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Parents Trying To Save Massachusetts Virtual Academy

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Parents disappointed that their children’s school is closing addressed a Greenfield School Sub Committee Thursday night.

The Massachusetts Virtual School is shutting down at the end of June because of a new state law.

About 470 students are enrolled in the school from all over the state.  Students get waivers from their community to be a part of the school.

It’s about three years old and helps students with learning disabilities, students who are gifted learners or are even bullied in traditional schools.

“It was hard a lot of the time I would ask to go to the bathroom and sit in the stall until I think the lesson is over,” said Maeve Cherry, M.V.A. school.

“It gets comfortable for some people and for others like me it wasn’t cause no one really liked me,” said Colin Cherry, M.V.A. school.

The brother and sister can interact with teachers and use online classrooms from their Springfield Home.

“You can just go all day if you want,” said Maeve Cheery.

“Yes being here helps a lot by myself because you don’t have anyone distracting you.” said Colin Cherry.

The Greenfield School Department is pulling the plug on the program in June because of a new Massachusetts state law, which is transfering virtual school control over to the state. The law is making the schools similar to charter schools and how they are regulated.

“The idea that we would transfer ourselves into some kind of state agency was something the local school board felt was impossible for us to do. We can’t be a local board and a school agency,” said John Lunt, Greenfield School Committee Chairman.

Thursday night, parents from all over the state attended the subcommittee meeting to share their students success stories and see what to do next.

“We are very concerned with our children’s welfare and we want to make sure they get a quality education without being left in the cold so to speak,” said Michelle Defosses, Waltham.

The new state law allows for virtual schools to be set up around the state in the future. In order for that to happened a board of trustees needs to be established and apply for a certificate to start a school.

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