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News Releases

FLVS news releases are listed in chronological order. All images are for editorial use only by news agencies, journalists, and student reporters in connection with broadcast media and newspaper, news magazine, trade publication, and educational articles about Florida Virtual School. Any other use of these materials is strictly prohibited. Under no circumstances may these materials be used for any personal or commercial purposes.


Online Learning Provides Learning Consistency as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Dec 10, 2020

As coronavirus cases surge, online learning continues to grow in popularity for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Many Florida families have chosen to continue taking courses at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) in the spring semester of 2021 with the aim to continue learning uninterrupted.

Studies have shown that teachers are better able to support students and maintain continuity when they are not disrupted by mid-year changes. By continuing their studies online, students are able to maintain academic momentum in a safe, stable, and supportive online learning environment.

“Stability is critical in a year when children are facing more mental pressure and trauma,” says Dr. Amy Hall, Student Mental Health and Safety Administrator for FLVS and licensed mental health counselor who has worked with students for more than 25 years. “Stability can give students a positive sense of control, which is helpful in times of uncertainty.”

“We’ve seen a major increase in mental health concerns since last spring. Online school offers a safe, supportive environment with consistency in learning,” added Dr. Hall.

Many students will also feel like they have more control in an online learning environment, as they have flexibility with their schedules, can work where they like, take breaks to go outside and recharge and more. Students can also decide who they allow into their lives electronically, which can help make bullying less of an issue.

Dr. Hall also says it’s important for students to stay well rounded and involved in social activities where meaningful relationships can be developed.

“When students feel supported, they thrive. They need to know that they’re not alone, and although social media sometimes can be problematic, students can build meaningful relationships online. For example, students can still participate in clubs and social activities while attending school virtually,” said Dr. Hall.

For information on how learning meets life at FLVS, visit www.flvs.net/learnfromhome.

Click here to view the News Release (PDF)


Florida Virtual School Parents Share Their Online School Tips with Parents New to Remote Learning

Nov 06, 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more students than ever before are learning virtually, so many parents have taken a more involved role with their students education. In recognition of National Parents as Teachers Day (Nov. 8, 2020), Florida Virtual School (FLVS®) celebrates these parents and their partnership with FLVS teachers by sharing their tips to help families adjusting to online education make their education journey a success.

Whether parents are homeschooling or facilitating their child’s remote learning experience, they’re often in uncharted territory. Long-time FLVS parents have been there and offer these tips:

  • Be flexible: Parents know their kids best. If they are having a bad day or a hard time focusing, close the computer, let them go for a walk, jump in the pool, get exercise. Come back two hours later (if early in the day) or just remember: tomorrow is another day.
  • Stay organized: Organizing everything from schedule to color-coded subjects and supplies makes virtual learning easier to manage for both parents and students. Create folders and sub-folders for different students and different subjects.
  • Incorporate breaks between subjects or large blocks of material: Use the Pomodoro Technique by getting a timer and committing to just a short amount of work or study time. Sectioning learning into manageable time periods with frequent breaks helps retention.
  • Print weekly pace charts: Pace charts are great motivators. Students love to see how much they have accomplished.
  • Use a visual space to show assignments: Write assignments and goals on a calendar, planner or white board where students can check off completed tasks. This is another way for students to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Try a block schedule: Some FLVS families use a block schedule where they tackle one or two subjects on a set day. For example: Monday (Math/Elective), Tuesday (Language Arts), Wednesday (Science/Elective), Thursday (History).
  • Plan ahead: Of course some things come up at the last minute, but try to have a plan for schedules, assignments and interactive learning experiences. Preview the first module in each class to get a sense of how long each lesson and assignment will take. 
  • Prioritize: Focus on the assignments and assessments to be graded, and use the extra resources as needed.
Reach out for help: As one FLVS Full Time parent said, “I am not the teacher. I’m more like a mix of intern, emotional support, and grumpy IT guy. The FLVS teachers can tell when the kids are stalled and call them before I ever figure that out.”

Click here to view the News Release (PDF)


Florida Virtual School Announces New High School Programs and Courses for 2020-21 School Year

Jul 27, 2020

Florida Virtual School (FLVS®), the online statewide public school district, announced two new programs of study and five new engaging and robust courses will be available in the 2020-21 school year for students in grades 9-12.

Two New Programs of Study:

  • Agricultural Communications
  • Applied Cybersecurity

Five New Courses:

  • American Sign Language (ASL) 2
  • Agriscience Foundations 1, offered in the new Agricultural Communications Program of Study
  • Computer & Network Security Fundamentals, offered in the new Applied Cybersecurity Program of Study
  • Environmental Science Featuring Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation 
  • Meteorology Honors

FLVS is building a diversified Career & Technical Education (CTE) catalog with a broad focus on a variety of careers to meet the demands of Florida industries and student interest. When selecting Programs of Study, FLVS looks at workforce education, employability, useful industry certifications, and ability to go right into the workforce with a high-wage and in-demand job. What employers want to see paired with what students are excited about drives decisions. Agricultural Communications and Applied Cybersecurity were selected based on data mined from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

FLVS considers the needs and interests of students, schools and districts when selecting and prioritizing the development of new courses. For example, according to the National World Language enrollment trends, American Sign Language is the fifth most popular World Language across the nation, with a lower than average online presence. In addition, popularity of the FLVS American Sign Language 1 course indicated that demand for an ASL language course exists.

“We are excited to offer the new programs and courses that enhance the Florida Virtual School catalog of more than 190 courses for Kindergarten-12th grade students,” said Dr. Louis Algaze, President & CEO for FLVS. “To create engaging learning experiences and to meet the needs of our diverse student population, the FLVS Curriculum Development team designs the highest quality immersive and comprehensive digital courses that follow national and state standards. We are honored to collaborate with respected subject matter experts in their fields, such as Infosec Learning, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and WeatherSTEM, to develop enriching learning opportunities for Florida students.”

Florida Virtual School continually develops innovative new courses and programs and more will be coming soon. For more information on the new FLVS programs of study and courses and to sign up for a weekly newsletter to be the first to learn about exciting new options, families should visit www.flvs.net/whatsnew.   

American Sign Language 2

Being proficient in American Sign Language allows for meaningful communication and understanding of the Deaf culture. According to Johns Hopkins, there are 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in America. That means one in five Americans suffers from hearing loss.

In American Sign Language 2, students will reinforce the fundamental skills they acquired in American Sign Language 1. Students will continue their journey by increasing their interpretive and communication skills of this visual language while continuing to explore the Deaf culture. They will be able to broaden their concept of communication through connections and comparisons to their own culture and community.

The full-credit American Sign Language 2 course counts as a world language credit. FLVS Flex students can enroll in the American Signage Language course today for a start date in August. The course will be available for FLVS Full Time students for the Fall 2020 semester.

Agriscience Foundations 1

Agriscience Foundations 1 is the first of three FLVS courses to be offered in the new Agricultural Communications Program of Study. Agricultural Communications 2 and Agricultural Communications 3 will be developed and available in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, respectively.

In Agriscience Foundations 1, students will learn agricultural history and its global impact, discover scientific and research concepts that drive the field, as well as the effects of agriculture on the environment. The course will also teach students about the career opportunities available in the field and how to apply to those jobs. Specialized lab activities will provide hands-on practice needed to master the content, and students will have the unique experience of interviewing an agriscience worker related to their job of interest. At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to become industry certified as an Agriculture Associate.

The full-credit Agriscience Foundations 1 course counts as a CTE and/or science credit. FLVS Flex students can enroll in the Agriscience Foundations 1 course today for a start date in August. The course will be available for FLVS Full Time students for the Fall 2020 semester.

Computer & Network Security Fundamentals

As our world continues to go more and more digital, our vulnerability to cyberattacks soars. Cybersecurity careers are among the fastest growing in the United States, according to the Department of Labor, and require specific knowledge sets and skills.

The Computer & Network Security Fundamentals course will take students from understanding the basics of home computing, operating systems, and networking, to investigating security on a national scale. Using virtual labs, designed by Infosec Learning, students will have a hands-on opportunity to practice solving cybersecurity issues in a simulated environment. Students will also dive into the ethical and legal issues in cybersecurity and how professionals in the field can make a difference in the safety of millions. 

This is the second of three courses offered in the new Applied Cybersecurity Program of Study. This course, combined with Digital Information Technology and Cybersecurity Essentials (to be developed and available summer 2021), prepares students to take the nationally recognized CompTIA Security+ certification. Instruction is delivered through highly interactive design, including videos and imagery, paired with exceptional lesson text and virtual labs on virtual machines.

“We are very pleased to be partnered with FLVS, a leader and innovator in online learning in the secondary education space,” said James Kowatch, CEO of Infosec Learning. “Our platform, leveraging virtualization technology, is a complete fit with FLVS teaching and learning methodology, as well as their scale. We fully expect students to have a great experience and develop knowledge and skills that will serve them well in this exciting field.”

The full-credit Computer & Network Security Fundaments course counts as a CTE credit. FLVS Flex students can enroll in the Computer & Network Security Fundaments course in August for a start date in September. The course will be available for FLVS Full Time students for the Fall 2020 semester.

Environmental Science Featuring Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation 

Environmental science teaches students how to protect the world’s biodiversity and resources by adjusting the way they live, work, play, and govern, now and in the future. In collaboration with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, this course discusses environmental challenges that impact our future, such as pollution, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. It describes the effects of increasing human population growth and demands on Earth’s systems, and the short and long-term consequences of our actions on climate, oceans, and land.

Florida has the second longest coastline of the United States with 8,346 miles and 1,700 rivers feeding into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. According to Guy Harvey Education, there are more than 475,000 ocean-related jobs held in Florida. This course highlights the research of Guy Harvey scientists and conservationists and shares practical and sensible strategies for preserving the delicate balance between air, ocean, and land.

“We at the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation are extremely excited about our collaboration with Florida Virtual School on Environmental Science and other courses such as Marine Science," said Dr. Guy Harvey, Founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. "With online learning taking on a more prominent role and with the growing threats to our marine environment, it's more vital than ever that students learn the sustainable use of our marine resources and how to conserve them. We're proud that Florida Virtual School is providing students with these opportunities."

The full-credit Environmental Science Featuring Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation course counts as a science credit. The course will be available to students in Summer 2021.

Meteorology Honors

Weather affects our lives almost every day through what we wear, what we eat and what we do. It happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, which means there will always be a demand for meteorologists.

This interdisciplinary science course, developed in collaboration with WeatherSTEM, covers the fundamentals of meteorology, emphasizing the physical and chemical processes that control Earth’s weather and climate. Course topics include solar energy, atmospheric and oceanic movement, weather impacts on agriculture, and energy transfer. Students will study and practice weather prediction using technology, data, and models. In addition, students will learn the forces behind the formation of severe weather events. The Meteorology Honors course will cover the history of Earth’s climate and the practices and tools used to study meteorology as well as the forces behind fluctuations in the Earth’s weather and climate over time such as Milankovitch Cycles and ice ages.

“Our state’s two main industries, agriculture and tourism, are heavily impacted by weather. Further, every county in our state is vulnerable to severe weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and intense heat waves,” said Ed Mansouri, CEO and Founder of WeatherSTEM. “Therefore, we are extremely excited to partner with long-time leaders in K-12 online education, Florida Virtual School, to help our state’s children learn about weather and the many challenges and opportunities it presents our state’s more than 20 million citizens.”

The full-credit Meteorology Honors course counts as a science credit. FLVS Flex students are able to enroll in the Meteorology Honors course today for a start date in August. The course will be available for FLVS Full Time students for the Fall 2020 semester.

Click here to view the News Release (PDF)


Florida Virtual School Extends Enrollment Deadline for Fall 2020-21

Jun 30, 2020

Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the online statewide public school district, announced enrollment for FLVS Full Time K-12 schools will remain open until July 31, 2020. The deadline extension comes as COVID-19 cases increase and parents review Fall schooling options for their children.

Click here to view the News Release (PDF)


Florida Virtual School Student from Naples Graduates in Top 5 of Class

Jun 15, 2020

Florida Virtual School® (FLVS®), a statewide online public school district, is proud to recognize local Naples resident, Erick Baltodano, for finishing in the top five of the FLVS Full Time Class of 2020. There are a projected 800 students in this year’s FLVS Full Time graduating class.

“FLVS has prepared me in my educational journey with flexible hours that allowed me to educate myself not only academically but in other areas of life,” said Baltodano. “The time allowed me to participate in the Naples Sonseekers Pathfinder Club earning Master Teen Leader, become a Florida-Conference All-Star Drummer, serve as Squad Leader for the Naples Police & Fire Youth Academy, and volunteer with the American Red Cross-Naples.”

Baltodano, who completed his entire Kindergarten-12 education online with FLVS Full Time, will continue his education by attending Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. He plans to major in Biology-Biomedical, Pre-Med, and Business Administration. Baltodano added, “My career goal is to become an Anesthesiologist. I plan to be a world-traveler, volunteer with Doctors without Borders, and continue with Pathfinders as a Master Guide.”

“We are so proud of the FLVS Full Time Class of 2020 and our top five GPA students. Congratulations to Erick and his classmates. Their amazing accomplishment is an example of how students can excel in online education,” said Robin Winder, Senior Director for Instruction at FLVS.  “As our graduates move forward with their next chapter, we hope the foundation they have built at FLVS will lead them to continue their success, whether it be in academics or the workforce.”

This year’s graduation ceremony will take place online with a YouTube premiere honoring the incredible achievements of FLVS Full Time students at flvs.net/classof2020 on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 4 p.m. Students can check out the FLVS Full Time Graduation page for exclusive content and Class of 2020 downloads.

Baltodano chose FLVS Full Time for his education as FLVS, “was an obvious choice for me and family because of the high-quality curriculum and the opportunities for advanced learning with Dual enrollment.” 

For more information on FLVS Full Time, please visit flvs.net/fulltime.

Click here to view the News Release (PDF)