Dear Future Problem Solving Program Coaches:
As everyone begins making their return to learning plans or have returned to learning with students, I wanted to bring you up to speed with Future Problem Solving of Virginia since our move to a totally virtual State Bowl in early May. We were fortunate that the International Office had purchased the rights to an online system created by a former FPSer and we were able to move our Global Issues competition online for our teams and individuals. Our first place Scenarios Writers, GIPS Individuals, Junior team and first and second place Middle and Senior GIPS teams went on to compete in the virtual International Conference in June. Although our Virginia competitors did not place, the Middle Individual and one of the Senior GIPS teams ranked in the top third of their division. and our Junior GIPS team made it to final rounds in Presentation of Action Plan presentation.
In looking across our state and the way that our students will be returning to learning this year, our Board decided to provide our Future Problem Solvers the opportunity to continue their work and problem solving skill development in a manner consistent with which the students will be engaging in their learning this year. The Board voted to contract with Future Problem Solving Program International to allow our Virginia problem solvers to use the online platform we used for our state bowl and the International Conference used for administering the Global Issues Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, and Magic competitions this year. The use of the FPSOnline system will allow our GIPS teams to work collaboratively on their booklet even though they are not physically together, allows Scenario Writers and their coaches less stress in the proper submission of their completed scenarios, and later this year will provide a platform for CmPS teams and Scenario Performance participants a way to submit their projects and videos. All of these benefits unfortunately, comes with a cost.
The first cost is a slight delay in getting information out to coaches. We are in the process of having the International Office transition us to this online system, which coaches will be able to access from our website by the beginning of September.
The second cost is financial. Virginia has been fortunate to not have to raise their program registration costs for more than 10 years, and the Board seriously considered the possible implications of raising registration fees. However, in order for us to use this online system to keep our Virginia students problem solving, VAFPS will incur usage fees which we unfortunately must pass along through this year's registrations. You will see a slight increase in registration fees for teams and individuals beginning this year.
The website will be updated early next month once we have details worked out with the international office, so coaches can begin registering and getting students started with this year's FPS components. Additionally, information regarding our training opportunities for coaches and our high school competitors will be posted.
As always, please contact me with questions or concerns.
State Director, VAFPS