Impeccable Customer Service For Southwest Leadership Academy

Chelsea Penney
June 14, 2022

Chief Academic Officer and Principal Leigh Purnell has worked as an educator for 18 years and at Southwest Leadership Academy for five of those. Like many others in academic leadership, Purnell was facing difficulties hiring due to the Pennsylvania teacher shortage—even in a large metro area like Philadelphia. 

“I heard about Proximity Learning as I was doing research to try to figure out how I was going to manage with the teacher shortage that I was anticipating as we return for our first school year following Covid-19. I did a google search for virtual teachers. I saw a video showing a principal in Chicago Public Schools talking about the impact and the ways that she was able to use Proximity. I did some more research, reached out to Proximity, and that’s how Proximity partnered with Southwest Leadership. We began working with Proximity Learning for the 2021-22 school year with the subjects Spanish and Art.”

Student Opportunity Expansion

“One thing that I’ve wanted to do since coming to Southwest was to be able to provide world language opportunities for students. Finding a certified world language teacher to be able to come in and work in a day-to-day setting has not been as easy as I thought it would be. I really thought that I would be able to find an abundance of Spanish teachers here in Philadelphia, and it just didn’t happen for us. We’ve been scrambling to be able to find world language, so Proximity Learning enabled us to be able to bring that to all of our students. Previously, access had been limited by the fact that I wasn’t able to find a local educator to be able to provide that service.”

Community Feedback

“At the very beginning, because of the mixed experiences some of our families had when we were doing our remote instruction during our Covid closure, they were nervous about having a remote instructor for their children’s Spanish and Art classes. What they found over time was that the students have learned a great deal from the teachers. They have been able to engage with them and access their teachers if they have extra questions. They work with them using their computers and the Canvas platform. It has been amazing for students. Parents and students have been very happy with the results of the Proximity Learning classes.”

Administrator Feedback

The customer service with Proximity Learning has been impeccable. I know there were growing pains because so many people wanted to use Proximity for the first time all at once, so they were trying to make the adjustments to be able to provide service and support to so many more people. But I will say that everyone was professional, kind, patient, and responsive. The chat feature for help was amazing because that solved many problems for me pretty quickly. I would just say that I’m appreciative of the effort that the Proximity staff has put in to ensure the customers are able to implement the program with fidelity.”

When asked if she would recommend Proximity Learning to other administrators, Ms. Purnell immediately stated, “I certainly would recommend Proximity Learning to other administrators. When you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to staff your classroom with a highly-skilled, certified educator, Proximity Learning is an excellent tool to be able to provide high-quality instruction to your students. Proximity Learning is an excellent, excellent resource when staffing your classes.”

“The advice that I would give to an administrator considering first-time live virtual instruction is to make sure that you communicate clearly with your families and with your students, so they understand the expectations. Make sure you have the technology set up, so students are able to be successful. Be very intentional in the choosing of the facilitator for the classroom, so the class is able to get a smooth start and be able to interact well with their live instructor.”

Supportive & Understanding Partnership

“My Proximity Learning experience has been fantastic. Everyone is very responsive, supportive, and understanding of the work that I’m trying to do here at Southwest. They make sure the teachers that are assigned to us are aligned to our mission and the ways that we interact with our students. I’ve been very happy with the service that I’ve received from Proximity Learning.”

Learn more about the Pennsylvania teacher shortage.

about the author
Chelsea Penney

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline as Content Marketing Manager for Proximity Learning.

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