Keeping the Student at the Center

The 2017-18 school year marked the 20th anniversary of Florida Virtual School (FLVS). The 20-year anniversary of FLVS was not only a historic occasion for the first statewide Internet-based school in the United States, but also a significant and positive milestone for virtual education.

When founded in 1997, FLVS consisted of six teachers, four support staff, 77 enrollments, and six courses. The use of online education tools was still new for the high schoolers of 1997.

That initial small group of faculty and staff served in multiple roles at the same time, often acting as teacher, community liaison, course developer, and even legislative advocate. Technology in the late 1990s consisted of noisy dial-up modems, slow internet browsing ability, and large box desktop computers. As cellphones and emails were not yet the primary forms of communication in 1997, most of the staff relied on beepers and pay phones to speak to others while out in the field.

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