Moses Lake School District in Washington State Wins National Award for its Use of Online Therapy with Students with Special Needs

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PresenceLearning has made our occupational therapy team – and the services we provide – better.


PresenceLearning, the leading telehealth network of live, online special education related service providers, recently named Moses Lake School District in Moses Lake, WA as a winner of its 4th annual Awards of Excellence. The awards recognized 12 educational organizations nationwide for their outstanding organizational leadership, teamwork, and improved outcomes in helping students with special needs succeed.

Moses Lake School District, which provides special education services to more than 1,100 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), partnered with PresenceLearning at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year after it was unable to fill two vacancies for onsite certified occupational therapists. In the first year, PresenceLearning delivered online occupational therapy (OT) to 27 students in grades PreK-7 and, this year, is providing services to 35 students.

“PresenceLearning has made our occupational therapy team – and the services we provide – better,” said Darcy Johnson, special service director of Moses Lake School District. “We were concerned at the onset about how parents and students would take to the services, but it’s been a really positive experience all around. The PresenceLearning therapists are great at providing our students with individualized support, as well as activity choices during therapy sessions, so that they are really empowered in their own education.”

The district credits its success with online OT in large part due to the collaboration between PresenceLearning and its onsite staff, including its district champion who assists students onsite during sessions, communicates updates to teachers and parents, facilitates scheduling, and more. As part of this collaboration, the PresenceLearning therapists also participate in the OT department’s professional development sessions and professional learning communities.

“Having the PresenceLearning therapists and our onsite therapists discuss problem-solving strategies and share best practices together has created a really cohesive relationship and has been a real benefit to our team as a whole,” said Jessica Starkweather, district champion for Moses Lake School District, who coordinates with PresenceLearning. “Together, we are able to really help our students meet their goals.”

The 12 PresenceLearning Awards of Excellence winners were selected based on positive student progress and engagement, strong organizational leadership, informed parental support, and standout partnership and collaboration during the 2016-17 school year. Each winner will receive a plaque and their story will be featured on PresenceLearning’s website.

“The leaders and staff at these educational organizations, including Moses Lake School District, have shown remarkable commitment and vision by embracing a new way to serve students with special needs,” said Clay Whitehead, CEO and co-founder of PresenceLearning. “Their dedication enables students to make significant progress on their goals in a supportive environment and we are honored to recognize them for their leadership.”

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.


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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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