By Ruth Campbell 

The Ector County Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to approve an agreement with Proximity Learning to provide virtual teachers for four classes of American Sign Language at the two high schools.

Two would be at Odessa High School and two at Permian High School at a cost of about $60,000. Board President Doyle Woodall and trustee Carol Gregg voted against the motion as read but supported the idea of trying this approach with the ASL classes, the board recap said.

Interim Superintendent Jim Nelson said ECISD will work with Proximity to “get this underway as quickly as we can so that we can get as much information as possible as quickly as we can and get back to you on other options down the line.”

One of the options the board discussed was allocating a certain amount of money and seeing what classes the high schools wanted. But Nelson felt more comfortable starting off on a smaller scale.

Nelson said he wasn’t worried about Proximity’s ability to deliver, he was wary of the district’s technology infrastructure. This way, as they begin the second semester, or “certainly by summertime, we can possibly make a bigger commitment,” he added.

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