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Virtual School

Greenfield school board to talk virtual school, superintendent transition

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield School Committee has called a special meeting tonight to consider what administrative services to sell to the town’s independent cyber school and to discuss plans for its superintendent transition.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the town’s municipal offices at 20 Sanderson St.

Virtual school

Ever since the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School became autonomous last July, the school’s trustees have paid the Greenfield School Department to perform administrative services — “central office” tasks like superintendent duties, special education administration, data services, payroll and financial management, grant development and personnel hiring.

But the virtual school, wanting to become independent from its former brick-and-mortar parent district, gave the department a termination notice three months ago. The contract expires at the end of today, unless the two sides can agree on a revised agreement.

Virtual school trustees have proposed a new contract that reduces the amount of services and decreases the payment it sends to Greenfield schools.

The Greenfield School Committee, meanwhile, wants to ensure that the amount of work its employees are putting into the cyber school is worth the extra revenue that’s coming in. Mayor William Martin has said that he wants a scope of services included in any new agreement.

The virtual school has been paying the school department 7.5 percent of its tuition revenue, a payment of about $21,000 a month. The trustees proposed months ago decreasing this to 3 percent ($8,500), although the two sides have been negotiating for the past two months and may present a different agreement altogether tonight.

Superintendent transition

A search committee, with help from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, continues to look for Superintendent Susan Hollins’ successor. Hollins, who has led the department for six years, plans to retire from that job at the end of June.

Martin said the school board has a number of requests for Hollins — tasks she can do before she leaves to make the leadership transition smoother.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect Hollins' retirement date at the end of June.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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