Note: The information in this profile represents SY2010-11 unless otherwise indicated.

School/organization overview

Name iPrep Academy (in partnership with Florida Virtual School)
Type District School: Magnet
Locale Urban
Headquarters Miami, Florida
First year of operation
Grades served 11-12
Enrollment 50
% Black or Hispanic
Per-pupil funding

Blended-learning program

Name N/A
Focus General
Year launched
Outside investments/grants
Blended grades 11-12
Enrollment 50
Blended subjects
Math, English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science, Electives
Content FLVS
SIS Varies
Independent LMS None
Independent gradebook None
Independent assessment  None
Professional development

Program model

Program model: Self-Blend

Model description
Students enrolled in the iPrep Academy take online courses provided by Florida Virtual School. The Academy facility provides workspace and supplemental face-to-face instruction and support.

Program background

History and context
In the fall of 1997, the Florida Department of Education awarded two Florida school districts a $200,000 “Break the Mold” grant to co-develop an online high school. The two districts formed a new team to launch what is now called the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the nation’s first statewide, Internet-based public school. In 2003, the Florida Legislature voted to include FLVS in the K–12 state funding formula and approved a performance-based program in which the school would only receive the majority of per-pupil funds for those students who successfully completed and passed their courses. Spurred by this, FLVS continued to grow and served over 97,000 students in Florida alone in 2009–10. Currently offering more than 100 online courses, FLVS serves learners around the world and is an established leader in developing and providing K–12 online education solutions.

Blended model
Miami–Dade Public Schools opened the iPrep Academy in the district’s administration building and initially served 25 students. It soon scaled the program to serve between 75 and 80 students for the 2009–10 school year. The brightly painted space features couches, breakout rooms, and a healthful food bar. The academy provides laptops for each student to use both at the center as well as at home to extend learning time. Most of the furnishings have been donated. Students drop in to take FLVS online courses and to participate in specific face-to-face small group workshops and tutoring. Except for the face-to-face elements, students are free to visit the center when they choose.

iPrep plans to employ three full-time teachers, two administrators, two clerks, one computer technician, and one cafeteria manager once the school is staffed fully. Students must demonstrate an ability to work independently to gain admission to the school; they must have a 2.5 GPA, passing scores on the state assessment, and a solid attendance record at their traditional school. iPrep serves grades 11–12.

Notable results
Results for the iPrep Academy are not yet available.

FLVS’s partnership with Miami–Dade saved the district from hiring an additional 50 to 75 face-to-face teachers at the start of the school year or face penalties of up to $3,000 per pupil for not meeting the legislative mandate for class size.

On the horizon
FLVS anticipates growth in blended schools like iPrep. FLVS supports the idea of non-traditional learning environments, such as iPrep, and is seeking ways to bring such innovative learning approaches to more locations.


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