The Navajo Nation Welcomes Online Education

By Rimsha Syed

Shonto Preparatory School (SPS) and Proximity Learning Inc. (PLI) are pleased to disclose a partnership, implementing a top tier online education program in a district serving a Navajo Indian student population. This partnership will empower SPS to provide virtual chemistry, earth science and biology classes in Shonto’s remote high school community. Through PLI, students will receive education from master teachers streamed live into their classrooms from around the country.

SPS lost a teacher in the middle of the school year, and given Shonto’s location on a plateau 6,500 feet above sea level, finding qualified teachers willing to come onto the reservation was nearly impossible. The district was in need of teachers willing to adapt to a community in which over 90% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. While searching for a long term solution, The Arizona Charter School association director, Damon Harris, discovered PLI and admired their commitment to ensuring all students receive access to certified teachers no matter their location or financial situation. PLI’s executive staff established a personal connection with SPS by traveling to Shonto and engaging with the district’s principal, teachers and students. Sympathetic to PLI’s devotion to the well being of their students, the district solidified their partnership with a program recognized for improving individual student outcomes.

In line with PLI’s vision, “The mission of Shonto Preparatory School is to nurture positive character in a safe, engaging, caring and creative environment with high academic expectations.” Over the past eight years, PLI has developed into the quintessential virtual provider of progressive education.

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