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


Springing Forward with FLVS Flex Elementary

Blog_SpringSpring has sprung!

For those of us in Florida, this can mean so many different things, from getting back on the allergy meds, to getting the hard yard work done before our incredibly long “heat wave” starts. And you got it – I’m talking about the looooooooooooong stretch that starts very soon and often ends in late fall!

But in addition to all the personal connections to this season, spring becomes a reason for teachers to reflect on where we are with our students and our teaching this time of year.

So, let’s start with time.  Right about now, you either have adjusted, or are seriously wondering when you finally will adjust, to daylight savings time.  Most of us experience that “falling back” in fall is a lot less disruptive than “springing forward” in spring.

It provides a good analogy, because as teachers, flexibility and positively powering through are a part of being on the FLVS Flex Elementary team.

The inevitable changes that come with remarkable growth in an innovative new program are part of our everyday lives and continue to keep our work fresh, exciting, and energizing.  Continue reading


Would You Rather…the Dentist or a DBA?

Blog_Public_SpeakingChances are that if you ask someone if they’d rather have dental work done or speak in front of an audience, that person will probably have to take a moment to think about it.

According to many studies, the idea of speaking in public or making a presentation ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale.

Along those lines, we’ve heard from many of our students that they are apprehensive when it comes to their discussion-based assessment, commonly known as a DBA. For those not familiar with the DBA, it is a verbal conversation between a student and teacher to discuss what he/she has learned in the modules.

If this is you, you can take some comfort in the simple fact you are not alone.

Have you ever watched someone talk in public and think, “Man, they are great—so relaxed and natural. I wish I could speak like that.” While it’s true that some have a natural gift for gab and their conversations seem effortless, it is quite possible that they had to learn to overcome their nervousness. Speaking professionally in a public setting, is a skill that must be developed and fine-tuned. And this takes time.

Here’s a secret… Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: March Highlights

corkboard-coverIt’s March, and minus the cold snap madness, spring has sprung—and FLVS continues to sow seeds of learning!

While you may be rooted in the “here and now” of schoolwork and tasks to accomplish this semester, we understand that some of you may already be thinking of life after high school. For many, that may mean college. Or, maybe you think you’d like to go to college but aren’t sure if you “have what it takes” or if you can afford it.

Great news! If you are a student in Florida, you can learn how to prepare for college without leaving your home. (But we do recognize that leaving the home is ultimately the goal of every child—and their parents.)

Virtual College Week

You can explore the notion of college all from your living room if you make plans now to participate in Virtual College Week, April 4-6. Presented by FloridaShines, students and parents can get free expert advice on all things college-related, including the admissions process and financial aid. Gather important information, ask questions, hear from others—demystify college at no cost. 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


When Virtual Class Time is Innovative, Student Engagement Soars

This article was first published by eSchool News and features FLVS Flex Elementary, eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate Community Award Winner. 

FLVS Flex Elementary InnovationInnovation doesn’t simply involve throwing technology into a classroom. It requires unconventional ideas, foresight, thoughtfulness, and dedication to student learning. And as the world becomes more connected, schools are making every attempt to help students develop the skills they’ll need to be a part of that interconnected world.

In the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), students are learning in unique ways while developing these much-needed skills through individualized and personalized learning methods, said Sarah Sprinkel, FLVS elementary principal.

FLVS is one of two Community Winners in the eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program, which recognizes the unique ways schools and districts are leveraging technology to improve student learning.

Continue reading on eSchoolNews →