Parent Voices

Florida Virtual School mom: Her children learn anytime, anywhere

“ … our children discovered a new way of learning that has worked well for them. They enjoy the classes, their teachers, and the flexibility of learning online.” – Marcela Reis Marcela Reis is a mother of three from Boca Raton, Florida. All three children attend Florida Virtual School, the[Read More…]

Word for Word: Mom Melissa Demain on finding the best fit for her daughter

Editor’s note: This Palm Coast, Florida, mom was happy with the school her daughter, Abby, attended with assistance from a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Then Abby, who had been diagnosed with a special need at age 3, became a teenager and started to struggle. Demain once again found herself seeking[Read More…]

podcastED: redefinED interview with homeschool mom Melissa Demain

On this episode, redefined senior writer Lisa Buie talks with Palm Coast, Florida, parent Melissa Demain, whose daughter, Abby, receives the Family Empowerment Scholarship for students with Unique Abilities. Demain discusses how her daughter’s medical condition, diagnosed when she was 3, necessitated a transfer from the private school she had[Read More…]

podcastED: redefinED interview with district schoolteacher, private school mom Marie Echevarria

On this episode, redefinED senior writer Lisa Buie speaks with the single mother of a 9-year-old and teacher of English language learners at an Orlando district high school. Echevarria, who cares for her parents in her home, earns a salary that, though modest, put her just over the income threshold[Read More…]

My son needs, deserves second year of kindergarten

My son, Logan, turned 5 just a few months before he started kindergarten in 2020. With two full-time working parents, he needed to be learning in person despite the rise in COVID-19 cases. Thankfully in Florida, schools opened for in-person instruction (with most using safety protocols such as masks) for[Read More…]

Pandemic education tightens bonds between fathers, kids

Editor’s note: This commentary from Mark Wood, a professional writer and editor with an educator’s heart, is redefinED’s salute to all dads as Father’s Day approaches. Wood, who respects teachers, values learning and makes sure his son does all his homework, is married to Lisa Buie, senior writer for redefinED.[Read More…]

Federal Charter Schools Program provides access, equity for all students

Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc., once said that “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” He understood that if a good or service does not innovate, it never adapts to the ever-changing needs of the consumer.  That principle applies[Read More…]

District schoolteacher and single mom expresses gratitude to governor, lawmakers for school choice

  During one of two bill-signing ceremonies for a massive expansion of education choice in Florida this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis and lawmakers heard from grateful families whose lives will take a turn for the better thanks to the new legislation. Among them was Marie Echevarria, an Orlando district high[Read More…]