Florida Virtual School? You mean now I can to go to school….Online? Now for some of you that may sound utterly despicable, but for the traveling athlete, the aspiring actress, or the kid that just wants to get ahead in school, FLVS is the way to go. Now when you’re deciding whether to take classes with FLVS or not it is very important to understand exactly what you are getting into. FLVS is not all sunshine and rainbows, like all things, FLVS has its good and its bad aspects, and it is important to consider both sides. Before we get into all of that, we need to understand what exactly FLVS is.
FLVS is a virtual middle and high school that offers a wide variety of classes from Regular to Honors. It is completely free for Florida residents and for non-Florida residents there is a fee for each class. Basically it gives the student a classroom structure online, allowing them to complete assignments, quizzes, tests, collaboration projects and receive one on one instruction from teachers. Now that we know what FLVS is let’s get down to the important stuff.
The best thing about FLVS is that it allows you to go at your own pace. If you only want to do the minimum assignments per week that’s fine! Or if you want to be like me and turn in 15 assignments in one day then that is perfectly fine too. FLVS doesn’t have specific due dates for most of their assignments. This allows you to plan and decide what days of the week you can work on the assignments. As long as you do the minimum 3-4 assignments per week the teacher’s don’t mind.
The assignments in FLVS are pretty basic. Just like the ones in school. As long as you learn the lessons and take notes the assignments are easy. The assignments depend on what kind of class you are taking. If you take a science class then there will be more labs than quizzes and worksheets. If you take a math course then there will be more quizzes.
Another great thing about FLVS is that there are many ways of getting in touch with your teachers. You can text, email and call them. Some teachers are really great at getting back within 2 hours but others might take awhile. But regardless being able to text and call them for questions is great. You can call them anytime that FLVS is open and they will help you with the lesson or an assignment. At the end of each chapter (module) you have to do a Discussion Based Assessment(DBA). This is mostly to check that it’s actually you doing the work and not someone else. During this DBA you discuss the chapter with the teacher. Although I hate doing DBA’s they are helpful because during this time you can ask the teacher anything you had troubles with in the module.
FLVS like a regular school offers many different classes, honors, regular and AP. Classes from AP Biology to Guitar I. This is great because if there was class you really wanted to take in high school, but it wasn’t offered at your school, you could take it on FLVS.
Sometimes in high school life doesn’t always go as planned and you might end up failing a course. But never fear, FLVS is the perfect solution to this problem. Instead of taking night classes or retaking the class at school, you can simply take it again online with FLVS. This way it is more convenient for you to get your work done while still staying in the same classes with your peers at school.
For the more ambitious people, taking classes on FLVS alongside regular high school classes increases the amount of credits that you get per year. With this you can do one thing, you can continue on this track and graduate early or you can use this to raise your GPA and impress colleges.
For all the kids out there that don’t have a typical school life, for example if you travel around for sports and don’t have time to attend regular school or if you just like to be homeschooled, FLVS offers the perfect alternative. Not only is it completely online but you can access it anywhere as long as you have internet connection. You can get the one on one teacher interaction that you thought you would have to miss out on.
Now having been through more than 5 classes on FLVS, I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to FLVS and let me tell you it’s not always ponies and butterflies.
If you don’t do your work then don’t be surprised at the massive amounts of emails, texts and phone calls letting you know that you’re off track. If you become unresponsive then the teachers email and message your parents! So if you’re not on track it gets pretty irritating and then once your parents get note of what’s been happening, they begin to bother you as well.
Now if you get to that point where you just haven’t done any work in 2+ weeks the teachers might do the unthinkable… They drop you from the class. Now what does this mean? When you get dropped from a class, the grade for the class goes in as an F, which will cause a really big drop in your GPA, so all that hard work would have been for nothing. Now many people think they can weasel their way out of getting dropped and that they are the exception to getting dropped. As long as they kiss up and beg the teacher. It may work for some teachers and some classes, but occasionally there is that teacher who just doesn’t give in to all the pleading even if you are 85 percent done with the class. Honors and Regular teachers are easier when it comes to not doing work on time. But AP teachers don’t play. If you don’t do any work and they constantly tell you that you are behind they might just decide to drop you. Even if you were going to do all your work that Sunday. This is why it is super important to keep in constant contact with your teacher and keep up with your pace chart.
As far as the honors and regular courses go, they cover enough material that you need to know for the class. It’s the AP classes that are tricky sometimes. I’m currently taking two AP classes on FLVS and sometimes the lessons don’t cover the materials needed for the quizzes or they might not go in-depth, even though the quiz asks in depth questions.
So….To FLVS or Not to FLVS?
FLVS is great if you want to get ahead of the rest of your peers, recover credits or if you have a lifestyle that simply cannot sustain regular schooling. I highly recommend FLVS if you are a type of person that is a self motivator, if you can keep track of your things. Do not and I mean do NOT take FLVS courses if you will forget about them or if you know you won’t have the motivation to do it. That’s a sure sign that you will probably get dropped out of the class.