For many children, staying home during the day usually means missing school. For students of The Massachusetts Virtual Academy in Greenfield, Massachusetts, it means going to school.
This school, which has just opened this week, is the first virtual school in New England to serve students in grades kindergarten all the way to high school. To get their education, students will log onto a computer where they will find out what books are required and what skills need to be mastered.
All classes are offered online and a learning coach is provided to make sure assignments are completed on time. Because all information is provide online, students are able to work at any time and may not even have to see the teachers face to face.
For many students, classroom size and structure make it harder for them to thrive in traditional learning environments. The flexibility of a virtual school allows students to work at their own pace and on their own schedules. They will still be required to pass all state standards tests, as well as spend the same amount of time as students in regular schools.
Although many virtual schools have been opening up nationwide, this Massachusetts school plans to target students with medical or social issues that may prevent them from attending traditional schools. This can include anything from medical problems to learning disabilities, to students who suffer from bullying.
Field trips and group projects will also allow some of the students to have more interaction with their peers.
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