LARGO, Fla., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, the Pinellas County School Board unanimously approved a five-year charter school contract agreement with Florida Virtual Academy (FLVA), an innovative new online public charter school that will begin serving students in Pinellas County next school year. The new public school will offer grades K-9 next school year and expand to additional high school grades in subsequent years. Last year, the Pinellas County School Board voted in favor of the charter school application following a recommendation by the district staff to approve the school. The Southwest Florida Virtual Charter School Board of Trustees, the school's independent, nonprofit governing board, thanked the Pinellas County School Board for expanding public school options in the district. "We are grateful that Pinellas County Schools approved the charter agreement enabling families across the county access to Florida Virtual Academy," said Southwest Florida Virtual Charter School Board member Wendy Howard. "Online public charter schools are an exciting new model in education. We believe Florida Virtual Academy provides a high quality choice for families who are looking for a public school option designed to meet children's unique and individual learning needs." Florida Virtual Academy at Pinellas County will offer flexible and personalized learning programs that work for all types of students, from advanced learners to students with special needs. The online public school connects students and teachers using powerful technology and innovative digital learning programs that can be accessed by students regardless of their geographic, economic or academic circumstances. Florida-certified teachers provide instruction, guidance and support, and interact regularly with students through numerous communications tools, including web-based classrooms. Teachers also organize school field trips, activities, clubs, and events for students and families. Florida Virtual Academy at Pinellas County uses the award-winning curriculum, technology, and school services provided by K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), America's largest provider of online school programs for grades kindergarten through high school. K12 is a Florida-approved provider of online school programs. K12's courses and academic programs are used in over 2,000 school districts nationwide, including over 40 school districts and public charter schools in Florida. The Florida Virtual Academy school program first began serving families across the state in 2003 as an approved program of the Florida Department of Education. The school has served thousands of students – from advanced learners to children with special needs – and has a history of strong academic results, earning high grades from the state and high levels of satisfaction from parents and students.
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