The Massachusetts Virtual Academy opens in Greenfield on Sept. 2, not only as the first in the state, but also as the first virtual school in New England to serve students from kindergarten through high school, reports the Boston Globe. At the virtual school, students will take all of their classes online and have a learning coach make sure they complete their assignments. A parent could be certified, for instance, to be the learning coach. The student can work anytime of day, and some might never see their teachers in person. Greenfield Superintendent Susan Hollins said a small fraction of students find the size and fixed structure of traditional schools unworkable for them, adding: “I’m delighted to spearhead something that opens doors and provides another opportunity for children and parents.” Greenfield officials believe 10,000 to 20,000 students in Massachusetts could benefit from a virtual school, but the school is limited to 500. Greenfield has been working on opening a virtual school for 18 months. Provisions of the state’s education overhaul law, passed this year, allowed for virtual schools. But Greenfield faced a roadblock in the state’s requirement that 25 percent of the students live in the district operating the virtual school, and 10 percent if the school is intended to serve a target population. The state granted Greenfield an exemption Aug. 13 to those rates and requires only 2 percent instead…

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Maya Prabhu