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Central Kansas Cooperative in Education Wins National Award for Helping Students with Special Needs Succeed

, Primary Category: Press Releases

SAN FRANCISCO, February 9, 2017 – PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related services providers, recently named Central Kansas Cooperative in Education (CKCIE) in Salina, KS as a winner of its 3rd annual Award of Excellence. The awards program recognized six educational organizations from across the country for their leadership, teamwork, and outstanding progress in helping students with special needs succeed.

Helping students from ages three to 21, CKCIE provides special education services and support staff – including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, paraprofessionals, and more – to 12 school districts spanning more than 4,000 square miles across Central Kansas. At the beginning of last school year, CKCIE spearheaded the implementation of online speech-language therapy using the PresenceLearning network of online providers in Salina Unified School District 305 when the district was experiencing a shortage of on-site speech-language pathologists (SLPs). These highly SLPs use a secure, web-based platform to manage student cases and deliver therapy using the same evidence-based techniques as on-site clinicians.

“When we were faced with SLP vacancies, we knew we needed to find another solution to avoid increasing caseloads for our existing therapists in the district. PresenceLearning provided us with that solution and helped us fill a much-needed gap in the special education related services we provide,” said Mike Lowers, director of CKCIE. “The online SLPs from PresenceLearning and our on-site primary support personnel work collaboratively to provide students with the engaging, quality therapy they need to help meet the goals outlined in their Individual Education Programs (IEPs).”

In the initial year, PresenceLearning was used with approximately 150 students in the district. This school year, it is being used by more than 430 students, including pre-K students and students with significant cognitive disabilities, across four districts serviced by CKCIE.

“The online therapy is really so similar to on-site therapy that our students – even our youngest ones – never missed a beat,” said Lowers. “Our students are engaged in the process and making great progress thanks to PresenceLearning and the terrific support teams we have in our districts.”

The six Award of Excellence winners, including CKCIE, were selected based on positive student progress and engagement indicators, strong organizational leadership, informed parental support, and the on-site team’s collaboration with PresenceLearning’s online clinicians during the 2015-2016 school year.

“Among the thousands of students we serve, those who make the best progress tend to be in educational organizations with courageous leadership and a committed and collaborative approach to working with our online clinicians. CKCIE is a shining example of this,” said Clay Whitehead, co-Founder and co-CEO of PresenceLearning. “Each of this year’s winners, including CKCIE, overcame serious challenges in serving their students with special needs by fully leveraging the potential of our online therapy network. Through their hard work, these schools have given their students access to the life-changing care they need to unlock their full potential.”

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning ( is the leading telehealth network of providers of clinical services and assessments to educational organizations. The PresenceLearning care network has provided over one million sessions of live, online speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, diagnostic services and assessments, and early childhood services for children with special needs.


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