The Story Of Norfolk Public Schools
Norfolk Public Schools is a Class A school district in northeast Nebraska, serving approximately 4,300 K-12 students. When the district was short an 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 PresenceLearning to provide live, online speech-language therapy services. Luhr was familiar with PresenceLearning 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 PresenceLearning’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 PresenceLearning, 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 PresenceLearning Awards of Excellence.