Wilson County Schools, TN

The Problem

Carroll Oakland Elementary from Wilson County School District, located in Tennessee, is a K-8 school that struggled to be competitive with grade 6-8 middle schools. Principal Jason Dunn said he tried to create a middle school within the elementary school, but still lacked the resources. He said separate middle schools had a lot more teachers and a lot more students, so it was difficult to provide his students with the same experience. He was limited in the number of classes he could offer his students due to a lack of staffing, causing him to place students in an algebra class they may not have been ready for. Resultantly, his 8th grade math scores were hurting.

The Solution

With Proximity Learning Inc. (PLI), Dunn said he is able to be more purposeful with his scheduling. He has implemented an online PLI instructor for 8th grade algebra 1 starting with the 2019-2020 school year that allows him to place students into appropriate math classes. Since, Dunn has seen success with their most recent math benchmark. He said he was astonished to find that his students were 100% on track to master their end-of-year math course. With an online teacher, Dunn said his students were on the same level and even doing better than other schools with brick and mortar teachers.

The students can be more independent with their studies in a structured online environment, Dunn said. Since the class is small, he said the students help each other out and that they have no issues with their motivation and work ethic. He said that working online allows the students to learn how to manage their time appropriately and effectively. In Dunn’s own experience with online learning, he said he wasn’t able to take classes online before college. By introducing them in 8th grade, he said they are at an advantage by preparing them to be in a new type of classroom.