California Charter School Adopts Online Speech Therapy to Provide Consistent Support to Students with Special Needs

Mountain Peak Charter School uses PresenceLearning with students in need of speech language services as part of alternative learning model  

SAN FRANCISCO, July 1, 2013 – Mountain Peak Charter School in Vista, CA strives to optimize learning for each student by providing a personalized learning program. To adequately do this for those students with special needs, Mountain Peak Charter School implemented PresenceLearning, the leader in online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The online therapy service allows Mountain Peak Charter School to provide its students with the consistent speech therapy needed for success.

“I was extremely hesitant and resistant at first because I come from a very long line of traditional SLPs, working in-person with small groups or individual students,” said Barbara Schmidt, coordinator of special education at Mountain Peak Charter School. “Although I was questioning the effectiveness of this delivery model, I am now a firm advocate for online speech therapy. Now that we have implemented PresenceLearning, I find that it is just as effective as having someone in the building.”

Mountain Peak Charter School serves approximately 500 students across three southern California counties, each of which has its own homeschooling independent study program. Mountain Peak Charter School also has a brick and mortar school in San Diego County which provides students with a traditional school setting Monday through Thursday and an enrichment day on Friday, allowing students to either get additional help in school or complete supplemental lessons with their families.

“In the past, we had to contract with SLPs through an agency, which led to inconsistency in therapy and the accumulation of compensatory time,” said Schmidt. “However, our PresenceLearning SLP is always here virtually. She works with our resource specialist to plan and set goals just like an on-site SLP. She is very much a part of our staff even if she is not here in person.”

Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s high quality online speech therapy has provided schools with web-based access to a nationwide network of highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can fill staffing gaps related to acute and chronic SLP shortages, reduce high caseloads and workloads for onsite personnel, improve student outcomes and increase overall efficiency. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists.

As of the end of the 2012-13 school year, PresenceLearning has delivered over 200,000 live online therapy sessions in public, charter and virtual school districts of all sizes nationwide.

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning ( is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students and now offers online occupational therapy as well. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) and occupational therapists (OTs) via live videoconferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices and powerful progress reporting.

Serving thousands of students in public, charter and virtual schools throughout the U.S., PresenceLearning has shown that online speech and language therapy is practical, affordable and highly effective.  PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online therapy.