For National School Choice Week, Capitol Vanguard is featuring seven Florida students learning in diverse ways. Here is the first in our series; former JMI intern Kelly Barber contributed to this story.
Charly Santagado had a high school schedule more like that of a professional athlete than a typical student. Every morning, she awoke early to begin work on the full slate of online classes she took through the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). During the middle part of the day, the teen gymnast practiced vaulting, floor exercises, and other routines at a gym in Orlando. Then, in the evenings (and often on weekends), she’d be back home on the computer completing her FLVS assignments.
Now taking a “gap year” between high school and college, Charly says she appreciates the flexibility of FLVS, which allowed her to pursue her love for gymnastics. And she liked that FLVS allowed her to work at her own pace. “Sometimes in regular school you get held up when you already understand the material,” she says, “Or if you don’t yet understand, the teacher forces you to move on, and there are gaps in your knowledge.”
Charly doesn’t have many gaps in her knowledge. She took nine Advanced Placement courses through FLVS and won an academic scholarship to Rutgers – thanks to a 2300 SAT score! (She also received an athletic scholarship from the Rutgers gymnastics team.) Charly hopes to go to law school one day and then enter politics – an interest she cultivated as the Politics editor for the FLVS online newspaper.