KEAMS CANYON, Ariz. — Around 450 Native American students, grades 7-12, living on the Hopi reservation in northeastern Arizona will begin school fully online Sept. 8 to limit risks of COVID-19.
The governing board for Hopi Junior Senior High School recently approved a partnership with Chandler based digital learning solutions company, StrongMind, to provide online courses for the 2020-2021 school year.
The decision to partner with StrongMind was not only a response to short term health and safety concerns, but an effort to provide long term opportunities to students.
“Although school will look a bit different than it did last year, our students still deserve a quality education,” said Hopi Principal, Lynn Fredericks.
StrongMind brings two decades of experience providing digital curriculum and education services to schools across the country.
“This is what digital learning is all about, reaching students wherever they are and no matter what they are going through to deliver a high-quality education,” said Mary Gifford, President of StrongMind.
Instead of teachers adapting their lesson plans to provide several hours of live, video instruction, each day, students will first engage with the curriculum through their digital courses. As students’ progress through the course, their teacher can identify where they are struggling and provide more immediate and individualized instruction.
Still, as Hopi Junior Senior High School prepares for the 2020-2021 school year, there are ongoing efforts to expand internet access to Native American communities across the state.
Hopi School principal, Lynn Fredericks shared that she hopes “that a nation-wide transition to online or distance learning will bring attention to the inequities students face living on the reservation.”