yearbook. We have created many ways to get involved this year without being bound to deadlines, countless hours of work, etc.

One of the ways to get involved is through the Summer Cover Challenge! Continue reading


Meet FLVS Alumna Makaila Nichols

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

Mak Nichols FLVS Alumna and AuthorHey blog readers! I’m the new kid on “The Virtual Voice” block.

My name is Makaila, but all my friends call me Mak and I’m 18 years young. I was once an FLVS Flex student and attended a small private school in Windermere, Florida. So why did I take classes from FLVS when I was already in school full time?

Opportunity.

I started modeling when I was 14 with Wilhelmina Models and had to spend a lot of time in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York (and not at school).

I found myself on a plane quite often and was always told the same thing by the people I worked with, “take classes online.” So I did – and by the time I completed high school, I applied 18 credits from FLVS to the final total that resulted in my diploma from Windermere Preparatory School. Continue reading


Back to School: Virtual Style

Heading Back to School Virtual StyleIt’s August and that means it is back to school!

For much of Florida Virtual School, our teachers and students have been hard at work – even through the summer months.

Of course, the new school year always brings with it anticipation and excitement for the year to come. In traditional schools, there are some eagerly anticipated back-to-school traditions.

So how do we do these in our virtual world?

Let’s walk through a few back-to-school basics!
Continue reading


Blueprints for Building Community

Back to School Blueprints for Creating CommunityWhen I share with people (especially those who are teaching in traditional classrooms) that I’ve shifted into high gear preparing for a new year with my students, I must admit, I’ve gotten a lot of puzzled looks and questions, like “What exactly do you need to do? I mean, you teach virtually.”

Before I answer (or take offense), I take a relaxed breath and smile.

Because, like them, exactly one year ago, I didn’t have a clue.

So how do virtual elementary teachers prepare for a new crop of eager learners? Luckily, for all the new teachers just starting this adventure, the blueprint is surprisingly similar to a brick-and-mortar school. The 2016-17 year kicked off this past week by building community. Continue reading


Why Back to School is Better Online (Remix!)

blog-online-schoolA few years ago, I wrote a blog post sharing why going back to school is way easier online.

Now that it’s August and students are once again headed back into classrooms across the state of Florida, it seemed like a great opportunity to revisit our list of reasons why students at FLVS Flex and FLVS Full Time have it made!

We all know that there all kinds of benefits to virtual school…

From the value of learning how to study and succeed online in general to the fact that Driver Education meets the online high school course requirement for students in Florida, there are plenty of advantages. But the perks we’ve outlined below are much cooler than these!

Here is our new and improved top 15 list of reasons the first day of school at FLVS is infinitely better than the first day at “regular” school… Continue reading


The Value of an Online Course

Value of an Online CourseThe other weekend, my mother was happy to come and watch my son as I tackled a few things that had been on my list for a while.

My “To Do” list consisted of starting a mortgage application, purchasing some “the best way to get your baby to sleep through the night” products and printing nearly 1,000 adorable photos of my now 7 month old.

She immediately scooped up her grandson when she arrived (you would too, he’s so cute!) and took off into the other room so he could show her his new trick of “almost crawling.”

Two hours later, she came out into the kitchen and was startled to see that I was still sitting there. Continue reading


Cooney World Adventures Blog Series

FLVS Cooney World AdventuresIf you’ve ever dreamed of traveling the world, it may not be as complicated as you think.

In 2008, Mike Cooney traveled the world with his wife, Catrell, and three teenage sons, Morgan, Zach, and Harrison, who studied online with FLVS. After selling their home, downsizing, and packing up their belongings, the family traveled across six continents and 22 countries…more than 61,000 miles! Today, Mike shares their experiences at speaking events and talks about his book which details their adventures. As Mike likes to say, “If we can do it, anyone can!”

In a year-long blog series on The Virtual Voice, Morgan, Zach, and Harrison and their parents shared their experience: Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Lauren Mackey

LaurenMy first course with Florida Virtual School was M/J Language Arts II with Ms. Wilson.

At the time, I was in seventh grade and planning on majoring in English at New York University to pursue a career as an author. One of my Language Arts assignments had me writing a five paragraph essay about the definition of love, which I definitely had enough experience to write about at the age of 13.

When I presented the essay to Ms. Wilson over the phone, I recall her describing my essay as something she expected to hear from an adult, out of a magazine, and encouraging me to join the FLVS Newspaper Club, News In A Click (NIAC). Continue reading


Coding Workshops Help Elementary Teachers Revolutionize Classrooms

coding workshopsBack in 2013, twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi started Code.org with the goal of expanding access to computer science to all students.

Their vision is that “every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.”  They also believe that computer science “should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.”

Since that time, Code.org has blossomed into a full organization that supports access to computer science for students of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.  Continue reading


FLVS Full Time Class of 2016: Emma Cahoon

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

Emma CahoonWhen Emma Cahoon first logged onto Florida Virtual School as a freshman, she was “amazed by the course opportunities.”

Now a graduate of FLVS Full Time, Cahoon clearly took advantage of the unique course offerings that FLVS provides with a schedule that consisted of five AP Classes and resulted in a diploma with 5 and ½ extra credits.

Cahoon plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall, and credits her success to the flexibility of FLVS. “I applied to 16 schools, which is a large time commitment,” said Cahoon. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that without FLVS.” Continue reading