Florida Education

FLVS Day at the Capitol

By on April 17th, 2017

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


Election Day: Go Vote!

By on November 4th, 2014

votedToday marks the end of the numerous political ads, signs, and chatter between colleagues about political candidates (until the next election, anyway). November 4, Election Day… let me tell you a little bit about what this day feels like to us in the policy world.

Today is a day where everyone involved waits. For candidates, there are no more efforts to be made – no more campaign stops or debates. For us policy devotees, there are no more “what if” scenarios running through our heads. It’s finally time to get an answer. It’s time to find out who our elected officials will be. But believe me, the wait feels like forever!   Continue reading


Lights, Cameras, Lesson Plans

By on October 30th, 2013

What it’s like to be a Florida District Teacher of the Year

I’ve had a lot of questions about what it is like to be a district-level teacher of the year in Florida. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe this wonderful experience, but the one that sticks out to me the most is “unforgettable.”

The day it was announced that I was the FLVS Teacher of the Year was one of the most exciting days of my life. Emails and phone calls poured in with congratulations and well-wishes from people I know and people I have never really met. It felt like I was a celebrity, which can make a person feel a little uncomfortable at first – being rushed to the front and into the spotlight. Continue reading


Learning Forward – Part 6: Professional Learning Communities

By on August 5th, 2013

Photo credit: http://www.learningforward.org/

Photo credit: http://www.learningforward.org/

Continuing my series on the Professional Learning standards, today’s blog post focuses on Professional Learning Communities. A Professional Learning Community (PLC) consists of educators committed to working collaboratively in an ongoing process of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.  PLCs are intended to improve student learning by providing continuous job-embedded learning opportunities for educators. A PLC utilizes data to identify gaps between learning goals and actual student achievement. Then, through action research, a PLC develops action items to make corrective changes.  Continue reading


The Promise of Prescription in Education

By on July 8th, 2013

Prescriptive LearningI see many requests from school districts looking to find the magic pill to make learning tailored to the student. Prescription of learning tends to be a common first step that schools are willing to make into the world of personalized learning environments. In prescriptive learning, a path through the learning content is prescribed for each learner based on a criterion-reference pre-test, and sometimes performance on a post-test. This is a common answer to remediating students who need to make up credits, exempting items they know and remediating on items where mastery has not been gained. Continue reading


The Call Center Classroom

By on July 2nd, 2013

Call Center Classroom CelebrationHave you ever been inside a call center where sales are involved? It is one of the most energetic, exciting, goal-driven environments I have ever experienced. One of my first jobs was selling telephone products over the phone and it was an experience that has shaped who I am and how I view the world.

In a call center, you often have what are called “clappers.” Every time you make a sale, people run up and down the aisle clapping devices to celebrate your success. If you continued to sell, you not only got the noisemakers, but also streamers, balloons, cupcakes, and enough attention to make a billboard blush. Continue reading



I’ve Got the Magic in Me

By on June 13th, 2013

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

We could all use a little more pixie dust in our lives, right? Have you ever had someone go the extra mile to make your day a million times better than it was before? If not, take a trip down to the most magical place on Earth…Walt Disney World. Employees, known as “cast members,” are trained to do nothing but make your experience one you will never forget. When you arrive at their hotels, you are greeted with “Welcome Home” because they want you to feel comfortable in your environment. Everyone seems to say hello with a smile on their face and if you need something, then they will take care of it…even before you ask. Continue reading



Firewalls and Willy Wonka

By on May 28th, 2013

Cereal

Let me start with a disclaimer:  I’m a teacher, but I’m not a parent.  I love kids, but I don’t keep any in the house.  My favorite role in life is Aunt, and yes, I love to sugar them up and send them home.  (I have one niece pushing 14, and three nephews between 11 and 6, if you’re curious.)

Taboos are alluring.  They make you all that more curious about why you can’t have whatever it is, and they make you want it all the more.  I believe that when you deny kids something, you create a taboo.

As a kid, I felt that way about sugary cereal.  There was none allowed in our house.  Continue reading