Northampton County Public Schools – Machipongo, VA

Problem: The school year was progressing successfully, then in January a middle school science teacher left the district leaving Northampton with an open full time position midyear. This is one of the most difficult positions to fill for the start of the school year, as finding a teacher mid school year is nearly impossible for many districts. Come January, the district placed a long-term substitute into the class with low expectations for filling this position for the remainder of the school year.

Solution: In February, the Curriculum Director received an email from a company named Proximity Learning (PLI) that provides live teachers virtually. The district was intrigued with this and decided to schedule a sales demonstration with the local account manager. Skeptically, after this presentation they asked PLI to see if they could find a Virginia-certified middle school science teacher mid-year to take over the class. To their surprise, within 14 days PLI had identified and hired a VA certified middle school science teacher ready to go.  The district decided to try out the PLI teacher knowing full well the current instruction the students were receiving with the long term substitute was subpar. The district sent PLI access to their science curriculum, grading policy, and bell schedule.  PLI took care of working with the teacher to get them ready with classes beginning in February and continuing until the end of the school year.  The district was extremely satisfied with the quality of the science teacher PLI provided and plans to use them again the following year if they are unable to hire a teacher locally.

Evan Erdberg