Online Learning

Online Learning: A 20 Year Journey

By on June 19th, 2018


If you asked me 20 years ago where I saw myself in the future, I’m not sure I would have said I’d be at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) as a Communications Specialist. My love of writing came while in second grade when my teacher, Mrs. Kast, told me I was a natural writer, so the communications part fits. But 20 years ago, I did not have a clue what a virtual school was.

Neither did most of the world. Continue reading


Differences between FLVS Flex and FLVS Full Time

By on June 8th, 2018

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” – Robert John Meehan

Florida Virtual School began as an experiment to see if online learning could be tailored to students’ needs to help them succeed. Today, FLVS offers two distinct programs with the same shared goal: addressing the unique learning needs of every child.

As school counselors, we are often asked about the differences between FLVS Full Time and FLVS Flex. Parents want to know which option is best for their child. As they are very different programs, it’s important for families to understand their options and choose the one that will best fit their student.

Don’t miss the infographic at the bottom of this post to help in your decision-making! Continue reading


Taking a Chance on Innovation

By on May 31st, 2018

Today, options have become a staple in nearly all aspects of life, so it’s really no surprise that educational options exist in the modern-day student’s life. But how did it get that way?

Well, it didn’t just happen overnight. Education policies and practices tend to change very slowly. Continue reading


Looking Back at the History of FLVS

By on January 17th, 2018

I started working at Florida High School (as FLVS was called in its early days) in January of 2000.

My interview was short and sweet…three questions. After I answered the questions, I was taken to the office of Julie Young, our first leader and online education pioneer, for a few more questions and the job offer. Continue reading


FLVS Tips and Tools for Homeschooling Success

By on January 4th, 2018

Being a homeschooling parent is hard! Not only are you in charge of laundry, the dishes, doctor’s appointments, and everything else, but now you have also chosen to take charge of your child’s education.

Have no fear! You can do this!

Here are a few tips for success to help parents/guardians who have chosen to explore an online home education with FLVS Flex – although many can apply to any online student! Continue reading


Lemonade Stands and Lotus Notes

By on November 28th, 2017

Back in the early days of FLVS, we all used to wear many hats. I was a course developer, teacher, district community liaison, legislative educator. Our IT support consisted of one person!

We did a lot of traveling to educate different organizations, schools, and community groups. We would set up lemonade stands at high school cafeterias to provide students with information about taking online classes. Continue reading


FLVS in the Days of Dial-Up Internet

By on September 26th, 2017

It was August of 2000. As my friends who taught in a brick-and-mortar classroom got up at 6 a.m. to face their first day, I was starting my first day as a virtual school teacher.

I was one of three Personal Fitness teachers and together we were going to change the face of how people thought of PE online. My routine was easy and executed with timely precision. Continue reading


If You Build It, They Will Come

By on July 31st, 2017

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


Week of the Young Child

By on April 26th, 2017

Week of the Young ChildThis week, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is recognizing young learners by celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, and their families.

I can think of no better time to observe the importance of educating young students.

As the FLVS Full Time school leader for Kindergarten – 5th grade at our statewide tuition-free public school, I see the hard work and tireless efforts our teachers, families, and staff make to encourage and celebrate our young learners every day.

Online schools like FLVS Full Time bring high-quality education to some of the state’s littlest learners, providing a standards-aligned curriculum, structure, and support to families who seek increased flexibility, a safe learning environment, or more involvement in their student’s education.

For young students at FLVS Full Time, a parent or trusted adult plays a key role as a Learning Coach, working closely with the teacher to create a supportive learning environment in the home. While teachers are responsible for the instruction of students—providing lessons, working through the curriculum, and grading assignments—the Learning Coach helps oversee the academics at home. Continue reading


Elementary Students Attend 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