Molly Hovorka – PresenceLearning

District is one of 12 winners of PresenceLearning’s annual Awards of Excellence recognizing outstanding leadership and student progress in special education SAN FRANCISCO, December 14, 2017 – PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related service providers, recently named Byng Public Schools in Ada, OK as a winner of its 4th annual Awards of Excellence. The awards recognized 12 educational organizations nationwide for their outstanding organizational leadership, teamwork, and improved outcomes in helping students with special needs succeed. Byng Public Schools, which covers 120 square miles of the southeastern portion of the state, turned to PresenceLearning in the 2016-17 school year as a cost-effective way to provide online occupational therapy (OT) to its students with special needs. In the initial year, occupational therapists from PresenceLearning delivered services to 35 students in grades K-10 via its secure, interactive online therapy platform. “Making the shift to online therapy has been such a positive experience,” said Sherri Coats, M.Ed., director of special services at Byng Public Schools. “The use of technology really engages students during the therapy sessions. In particular, our students with autism, who sometimes have difficulty connecting directly with people, have been benefiting from – and participating more…

For second consecutive year, district wins PresenceLearning Award of Excellence for outstanding leadership and student progress in special education SAN FRANCISCO, December 12, 2017 – PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related service providers, recently named Barstow Unified School District in Barstow, CA as a winner of its 4th annual Awards of Excellence. The awards recognized 12 educational organizations nationwide for their outstanding organizational leadership, teamwork, and improved outcomes in helping students with special needs succeed. This is the second consecutive year that the district has won this award. The district first implemented live, online speech-language therapy using the PresenceLearning network of online providers five years ago to relieve high caseloads and reduce the time its onsite speech-language pathologists (SLPs) spent traveling from school to school. In the initial year, PresenceLearning was successfully used with approximately 15 students with special needs from one elementary school, in addition to one student on home hospital. Today, PresenceLearning is being used with 140 students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. “Throughout the years, PresenceLearning has helped an increasing number of our students make great progress on their Individual Education Programs while freeing up valuable time for our…

This year, special education administrators, educators, and related services professionals have joined PresenceLearning to watch 464,470 minutes (that’s 321 DAYS!) of webinars and videos, and have downloaded thousands of copies of ebooks, white papers, resource kits, and infographics. We work hard to bring you insights from some of the best and brightest minds in the field, and we thank you for your continued interest and support! In 2017, we brought you professional development webinars by Dr. Lori Desautels, LeDerick Horne and Dr. Margo Izzo, Dr. Randy Sprick, Dr. Howie Knoff, Dr. Jeanne Wanzek, and Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, as well as a special summertime legal update on special education law as it pertains to discipline and mental health by Julie Weatherly, Esq. We also updated three…

In a recent 90-minute webinar with PresenceLearning, an audience member asked Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, an expert on differentiated instruction, how to get buy-in from teachers for differentiated instruction, especially among more seasoned teachers. See Dr. Tomlinson’s response below. You can get teacher buy-in in a lot of ways, just like you do with kids. Ask yourself how you get the most reluctant kids to join you. In a classroom, that’s with a relationship. It might not always be a cuddly relationship to start with, but it can at least be honest where you can say something like, “I know of three kids here who would really benefit if we could figure out a way together to do something a little bit different for them. Are…

In a recent 90-minute webinar with PresenceLearning, an audience member wondered whether special educators are used by gen ed teachers and administrators to avoid school-wide differentiation, and asked Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, an expert on differentiated instruction, how they can become part of the solution. See Dr. Tomlinson’s response below. I love this question. You could substitute the notion of special education in there, or special programs for the gifted, or remedial settings for reading. The big question is, why don’t we just put all those kids in a room where they belong, and then we won’t have to worry about them. The thing we sense as a burden is taken away. Of course, everything in life depends on the lens through which you look at it. I…

In a recent 90-minute webinar with PresenceLearning, an audience member asked Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, an expert on differentiated instruction, how educators can differentiate instruction in overcrowded, underfunded public schools with highly diverse classrooms. According to Dr. Tomlinson, it all starts with taking the first step. This really is the question of the universe. It really doesn’t matter where you are —what country, what kind of school. Everyone has the sense that so much is coming at them: too many kids, too many needs, too few dollars, too little time, and they just feel they can’t do it. Dr. Tomlinson recalled an educator from New York who had been teaching for 60 years. This educator had shared information about the complexity of schools in New York and the challenges…

Hinsdale School District in Hinsdale, NH, first contracted with PresenceLearning for online speech therapy services for a 6 week engagement in 2014. The district has worked with PresenceLearning ever since. Julie Fenrich, director of special services and middle/high school special education coordinator at Hinsdale, describes seamless cooperation during the initial setup and positive interactions with the online SLP assigned to the district.

What have you been reading this month? Here’s what our clinical team has been talking about. 3 Ways Assistive Technology Supports Students with Disabilities – See how technology is expanding opportunities for students with special needs more than ever before. (EdTech Magazine) MyYoungerSelf Educator Toolkit – Resources and discussion guide to help kids and teens understand how other people with disabilities have managed difficulties and achieved success in life. (Child Mind Institute) Principals support SEL efforts, but want more teacher training – School principals overwhelmingly agree that social-emotional learning programs are important, but only a third have a plan for teaching and implementing SEL school-wide. (Education DIVE) How schools are disrupting dyslexia – Districts are seeing success with early screening and intervention for students with dyslexia (District Administration) 5 Strategies to Demystify the Learning Process…

In a recent 90-minute webinar with PresenceLearning, an audience member asked Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, an expert on differentiated instruction, how SLPs and other clinical professionals can best partner with teachers. Here’s what Dr. Tomlinson had to say about this common pain point faced by both clinical professionals and special education teachers. Tip 1: Choose Your Allies Clinicians all have numerous teachers with whom they need to work and on whom they need to make an impact. If you are not careful, you can find yourself running from one to the other all day long, and by the end of the day, you will hardly remember where you were because you couldn’t stay in anyone’s classroom for longer than 15 or 30 minutes. Think strategically about these teachers.…

Moses Lake School District in Washington was a recipient of PresenceLearning’s annual Award of Excellence for the 2016-2017 school year for outstanding organizational leadership, teamwork, and improved outcomes in helping students with special needs succeed. 27 students in elementary and middle school receive live, online occupational therapy from PresenceLearning.

© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | PresenceLearning makes live, online special education related services available to K-12 students around the country — and world. As the leader in the delivery of clinical services via the web, PresenceLearning has provided over one million sessions of speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, assessments, and early childhood services.