Supporting Access to Online Education for All
Today is Digital Learning Day!
It’s a day when the whole nation celebrates all the wonderful benefits of online learning and digital literacy.
You know, everything from the cool and advanced technology of courses and anytime learning, to the digital literacy skills that online learning provides to strengthen a student’s learning experience.
This not only includes finding and learning from digital content, but also creating authentic digital content, and communicating or sharing it in multiple formats.
It also includes valuable soft-skills that today’s employers are asking for – like time management and being efficient in using online resources.
While we are thrilled to be celebrating today with other online learning providers, families, and students, we at FLVS have to admit that we celebrate this stuff everyday!
We can’t help it – our passion for online education comes from our awesome students and families who we serve. It doesn’t take long to see the difference we make in students’ lives, and get excited about what we can do next in order to keep our students thriving.
We constantly solicit feedback from our stakeholders on how we can improve our courses and are always working on “the next big thing,” but in order to really celebrate Digital Learning Day, we have to start with the basics:
Online learning can only be great if you have ACCESS to it.
This brings me to my next point. A lot of parents have had questions about who is eligible to take FLVS courses. While many students are eligible without restrictions, students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 wishing to take FLVS Flex courses (on a part-time basis) have to meet eligibility requirements listed in Florida Statute 1002.455.
You can click the link to read the statute, but the most problematic piece is that students had to be enrolled in a public school the year prior, unless you meet one of the exceptions.
Here’s an example: Your first grader is homeschooled and enrolled in a couple of FLVS Flex Elementary courses. The eligibility requirements allow this option in first grade, but once your student moves to second grade, he/she is most likely no longer eligible to enroll in FLVS Flex.
Since this is in statute, we have to work with our state legislators to remove the restrictions. Our Governmental Affairs team is pleased to share that language allowing ALL Florida students access to virtual education, without restrictions, has been filed in multiple bills that we are watching closely.
- SB 692 – Student Eligibility for K-12 Virtual Instruction
- SB 868 – Educational Options and Services
- HB 833 – Student Eligibility for K-12 Virtual Instruction
Florida legislative session officially starts March 6, 2017, and ends on May 5, 2017. We will be posting updates on the bill movement as the legislative session progresses.
In the mean time, to check your student’s status and see if the eligibility requirements affect your FLVS Flex student in grades 2-5, contact Cindy Cason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-513-3604.
Post by Stefanie Steele, Former FLVS Governmental Affairs Administrator