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Providing continuity in North Carolina

Melvin Diggs

Presence checked a lot of the boxes in terms of the needs of our special education learners, along with the goals and objectives of the Chatham County Schools special education department.

Melvin Diggs
Executive Director of Exceptional Children (EC) and Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) for Chatham County Schools

Challenge

During COVID-19, Chatham County Schools has been serving students in remote, hybrid, and in-person learning environments. The school needed to provide services to students with special needs that were effective, continuous, and consistent in experience—for the sake of students, parents, and the special education team. They were also concerned about staff retention and safety during COVID-19 and wanted to ensure their special education team could keep working in a comfortable environment. They are a smaller school district and had a relatively small staff as it was.

Solution

The school system turned to Presence’s Therapy Essentials, which includes training for the special education team on how to conduct therapy, assessment, and special education instruction in an online modality, along with the proprietary Presence platform.

“We had been using a combination of two online video conferencing tools, but they simply did not have the instructional functionality to support our programs the way that Presence supports student learning,” said Melvin Diggs, who has served as executive director of the school district’s Exceptional Children (EC) and Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) programs for the past two years.

Results

Therapy Essentials is enabling the district’s special education team to serve students during the pandemic—and will ensure the critical continuity students need to make sustained progress with services in the future. Some students are even making greater progress with online therapy or teletherapy than they were during in-person care. The team calls Presence’s training, platform features, and technical support a “game changer.”

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