PresenceLearning Honors Top Districts for Exemplary Student Progress in Second Annual Awards of Excellence

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Students with special needs using online speech therapy from PresenceLearning exceeded national benchmarks for progress during 2014-2015 school year


These measurements show that when given access to the right resources, students can and will achieve great things.

Each day, thousands of students with special needs across 43 states log on to PresenceLearning to receive live, online speech therapy and other special education related services from a large network of fully licensed providers. With consistent access to high-quality remote SLPs, students are progressing toward or achieving their speech therapy goals on their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). To celebrate the successes that school districts are having in meeting students’ needs, PresenceLearning announces the recipients of its 2nd Annual Award of Excellence in recognition of their students’ progress for the 2014-2015 school year.

●    Fossil School District 21j (OR)
●    Stone County School District (MS)
●    Borrego Springs Unified School District (CA)
●    Innovative Education Management (CA)
●    Lake Mills Area School District (WI)
●    North State Charter JPA (CA)
●    Dodge City Unified School District 443 (KS)
●    Ceiba College Preparatory Academy (CA)
●    Los Angeles Unified School District (CA)

Two of these districts, Borrego Springs Unified School District and North State Charter JPA, are second-time PresenceLearning Award of Excellence winners. Each of the award winners will receive a commemorative plaque marking the achievement.

PresenceLearning selected the winners based on two factors:
●    The percentage of students at the district who improved one level or more in spoken language production and spoken language comprehension on the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) scales during the 2014-15 school year
●    Exemplary partnership between the district and PresenceLearning

The American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) developed FCMs to describe the different aspects of a patient’s functional communication and swallowing abilities over the course of intervention. The FCM scales are part of ASHA’s National Outcome Measurement System (NOMS) data collection and reporting tool.

“PresenceLearning has been instrumental in the success of our new and innovative Distance Learning Program,” said Brad Sperry, Superintendent of Fossil School District. “The charter school serves approximately 365 distance learning students and some of them need speech-language therapy services, which they receive from PresenceLearning. The students who use online speech therapy have nothing but positive success stories. The rate that students achieve their goals and reach benchmarks so they can exit special education is higher with PresenceLearning than with most brick-and-mortar programs.”

The FCM areas that students in speech therapy most commonly work on include spoken language production, spoken language comprehension and speech sound production. The data PresenceLearning collected across the districts it serves show that students who received online speech therapy beat the national averages set by students who received traditional on-site speech therapy:
●    66% of telepractice students improved their spoken language production by one level or more compared to 50% of the students in the nationally-normed NOMS data set
●    69% of telepractice students improved their spoken language comprehension by one level or more during the school year compared to 60% of the students in NOMS data
●    77% of students improved their speech sound production by one level or more during the school year, compared to 75% of the students in NOMS data

Additionally, the percentage of students receiving online speech therapy who improved these NOMs measurements have increased by 1, 5 and 3% points respectively since the 2013-2014 school year.

“These measurements show that when given access to the right resources, students can and will achieve great things,” said PresenceLearning Co-CEO Clay Whitehead. “The PresenceLearning Award of Excellence not only recognizes the students’ achievements, it applauds the districts’ dedication to serving students – regardless of the obstacles. It is also huge thank you to the teachers, clinicians, administrators and parents who work so hard to see these children succeed.”

About PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning ( 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 of online professionals and telehealth providers includes hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), and behavioral and mental health professionals. Sessions are delivered “anytime anywhere” via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practices combined with powerful progress reporting.

By partnering with PresenceLearning, education agencies can fill service gaps related to acute and chronic shortages of special education and related services personnel, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes, and improve efficiency. Since 2009, PresenceLearning has delivered more than 1 million live, online therapy sessions to students in public, charter, and virtual schools across the U.S. and globally, proving that online delivery of special education related services is practical, convenient, and highly effective.


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Kati Elliott
KEH Communications
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