By Suzan Kurdak 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
By Guest Blogger 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
By Guest Blogger on February 3rd, 2018
We’ve all heard the term: global awareness. As educators, we’re expected to create citizens who can compete and collaborate in society on a global scale.
But how? And why? And, well, what is it? Continue reading
By Guest Blogger 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
By Mary Mitchell 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
By Guest Blogger 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
By Guest Blogger on July 31st, 2017
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
By Guest Blogger on September 28th, 2016
The winner of the 2016 Tony for Best Musical was “Hamilton,” an untraditional, hip-hop musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of Alexander Hamilton.
The popularity of this musical is impossible to deny – and the most amazing thing is that this hip-hop soundtrack to a founding father’s life has captivated teenagers in a way perhaps no other musical ever has before.
There is no denying this musical crosses age and cultural gaps and has brought a new love for musical theater that is refreshing and powerful. Many teachers are using this incredible soundtrack to start discussions about our history and to reinvent how students study such an important time period.
It is possible teachers of any content could use Hamilton’s addictive appeal to energize their classrooms, but I will share some ideas specifically for English and History teachers. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on September 3rd, 2015
This article was written and published by a Florida Virtual School student for the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.
Although FLVS students live all around the world, the majority of them live in the state of Florida.
Many people know that Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, is famous for its sunshine, beaches, and warm weather. However, the state has other interesting and a few crazy aspects that many of its natives may not even know about. Here are twenty crazy facts about Florida.
1. Florida is the flattest state in the U.S.
By Guest Blogger on May 18th, 2015
Some years ago, as a middle school teacher, I attended a national conference where I heard Jane Goodall speak chimpanzee. I returned to my classroom and enthusiastically shared this memorable experience with my students. They were fascinated that a woman could speak like a chimp, and I was able to model for my students the joys of being a life-long learner.
Effective teachers are learners. And one of the best ways for teachers to learn is through attending conferences focused on their content area.
A group of FLVS staff and teachers recently attended the National Council for History Education (NCHE) annual conference in St. Augustine, Florida. The NCHE conference included prominent keynote speakers, historical excursions, and sessions presented by history educators from around the country. Continue reading