Florida State Assessments Can Now Be Taken Outside Florida: A Win for Military Families

We’re excited to announce that Florida Virtual School (FLVS) Full Time students of military families now have the flexibility to participate in state assessments administered at their parents’ or guardians’ current military duty station. Families must submit a written request to include official documentation of the family’s current out-of-state duty station to receive this flexibility. Upon approval, parents and students won’t have to travel back to Florida for state or end-of-course testing.

State Assessments Reimagined

Keely and Teagan

The new law change was a labor of love for Keri Viger-Schmidt, a military wife and mom of FLVS students, Teagan and Keely. As Florida residents, who live out-of-state on military orders, Keri wanted her children to enroll with Florida Virtual School because she liked the high quality of the courses. Unfortunately, due to travel conflicts, it was not possible for her family to travel back to Florida to take part in state assessments and end-of-course testing. So, Keri decided to take matters into her own hands and work with us and state officials to change the law. 

After three years of working with our virtual school team, the Florida Legislature, and the Florida Department of Education, Keri was overjoyed when a bill was unanimously passed by both the Florida Senate and Florida House and signed into law by Florida’s Governor. 

“I am thrilled to know Florida is filled with people who value and will protect students of military families. I am thankful for everyone I have come into contact with and worked with along the way, especially Ms. Teresa Umstead, of the FLVS External Affairs team. Without each and every one of them, this goal would not have been attainable,” said Keri.

Navigating Military Life with Florida Virtual School

The Cushmans, another FLVS military family, are thrilled with this law change. 

They enjoy the format and flexibility of Florida Virtual School online classes which supplement their homeschool curriculum. In 2020, they lived in Stuttgart, Germany. Their son, Geo, enjoyed the ability to work ahead so he could take longer breaks and finish the school year ahead of schedule. They were interested in taking all the courses through FLVS Full Time because their children could receive a high school diploma upon completing graduation requirements. But because they were living overseas, flying internationally back to Florida for testing was cost-prohibitive, so the family decided to take only a few individual courses. 

When Lieutenant Colonel George Cushman received orders to move to Kentucky, the family decided to go online full time through FLVS Full Time. Although they would still need to buy last-minute flights to travel to Florida for the state testing, the Cushmans were fortunate their parents lived in Florida, so they had a place to stay and avoided paying for a hotel. But they recognized most military families aren’t so lucky. However, flying to take tests, in an unknown building with unknown teachers, added to the overall stress of returning to Florida for state assessments. 

With the exciting announcement that students now have flexibility with where they take their state assessments, Melissa Cushman said, “I am overjoyed that we won’t have to travel back to Florida for testing anymore. I believe many military families will be excited about this change and they will be much more likely to join FLVS.”

Our Full Time Public School Bridges the Gap to Prestigious Service Academies

Our full time online public school, FLVS Full Time, offers excellent continuity in quality education for military families and prepares students who are interested in serving in the military after high school graduation. 

Phillip D.

An FLVS student since 8th grade, Phillip D., decided to enroll with FLVS Full Time for high school. As a top 100 tennis player in the nation in each junior division, Phillip appreciated the flexibility learning with us had on his schedule, as well as our caring teachers. “The best part of FLVS is the supportiveness of the teachers, which is as good, if not better, than a normal classroom,” said Phillip. 

When looking at colleges, Phillip set his sights on the U.S. Air Force Academy to serve the nation and add to his family’s legacy of military service. He credits FLVS for preparing him with the academic and time management skills to succeed at the Air Force Academy. 

“FLVS has been an excellent experience for me, and I would recommend it to anyone going into high school or questioning what high school to put their children in,” said Phillip. 

Are you interested in joining Florida Virtual School for the 2023-24 school year? Enrollment for individual online courses FLVS Flex is open year-round at flvs.net/flex/enroll.

Katie HodginsKatie Hodgins brings her wealth of experience and passion to the FLVS team, assuming the role of Content and Public Relations Specialist. A military veteran and lifelong learner, Katie enjoys communicating unique and innovative stories about people, places, and opportunities to inspire and engage the next generation. Having traveled throughout the world, she is excited to plant roots here in Florida and with Florida Virtual School.

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