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 – using PresenceLearning.”
In addition to providing ongoing OT services, PresenceLearning also performs occupational therapy assessments, helping to ensure that students who need therapy services receive them, and that students who have achieved their goals are able to exit OT services in an efficient manner. As a result, only 27 students need OT services this school year.
“From the very start, our online occupational therapist from PresenceLearning did a terrific job of assessing our students’ needs and determining the best plan moving forward to help them succeed,” said Coats. “The collaboration between our online OT and our onsite team, especially our paraprofessionals who assist with the sessions, has also been incredible. There is a significant amount of power in having paraprofessionals involved in the process so there is carryover in the classroom.”
The 12 PresenceLearning Awards of Excellence winners were selected based on positive student progress and engagement, strong organizational leadership, informed parental support, and standout partnership and collaboration during the 2016-17 school year. Each winner will receive a plaque and their story will be featured on PresenceLearning’s website.
“The leaders and staff at these educational organizations, including Byng Public Schools, have shown remarkable commitment and vision by embracing a new way to serve students with special needs,” said Clay Whitehead, CEO and co-founder of PresenceLearning. “Their dedication enables students to make significant progress on their goals in a supportive environment and we are honored to recognize them for their leadership.”
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.