The district needed to fill a vacancy for a staff speech-language pathologist (SLP).
When the district was short a SLP and unable to fill the position for the 2016-17 school year, Mary Luhr, Norfolk Public Schools’ Director of Special Services, decided to partner with Presence to provide live, online speech-language therapy services. Luhr was familiar with Presence from colleagues via word-of-mouth and from the company’s presence at industry conferences, but it wasn’t until a Norfolk school psychologist forwarded information about Presence’s services that she decided to contact them.
Five online SLPs began working with approximately 55 students from two of Norfolk’s elementary schools that year. The online SLPs conduct direct therapy services via a live, secure online therapy platform, tailor sessions support students’ language disorders and articulation needs as outlined in their IEPs, and are able to incorporate students’ academic work and interests. Just like the district’s onsite SLPs, the online SLPs participate in IEP planning, meet with district staff and families, and conduct assessments.
Now in its second year with Presence, approximately 85 Norfolk students work with an online SLP. The success the district has experienced with online speech-language services led to it being named a winner in the 4th Annual Presence Awards of Excellence.