Voices of Our Youth

Online school?

The pros and cons of Florida Virtual School

BY DACIA JACKSON, Youth Contributor

PINELLAS COUNTY — Due to COVID-19, students all over the world have resorted to virtual learning. And just like any other school, online school, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), specifically, has pros and cons.


Expectations, nonetheless, are made to ensure the success of every student like any other school: public, private, boarding, etc. FLVS requires students to submit two assignments per core class and one assignment per elective class every week.

This makes for a vigorous schedule, with 7–12-page lessons that include vital information that will determine the passing of an assignment/assessment. You are expected to follow the guidelines, directions, and rubrics for all assignments when submitting work. This strict grading system is balanced by the ability to retake quizzes and assignments as long as they are not pretests or exams.

Students are also required to complete one DBA per semester. A DBA is a discussion-based assessment, where you have one-on-one time with your teacher to answer questions about the lesson. Having these one-on-one talks ensures understanding of the topics.

Good grades are an expectation. If a student is failing, FLVS has the right and authority to expel a student.

Each class has one hour of live lessons. Attending a live lesson is not required for middle or high school but is highly recommended. Some studies are recorded so you can go back and listen to them later. Extra practice, guided notes, and lessons are all reviewed in live sessions.

Flexibility is a given. Today you’re sick, tomorrow you don’t feel like signing on, but the next day you want to go to class, and that’s alright if you complete your work before Friday evening!

Depending on your schedule, you can work ahead and have no school on Fridays. Or even finish semester one of school in mid-November and be free until January. And still, the plethora of pros don’t end there.

If you’re uncomfortable with going full virtual school without knowing what you’re getting yourself into, that’s alright. You can take a flex course. Interested in world languages? They’ve got tons. From American Sign Language 1 and 2 to French 1-5 to Spanish 1-4, and even Hebrew and Latin 1-3.

College prepping and pure interest courses ranging from calculus to marine biology, anatomy, physiology to economics, and English to psychology. AP classes, art, music, theater, computer sciences, peer counseling, and any other technical education courses you’re interested in are all offered on FLVS. Literally, any career that you want to pursue, there’s a course all about it.

So, whether it’s course recovery or fear of COVID-19, FLVS is the way to go!


Not as much a con, more like a warning: Integrity is the most important thing when completing assignments. The only way you will profit from virtual school is if you are the person completing assignments.

No help from people in your family or online programs (while taking tests). If you need help on an assignment or assessment, contacting your teachers would be the way to go. They’re there to help you succeed.

If a student is caught using anything except for lessons provided and notes taken, they can virtually be expelled from FLVS. The issue of integrity is strictly applied.

Plagiarism is another concern in virtual schools. FLVS uses several programs to check for plagiarism. If you so much as copy a sentence without using quotations, you will be issued a plagiarism warning. And this is nothing to mess with.


If I have been more than convincing and you are enrolling right now, let me give you some advice. Goals! Setting goals for yourself is very important. If you don’t plan how you want your week, day, or even year to go, you may not pass your class.

Now, if you’re the type of person that can wing it, go ahead. However, creating a pace chart for yourself and a date you definitely want to be done with your class(es) will give you a chance to have that free time that’s well overdue.

Dacia Jackson

If you haven’t already, check out flvs.net. Click courses, whichever grade you’re in, and either select flex or full-time. Good luck!

Dacia Jackson is 13 years old and is currently taking a journalism class via Florida Virtual School.

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