Rural Mississippi District Successfully Resolves SLP Shortage by Partnering with PresenceLearning

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Stone County School District adds an online SLP to the three it has on the ground, helping to redistribute caseloads and increase collaboration

PresenceLearning

Our district SLPs have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of PresenceLearning’s online therapy, the online SLP’s professionalism and organization, as well as the amount of data she records for each student.

In rural southern Mississippi, finding enough qualified speech-language professionals to fully serve a growing population of students with speech and language delays can be problematic. Stone County School District in Wiggins, MS employs three speech-language professionals: two fully certified, Master’s level speech-language professionals who are responsible for higher-level activities such as full evaluations, reporting and leading IEP meetings, and one speech-language professional with a Bachelor’s degree and who can perform a more limited set of therapy activities as regulated by law. To redistribute the workload and fill gaps, Stone County School District partnered with PresenceLearning to provide students with online access to an additional fully certified Master’s level speech-language professional.

“Our district SLPs have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of PresenceLearning’s online therapy, the online SLP’s professionalism and organization, as well as the amount of data she records for each student,” said Wendy Rogers, Special Services Director at Stone County Public Schools. “One of our fully certified SLPs has even said she is learning from the online SLP. She said watching the way the additional SLP uses certain techniques and the ability to bounce ideas off of another SLP is another avenue of professional development.”

Rogers first learned about PresenceLearning’s online therapy services at the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Fall Conference in 2013. After evaluating her district’s needs, Rogers wanted to supplement the district’s speech therapy services with an online SLP from PresenceLearning. This additional fully certified SLP would help alleviate the burden from the district’s overloaded SLPs. This school year, more than a dozen of the district’s middle and high school students are using online speech therapy.

“The whole implementation process has been seamless,” said Rogers. “All of the planning, equipment set-up and logistics were in place and tested before our first therapy session so we knew this was going to work. With other technology-based products and services we have used, there were growing pains before we got to a point where students were seeing benefits. PresenceLearning was easily implemented, and we are already seeing positive results for our students.”

Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy services have provided schools with a practical, affordable new option for service delivery: web-based access to a nationwide network of live, highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. PresenceLearning also offers online occupational therapy (OT), online behavioral and mental health services, and online assessments. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can fill staffing gaps related to acute and chronic shortages of related services personnel, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes and become more efficient. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse clinicians.

PresenceLearning has delivered nearly half a million live online therapy sessions to students in public school districts, charter schools and virtual schools of all sizes nationwide.

About PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning (http://www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of online speech and occupational therapy, behavioral and mental health services and assessments for K-12 districts and families of children with special needs. PresenceLearning’s nationwide network includes hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs) and mental health professionals. Therapy sessions are delivered “anytime anywhere” via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practices combined with powerful progress reporting.

Serving thousands of students in public, charter and virtual schools across the U.S. and globally, PresenceLearning has shown that online delivery of related services is practical, convenient and highly effective.

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Kati Elliott
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