Indiana School Creatively Utilizes Virtual Teachers to Continue French Instruction

Written by Christina Peebles

May 13, 2020


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA — In the wake of COVID-19, French 1 classes at Tecumseh Junior High School, located in Lafayette, Indiana, were able to move forward with instruction because the students had been learning through real-time live virtual instruction all school year in partnership with Proximity Learning Inc. (PLI), an ESS company.

“Things really went off without a hitch in that class just because the kids were so used to being on Zoom already,” said assistant principal Andy Kennedy. “It really benefited them.”

Tecumseh Junior High School had two weeks of break in March due to COVID-19 and their normally scheduled spring break. The first day back in school, Kennedy said the first period French class had 100% attendance.

“All of them, for the most part, are doing their work,” Kennedy said, “Even those ones that aren’t necessarily able to log on, they’re going back and watching those links at the end of the day to do their work.”

The classes were given the option to move ahead with learning new topics or review materials since students were no longer in school. Kennedy said they decided to move ahead in the PLI classes since the students were used to learning in the Zoom classroom. The only adjustment they had to make was shortening the length of the classes to account for not wanting to overwhelm students and parents at home.

“It was simple to show [the students] where the link was in the Proximity Canvas so they could just go on, access the Zoom meeting and, even though they are home, it was just like they were sitting in their classroom,” Kennedy said. “I thought that was an extreme advantage compared to the other classes and maybe even some of the other schools when it comes to transforming the lessons to being online.”

Many of the other classes at Tecumseh Junior High School are also moving forward, but at a slower pace because those students do not have the face-to-face interaction with a teacher that PLI students have.

“Everything with our normal classes [is] done through emails,” Kennedy said. “We don’t use Skype or Zoom or anything like that. Whereas this way, students are still able to talk to their teachers, ask their teachers questions face-to-face. Which, to me, is a big deal.”

PLI’s live video virtual classrooms allow students to have the social interaction they need with their friends and teacher. In this difficult time, Kennedy said they have a mentor they can look up to.

“There’s nothing that beats that face-to-face interaction with the teacher,” Kennedy said. “Especially during this time it gives them somebody to talk to.”

About Proximity Learning Inc.: Proximity Learning Inc. is an online education service company catering to students ranging from kindergarten to high school. Proximity Learning has served over 150 school districts and instructs over 50,000 students annually. Proximity Learning has been rated as one of the top K-12 online education services in the nation, boasting the highest quality teachers, most innovative online classrooms, and the reputation as a flexible learning solution to both public and private school districts. Written by Christina Peebles. Learn more at

About ESS: Established in 2000, ESS is a leading national provider of managed solutions in PreK-12 education. It recruits, hires, trains, places, and manages qualified substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other support staff for school districts in 27 states throughout the United States. Each day, the organization fills more than 15,500 daily, long-term, and permanent school assignments for more than 700 district partners serving over 2.5 million students. For more information, call (877) 983-2244 or visit

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