Florida Virtual School

Overview

 

FLVS is an accredited virtual public K-12 school that serves students across the world

  • What does the model look like?

    • Florida Virtual School (FLVS) develops and provides accredited virtual K-12 education to students all over Florida, the US and the world
    • FLVS offers more than 120 courses including core subjects, world languages, electives, and AP courses as well as a wide range of activities and resources 
    • FLVS also offers consultation, courseware, training and custom solutions for schools interested in e-Learning
  • How does it work?

    • Courses are taught online through the FLVS website and are accessible with internet connection
    • Courses are free for students who are residents of Florida; students outside Florida enroll on a tuition basis
    • FLVS retains teachers based on performance through annual contracts rather than giving out tenured positions
    • FLVS also has a service line that contracts out services and products to schools to implement e-Learning
  • How is it used?

    • K-12 students use FLVS courses for credit recovery, scheduling conflicts, AP courses, and homeschool course requirements
  • What is the background?

    • FLVS was founded in 1997 by the Florida Legislature
    • FLVS was the country’s first, statewide Internet-based public high school
    • FLVS is the only public school with funding tied directly to student performance

The FLVS iPrep Academy experiments with bringing the online solution to brick-and-mortar schools to create a blended learning program

  • Scheduling

    • Students can drop into the academy when they choose to take FLVS online courses. Students also have specific face-to-face small group workshops and tutoring, which are scheduled. 

  • Staffing Model

    • iPrep employs three full-time teachers, two administrators, two clerks, one computer technician and one cafeteria manager
  • Physical Space

    • The center is brightly painted space and has donated couches, breakout rooms and a healthful food bar. Students are expected to bring their own laptops since the academy issues each student a laptop to use both at the center and at home to extend learning time. 
  • Student access

    • iPrep served 75 to 80 students during the 2009-10 school year. Students gain admission to the school only if they have demonstrated the ability to work independently. Specifically, they must have a 2.5 GPA, passing scores on the state assessment, and a solid attendance record at their traditional school. 

 

 

What's New

 

Students can learn from high-quality teachers, anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace

  • Students have access to a wide-range of courses anytime, and from anywhere

    • FLVS’s wide selection of more than 120 different courses spanning foreign languages to AP classes allows students to learn material their school districts don’t offer
    • Students with demanding schedules are provided with flexibility to take classes when it works best for them
  • Students have access to high-quality teachers

    • FLVS retains teachers based on their performance through annual contracts rather than tenured positions
    • FLVS restricts the number of students each teacher is responsible for to ensure that teachers will be able to give enough quality time to each of their students
  • Students can learn more effectively by controlling their own pace 

    • Students can select the appropriate learning pace (traditional, extended, or accelerated pace) for their courses rather than sticking to the set pace of a traditional class
    • Students can pause and restart lesson videos and also watch them again anytime to ensure they fully master course content
  • Schools and districts can provide their own customized e-Learning solutions for their students

    • FLVS partners with schools, districts and states in a consultative capacity to help create custom e-learning solutions tailored to student needs
    • FLVS offers services and products including professional development for teachers
    • FLVS is piloting several blended learning programs including iPrep Academy and e-Learning Centers

 

What's Working

 

FLVS is giving more students access to a quality education, that is both engaging and provides students with more one-on-one interactions with teachers

  • There is widespread adoption of FLVS

    • FLVS serves students in all 67 Florida districts, 49 states and 57 countries
    • FLVS has more than 148,000 students in 303,329 half-credit enrollments in the 2011-12 school year 
  • More students are receiving education because FLVS makes learning accessible

    • “I have quite a few students who, without virtual school, would really have no means to get the education.” – Teacher
    • If I didn’t do FLVS, I probably would have been a drop-out.” - Student
    • Without FLVS, I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even apply to Nova Southeastern University. I wouldn't have even thought of it as an option. I have it as an option.” – Student
  • Students are more engaged in learning because they can learn at their own pace
    • I like being able to work at my own pace because there are some things that I already know and can easily breeze through to go work on the more challenging things whereas in an actual school you have to be patient and wait.” – Student
    • [If I didn’t do FLVS], I would probably be very behind at school.” – Student
  • Students have an increased number of one-on-one interactions with teachers
    • Me personally, I’m a visual learner. Elluminate is basically a white board online so while the Elluminate session is going on, I’m usually on the phone with my teacher and it’s much more one-on-one as opposed to 1-on-20.” - Student
    • We have a conference call with her [the teacher] once a month.. we could talk about anything, any questions we have about the program. And it's a great one on one with Ryan [the student, her son]" – Parent 
    • Although teachers and students have little or no face-to-face interaction with each other, the school has cultivated a “high-touch” learning environment where teachers engage students not only in one-on-one learning, but also in group sessions and tutoring

 

Integration

  • Content

    • Website provides students with virtual classrooms, online course content and digital resources including a virtual library and mobile app store
  • Assessment

    • Courses allow students to select their learning pace (traditional, extended, accelerated) that best suits their needs
    • Lessons can be paused at any time and can be watched over again to ensure mastery of material
  • Personalization

    • Website provides gradebook for parents, teachers and students to routinely monitor student performance
    • Teachers are required to offer extensive individualized student feedback, including providing monthly phone conferences with parents to discuss their child’s progress
  • Development

    • FLVS offers customized face-to-face trainings, professional development and mentoring programs that provide support and guidance to teachers as they adjust to online teaching, equipping them with new skills and strategies
  • Delivery

    • FLVS is piloting several types of blended learning programs that provide students with access to digital solutions
    • iPrep Academy provides a laptop to each student for the online learning portion
    • ELearning Center (ELC) provides students with computer lab access

 

See It: 

Student Success Stories

Student Success Stories