Florida Virtual School Full Time hosts commencement ceremony

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Florida Virtual School Full Time (FLVS FT), the statewide Kindergarten-12 virtual public school, is celebrating the graduation of the Class of 2013, its inaugural graduating class.  This is a major milestone for the e-learning pioneer, as approximately 250 12th graders from around the state are graduating for the first time ever with a FLVS FT high school diploma. 

On Saturday, June 1, members of the FLVS FT Class of 2013 and their families gathered from across the state to participate in an official Commencement Ceremony hosted by FLVS FT at the Omni Rosen Plaza Hotel.  FLVS FT High School Principal Aura Plair hosted the Ceremony, which featured all the hallmarks of a traditional high school graduation, including: caps and gowns; the procession of graduates; recognition and participation of three of the graduating seniors with the top five GPAs; and remarks from Julie Young, President and Chief Executive Officer for Florida Virtual School. 

Young and Plair conducted the official presentation of diplomas, accompanied by Pam Birtolo, FLVS Chief Officer of Education Transformation. Special guest Mawi Asgedom, who went from an Ethiopian refugee camp to Harvard University, and who serves as President of Mawi Learning, a leadership training company, delivered the commencement address. 

Asgedom recently teamed with FLVS educators to develop “Leadership Skills Development,” a new course for FLVS FT students in grades 9-12 that will empower students by offering them the tools to take action and chart their future goals.   The course will provide students with the leadership skills they need to succeed in life, such as: real-world problemsolving, sharper decision making, crisp communication, an improved ability to flourish in group settings, time and stress management, team building and more. Students also learn parliamentary procedure and its underlying foundation of cooperative action.  Leadership Skills Development course is not only free to Florida students, but also helps them earn the credits they need to graduate and fulfill their virtual learning requirement per Florida’s Digital Learning Act.

The FLVS FT class of 2013 is a milestone group that reflects the growth and success of FLVS FT, which was launched in 2008 when, after almost a decade of independent experience, Florida Virtual School and Connections Academy joined forces.  In a significant achievement for the school, the class of 2013 is the first group of students in FLVS FThistory to graduate with a FLVS FT high school diploma.  This first was made possible by two recent legislative changes:  one that empowered FLVS FT in the 2011-2012 school year to accept students for full-time enrollment directly as their school of record, and a second that authorized FLVS to offer graduates a FLVS FT diploma.

“We are very proud of our class of 2013, and we’re delighted to celebrate their achievement with them and their families,” noted Aura Plair, FLVS FT High School Principal.  “High school graduation is always a major milestone in the lives of students – and for their principal and teachers, who have helped them learn and grow over the years.  But this year’s graduation is especially meaningful to all of us at FLVS FT, since the Class of 2013 is our inaugural graduating class.   It is extremely gratifying to see these talented young adults leave our school with a FLVS FT diploma in hand.”

The talented and accomplished FLVS FT Class of 2013 has been accepted at some of Florida’s and the nation’s best colleges and universities, including:  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The University of Florida, Michigan State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Los Angeles Film School, Broward College and Washington State University, among others. Students plan to pursue academic interests and career goals as wide ranging as child psychology, history, illustration, acting, business, journalism, and vocal performance.

FLVS FT offers two full-time programs: FLVS FT Public, and FLVS FT Home Education. Both programs have the same high-quality curriculum and teachers, but have different eligibility requirements and offer different features to meet the needs of Florida families. The FLVS FT Public program offers grades Kindergarten-12, and delivers a standard public course load, and follows a traditional 180-day school calendar.  FLVS FT is the student’s public school district of record, and students receive a school report card and diploma from FLVS FT. Students in the FLVS Home Education Program – for grades 6-12 – are considered Home Education students in their resident district, and register in the district as home education (i.e. Homeschooling) students. FLVS FT does not offer homeschool students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma andwill not act as a school of record.  Any Florida student can enroll directly in either FLVS FT program.

FLVS FT delivers top-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who benefit from an individualized approach to education.  All FLVS FT students participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program that combines high quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology and hands-on materials.   Learning from home, students work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a certified Florida teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs.

Interaction between teachers and students at FLVS FT is frequent.  Accountability is central to the school’s mission and students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools.  FLVS FT serves a wide range of Florida students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who would benefit from more individualized instruction; or those who require a flexible school schedule.   

More information about specific FLVS FTservices and eligibility guidelines is available at www.connectionsacademy.com/florida-school/free-online-public-school.aspx.

About Florida Virtual School Full Time

After almost a decade of independent experience, Florida Virtual School and Connections Academy joined forces in 2008 to become FLVS FT. In 2011, FLVS FT began accepting students for full-time enrollment directly as their school of record, serving full-time students in grades Kindergarten–12 as public school students and in grades 6–12 as home education students. Through this best-of-breed partnership, FLVS FT offers students a full-time virtualschool program with proven results and a heritage of “A” ratings in our other programs from the Florida Department of Education since 2006.  FLVS FT offers students statewide a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option.  All FLVS FT students participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program that combines high quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology and hands-on materials.  FLVS FT delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.connectionsacademy.com/florida-school/free-online-public-school.aspx