Educator Edition

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



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


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


FLVS Corkboard: June Highlights

Hey students and parents—Summer’s in full swing and we have some sun-sational tidbits to share!

But first, a few reminders…

Mark your calendar for the upcoming holiday! In observance of Independence Day, the week of July 3rd (July 3-7) has been designated a holiday break for all FLVS instructors and support staff. The Customer Service Center will be closed on Monday, July 4 only. Students are encouraged to continue their studies as courses remain open, but please be mindful that there will be a brief delay in teacher response. Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Planning to take FLVS courses this summer? There’s still time to sign up, but don’t delay. Start by browsing our featured summer courses.

Ready to get started? Sign up today! Continue reading


FLVS…How Does Your Garden Grow?

Cultivating LeadersHave you ever stopped to think just how FLVS finds such incredible leaders to drive instruction and promote online education? These talented individuals do not always just appear. Many are educated through carefully developed professional opportunities.

In April 2017, a new professional development program was launched by the executive team to provide faculty and staff the chance to engage in hands-on leadership experiences.

The Aspiring Leaders Program is an intensive, 10-month cohort-based institute that will take state-certified educational leaders from within FLVS and provide in-depth exposure throughout the many departments across the organization. Participants will learn alongside mentors in the areas of human resources, finance, curriculum, and more!

FLVS Instructional Leader Gisela Delgado is a very strong advocate for empowering her team of more than 50 instructors in her schoolhouse. Continue reading


Military Crossroads with Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Michael Francis

Michael Francis, U.S. Army Sergeant

From 2000 to 2004, I was an active duty Soldier in the United States Army and have been in the Florida Army National Guard since 2005.

There are many parts of my military career that stand out in my memory. Basic training, my drill sergeant during the hot summer at Fort Jackson, being in my promotion board during the September 11 attacks, being deployed during multiple state emergencies, and so much more. Most recently, and regardless of political platform, I was honored to play a role in our democracy by providing security support for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in D.C.

However, these memories and events are not what changed me the most.

Instead, it is the military’s connection with CTE that has been the most valuable. That connection positively affected my personal life, my educational pursuits, and my civilian career.

Although military life is not for everyone, the skills and knowledge that are integrated within CTE are for everyone, whether an Army future is in the cards or not.

Continue reading


It’s That Time of Year!

Sunshine State Readers 16-17The Sunshine State Young Reader Award books for 2017-18 have arrived!

Picture this: children standing outside the public library’s automatic sliding doors during the month of May. Sweat beading down their young faces as they grip in their hands the list of all lists, the Sunshine State Young Reader Awards (SSYRA) book list for 2017!

Will your favorite book be on the shelf?

The Sunshine State books are coveted and hoarded by children all over the state of Florida each year. These titles literally fly off the shelves of stores and public libraries. Libraries have wait lists 50 students long waiting for the popular titles to become available.

Amazon.com stocks up on these books and Barnes & Noble piles them 10 books deep on tables with the title “Sunshine State Award Books” each summer knowing families are looking specifically for these hot titles! Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: May Highlights

May Corkboard“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?” ― Charlotte Smith

We don’t know about you, but we’re getting excited that summer is almost here! We are so incredibly happy that you’ve been a part of the FLVS family—it’s been an awesome year and there’s been much to celebrate.

FLVS Selects New President & CEO

The FLVS Board of Trustees is happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Jodi Marshall, Executive Vice President, Business and School Solutions, as the new President and CEO of FLVS effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Marshall, a visionary leader and innovator who embodies the values of FLVS, will work together with Ronald Blocker to ensure a smooth transition upon his departure June 30.

Dr. Marshall has held many positions leading up to her current role over Business and School Solutions including English instructor, Principal, and Vice President of Instruction, since she joined the FLVS family in 2002. Her experience and her dedication to our students, parents, schools, and districts will allow her to continue to drive FLVS forward.   Continue reading