Covering a large, spread out area in southern Oregon, Klamath County School District needed to find a solution to help alleviate the excessive “windshield time” of its speech-language pathologists (SLPs), who often felt they had to sacrifice valuable time working with students because of the long travel times between their school sites. This, on top of a hard-to-fill vacancy for an SLP, led to the successful implementation of PresenceLearning’s live, online speech therapy services for close to 80 of the district’s students.
“We piloted online speech therapy last year with approximately 30 students and experienced great results with both our students as well as with our onsite SLPs,” said Laura Blair, director of special services at Klamath County School District. “It helped us fill an SLP vacancy and alleviate the long travel times and large caseloads our SLPs were experiencing, which in turn provided our SLPs with the ability to better serve our students with special needs.”
“Our students also loved the service,” Blair continued. “They were engaged in – and eager to attend – the therapy, so it was a win-win all around.”
Now, as part of its broader implementation of PresenceLearning, Klamath County School District will use online speech therapy with elementary and junior/high school level students at its public schools in its northern- and southern-most counties, as well as in its private schools and with its homeschool students throughout the district. The use of online therapy with PresenceLearning’s highly qualified SLPs will eliminate the need for the district’s onsite SLPs to frequently travel the approximately 120 miles between these counties.
“Rather than traveling across the district, I can now focus on working full-time in one of our elementary schools,” said Rhonda Tyler, an onsite SLP at Klamath County School District. “Being centrally located will help a great deal with the caseload logistics my colleagues and I were facing and provide us with more dedicated time to work with our students.”
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live, onlinespeech andoccupational therapy,behavioral and mental health services, special academic education instruction, 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), special education teachers, and behavioral and mental health professionals. Treatment sessions are delivered “anytime anywhere” via live interactive video using the latest in evidence-based practices combined with powerful progress reporting.
By partnering with PresenceLearning, education agencies can better manage their staffing resources because they can balance caseloads for onsite personnel, fill service gaps related to acute and chronic shortages, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes, and improve overall program efficiency. Since 2009, PresenceLearning has delivered more than a million live online sessions to students in public, charter and virtual schools across the U.S. and globally, proving that online delivery of special education and related services is practical, convenient and highly effective.