Be Ready to Return to School in the Fall
by Annmarie Iascone
Educators are sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for word on how the school year will look upon returning in August/September. Chances are that even with guidance in place, transitioning back to school this fall will be an on-going experiment.
Whether you return to school or not, life as we know it has changed and will continue to change as the fall brings unknown COVID-19 spikes or plateaus.
Be ready for that transition. Instead of feeling anxious, be ready for what might or might not happen. This school year could be a difficult one. Or, if you prepare now, your therapists, teachers, students, and their families can manage online therapy with ease.
Let E-Therapy help prepare you!
E-Therapy has been providing “distance online therapy” for over 11 years. Our telepractice includes expert speech language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health and counseling. We understand the steps you need to take to make this transition work and work well.
Critical steps to providing special education therapy sessions online
Here are some simple steps and approaches that can be used across all genres of distance learning but more specific to providing ancillary services remotely.
Secure, private teletherapy platform
Make sure you have a reliable, safe and HIPAA compliant teletherapy platform for your in-house therapists to hold sessions, track clinical notes and be able to upload and store documents related to the students profile.
E-Therapy’s STAR Teletherapy Platform gives your in-house therapists as many rooms as you have students, so it is private and extremely secure. You can also track clinical notes, print reports, upload documents, and utilize our calendar scheduling tool and instant messaging tool. Also included is our full library of professional development and resources/activities so your therapists do not have to start from scratch. As an administrator, you will have access to all your therapists student profiles and reporting.
Prepare your therapists to for online therapy
On-board all your teachers and therapists regardless of experience, this will ensure all your teachers are on the same page and there will be consistency. Consistency will be your key to a successful experience.
E-Therapy provides on-boarding whether you are licensing our STAR Teletherapy Platform or if our teletherapists are providing services for your students. In both instances you receive complete and total support throughout the entire process.
Formulate a plan to add additional therapists
Evaluate and plan for how many therapists you may need and have a back-up plan for additional therapists in case the need arises. E-Therapy lets you “keep us in your back pocket.” We can have you all set up and ready to go if you need us and then if you don’t – no problem. Call us if you do. There is no up-front cost or obligation once you sign on with us. Again, it’s better to be prepared!
Set and measure your learning goals
Unlike the spring, when everyone was scrambling just to get online, now you can develop and set clear goals for learning in a remote environment.
- What activities will your therapists use?
- How will you measure success?
Make sure your therapists have access to a mixture of content – everyone learns differently and that’s why E-Therapy provides 100s of activities for all different learning types. All of these are available to your therapists in STAR’s resources section, and it’s updated continually.
Regular check-ins to stay connected
Have a support system in place for your families as well as your therapists.
Mental health concerns for our students
Have your therapists check in with your student’s caregivers, especially the little ones. Notice things like how the student is behaving after your session. Are they frustrated? Are they happy? Do they talk about their session?
Our student’s mental health is a top priority as we return to school. E-Therapy has experienced counselors and mental health professionals to help you fill any gaps you may experience.
Comfortable and confident therapists
Together we can avoid the discomforts of last spring when teachers and therapists had to continue serving their students while simultaneously learning an unfamiliar system.
E-Therapy assigns a dedicated Account Manager, who is a therapist, to support you and your school. Whether you are an administrator looking to print a specific report into a hard copy or if your therapist has a question about an activity or logging in a session, your Account Manager is there specifically for you, to answer any and all questions.
E-Therapy is here for you and your school
We are a company full of therapists and educators, and we understand what a big transition this is. We are all here to support and listen to you!
Regardless of what state you are in, the transition to some form of remote learning is probably inevitable. Take the time now to revitalize and rejuvenate before jumping back in.
Come back with an open mind. It will help you navigate and prepare for what is to come – whatever that looks like.
Take advantage of people who have experience, like E-Therapy’s team of experts, to learn from and make it your own.
People who work in education are some of the most compassionate and caring people in our lives. Show that in the way you communicate with your students and families. They will feel much better about the whole experience knowing that your school district is there and is confident in the services they are providing. It all starts with being prepared.
If you have any questions or would like to take a look at our STAR Teletherapy Platform, please click on my calendly link to set up time to chat.