As mentioned in Governor Ron DeSantis’ press briefing on Monday, March 9, 2020, and at the direction of Governor DeSantis, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) has partnered with the Florida Department of Education to offer all school districts student support and teacher professional development tailored to the online learning environment.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ruled Florida is at a low-risk, Florida is in a constant state of preparation to respond to COVID-19. As a precautionary measure, FLVS is offering virtual teacher training to accommodate Florida school districts that wish to train their teachers in the FLVS online platform in the event teachers need to temporarily move to an online environment. The training course, Virtual Teacher Training for COVID-19, will be offered online, with FLVS live support.
The Florida Department of Education has an immediate goal of training an additional 10,000 teachers statewide on the Virtual Teacher Training for COVID-19. Superintendents who are interested in offering their teachers the Virtual Teacher Training for COVID-19 should work with their county virtual principals to provide a list of teachers to FLVS through www.flvs.net/FLVSTeacherTraining.
The Florida Department of Education is also offering $200 stipends to teachers, strategically identified in partnership with Florida’s school district superintendents, when those teachers complete the training. Superintendents will determine which teachers will be eligible for the training, and this training may also qualify for teacher professional development.
The six-hour course is designed to be self-guided, with the opportunity to attend live online lessons to learn the training material, ask questions and collaborate with others. The robust course features four modules that cover key components of teaching in an online environment using FLVS curriculum and platforms. Topic areas include FLVS best practices of teaching online, FLVS technology systems, and FLVS procedures. FLVS trainers, who will be available throughout the course to answer questions, will conduct a skill assessment at the end of the course.
Teachers who complete the training successfully can apply the new skills to teach at their district’s County Virtual Schools that are an existing FLVS Franchise. FLVS Franchise schools use FLVS digital curriculum, Learning Management System, and Student Information System.
“As a precautionary measure, we will be fully prepared to help students stay on track with their education. FLVS is prepared to partner with Florida school districts to train thousands of Florida teachers with our online training course in order to quickly support all the school districts with additional resources,” said Dr. Louis Algaze, President and CEO for FLVS. “FLVS District Relations Managers will be in contact with school districts to offer the training services.”
“While we recognize that Florida’s students are resilient and at a low-risk for COVID-19, it is critical we plan, prepare and work together to ensure students have the least disruption to their education, if necessary. A critical component of preparation is to ensure Florida teachers and school leaders are supported and given opportunities to continue providing a high-quality education, should the need arise. I want to thank Dr. Algaze and his team for stepping up to the plate and proactively offering statewide support to our teachers and school district leadership,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.
In addition to teacher training, FLVS is increasing its server capacity, within its existing resources, to accommodate up to 400,000 new full-time students by the end of April, including quickly adding capacity for FLVS to serve 120,000 new full-time students by the end of March. This added capacity will serve students through either existing County Virtual School partnerships established through FLVS franchises or directly through FLVS. While the CDC has ruled Florida is at a low-risk, the actions of FLVS will ensure there is increased capacity to serve Florida’s entire education community, if necessary.
About Florida Virtual School (FLVS)
Florida Virtual School® (FLVS®) is a fully accredited, statewide public school district offering more than 190 courses to Kindergarten-12 students. Its certified teachers use a variety of personalized instructional programs to create individualized educational plans for every student. Since 1997, FLVS students have successfully completed more than 4.6 million semester enrollments. FLVS also provides its courseware and expertise to online and blended learning programs across the nation. Services include content licensing, FLVS Global School, District Virtual Schools, digital learning labs, and professional development. As a not-for-profit, FLVS reinvests revenue into the development of new educational technologies and the creation of the highest-quality courses, benefiting students in Florida and beyond. To learn more, visit www.flvs.net.