Remote West Virginia School District Connects Students to Virtual Classroom

Written by Christina Peebles

February 6, 2020


WELCH, W.V., Feb. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Proximity Learning Inc. (PLI), an ESS Company, is proud to announce an expansion of services with McDowell County Schools in West Virginia. The partnership began at the start of the 2019-2020 school year with Mount View High School. Starting this semester, PLI will be providing three additional eighth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) classes at Mount View Middle School with a real-time certified online teacher, delivered via live instruction.

Because of the district’s remote location, it can be very difficult to recruit and retain qualified teachers and substitutes. Before partnering with PLI, one of the district’s ELA teaching positions had been vacant for two years.

“It was breaking our hearts,” associate superintendent Dr. Barker said. “We had students and parents that were just so worried about the kids getting content, about their grades, and about getting the high school credit.”

The district has used online classes before, but the format was not working well for the success of their students. Dr. Barker said that the learning was very impersonal – the students would just “get online, watch the video, take a test.”

When McDowell County Schools was introduced to PLI, they found an innovative opportunity to meet the needs of their students while engaging them with a better online learning experience.

“We saw that this model is more personalized because you have a teacher,” Dr. Barker said. “They use your textbook, they use your standards, and there is that face-to-face communication two or three times a week depending on what you choose.”

Students are able to do much more with PLI than just go online and take tests. They interact and build relationships with highly-qualified and certified teachers streamed live into their classrooms each day, giving them the necessary tools to foster future success.

“For our students who already struggle with feeling belonged because [of the] turnover of teachers, we put so much effort into trying to help them have a good experience with online learning,” Dr. Barker said. “Because many times they have no other option.”

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 virtual classrooms, and the reputation as a flexible learning solution to both public and private school districts.

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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