Vote for FLVS to Present at SXSW 2018

As you know, our main focus here at FLVS is our students. It’s important for us to share the best practices we have learned with others in education, so more students can benefit!

With that said, Dr. Polly Haldeman, FLVS Chief Customer Officer; Brandi Gurley, Principal of Orange Country Virtual School; and I have an exciting opportunity to present at the 2018 SXSWedu Conference on March 5-8 in Austin, Texas. Continue reading



Hello New School Year – Elementary Edition

FLVS Flex Elementary serves students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. Our teachers can’t wait for another amazing year, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our amazing elementary parents!

The beginning of a new school year brings much excitement and questions tend to follow. There are questions from parents, questions from students, and questions from our FLVS Flex Elementary teachers who want to know how to best serve their students. Continue reading


New Course and Certification Opportunities

Many don’t like to see stores stocking back-to-school supplies as early as mid-July.

I personally love it! As a parent and educator, I believe it’s a fresh start for students and teachers. Here at Florida Virtual School, we have students who take classes year round in our Flex program, but we also have students who follow a more traditional calendar with our Full Time program. Full Time students will be returning to school this month, and I want to share some of the exciting things happening this school year.

I’m particularly thrilled for FLVS Full Time students to come back this fall. If you’re attending FLVS Full Time this year, find resources to help you start the year off here! Continue reading


FLVS Flex Elementary Adds Special Area Classes

Butterflies in my belly! I can’t wait for August 14 – the first day of school.

I never sleep the night before the first day of school each year. I’m so excited to meet our new children and families, and even though we’ve done welcome calls and seen students and parents at our Open House, nothing replaces ClassTime with our Kindergarten-5 kids.

As the principal of our unique online elementary program, I get more excited with every passing day. Continue reading


If You Build It, They Will Come

FLVS Turns 20

It was late 1997. A group of six teachers and four support personnel had spent five months learning about teaching online from any source we could find.

We were building courses in Lotus Learning Space, and preparing to register kids for this new thing called Florida High School. There had been tears, there had been elation, and there had been a lot of supposition about what teaching online meant.

We nervously sat around a small round conference table waiting for the phone to ring after we opened registration for the first time ever. We kept saying to each other, “If we build it, they will come,” but would students really want to try this? The “Web School” pilot in Orange County in the 1996-97 school year drew some students, so we had hope.

Finally, after an excruciating wait, the phone rang. We had our first student! Continue reading


Rolling out the Red Carpet!

Two weeks ago, I attended the Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year Roundtable and Gala. I spent the week meeting and collaborating with fellow district teachers of the year past and present.

I also met Florida Commissioner of Education Pamela Stewart and Chancellor Hershel Lyons. Thanks to the amazing sponsors for this event, I felt celebrated and appreciated all week receiving gifts and surprises every day.

The gala was held on Thursday at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando where Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott made a special appearance. This event was like being in a Miss America pageant complete with glitz and glam!

I walked the red carpet, had my picture taken, and was hustled backstage. Before I knew it, the spotlights were circling and the curtain rose to reveal 73 district teachers standing on stage.

Through the bright lights, I found my family and FLVS guests. Continue reading


FLVS Flex Elementary Enrollment Now Open

August is just around the corner and that means it’s time to begin planning to go back to school!

Last month, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill which included language to remove eligibility requirements for certain elementary students wishing to enroll in FLVS. This means that ALL Kindergarten-12th grade students in Florida are now able to enroll in FLVS – including our Flex Elementary classes!

FLVS Flex Elementary is an innovative program free to all Florida students in Kindergarten-5th grade, and enrollment is underway.

The program follows a semester-based schedule with flexible enrollment options available during the school year, allowing students to complete assignments following a suggested weekly pace with parent guidance.

Scheduling can be adjusted to accommodate each student’s needs and enrollment date. Students meet with classmates and their teacher twice a week for online live video lessons or “Class Time,” giving them an opportunity to interact in real time. Continue reading


Rock On: Expert Advice from Two Master Teachers

Every time I look back at my career as a teacher, I realize how far I have come.

What I find truly astounding is that what made the most impact in my practice was not learned in the resounding hallways of my Alma Mater or the momentous conference rooms of the many in-service training sessions I’ve completed, but interacting and networking with my peers. Sometimes I will get the best idea from asking a question or brainstorming in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) session.

And just like a movie flashback, I am back at the topic for this blog!

I wanted to ask some questions to our teachers that everyone else also asks. It was difficult to single out one or two teachers, because here at FLVS I feel that I am teaching in the middle of a rock festival and every teacher I know is a rock star!

To narrow it down, I reached out to two of our Teacher of the Year nominees, Amsler Burns and Kellie Shellenberger. Continue reading


Summer Fun

This is the final post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.

Hey FLVS, it’s Mak – with my very last summer post in what has been a fun year writing for The Virtual Voice.

Summer. Summer. Summer. Those three words used to play on repeat in my head, and where from? High School Musical of course.

Summer is in full swing and you know what that means…vacation! Get excited, and enjoy your time off before a new school year begins. You earned it.

So, to get you amped for the rest of summer, let’s talk summer plans! This month, I plan to go to the beach with all my friends. I can’t wait to soak up the sun, play some volleyball on the sand, and go swimming. I go to the beach all the time, but going in the summer is always my favorite. I don’t have to worry about studying for a test, doing an extra credit assignment, or turning in a new essay.

Of course, at FLVS you may be taking a course over the summer – but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax! Continue reading