By Madeleine Dart

Refugio (KIII News) — In the small town of Refugio, Texas, where evidence of Hurricane Harvey still remains, a lack of teachers has left a high school to rely on technology.

During the 2017-18 school year, Refugio High School was in dire need of a Spanish teacher after their’s retired. Principal Brandon Duncan searched for the right candidate but could not fill the position; so he had to get creative. Duncan reached out to Proximity Learning, an online classroom program.

“It’s just the age we live in,” Duncan said. “It’s very accustomed to computers. To technology.”

During that school year, with the help of Proximity Learning, Duncan saw a 100-percent passing rate for Refugio High School’s Spanish classes.

The teacher shortage continued this year. Duncan said he lacked enough history and chemistry teachers, and leaving those positions open was not an option; so once again he reached out to Proximity Learning.

“We’re able to keep those kids on track to get what they need so they don’t have to double up as a senior with two histories or something like that,” Duncan added.

Students enrolled in Proximity Learning classes log on to laptops and are greeted by their online teacher. Meanwhile, another teacher physically monitors the classroom. From there, everything is the same as having a real teacher.

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