Balancing Caseloads with Online Speech Therapy – PresenceLearning

The Challenge

The district needed a way to reduce overwhelming caseloads and extensive travel time for its SLPs

The Solution

Highly qualified SLPs in the PresenceLearning online network use a secure, web-based platform to manage student cases and deliver therapy using the same evidence-based techniques as on-site clinicians in one of in one of Barstow USD’s more remote schools, as well as to a student on home hospital

The Results

PresenceLearning balanced the caseloads for on-site SLPs and provided a proven alternative delivery method that is now used by more than 150 students in the district

PresenceLearning really helps our students thrive and make great progress on their Individual Education Programs, plus our on-site SLPs have more dedicated time to spend with students since the time they previously spent traveling was reduced.

Joni James, Director II of Pupil Services at Barstow USD

Barstow Unified School District’s Story

When its SLPs started to experience overwhelming caseloads and spend an exorbitant amount of time traveling to and from various school sites, Barstow USD in Barstow, CA knew it needed a better way to support its on-site clinicians and ultimately the students they serve. Under the leadership of Director II of Pupil Services Joni James, the district turned to PresenceLearning.

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. Since then the district experienced ongoing shortages of on-site SLPs and used online therapy in a greater capacity to fill the void and help balance the caseloads of the district’s on-site SLPs. Online therapy has continually provided the district with a proven alternative to meet its needs and to help improve student outcomes. Now, the number of students receiving online speech therapy has increased more than tenfold from when the district first started working with PresenceLearning, and the online therapy is being used in numerous schools – including elementary, middle, and high schools – throughout the district. Together with PresenceLearning and its on-site SLPs, Barstow USD has helped its students with special needs thrive.

Even our middle school students, who used to be embarrassed to go to in-person therapy sessions because of the ‘stigma’ around it, have been flourishing with PresenceLearning.

Joni James, Director II of Pupil Services at Barstow USD

© 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.