Florida Virtual School

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Florida Virtual School
Logo of Florida Virtual School.png
Address
2145 Metrocenter Blvd, Suite 200
Orlando, FL, 32835
United States
Information
School type Public
Established 1997
Founder Julie Young
Administrator Julie Young
Website

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) was founded in 1997 as the first statewide Internet-based public high school in the United States. In 2000, FLVS was established as an independent educational entity by the Florida Legislature. Recognized as its own district within the state, it provides online instruction to Florida students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. According to its website, "FLVS is part of the Florida public education system and serves students in all 67 Florida districts. FLVS also serves students, schools, and districts around the nation through tuition-based instruction, curriculum provision, and training."[1] As a public school, its funding is tied directly to student performance.[2]

History[edit]

Florida Virtual School began as a progressive initiative that sought to explore innovative teaching models based in online learning. During the 1996 school year, the Florida Department of Education awarded two counties, Orange and Alachua, with “Break the Mold” grant funds.[3] The $200,000 grant for the legislative project set the stage for FLVS to become the nation’s first statewide online public high school.[4] After a 6-month planning period, the school launched in August 1997 with 77 students and five courses.[5]

Julie Young, president and CEO of FLVS, describes how “there were no rules and no roadmap for us to follow” as the school got off the ground.[6] Young, having previously worked as an administrator and technology integration trainer in the Florida education system, was hired to head the project. FLVS became an independent educational entity in 2000.[7] During its first few years following the receipt of its initial grant funding, it was funded as a line item in the state budget.[8]

By 2003, the school had increased to 24,000 half-credit enrollments (considered one segment or semester) and became part of the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP).[9] It was the first school to directly tie student performance to funding through the reporting of students’ successful half-credit completions.[10] At this time, FLVS also established its in-state franchise program by forming partnerships with school districts throughout Florida. In 2012-2013, FLVS franchise programs operated in 47 Florida districts.[11]

FLVS is currently affiliated with all 67 districts and has become a global model for initiatives in distance learning. During the 2012-2013 year, FLVS had 410,962 successful half-credit, semester completions based on part-time students.[12]

Programs[edit]

FLVS Part Time[edit]

Within the state of Florida, the Florida Virtual School district includes both part-time and full-time schools. The FLVS Part Time program allows public, private or homeschool students to enroll per-course on a flexible schedule through year-round rolling enrollment. Students may take courses with FLVS to supplement current studies or as part of a home education program. Because credits are applied to the transcript of a student's local school or toward a homeschool portfolio, students of the part-time program do not receive a diploma from FLVS.[13] The course catalog for the FLVS Part Time program includes over 120 middle and high school courses.[14] Courses include core subjects, world languages, electives, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Florida Virtual School is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).[15] All core courses are NCAA approved.[16]

FLVS Full Time[edit]

The FLVS Full Time program operates through a partnership with Connections Academy and offers online instruction for both elementary, middle and high school students.[17] FLVS Full Time operates on a traditional 180-day school-year calendar and is considered attending students' primary school of record.[18] In May 2013, the school celebrated the graduation of its inaugural graduating class which included 250 high school seniors.[19] These students were the first to receive a diploma from Florida Virtual School Full Time.

FLVS Franchises[edit]

FLVS is also a contracted provider for multiple Florida districts.[20] Through the Florida Virtual School franchise program, districts may use FLVS curriculum and learning management systems with local district teachers.[21] School districts may consider FLVS as an option to assist in reducing class size, to provide courses that may not be available or practical to offer at certain schools, or to allow students to accelerate or get back on grade level. FLVS also provides a flexible learning environment for students with medical or behavioral conditions or for those pursuing endeavors such as athletics or performing arts.

FLVS Blended Learning Communities[edit]

Florida Virtual School began developing several Blended Learning Community models in Florida in 2013. FLVS supports the blended learning definition of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, which is "a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience."[22] Florida Virtual School supports blended learning communities in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Suwannee school districts. These programs integrate practices from the virtual learning environment into a traditional classroom, with both online and local teachers providing instruction, support, and supervision within school computer labs.

FLVS Global[edit]

As the national and international arm of Florida Virtual School, FLVS Global offers training, professional development, and online content to educators and school districts around the world. Created during the 2000 Florida state legislative session, FLVS Global offers middle and high school courses on a tuition basis through the FLVS Global School. FLVS Global School students can also opt to earn a US high school diploma online through a partnership with The Cottage School.[23]

Funding[edit]

Funded through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), full-time equivalent (FTE) students at FLVS are defined by course completion and performance – as opposed to “seat time” in a traditional brick-and-mortar school.[24][25]

During the spring of 2013, a new legislative funding model changed the FTE allotment received by Florida Virtual School for students who attend a brick-and-mortar public school. The new funding formula provides FLVS a portion of the FTE for each public school student and is dependent upon the number of online courses taken. Previously, districts received the full allotment for each student regardless of the number of online courses taken and FLVS received an additional per-course allotment that equaled one-sixth of the FEFP FTE funding.[26] Under the 2013 funding model, FLVS receives one-seventh of the allotment and the district receives six-sevenths if a student takes six courses with their local school and one course online.[27] This is further reduced and divided by the total number of online courses taken. Funding for homeschool and private school students, however, remain the same. FLVS receives less funding for students who take courses through a district franchises.[28] In 2012-2013, the FLVS funding per FTE was $5,195.18.[29]

FLVS is free to Florida residents. Students outside of Florida may take the courses on a tuition basis. The fee is $400 for a half-credit (one semester) course and $800 for a full-credit (2 semester) course. There is an additional $25 per semester fee for AP courses.

Legislation[edit]

FLVS operates under the guidance of a gubernatorial-appointed Board of Trustees according to Florida Statute (s. 228.082, F.S.).[30]

Florida statute 1003.428 requires all high school students to complete an online course prior to graduation. All Florida students are eligible to take online courses with FLVS and cannot be denied this option by their district per Section 1002.37(3)(c), F.S.

Grading scale[edit]

Students are scored based on the same system as any public school in Florida under the following grading scale.

  • A: 89.5-100%
  • B: 79.5-89.49
  • C: 69.5-79.49
  • D: 59.5-69.49
  • F: 0-59.49

Middle School Courses[edit]

The following are academic courses offered for middle school students:[31]

English[edit]

Mathematics[edit]

Science[edit]

  • M/J Comprehensive Science 1
  • M/J Comprehensive Science 2
  • M/J Comprehensive Science 3

Social Studies[edit]

Electives[edit]

  • M/J Orientation to Art 2-D
  • M/J Business Keyboarding
  • M/J Career Research and Decision Making
  • M/J Creative Photography 1
  • M/J Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Learning
  • M/J Guitar
  • M/J Reading 1
  • M/J Spanish Beginning
  • M/J Spanish Intermediate
  • M/J Comprehensive PE 6/7
  • M/J Comprehensive PE 7/8
  • M/J Fitness

High School Courses[edit]

High School English 3 lessons on a Florida Virtual School class

The following academic courses are offered for high school students:[32]

English[edit]

  • English 4: Florida College Prep
  • English I
  • English II
  • English III
  • English IV

Mathematics[edit]

Health/Physical Education[edit]

  • Fitness Lifestyle Design
  • Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE)
  • Outdoor Education
  • Personal Fitness

Science[edit]

Social Studies[edit]

World Languages[edit]

  • Chinese I
  • Chinese II
  • Chinese III
  • French I
  • French II
  • Latin I
  • Latin II
  • Latin III
  • Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II

Electives[edit]

AP Courses[edit]

The following are AP (Advanced Placement) courses. All AP courses are approved by the College Board and college level.

Clubs[edit]

FLVS offers the following student clubs.

Fine Arts Club

Future Business Leaders of America Club

History Club

International Club

Latin Club

Science Club

National English Honor Society Club

Model UN Club

Beta Delta Sigma Math Club

Newspaper Club

Student Ambassadors Club

Rook's Nook (Chess Club)

Awards[edit]

  • Finalist in 2014 CODie Awards in two Categories
  • Elearning! Media Group's 2013 Learning! 100 Award
  • 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Staff Development
  • 2013 SIIA CODiE Award for Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas for Leadership Skills Development
  • 2013 Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming - Platinum Award from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • 2013 Return on Education (ROE) Innovation Award
  • 2012 Florida Safety Council Gold Star for Safety Award
  • One of the 25 Coolest Schools in America by Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine and Scholastic.com (2012)
  • Blackboard Collaborate Hall of Fame Class of 2012
  • Silver IMS Global Learning Impact Award for Boost at the 2012 IMS Awards
  • 2012 E-Learning 100 award for professional development programs and best practices
  • 2011 Champion at 6th Annual Sterling Conference Storyboard Competition
  • 2011 Platinum IMS Learning Impact Award
  • 2010 CODiE Awards for Best Reading/English Instructional Solution and Best Social Studies Instruction
  • 2010 Gold Award for Learning Impact from the IMS Global Learning Consortium
  • 2010 Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming Award
  • 2009 CODiE Award for Best Virtual School
  • 2007 EdNet Pioneer Award
  • 2007 USDLA 21st Century Awards Best Practices in Distance Learning
  • 2006 EdNet's Impact Award
  • 2005 USDLA 21st Century Best Practices Award
  • 2005 USDLA Gold Award for Exemplary Online Teaching
  • 2004 "Excellence in IT Leadership for Central Florida" award from ITFlorida
  • 2003 Named one of the web Smart 50 top organizations by BusinessWeek magazine
  • 2000 Canadian Association for Distance Education Award of Excellence

Other Products and Services[edit]

Spectrum: A Learning Marketplace[edit]

A collection of educational products and services that have been reviewed and selected by Florida Virtual School are available through Spectrum, a marketplace of learning resources for students, adults, and educators. Created in May 2013, the marketplace provides supplemental educational tools and resources to personalize learning for students in Kindergarten through grade 12. It also offers products for educators & districts.[33]

FLVS Study Hall on YouTube[edit]

Select videos from Florida Virtual School courses are available through FLVS Study Hall, a section of the Florida Virtual School YouTube channel that includes open video resources for students.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FLVS as a District". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Quick Facts". Lead Commission. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Julie Young. "Learning Without Boundaries". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Mike Findley (2009). "Florida Virtual School Paves the Way in Distance Education". Distance Learning, Volume 6, Issue 2; Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "A comprehensive assessment of Florida Virtual School (FLVS)". Florida TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance and Accountability. 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Julie Young. "Learning Without Boundaries". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Julie Young. "Learning Without Boundaries". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Florida Virtual School: Building the First Statewide, Internet-Based Public High School". October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Julie Young. "Learning Without Boundaries". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Data & Information: Florida". Keeping pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Florida Virtual School - Fact Sheet". Florida Virtual School. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Florida Virtual School - Fact Sheet". Florida Virtual School. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Florida Virtual School Accreditation". FLVS.net. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "FLVS Course Catalog". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Florida Virtual School Accreditation". FLVS.net. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Florida Virtual School Accreditation". FLVS.net. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "FLVS Full Time". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Our School". FLVS Full Time. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Florida Virtual School Full Time Host Commencement Ceremony for Class of 2013, Inaugural Graduating Class". Connections Academy. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "FLVS Franchises". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Virtual Schools". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Blended Learning". Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "FLVS Global FAQ - Virtual Diploma Program". FLVS Global. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Data & Information: Florida". Keeping pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Florida Virtual School Education Fact Sheet 2010-2011". Florida House of Representatives. 2010–2011. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Florida Virtual School fears enrollment drop due to proposed funding changes". RedefinED. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Florida Virtual School tells lawmakers about enrollment dive". RedefinED. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Private voucher schools hit by funding change to Florida Virtual School". RedefinED. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "Florida Virtual School Policy Brief 2013". FLVS. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  30. ^ "FLVS Board of Trustees". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "FLVS Middle School Course Catalog". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "FLVS High School Course Catalog". FLVS.net. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  33. ^ "About Spectrum: A Learning Marketplace from Florida Virtual School". Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  34. ^ "Florida Virtual School on YouTube". Retrieved 20 December 2013. 

External links[edit]