Homeschool Edition

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.

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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


The Close of a Chapter: Plugging into the Virtual Community

This post was written by Olivia, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

FLVS ClubsAs I near the end of my high school career, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful memories and lifelong friends that I have made through FLVS.

As a writer, I have been able to thrive in clubs like Creative Writing Club, News in a Click and NEHS. I have participated in Poetry Read-Ins, Shakespeare Festivals and Celebrate Literacy Month. I have also had the invaluable opportunity to collaborate with immensely talented writers and highlight student work through Open Mics. These experiences have greatly enriched my writing and provided inspiration that I will carry with me when I go to college.

In my final [Creative Writing Club] blog post, I wanted to remind you of the power of plugging into our virtual community. By getting involved in FLVS clubs and activities, you are introduced to a world of inspiration. Continue reading


FLVS Flex Elementary Gives Students Unique Opportunities

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

FLVS Flex Elementary InfoThe Florida Virtual School Flex Elementary program provides students with a flexible learning schedule and opportunities to pursue passions such as gymnastics, coding, or art at a young age.

“The program was created and is centered around the students,” said Rick Rizzo, FLVS Flex Instructional Leader. The program typically consists of five comprehensive classes: Reading, Technology, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics.

The typical week for a student includes three independent working days, and two teacher-led days of class time, comparable to the live lessons from the middle and high school program of FLVS. “The Class Time sessions allow the teacher and students to develop positive relationships and create a school/classroom community,” said Rizzo. “The students enjoy interacting with the teacher and really get excited to see their online friends each week.” Continue reading


We Appreciate Our FLVS Flex Elementary Teachers!

Blog_Elementary_TAW_170417The primary goal of FLVS Flex Elementary is to serve the students and families of Florida within a creative learning atmosphere utilizing a highly-effective curriculum.

Satisfied students create satisfied families, which is a direct result of our highly-effective teachers.

Our Flex Elementary teachers are collaborative educators that believe all students can and will learn. Families are grateful for our personalized approach to instruction that allows each student to meet and exceed expectations. Students excel in our online Class Time sessions and appreciate the warm and supportive environment that helps them connect with their teachers. We established Class Time so students would collaborate with peers and benefit from direct teacher instruction.

These benefits and the effectiveness of our instructors has established the FLVS Flex Elementary program as an exceptional school option for families and young students across the state of Florida. Continue reading


A Teacher Is…

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation WeekWhat is the definition of a teacher?

As described in many dictionaries, a teacher is a person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession.

While this definition is accurate, I hope you will agree with me that it does not sufficiently describe all that a teacher embodies.

This week, Florida Virtual School is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, and I’d like to expand on the definition of a teacher.

At FLVS, our teachers are superheroes. While they do not wear eye masks or fancy capes, they possess special super powers. They are passionate and dedicated to working with all students, recognizing that each learner is unique and has individual strengths and needs. They go beyond educating—they listen, guide, support, and inspire.

We recently asked our staff to come up with their own definition of a teacher. Here are a few of the responses we received to our “A Teacher is…” challenge: Continue reading


Be Careful With Your Words

This poem was written by Mary-Kelly, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

Words have power

Creative Writing Club students have been scribbling away all month for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).

With a goal of writing 30 poems in 30 days, the club aims to get students’ creative juices flowing through frequent writing exercises. As club sponsor Mrs. Emery says, “Some prompts will speak to you, and some will not. Some poems will be keepers, but most will not.”

In the spirit of sharing and a love of poetry, students have been responding to writing prompts and supporting each other’s work. Continue reading


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


10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Blog_Earth_Day_2017Earth Day is full of reminders to take time to protect our planet.

Across the state of Florida, local events are planned to pick up trash on the beach, recognize local farmers, and celebrate science and its contributions to ensuring everyone has access to clean water, soil, and air.

Search local events on Facebook to find fairs, speakers, art vendors, and other resources that promote an awareness of sustainable life choices.

Are you volunteering anywhere for Earth Day? Tell us where in the comments below!

Whether you’re heading out for the day or plan to stay at home, these tips can help you make a difference on Earth Day – and every other day too! Continue reading