Ready…Set…Test!

Testing TipsWe all deal with the grueling task of being tested, whether we are in grade school, in college, on the job site – or dealing with everyday situations (parenting, teaching, etc.).

It seems we face some sort of test in our life every day, whether a paper/pencil exam or making the right moral choices. As a school counselor, I am tasked with assisting students and parents with making the right choices to successfully work their way through school – academically, socially, and emotionally.

Today I want to focus on the academic realm and the tests and exams that all students must go through. I’ll share tools to help them be successful when faced with these assessments.

Some of the points I will share can cross into other facets of tests that we all go through in our personal and professional lives as well.

Be sure to save this handy acrostic blog post full of tips for your next big exam!

R.E.A.D.Y. … S.E.T. … T.E.S.T. Continue reading


When Will I Ever Use Math?

MathematicsNo matter what subject we face, the FLVS Curriculum Development team strives to connect complex concepts with everyday examples to motivate student learning.

This commitment to real-world connections is particularly helpful for anyone who has ever struggled with math.

What may have felt like a boring lesson in the past is now power-packed with exciting FLVS approaches to mathematical concepts!

Every click in an FLVS mathematics course answers the question, “When am I ever gonna use this?” Continue reading


FLVS Day at the Capitol

Day at the Capitol

Pictured from left to right: Adriana, Andrew, and Branden with FLVS Communications Specialists Diana Furey & Suzan Kurdak

If you ask me, there is nothing like the rush of sharing with our state legislators the unique ways FLVS serves Florida students, and it’s even better when students themselves get to share their stories.

On April 5, 2017, that’s exactly what happened in Tallahassee.

Florida Virtual School executives, board members, staff, parents, and students walked into the state Capitol with a mission.

It was FLVS Day at the Capitol and we wanted our state Senators and Representatives to know how important access to virtual education is for students of all ages. Right now, students in grades 2-5 wishing to take FLVS courses on a part-time basis have to meet a list of eligibility requirements, with the most problematic being that they must have been enrolled in a Florida public school the entire year prior.

House Bill 833 and Senate Bills 868 and 692 remove those eligibility requirements.

Passing these bills means FLVS Flex Elementary students can continue their education with FLVS, allowing them to learn from the hospital, abroad, and from home without restriction. Continue reading


Making Connections for the Future

FBLALife is about the connections we make. Sometimes these connections come from people we’ve known our entire lives, friends next door, colleagues, or even classmates at school.

Because fitting in is a big part of a student’s success, especially during the teenage years, making these connections and collaborating with others can help students grow and learn. Studies have demonstrated this, but I learned it firsthand when I was still in school.

Transitioning from middle to high school was difficult for me, so the 9th and 10th grade years were a trying time in my life. Luckily, I had some excellent teachers who helped me adjust. One particularly important moment was the day my 11th grade computer teacher encouraged me to attend a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) meeting.

When I finally relented and decided to go, I didn’t yet realize I’d made one of the best decisions of my life. Continue reading


Be the “Good” Kid

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

Blog_Peer_PressureHigh school welcomes territories that were once uncharted.

What’s crazy about the media today is that they push the likeness of drugs and drinking on shows geared for young kids, like us. It can be difficult to see things on television or on your favorite show and not wonder what they are. And if we’re going to be honest, sometimes it affects us.

We see some of our favorite celebrities drinking at a party or smoking something they shouldn’t, and we start to think it’s normal…that it is normal to drink and party the way the television portrays people of our age doing.

The line becomes blurred and people start to do things they normally wouldn’t, all because they want to fit in and be “cool.” It’s an interesting way to think about it.

The people you surround yourself with are sure to affect you in one aspect or another and only build upon these existing ideas. Peer pressure surely influences this beast. Continue reading


How FLVS Has Impacted My Daughters

RileyMy family and I are so thankful for FLVS that words can’t express enough how we feel. You see, I went to college to be a teacher assistant and I used to teach Pre-K, so I firmly believe in education through the public school system. Our plan for our first daughter, Riley Marie, was public school, just like all her other friends and family.  But in 2015, our whole world changed.

My second daughter, Holly Berlin, was born in January 2015 with a life-threatening genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis. This disease changed the way we lived, traveled, ate, and even socialized. This disease can progress tremendously overnight with just one simple sickness such as the common cold.

What do most elementary kids have to battle their first year in school? That’s right: colds, viruses, and more.

Even though it was our newborn who was affected with this disease, we had to make the decision to protect her from any of these viruses entering our home, which is why we decided to homeschool our older child to prevent her from spreading these viruses. Continue reading


Mastering Discussion-Based Assessments (DBAs)

Blog_DBA_FollowupIf you missed this week’s Facebook Live Q&A about discussion-based assessments, don’t worry! In this post, we’re sharing a great video recap that covers everything you need to know.

At FLVS, we want students to be successful and completely comfortable when learning online. This includes discussion-based assessments (DBAs).  Even though some students may get nervous or anxious, just remember that DBAs are simply a verbal conversation between you and your teacher.

DBAs are one of the ways we ensure academic integrity (and make sure that it’s actually you doing the work). This is why teachers need to hear directly from you! They will be referencing the work you have done and speaking to students and parents multiple times throughout the course, so there is a common thread of communication that helps teachers connect a face (or voice) to the same student they see (or hear) in live lessons and through submitted work. DBAs are also there for teachers to help you! Continue reading


Aliens and Explosions

This post was written by FLVS student Sarah Weyand about her award-winning research in astrophysics.

Studying ExoplanetsMy science fair journey began about a year ago.

I was approached by a Harvard graduate who wanted to mentor a high school senior in an astrophysics and computer science research project.

I knew nothing about astronomy and I didn’t know a single programming language, but I love space and I plan to major in computer science in college. Naturally, I said yes. This project has taken me to the Science Talent Search, the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and, now, the State Science Fair.

My project is titled Aliens and Explosions: How Supernovae Affect the Habitable Zones of Exoplanets.

The purpose of the project is to calculate the percentage of exoplanets, a planet that does not orbit our Sun, that would no longer be in the habitable zone of their host star due to a supernova, the explosive death of a massive star. Continue reading


Donuts, Desserts, and Dieting

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

TeenTips_Blog_170302Fun fact:

You just so happen to only have one body and the way you treat it will follow you for the rest of your life.

As kids, I know we like to sit down on the couch and pop open a bottle of Coke and binge on potato chips, but let me tell you: those days are dwindling. And by dwindling, I don’t mean that you couldn’t eat this way as an adult, because the truth is, you can. But your metabolism won’t be as great as it used to be.

Growing up in the entertainment industry, and especially as a model, I always had to watch what I ate. I never had a stage where I was so privileged enough to eat McDonalds or swing by Cold Stone every day. I was the kid who packed celery and rolled meats. Gross, I know.

I guess I never really knew anything different. While my friends went out to eat junk food, I sat at the same table and watched. So my perspective is a little different when it comes to what you eat. There were times I was jealous. I wanted to eat junk food like the rest of my friends and be a normal teen. Continue reading


Meet Cristi, Founder of Tallahassee Teen Magazine

Christi McKeeFLVS student Cristi McKee has been a member of the Creative Writing Club since 2012 and is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Tallahassee Teen Magazine.

In a recent interview with club students, she answered questions about her experiences as an intern with Tallahassee Woman Magazine.

What motivated you to found Tallahassee Teen Magazine?

I always wanted to inspire teens through writing, but I never could figure out how – until December 2015.

I took my love for writing and approached a local magazine and their publisher, Tallahassee Woman Magazine and Kim Rosier, and told them that I was interested in starting a magazine for teenagers that would be filled with inspirational, encouraging content while also celebrating local teen’s accomplishments. Soon after, Tallahassee Teen Magazine was founded courtesy of Tallahassee Woman Magazine. Continue reading