Florida Virtual Partners with Blackboard to Improve Virtual School Experience for Students

Blackboard Supports Growing Number of Statewide, Virtual Schools

Jan 14, 2010, 09:00 ET from Blackboard Inc.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Online learning will get a boost from a partnership announced today by Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) and the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the nation's oldest and largest virtual school. Over the next three years, the two parties will work together to establish Blackboard Learn™ as the school's online learning platform in an effort to improve the virtual school experience for students.

Blackboard supports a growing number of statewide and district based virtual schools nationwide. Under the agreement, FLVS will move all of its more than 100 courses to a fully hosted Blackboard Learn platform by the beginning of 2011.

"Online learning gives thousands of students options for a high quality, individualized education. Our work with Blackboard will enable us to enhance the way we deliver education and meet the growing demand for more online classes," said Julie Young, President and CEO of FLVS.

A global leader in the virtual schools movement, FLVS serves students not just in Florida but in 44 states and 39 different countries across the globe, many of whom are able to access core subjects, electives, foreign languages and even honors and Advanced Placement classes that may not be offered at their own school or district. Based on current trends, FLVS expects to significantly increase its enrollments in the next year.

"Florida Virtual School's pioneering work in online education has made a real difference for a growing number of students," said Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "This partnership represents a chance for us to work together to increase educational opportunities and improve the online learning experiences for students and teachers worldwide."

Prior to the agreement, FLVS had already been leveraging Blackboard technology to support its online professional development programs for teachers. These programs have grown rapidly and are expected to continue to expand as the school continues to train and prepare more teachers to keep up with the expected growth in enrollments.

Founded in 1997, FLVS is the nation's first statewide Internet based public school. In 2008-2009 FLVS delivered more than 154,000 half-credit courses to students and expects that number to rise significantly as more students look for online opportunities to complement their education.

"Blackboard and FLVS have a shared vision of shaping the future of learning by delivering engaging, individualized and effective learning experiences to all students," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of Blackboard Learn K-12. "Our organizations have helped to pioneer student-centered learning technology and now bring our years of experience together to meet the needs of tomorrow's student."  

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Florida Virtual School

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an established leader in developing and providing virtual K-12 education solutions to students all over Florida, the U.S. and the world. A nationally recognized e-Learning model and recipient of numerous awards, FLVS was founded in 1997 and was the country's first, state-wide Internet-based public high school. Today, FLVS serves students in grades K-12 and provides a variety of custom solutions for schools and districts to meet student needs.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on November 6, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of January 14, 2010. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to January 14, 2010.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.