FLVS Awarded International Recognitions
The year 2020 has been an unprecedented one on so many levels, but it’s been said that the best way to get through tough times is to focus on the good stuff whenever you can, so we are happy to share some good news! Florida Virtual School (FLVS) was recognized six times this year by worldwide industry leaders for achievements in education and technology, winning four international awards.
What’s most exciting is that all of these achievements directly benefit our students and epitomize our core values of putting people first, taking the lead, blazing the trail, and loving what you do.
Putting Students First with our Curriculum
This is our first value and at FLVS we put people, we put students, first. Our students are at the center of every decision we make. An example of this is our creation of a language practice tool, Simply Speak.
World languages are among our most popular courses, however, students told us they were anxious before and during chats with their teachers in the target language. Teachers also relayed they were spending more time on basic pronunciation with their students rather than holding rich conversations with them. FLVS was looking at a third-party vendor to help with this proficiency challenge. Our curriculum web developers believed they could build a more customizable tool to help our students and created Simply Speak. This language practice tool is embedded directly within FLVS courses to allow students to record themselves saying words and phrases in a pressure-free environment while providing instant feedback on pronunciation.
In early June, FLVS was honored to be one of eight medalists who received a 2020 IMS Global Learning Impact Award. Our Simply Speak language tool was awarded a Silver Medal for Student Success and Outcomes-Based Learning Support Services. Since 2007, the Learning Impact Awards recognize the most powerful and influential uses of technology in support of learning worldwide. Judging is by a panel of experts and peer voting.
Taking the Lead to Provide Resources & Support
As Florida’s online public school district, FLVS is prepared and available to support families and school districts to ensure students are able to continue their education, despite COVID-19 or any other global disruptions. We took the lead and challenged ourselves to create a one-stop resource hub to support Kindergarten-12 educators, administrators, schools, and families across the nation. Every department at FLVS worked quickly, and together, we launched the FLVS Online Learning Community on March 27. The community is full of engaging and informative content that is continually updated.
FLVS ranked 4th among 25 other elite global organizations and earned the 2020 Learning! 100 Award for excellence in collaboration for our Online Learning Community and our efforts to deliver free online education resources during COVID-19. For the past 10 years, the Learning! 100 has recognized organizations from around the globe who innovate, collaborate, and develop learning cultures that drive enterprise and talent performance.
Additionally, FLVS was honored as a Tech & Learning 2020 Awards of Excellence winner in the Enterprise category for our FLVS Online Learning Community. For more than 40 years, Tech & Learning has reported on how edtech products are improving teaching and learning. This year, judges looked for stand-out products that are helping schools navigate current challenges by solving problems and driving innovation.
Blazing the Trail with Innovative New Courses
According to Code.org, 67 percent of all new jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are in computing. In addition, 90 percent of parents want their child to study computer science. FLVS blazed the trail by creating Coding Fundamentals, our first career and technical education coding course offered specifically for middle school students. In this course, students learn to be creative thinkers as they write and test code, create graphics, and explore career opportunities in the coding field. The course launched in November 2019 and introduces students to the basic building blocks of coding using HTML, Python, and Turtle Graphics.
FLVS is honored that our M/J Coding Fundamentals course was named a 2020 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in two categories: “Best STEM Instructional Solution for Grades PK-8” and “Best Coding & Computational Thinking Solution.” For 35 years, the SIIA CODiE Awards have recognized Education and Business technology companies, products and services as leaders in innovation and excellence. FLVS is proud to be listed as one of 157 finalists across the 35 education technology categories.
Loving What We Do with Engaging Instruction
Finally, our fourth core value is “love what you do.” Our teachers and support staff are passionate about helping students succeed and at the heart of it, it’s because they, we, love what we do. We are so fortunate to have so many extraordinary teachers and staff at FLVS.
Melissa Martin, 2021 FLVS Teacher of the Year, was honored July 23 by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with the 2020 K12 Excellence in Teaching/Training Award. The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results online.
Mrs. Martin is a middle school math teacher who masterfully makes learning math fun while weaving in literacy strategies that push for higher academic gains. She said her students don’t come to a lesson each day, they come to game time because in her class they do mazes, create puzzles, play Bingo, complete mad libs, race through escape rooms, and more. She even created an “Escape Room” game when reviewing percent and unit rate.
She has loved teaching at FLVS for more than four years. Ms. Martin said, “If you genuinely care about their (student) success and achievement, they will climb mountains for you. The students I’ve had the privilege of serving have reminded me to meet each one of them where they are and that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to learning.”
FLVS is humbled and honored to be recognized for achievements in education and technology. It is our privilege to serve students and families in Florida and beyond.
Ready to learn more? Explore educational options available through Florida Virtual School.