Former DeSoto County Exceptional Student Education Director Joins PresenceLearning as Director of Special Education Services
Debra Giacolone brings unique expertise to create and launch new live online services
SAN FRANCISCO, February 18, 2014 – To help the company better meet the diverse needs of special education administrators, PresenceLearning appointed Debra Giacolone, the former Director of Exceptional Education and Student Services with the School District of DeSoto County, as its first Director of Special Education Services. In her new role, Giacolone will work with current and prospective PresenceLearning customers to create and launch new online services that bring the live expertise of highly sought-after professionals to students with special needs.
“Debra’s extensive experience at both the classroom and administrative level make her an incredible asset,” said Jack Lynch, co-CEO and co-founder of PresenceLearning. “Since she has first-hand practice managing an online special education services program, Debra is the perfect candidate to help schools improve their student outcomes and manage their resources effectively.”
Giacolone became acquainted with PresenceLearning and its services while she worked at the School District of DeSoto County in Arcadia, FL. The district began using online speech therapy in 2012 to give students “anytime anywhere” access to PresenceLearning’s nationwide network of highly-qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs). In addition to overseeing the PresenceLearning implementation, Giacolone also managed the district’s IDEA, Homeless and Title 1 grants, coordinated Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) initiatives, and conducted Compliance Indicators and Department of Education reporting. Prior to her role with the School District of DeSoto County, Giacolone was an assistant principal, Exceptional Education teacher and Inclusion specialist.
“Debra is able to discuss special education with a wide variety of audiences including educators, students, parents and clinicians,” said Lynch. “Having a PresenceLearning customer join our team speaks to the positive impact online therapy has on school districts and students.”
Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy services have provided schools with a practical, affordable new option for flexible service delivery: web-based access to a nationwide network of live, highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. This past year, PresenceLearning added occupational therapy (OT) and online assessments to their service offering. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can fill staffing gaps related to acute and chronic SLP and OT shortages, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes and become more efficient. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.
By the end of this school year, PresenceLearning will have delivered 450,000 live online therapy sessions in public, charter and virtual school districts of all sizes nationwide.
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students and now offers online occupational therapy as well. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) and occupational therapists (OTs) via live videoconferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices and powerful progress reporting.
Serving thousands of students in public, charter and virtual schools throughout the U.S., PresenceLearning has shown that online speech and language therapy is practical, affordable and highly effective. PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online therapy.