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Commissioner's Weekly Update - June 6, 2014

Virtual School Awards Diploma to State's First Online Graduate:

By graduating from the Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield last week, 18 year-old student Juliette Zielinski of Ludlow became the state's first graduate from a virtual school. In June 2013, the school was the first to receive a three-year operating certificate under the state's new virtual school legislation (Chapter 379 of the Acts of 2012). At the time, it replaced a virtual school previously established under the innovation school program. The school currently enrolls about 450 students in grades K-12. Zielinski, a competitive figure skater, had been taking virtual courses for the past three years, and enrolled in the Greenfield virtual school last fall. To read more, check out the Springfield Republican and Greenfield Recorder. To learn more about Commonwealth of Massachusetts virtual schools, go to

Board to Meet June 9:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting on June 9 in Malden to review appeals of the Level 5 School Turnaround Plans for three schools: Holland Elementary School in Boston; Dever Elementary School in Boston; and Morgan Full Service Community School in Holyoke.

Commissioner's School Visits:

On Friday, Commissioner Chester visited the Elihu Greenwood Leadership Academy in Boston.

For Your Info:

  • New Research Brief: The Department has released a new two-page summary of a study examining the graduation rates of students with disabilities. The study found that the majority of students with high incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities or speech impairment graduated from high school within seven years. However, only about a third to a half of students with emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities, or other disabilities graduated within that same window. Just failing the grade 10 MCAS decreased the probability of on-time graduation for students with disabilities but did not decrease the probability of extended-time graduation. To view the summary, go to

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Last Updated: June 10, 2014
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