5 ways to help special education students manage testing anxiety

Testing anxiety shows itself in different ways for different students. It can range from refusing to do work, crying, hiding in the bathroom, and verbal aggression to physical behavior like flipping tables and desks or hitting school staff. Some students avoid school on test days, and many suffer from symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches.

In special education programs, many of our students’ disabilities are closely related to anxiety, and testing can be a trigger that heightens those negative thoughts and feelings.

It’s a common belief that testing anxiety affects only older students, such as those taking high school or college placement exams. However, testing anxiety affects students of all ages. In fact, studies have shown that test anxiety is actually the worst in the middle grades. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this anxiety can stem from a fear of failure, negative testing experiences, or feeling unprepared.…Read More

PresenceLearning Expands Leadership Team

NEW YORK, August 17, 2021 – PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services and behavioral and mental health services for K-12 schools nationwide, has made two key additions to the leadership team. The company has hired Louisa Balach as President, Therapy Essentials Platform, and has promoted Shanelle Reese to become the company’s first Chief People Officer.

The creation of the Chief People Officer role signifies the importance of people at the center of the company’s culture and strategy. With the rapid growth of the business in FY21 came significant growth in employee teams to support and ensure great service to schools and students. In this role Reese will lead all employee-focused aspects of the organization, including employee experience, talent acquisition, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, learning and development, and internal communications. In her previous role as Vice President of People, Reese led PresenceLearning’s organization-wide commitment to diverse hiring practices, driving significant strides in representation across all teams, with 74% of PL employees female and 36% non-white. Additionally the company has added employee programming including company-wide unconscious bias training, COVID-related programming and broader resources to support employees.

The creation of the role of President, Therapy Essentials Platform marks an exciting step in the development of the company’s software as a service therapy platform offering. The offering has experienced rapid growth as school districts turn to Therapy Essentials to expand the capacity of their special education teams to serve their students remotely, and to provide clinicians with flexible ways to innovate and grow their practices. With the recent launch of Therapy Essentials for Individual and Group Practices, even more clinicians will be able to access the PresenceLearning platform. Under Balach’s leadership, the company will continue to innovate its therapy platform with a mission to provide the ultimate suite of online tools to support the work of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental health professionals and other clinicians.…Read More

3 ways to support students with disabilities post-pandemic

Students with disabilities tend to show greater learning losses over the summer, and at times grow at academically higher rates than peers without disabilities, according to a new study showing detailed insight on academic growth among students with disabilities.

The new research, Understanding differential growth during school years and summers for students in special education, comes from NWEA, a nonprofit research-based provider of assessment solutions and learning services.

Using a five-year cohort of 4,228 students (kindergarten through fourth grade) in 109 U.S. public schools that voluntarily provided student-level special education program information, the research study examined how academic achievement and growth in achievement compared between students with and without disabilities. (Disability category was not available at the student-level. The study used “ever being in special education services” as a proxy for students with a disability.)…Read More

7 ways to focus stimulus spending on students with disabilities

Schools and districts are poised to receive an influx of federal dollars that should support students with disabilities and make equity a priority, ensuring that outdated and ineffective special education systems are updated and held to high-quality standards, according to a new report from the Center for Learner Equity.

Students with disabilities and those with special needs are some of the worst-hit during the pandemic, with virtual learning preventing students from accessing vital in-school therapies and programs.

In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, which invests $130 billion into education–including $3 billion for IDEA–and gives schools and districts access to funds to directly meet student needs, including students with disabilities and those impacted by socio-economic constraints.…Read More

PresenceLearning Hits Three Million Teletherapy Sessions Delivered

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, reached the milestone of delivering more than three million teletherapy sessions to students nationwide. This comes at the one-year mark of schools dealing with learning during a global health crisis.

“This year districts across the country embraced digital solutions to ensure that students receive the continuity of care they so urgently need, and more and more school providers experienced firsthand how teletherapy can positively impact the lives of their students. As we look ahead, we’re excited to continue working with our school partners to address gaps in equity and access,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning.…Read More

CASEL Board Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl Starts as NoVo Endowed Chair of SEL at UIC

CASEL Board of Directors Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl has begun her tenure as the next NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair of Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The position was created in 2011 to support ongoing social and emotional learning (SEL) research at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with support from the Novo Foundation. As the new NoVo Chair of SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl will take over for CASEL Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Roger Weissberg, who held the post since its creation.

Known as a world-renowned expert in SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl was a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1991 to 2020. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2021 Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy, and has been invited to participate in several dialogues with the Dalai Lama on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart.

“It is truly such an honor for me to take on this new role as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in SEL, and to join such an amazing group of faculty and students at UIC — a world-class university,” Dr. Schonert-Reichl said. “And, it is particularly meaningful to me to be returning to Chicago, where my interest and passion for SEL all began as a teacher. Indeed, it was during my years as a new teacher that my students taught me that the best learning happens when explicit attention is given to creating educational contexts that support and promote their social and emotional competence and well-being.”…Read More

Frontline Education Acquires SuccessEd

Frontline Education, a leading provider of school administration software for the K-12 education community, today announced that it has acquired SuccessEd, a Texas-based K-12 software provider. With this acquisition, Frontline enhances its commitment to serving the special education community.

“This new partnership between Frontline Education and SuccessEd brings a best-in-class relationship management and customer care model together with continuous technical innovation in product functionality,” said Mark Gruzin, CEO of Frontline Education. “Our combined organization will drive additional value and an enhanced client experience for our partners in special education management across the country.”

SuccessEd team members, most of whom are former educators, have worked on behalf of special education and special programs for over 25 years. This acquisition provides Frontline Education with an opportunity to further serve its special education and special programs clients through expanded levels of Texas state-specific domain expertise. As part of the Frontline Education family, SuccessEd clients will benefit from access to a broad portfolio of connected solutions that are purpose-built for K-12 schools and proactively adapted to the changing ways schools operate.…Read More

PresenceLearning Partners with the Council of Administrators of Special Education

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services for K-12 schools, today announced a new partnership with the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). Through this partnership, PresenceLearning will support the professional development of CASE members by providing access to its clinical experts and influential partners, as well as offering exclusive webinars, presentations, and other programming throughout the year and at the upcoming 2020 CASE Virtual Fall Conference on November 5-7, 2020.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our partnership with PresenceLearning. As the leaders in delivering special education related services to students via teletherapy and tele-assessment, they are uniquely positioned to help our members navigate this especially challenging school year. We look forward to bringing more of their clinical expertise and content to our members,” said Phyllis Wolfram, CASE Executive Director.

CASE is an international professional education organization of members dedicated to shaping policies and practices which impact the quality of education. It is one of 18 divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and supports members by providing opportunities to expand professional networks, exchange knowledge, and advance careers. Through this new partnership, CASE members will have opportunities to learn from PresenceLearning’s clinical experts, as well as influential partners such as Dr. Isaiah Pickens, CEO of iOpening Enterprises, who recently developed a trauma-informed, small group therapy program, for PresenceLearning to exclusively deliver remotely, designed to help students struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges.…Read More

Staying Connected During COVID-19 [Teacher Spotlight]: Karina Tran

In partnership with eSchool News, Illuminate Education is spotlighting teachers in a series recognizing educators, the way they have moved instruction online during COVID-19, and how they have prioritized the needs of their students.

Karina Tran
SDC K/1st-Moderate Severe Disabilities
Woodcrest Elementary School
Fullerton School District

“Don’t compare yourself to others, and just stay true to who you are as a teacher, and it will all fall into place.”…Read More

Online summit for all special education stakeholders

The 2020 Special Kids International Summit, presented by Kidskintha in partnership with UNESCO’s New Delhi Office and MindRocket Media Group, is a free online conference set to take place April 7-11. Session videos will also be archived for later viewing. The event is for all education stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, counselors, and special educators. Presenters include 30+ experts from the fields of neurology, psychology, teaching, entrepreneurship, and medicine, who will cover topics such as understanding ADHD and autism, supporting emotional regulation, advocating for the rights of your learners and much more. Register for free at https://www.kidskintha.com/kidskintha-spins-2020

 

…Read More