Virtual School is Sweeping Over South Florida

Is Virtual School The Next Sensation?

School has always been known to be done in a building with desks, students, teachers, lunch time and bells. Although this is the more traditional way to go about schooling, it’s not the only way. Online classes are a newer concept that is quickly taking over Florida schools for children in grades K-12. The main online schooling is called Florida Virtual but the sub section is Palm Beach Virtual School and can be done part-time or full-time. The parents can choose whether their kids will take one class or four classes online. Some public schools are even incorporating virtual classes into their regular curriculum. As of last year there were over 250 students in Palm Beach County public school systems taking courses over the web full time.

What is a Key Benefit of Online Schooling?

One of the core benefits of using Palm Beach Virtual is to lower classroom sizes. With Florida State mandates on the number of kids per class this is important because fines can be up to $16 million if there are more than the allowed limit of kids per room. For pre-k to third grade there can only be 18 students. Grades fourth – eighth can only have 22 students per room. All grades in high school (9-12) can have only 25 students per room.

What is a Second Key Benefit of Online Schooling?

The second benefit for many is one on one attention. Taking a few courses over the web gives each person a closer relationship with their teacher. Online school makes it easy because you can email, IM or call your instructor at almost any hour of the day. Many teachers give out their personal cell number so that they are always available for their students when they have concerns on home work.

What is the Cost?

Enrolling with Palm Beach Virtual is free and the courses are free as well. What is required however is speaking with ones counselor and parents to decide how many courses should be taken. Each student will vary on the number of classes they can handle and should be taking.

Is Social Interaction a Problem?

Boca Raton student Vincent stated in previous interviews that he does not feel that doing online classes compromises his social interaction. He plays in an orchestra and has plenty of friends that he sees on a regular basis. The general concept is that your child can take a few courses from home or do full-time home school and still have friends to play with. These students can be a part of band, sports, clubs and other types of school functions.

The Final Outcome

With state mandates stating that high schools can only have 25 students per class room, online classes are becoming a part of the lives of many Florida students. During the summer of 2011 there were over 3,000 students taking classes online. Within the next year it is expected that over 350 students will switch to full-time online classes; many more will be taking part-time courses. Will online schools take over the USA or just Florida? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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