Stellar Student Progress Celebrated: Top Performing Districts Receive Award of Excellence from PresenceLearning

Hundreds of students at districts receiving online speech therapy from PresenceLearning met or exceeded national benchmarks for progress

SAN FRANCISCO, December 3, 2014 – Having provided more than 275,000 live online speech therapy sessions last year at nearly 1,000 schools, PresenceLearning today revealed the top performing school districts in its programs nationally. Each of the top school districts will receive the PresenceLearning Award of Excellence, honoring their dedication to unlocking the potential of students with special needs and commemorating the progress these students made. Award winners will receive a commemorative plaque marking the achievement. PresenceLearning will also make a donation in honor of each of the schools to the Special Olympics.

The Award of Excellence is based on the percentage of students who improved one level or more in spoken language production and spoken language comprehension on the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) scales during the 2013-14 school year. ASHA developed the scales to describe the different aspects of a patient’s functional communication and swallowing abilities over the course of speech-language pathology intervention and they are part of American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association’s (ASHA) National Outcome Measurement System (NOMS) data collection and reporting tool.

“This is an achievement, first and foremost, by the students themselves,” said PresenceLearning Co-CEO Clay Whitehead. “But, it is also an achievement for the teams of clinicians, parents, teachers, and administrators that work so hard for students with special needs every day. I hope everyone involved is proud of the work they have done, as they have made real, measurable difference in the lives of students. Improvement on goals isn’t an abstraction: it’s a concrete measure of how students communicate, relate to others, and perform in class.”

The functional communication areas that students receiving speech therapy most commonly work on include spoken language production, spoken language comprehension and speech sound production. The PresenceLearning data across all schools served via telepractice show that telepractice students met or beat the national averages set by students who received traditional therapy from an on-the-ground provider:

  • 65% of telepractice students improved their spoken language production by one level or more compared to 60% of the students in the nationally-normed NOMS data set
  • 64% of telepractice students improved their spoken language comprehension by one level or more during the school year compared to 60% of the students in NOMS data
  • In addition, 74% of students improved their speech sound production by one level or more during the school year, compared to 75% of the students in NOMS data

All of the 2013-2014 Award of Excellence winners exceeded the national averages in all three of the major NOMS measurements. The winners include:

  • Adams County Ohio Valley Schools (OH)
  • Bonneville Joint School District 93 (ID)
  • Borrego Springs Unified School District (CA)
  • Lone Pine (CA)
  • Medford (OR)
  • Muskegon Heights School District (MI)
  • North State Charter JPA (CA)
  • Rocky Mount Prep School (NC)
  • Taylor County (FL)

“Much of the credit for this award goes to our speech therapist at PresenceLearning. We enjoy working with her and she has wonderful rapport with kids,” said Jean Hatch, co-director of Redding School of the Arts II at North State Charter JPA.

Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy and other related services have provided schools with a high quality method of service delivery. The company provides web-based access to a nationwide network of live, highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and school counseling professionals who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. PresenceLearning also offers online assessments for both speech and occupational therapy. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts make sure that all students receive the services they need throughout the school year, with a focus on service quality, data, and accountability.

PresenceLearning has delivered half a million live online therapy sessions in public school districts, charter schools and virtual schools of all sizes nationwide.

About PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning ( 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.