Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District Wins National Recognition for Helping Students with Special Needs
The district won the PresenceLearning Award of Excellence for positive student progress and leadership in special education
SAN FRANCISCO, February 7, 2017 – PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related services providers, recently named Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District (NCLUSD) in Newman, CA a winner of its 3rd annual Award of Excellence. The district, which has been using online speech-language therapy services from PresenceLearning since 2014, has filled therapist vacancies and helped students make progress on or achieve the speech-language goals designated in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
“We could not fill our speech-language pathologist vacancy,” said Alice Solis, Director of Student Services at NCLUSD. “That’s when we turned to PresenceLearning. The online speech-language pathologists are not physically here, but they are a part of our team. They are one of us.”
Solis initially chose to use the online approach exclusively with students in grades 6-12 because of the stigma older students felt when going to the speech room for on-site therapy. With PresenceLearning, students work with a highly qualified online speech-language pathologist (SLP) via PresenceLearning’s secure video-conferencing therapy environment and only need a device with an internet connection, a webcam, and headphones to “attend” sessions. This enables students to complete therapy almost anywhere in the school, and because many of NCLUSD’s students are already working on laptops or computers, students blend in with their peers and feel more comfortable while working with their SLPs.
This school year, which is the district’s third year of using PresenceLearning, approximately 85 NCLUSD students in grades 4-12 receive speech-language therapy online. NCLUSD’s two on-site speech-language pathologists and support staff collaborate with four online speech-language pathologists from the PresenceLearning network of online providers. This has allowed the district to expand speech-language therapy services to its Diablo Grande summer school location. NCLUSD will also begin using PresenceLearning’s new online psychoeducational assessment services beginning this spring. The delivery of live, online assessments by school psychologists using the PresenceLearning platform will help the district provide more timely access to evaluations and therapy services.
“This year alone, we’ve had five students exit special education because they met their speech-language IEP goals,” said Solis. “PresenceLearning gives the district the creativity to meet the needs of our students, all while providing high-quality services to our students.”
The six Award of Excellence winners, including NCLUSD, were selected based on positive student progress and engagement indicators, strong organizational leadership, informed parental support, and the onsite team’s collaboration with PresenceLearning’s online clinicians during the 2015-2016 school year.
“Among the thousands of students we serve, those who make the best progress tend to be in educational organizations with courageous leadership and a committed and collaborative approach to working with our online clinicians. Newman-Crows Landing USD is a shining example of this,” said Clay Whitehead, co-Founder and co-CEO of PresenceLearning. “Each of this year’s winners, including Newman-Crows Landing, overcame serious challenges in serving their students with special needs by fully leveraging the potential of our online therapy network. Through their hard work, these schools have given their students access to the life-changing care they need to unlock their full potential.”
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) 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.
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