Dear Editor,

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM.


As a citizen of Holmes County and as a parent of a senior enrolled in our public school system I would like to take this opportunity and disclose very real biases and prejudices that exist within our school system. 
My daughter has been a Florida Virtual School student for the last seven years.  She has been extremely successful. In addition to high school, she has earned 48 college credits through dual enrollment all while maintaining a Grade Point Average greater than 4.0. In January, my daughter enrolled at our local high school to obtain her high school diploma; Florida Virtual School does not issue diplomas but only provides classes in which to earn credits needed for graduation.   Her transcripts were sent to the school January 14 and we were not notified of any discrepancies or problems with her credits.  Two months passed and through a phone call I made to the school, I learn she is lacking 1/2 credit.  This would not have been an issue if we had gotten this information in a timely manner. 
As my husband and I met with the superintendent and it became quite clear what type of discrimination existed. My daughter's records were set aside to collect dust because we had chosen Florida Virtual School rather than the usual route of public school.  Instead of using this meeting to discuss the issue at hand, my daughter's credits, it became a therapy session for Mr. Dixon.  He aired his frustrations about Florida Virtual School, the FTE money he didn't receive because my daughter didn't actually sit in a desk at a Holmes County school and also criticized the Florida Virtual School staff's teaching capabilities and the rigor of the curriculum.  I'm quite certain my daughter's ACT and FCAT scores and current GPA rebuff that claim. 
The 2002 Florida School Code, adopted by legislature, provides parents and students with educational choice.  It even goes a step further in stating parents will be made aware of Florida Virtual School as a valid educational choice, students will be provided unlimited access to courses and Florida Virtual School will be a component of the delivery of public education.
I find it astounding that we, in Holmes County, have a superintendent and administrative staff at some schools that haven't  "gotten on board" with Florida Virtual School. Personal opinion about Florida Virtual School means absolutely nothing.  It is the law you don't have to like it.  You do have to deal with it.
Respectfully,
Amber Stromenger

Holmes County



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