SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, 2017 – PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related service providers, recently named Pass Christian School District in Pass Christian, MS, as a winner in its 3rd annual Awards of Excellence. The awards program recognizes six educational organizations from across the country for their leadership, teamwork, and outstanding progress in helping students with special needs succeed.
Pass Christian School District is committed to providing the best offerings to students so they can be successful, lifelong learners. The district’s hard work paid off this school year as they were one of 16 districts in the state to earn the “A” recognition. However, at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, Pass Christian School District had no district-employed speech-language pathologist (SLP) to work with students on their IEP goals related to speech and language skills. The district’s Director of Special Education and Gifted Program Coordinator Doris Flettrich, asked members of the Southern Six, a cadre of special education directors in the region, for suggestions and learned about PresenceLearning.
“There is a national shortage of SLPs,” said Flettrich. “Schools are competing to recruit SLPs who have the opportunity go into the medical field and make more money than in the educational field. It’s becoming a much greater challenge to make sure we are fully staffed to meet the needs of our students, to evaluate our children and then provide services for articulation, fluency and more.”
The district quickly started using PresenceLearning’s live, online speech-language therapy services to serve students, and hired a retired educator to act as the liaison between the district’s administrators and teachers and the PresenceLearning online SLP. This year, the PresenceLearning online SLP is working with approximately 45 students. Additionally, the district was able to hire two full-time SLPs who are servicing the remainder of the speech-language caseloads.
“We were pleased to see that after just one year, we had children who were using PresenceLearning meet their Individualized Education Plan goals so they exited special education,” said Flettrich. “It works so well because we’re living in the age of technology. The students really respond to technology.”
The six winners of the Awards of Excellence, including Pass Christian School District, were selected based on positive student progress and engagement indicators, strong organizational leadership, informed parental support, and the onsite 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 that have a committed and collaborative approach to working with our online clinicians, as is the case with Pass Christian School District,” said Clay Whitehead, co-Founder and co-CEO of PresenceLearning. “Each of this year’s winners overcame serious challenges in serving their students with special needs by fully leveraging the potential of online therapy services. Through their hard work, these schools have given their students access to the life-changing care they need to unlock their full potential.”
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) 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.