Looking Back at the History of FLVS
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.
I was already an Orange County Public School employee, so I did not have to go through any additional HR training. After a quick training on using Lotus Notes, I was sent to my desk.
There were just 10-15 of us in our small Orlando office shared with OCPS at the time, including Julie Young (Principal), Bruce Friend (Assistant Principal), two registrars (myself included), two IT staff members, a school counselor, bookkeeper, and a few others providing support for course development, instruction, and the organization as whole. We had about 60 total employees including teachers.
My first week was spent alphabetizing and filing policies, packing student course materials, and learning how to answer phone calls. I processed all of our “AUPs” – our Acceptable Use Policy document that was used to register students for Florida High School (FHS) courses. It had to be signed by the student, parent/guardian, and school counselor. Then it was faxed or mailed to us for processing. In those days, our courses closed for enrollment after each teacher was at capacity. This varied by course, but most were closed by September.
Student course materials were sent for all but one course back then, as many were skeptical of everything being online. Chemistry and Physics had the most equipment and I remember ordering special scales to be sent to all the students. I also ordered and collected pagers for our teachers, since many did not have cell phones (or if they did, texting wasn’t a thing). Students also completed exams face-to-face, sometimes at the office or at a local library.
Our early logo went through several iterations. We were encouraged to emphasize the word “The” in our name to eliminate confusion from Florida High School, a school in Tallahassee that was not affiliated with us. We switched to the “Cap and Mouse” logo, but moved away from that idea since students could not graduate from FHS.
Our marketing materials included a pamphlet and handouts in regular pocket folders with stickers on the front. (No color copies because we had no money!) We also had video tapes we would send out to clients, parents, and students with information about FHS.
How times have changed!
Post by Jill Ogletree, FLVS Lead Certification Specialist