Live Online Instruction for Illinois Students With Proximity Learning

Chelsea Penney
January 27, 2022

A Solution for Quarantined Students in Illinois

North Shore School District 112 in Illinois needed a solution to continue to educate quarantined students. According to CDC guidelines, students who test positive for Covid-19 must quarantine at home for five days. The district had to decide how to keep students learning during their absence. A packet of worksheets was not engaging enough and watching the classroom via zoom did not offer the instruction they needed. Proximity Learning offered K-8 Math and English Language Arts (ELA) live instruction teachers to homebound students to fill that gap. 

“Those kids were able to keep up with and have the same experience as students who were showing up in person.”

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Dr. Kevin Ryan says, “Last year we used Proximity Learning during the pandemic to provide instruction in ELA and Math for students who were unable to come to school for health reasons. They provided instruction at the middle school in the areas of Math and ELA for our students. They worked with those students, they followed our pacing guide, they used our exams, they used our curricular resources. So those kids were able to keep up with and have the same experience as students who were showing up in person.”

Parents Endorse Live Online Instruction

North Shore partners with Proximity Learning for the second year in a row after receiving positive feedback about the program. One parent told their Proximity Learning teacher, “THANK YOU for everything you are doing for the kiddos during this crazy time.  My child really thinks you are a super fun teacher and enjoyed being in your class this week.  I know it's beyond challenging sometimes (all the time?) to do what you do, but know that for a certain 2nd grader (not naming any names) who is NOT that fond of reading--you really helped engage him and showed him ELA isn't all that bad!!  I really appreciate everything and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.  You deserve it!”

Dr. Ryan says, “Majority of our parents were extremely happy to have instruction that was tailored to their own individual kid’s needs. As a district, we didn’t go down the path of recording or having a camera in the classroom to provide remote instruction for students for several reasons. For one, instructionally it didn’t really work. The teacher was really focusing on the kids in the classroom that were in-person, not necessarily the 2 or 3 who were outside the classroom on zoom watching in. Having those teachers at Proximity Learning, the parents really appreciated the fact that their students got one-on-one attention, the class sizes were relatively small, those teachers were able to build relationships with those students and provide instruction and an environment where kids who were medically fragile had a safe place of being able to keep up with their peers in the classroom.”

Advice for Administrators on The Illinois Teacher Shortage

Dr. Ryan explains, “I think there’s some real advantage to working with Proximity Learning, especially if I’m a school district that may have a teacher shortage or a shortage in certain areas. For instance, you can’t find a Spanish teacher and you need a Spanish teacher, you can actually get one through Proximity Learning and they would be able to provide instruction and provide opportunities that students wouldn’t have been able to get because the school wasn’t able to find an instructor.” 

He continues, “The people I’ve worked with at Proximity have been extremely responsive, receptive, helpful, and have gone out of their way to make sure that what we’re doing with them is successful and is working. I really appreciate their ability to react, be flexible, and to be a true partner.”

Learn more about the Illinois teacher shortage and find out how we can work together to solve the Illinois 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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