Florida Virtual School long has required its students to participate in collaborative assignments as part of their course requirements. The idea has been that in the business world, people need to have the ability to work with their peers to solve problems and create reports and products.
In the world of far-flung classmates, who don't always have access to one another or mutually available time to cooperate, the concept doesn't always work. Some school officials pointed this out to FLVS leaders, who have dialed back the mandate.
Now, the virtual school's policies encourage rather than require the projects.
FLVS administrator Larry Banks explained the change to district officials and franchise holders this way:
"We are encouraging collaboration as always, but it should not stop a student from finishing if they have mastered the standard. This is NOT a 'No more collaboration assignments, hooray!' deal. Your teachers should still have students do them, and use discretion when, and if, they allow a student not to."
Pasco eSchool principal JoAnne Glenn said this is a positive step that will help students. It takes effect for the new academic year, which began July 1.