Family finds flexibility in Florida Virtual School

Published: Jan. 22, 2018 at 6:53 PM CST
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Anna-Katherine is one of thousands of students navigating Florida Virtual School's full-time program alongside her younger brother, Rhett.

While their older brother is enrolled in traditional school within Bay District Schools, Anna-Katherine and Rhett started FLVS this past school year.

"Anna-Katherine had a grueling dance schedule and was just, really late nights and we just, we needed an option to be a little bit more flexible," their mother, Sarah Risalvato, said.

According FLVS's Legislative Report for 2015-2016 on its website, the program served 2,468 full-time students during the 2011-2012 school year.

In 2015-2016, that number reportedly jumped to 7,705 full-time students.

For a family who travels and juggles athletics and music classes, the Risalvatos looked for flexibility beyond a traditional brick and mortar school.

Anna-Katherine explained how she typically wakes up for live lessons on FLVS at 8 a.m. and leaves around 3 p.m. for dance classes in Destin.

She and her brother told us they have the ability to work on courses in the car.

Their mother said FLVS provides flexibility as well as accountability.

"We do testing, we have attendance every day, there's responsibility, there's accountability," Risalvato said.

In addition to serving full-time students, the program reportedly served nearly 200,000 Flex students, who take courses more tailored to their needs, in 2015-2016.