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Virtual School

Cyber school board gives 90-day notice to Greenfield

GREENFIELD — The town’s independent public cyber school has asked the Greenfield School Department to either reduce the amount of contracted administrative services or sever the agreement completely by March.

The Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School agreed last summer to pay the school department 7.5 percent of its student tuition payments for “central office” tasks like superintendent duties, special education administration, data services, payroll and financial management, grant development and personnel hiring.

Since then, the virtual school board promoted principal Carl Tillona to serve as the school’s first executive director.

And on Monday, the board met with The Management Solution, a school management services contractor that currently handles the business operations of the Gill-Montague Regional School District. Trustee Christopher Joseph said the board was seeking more information from the company, and said it’s just the beginning of a process that may lead to the hiring of a consultant or business contractor.

The virtual school trustees gave its 90-day notice to the Greenfield school board and sent a revised contact that would reduce the amount of services and the payment, down to 3 percent. If the Greenfield School Committee adopts the new proposal, the virtual school board will pay just under $200,000 total by school year’s end.

If the School Committee rejects the agreement, then Greenfield administrators will log their final hours for the cyber school on Feb. 28.

The virtual school uses the Internet to teach about 500 students across the state — including 15 from Greenfield, who attend for free. Greenfield brick-and-mortar students also receive free unlimited cyber elective courses. Regardless of when the two school boards go separate ways, it’s unlikely those benefits for Greenfield students would go away, because the size of the virtual school is directly tied to the number of Greenfield students who enroll.

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