About Florida Virtual School
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I've taken over 5 courses on FLVS and have had terrible experiences with all of them. The lessons don't make any sense and they teach you as little as possible and then ask you to watch a crappy review video with the easiest problems imaginable. Then when you get to the test, they give you the hardest questions that they didn't even teach you how to do. It's very frustrating and the teachers are always hard to get ahold of plus they take like every other week off leaving you with some substitute who is clueless about your progress in the course. Overall it's just so dumb and frustrating.
We were under the impression the school would provide the tools to teach our son how to access assignments, save the assignments on his MAC Pro, and learn to work with the applications used by the school; i.e, Google Documents or Microsoft Office products. A teacher was assigned to provide what we call Study Skills but the class never happened. Hopefully Florida Virtual School will set up orientation classes to teach students how to use these tools before immersing the student into their studies.
There seems to be an assumption students can use and create presentations with the expectation that they can provide critical essays and illustration in History and Science while learning how to write. In the sixth grade language and arts curriculum our son was learning how to gather ideas, create topics, develop themes and create a thesis statement. During this process, he was expected to write paragraphs on the development of human civilization across the fertile plain in Mesopotamia, understand the development of society, technology, religious, economy and other sociological factors while developing an understanding of geography and the fundamental principles of maps and then apply that study to the development of the countries in Egypt, India, migration to North America, South American, followed by Greek History and the onset of democracy.
By the near end of the first semester the language and arts class was going over how to compare and contrast and build transitional statements between sentences and paragraphs. This is an example of a poor curriculum with lofty goals. 11 year olds need a safe and friendly environment to write and express their thoughts and understandings with guidance from a teacher. There was no guidance, only and hit run of going through Google slides.
Teachers need to have the time to teach. This is not happening at Florida Virtual School, except in the I-Ready Reading and I-Ready Math. There should have been an I-Ready Study Skills with an opportunity for a student to express the difficulties and fears faced throughout the school year. The school program did not want to hear our advice. We believe every student deserves an education. I wish Florida Virtual School will examine their program and make the necessary changes. There is a lot of potential, but they are not there, yet.
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When trying to determine if my high school son should take a FLVS Flex class I read all the reviews and found myself more confused than ever. Most of the reviews were not good. But we decided to jump in because it was the only way for my son to take the math class he wanted in the summer. I am SO pleased we went this route. We have been blessed with an amazing, well organized and involved teacher. Mrs. Cathy ** is truly a blessing. She spent time with my son and I on the phone prior to the class starting. She wanted to make sure she understood his goal and make sure we understood the requirements. She also told us what to expect every week; DBA's, scheduled calls if needed for assistance and she would text me with regular updates.
My son is almost finished with the Geometry Honors and we can't be happier. Yes, the class is tough. Yes, it requires daily work (my son prefers to do two or three lessons a day, Monday through Friday so he can have the weekend off). Yes, it takes much self control and structure. And I can see why it would not be for everyone. But as far as the quality of the material, the quality of the teacher and the principal -neither match the review we found. We are beyond pleased with the program and know that if needed there are plenty more classes available for my son.
I am just trying to sign in my son at Florida Virtual School amid coronavirus, they are not accepting my proof of residences, I sent them my utility bill, my bank account statement, the lady from registration says it is a credit card, obviously she never took the sweet time to read the bank statement that says clearly DEBIT CARD. I have been sending them all paperwork that I have. Judging from the start, I do not think I want to continue at all, They are not willing to accept Social Security Statements as proof. They mistrust all institutional paperwork. I do not recommend this place, right from the start.
They said we could work at our own pace. They said the teachers are helpful. They said I can "take a break" whenever I needed one. I find that all to be a lie, because when I wake up at 9-10AM in the morning, the first thing I do is start my work. I rarely take breaks, and I still end up working until after 11PM. That's not fair! I have a life, and I don't need this level of stress in it. I have ADD/ADHD, and I may be a slower worker because of this, but even the average idiot would know that this is too much work to be assigned and due the week after to ANY student. Right now I have a bunch of assignments that I'm struggling to finish because everything is so darn complicated!
Then the teachers expect us to sit there and watch 30 minute videos on an explanation of what to do. Nobody has time for that! By the time the video ends, I'll have forgotten everything that was said before the last few minutes. Even if we got this much work in school, we had a lot more time to do it, and it wasn't this complicated. The directions are so difficult to find; I literally have to go on a hunt to get the full directions when they could stop wasting my time and put everything in one place!
Even asking my teachers for help is a struggle, multiple times have I asked my teacher the same question over and over, and they respond with "don't stress" and "take a break." It's like I'm talking to bots, not my teachers. I go to sleep with a headache every week just from online school. The breaks I rarely take don't help with the fact that my work is too difficult to complete. And I have severe social anxiety, so I can't just talk to my teachers over Zoom or whatever like they expect me to. It's like they threw us into an active battlefield, and they're expecting us to fight with no training or armor. This whole situation is utterly sickening, I can't even spend time with my parents anymore. My parents can't even help my situation. I feel helpless!
FLVS Flex is a scam. They tell you that it's a "self-paced" option that you can work on your own pace — Sometimes, there were days on end where I didn't feel well, and the last thing I want is to get spammed with text messages and calls from teachers. Teachers are mediocre and incompetent at best. They only care about the money. I had one teacher kick me from a course after I had told her that I was going on vacation and could not do my assignments until after I got back. She completely ignored what I said, and told me the reason why I got dropped from the course, was because she "called" my dad and didn't get a "call back", but he never got a call from her in the first place. Another "teacher" started talking to me in a rude manner in a WELCOME CALL. Please don't take any FLVS classes unless you absolutely have no other choice. I only recommend Drivers' Ed and HOPE if they are required because they are the easiest and shortest.
FLVS IS GREAT, and this is coming from a 6th grade student who isn't very fond of school. The lessons are educational, but enjoyable and fun. They are so easy to understand. The assignment are really fun! The courses that I'm taking are easy to navigate in, and you can find things fast. The teachers are wonderful! When needed they give helpful feedback quickly. And they answer your questions quickly. They will help you with literally anything. SOOO glad my parents chose FLVS for my sister and I. FLVS is literally the best!!! Hope this helped! Have a fabulous day!
~Lola, 6th grade FLVS student.
It is beyond explanation just how incredibly horrible FLVS is at doing absolutely anything. Every lesson is incredibly convoluted and dense, with little to no explanation on how to do the actual questions in the assessments. This program is so incredibly bad at teaching anything that if you asked what I had learned from the program I honestly couldn't tell you. FLVS is by far the worst online learning program in existence and needs severe review.
I have taken seven FLVS courses throughout my high school experience to get ahead of the rest of my class and I am currently a junior in high school. I take eight classes in school each year and have taken one or two FLVS courses alongside them. Each teacher claims to have "schoolwide" rules when, in reality, the teacher makes up their own rules and changes them when THEY want to.
The motto of FLVS is "work at your own pace." Great! Sounds very appealing. However, when homework gets hefty and I have a concert or a bowling match approaching, and I go three days without turning in an assignment, I get harassed by ANY FLVS teacher. If I try to contact their principals to report them for this harassment, they forward whatever email or call I send to the principal to the teacher themselves, and nothing ever happens. I even received a rude text message from my Chemistry teacher on EASTER asking me to submit an assignment within twenty-four hours. Sure, let me drop everything with my family and my delicious dinner to tend to the queen's wishes.
Again, work at your own pace. When I submit assignments, it takes the teachers more than a week to grade something that has a simple answer key and anyone with a third-grade education could grade within an hour. How is that I am harassed if I go a few days without turning in an assignment, but if the teacher takes unusually long to grade such assignment, it makes ME look bad if I harass them about grading.
The teachers get paid based on how long a student takes to finish a course. The teachers do not care about you or your child and simply want the money that comes from your learning experience. Here lately, I've been taking my sweet time on my courses. If the teacher is rude and commits actions that should really get them fired. If you want a better education and to get ahead, please, for the love of God, find a different online program than FLVS or just dual-enroll in high school. Do not pay these rude, greedy teachers anymore.
We've done private Montessori school, K12 (another online school) and years of public school. We've had great experiences with all, the best of which was homeschooling using another online program - not FLVS. FLVS is so incredibly bad it defies explanation. There isn't one thing. It's a thousand things. I'm writing this in May 2019 and it feels like this is version 1.0 of the program and it's 1990. The login itself is needlessly & stupidly multi-step as if the programmers are new to the World Wide Web. The whole format is like that. Needless clicks from page to page.
My daughter just finished taking one - ONE - test in Language Arts. It took her 3 hours and tons of tears. The program required her to scroll down for pages to find a teeny little box where she had to write an entire argumentative outline using pages of arguments and data that she had to keep scrolling back up to see. She couldn't leave the page and open a second page to make it easier or it would give her a zero and log her out.
To add to the stupidity, the teeny box that she tried to write in for 2 hours only offers font in pale gray so she now has a huge migraine from trying to see what she was writing. All the FLVS font remained black, but the document she had to write is light gray. Try writing and editing that for 3 hours. There are no online videos helping you out, begging the question, "Why the heck is this called Virtual school?" It's like they put text books from 1988 onto computer screens and call it virtual.
Hang with me as I walk you through just one lesson. You bounce around to various pages signing in then looking for your next assignment, pick a subject, find your next assignment in Gradebook, then get out of Gradebook to go to the corresponding lesson in the Assignments tab... After a few more clicks, you find the lesson. You click through the cumbersome lengthy lesson - reading EVERYTHING, EVEN PE, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO ONLINE TEACHER INSTRUCTION VIDEOS, then go to your Word docs.
Open a new Word doc. Copy and paste the FLVS lesson into a Word Doc, do your assignment in Word, clicking back and forth to FLVS as needed... When the assignment is complete, get out of your Assignments area and go back to your Gradebook where you started earlier. Scroll way way way down past all of the work that you already submitted, the Honors assignments you don't have to take... Flip back and forth between your homework and FLVS to try to match up the assignment name to the FLVS Gradebook entry, click on the Word doc title you saved... a few more clicks and you've submitted your assignment. You now have strained neck and carpal tunnel and you've just submitted... hey! A PE assignment. Yep, you'll spend hours hunched over your computer for PE.
For Advanced Algebra Honors, try to create a roller coaster where the coaster intercepts on the x-axis twice using only polynomial equations. Now do it with no video instruction. And submit it in a Word doc. For both of our kids' math, we spent 90% of our time googling Khan Academy to figure out the lessons. You could ask your teacher but they ALL work full time during the day. With our kids' sports activities, we aren't available in the evenings, so you are mostly on your own. Through no fault of the teachers. It was almost 100% reading. Even with electives like Photography and PE. And even with those classes, you'll find your kids spending their days writing needlessly long essays. Our entire family agrees, it was the worst, most needlessly stressful few months of our family's life.
**The one thing that deserves credit... Some of the classes (Math and Civics come to mind) offered tests where the student has 3 changes to take it. Found that to be great. The kids would take the test, get a 78%, review the chapter, retake the test (not the exact same), improve their grade, review the chapter AGAIN, take the 3rd test... Then they would really understand the material AND get better grades. Made so much more sense than taking the test then never going back to really learn the areas where they have trouble. Smart. Again, I'm posting this Spring 2019 so this program may improve. But we would never do it again.
Florida Virtual School author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Florida Virtual School is an online school located in Florida, but open to students throughout the United States. Classes are free to Florida residents and available on a paid basis for those outside the state.
Flexible schedule: Depending on where you live in the country, you may have the option to take all of your courses online as a fully enrolled student or simply purchase courses individually. Full-time students can choose to follow the traditional 180-day, semester-based school calendar or a more flexible option to suit their needs.
Access to teachers: Students have access to teachers for guidance, questions and clarification using phone, text, email or instant messaging. Parents are also welcome to contact teachers or other administrators with any questions or for support.
Award-winning program: Florida Virtual School has won numerous awards including the Learning! 100 Award from E-learning! Media Group and the Platinum Learning Impact Award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium.
FLVS global school: FLVS has created a global community of students across the nation and in 67 other countries. The learning schedule is flexible and there are over 100 courses to choose from, including AP and NCAA-approved courses.
Homeschool Hub: Homeschool Hub is an online forum and gathering place for home-school families to network, make friends, support one another in all aspects of online school and to address the unique needs and goals of homeschooling families.
Florida Virtual School Company Information
- Company Name:
- Florida Virtual School
- Year Founded:
- 2145 Metrocenter Blvd #200
- Postal Code:
- United States
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