Manitoba teacher visits Florida's on-line high school

by Kaldon Driedger
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

Florida was the recent travel destination for one Garden Valley Collegiate teacher. English teacher Shauna Hamm made a trip to Orlando to visit the site of Florida's on-line high school.

She left November 6 after GVC was picked among the top 24 schools in Canada by the Network of Innovative Schools.


The "Best Practices" site visit to Florida was part of the agreement when GVC applied to become a member of the Network. The school's on-line English program was started by Larry Danielson in 1995. The purpose of Hamm's trip was to learn how such a large school like Florida High School Online works and how they are using Lotus Notes Learning Space, the same software that is used at GVC.

FHS only started in 1996 and it has more than 1200 students. The school had to turn some students away this year and next year they expect to register more than 2000 students. They will have all the required courses developed by next year and will be offering an online high school diploma.

Hamm learned many valuable lessons that she will be able apply in her on-line literary class and to pass on to colleagues. She has plans next semester for the GVC on-line literary students to work together on a project with FHS students.

Hamm is very excited about the on-line at GVC and cannot wait to put her new knowledge to use.

"I'm completely committed to on-line. I love it. It's what I really want to do," said Hamm. "I like change and I like innovation."

Hamm enjoys working together with Danielson and the on-line program and wants to make sure a strong online program continues at GVC.