Just days before school started, the Richmond Community Schools realized they had a “critical shortage” of speech language pathologists (SLPs) and reassigned one of their middle school principals to serve as a SLP instead. According to pal-item.com, this Indiana school district serves 5,463 students in total and now has six full-time SLPs.
The former principal, Kathy McCarty, will carry a caseload of 70 to 75 students, serving on evaluation teams, making medical referrals and performing speech/language screenings at district schools.
Speech language pathologists continue to be in high demand and short supply. Graduate education is mandated for certification by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). A graduate degree, clinical experience and a national exam are all part of the demanding qualification process.
How can schools overcome this ongoing shortage? More and more districts are turning to live online speech therapy services such as those provided by PresenceLearning (presencelearning.com). PresenceLearning has built a nationwide network of fully qualified speech language pathologists, enabling districts to access desperately needed SLPs to serve their students “virtually”, stay in legal compliance and save money in the process. By breaking down the geographic barriers to accessing qualified SLPs, PresenceLearning can help all school districts meet the needs of students with speech/language issues.