Virtual speech therapy beginning soon at Evarts Elementary

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:57 PM EDT
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EVARTS, Ky. (WYMT) - A virtual speech therapy service through eLuma is expected to begin at Evarts Elementary within the next week.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

The Harlan County Board of Education approved the service in a special meeting held on Sept. 11.

The need for the service became apparent when the school year began and there was still a vacant speech therapist position.

“We looked for a person to fill the position with throughout all summer,” Special Education Consultant, Jennifer Brock said. “Once school started that’s when we were looking for other options.”

While a certified speech pathologist will still be used, the services will be provided virtually to the students.

Evarts Elementary principal, Needham Saylor, said the new style is an exciting and unique way to get students the help they need.

”I’m excited about the opportunity,” Saylor said. “I think it’s something new and it’s something innovating. You’ve got a lot of today’s kids used to dealing with things online, dealing with devices so it’s kind of right down their alley. I always like the idea of that one-on-one but I think this is something exciting and it can be very beneficial to kids.”

Evarts Elementary currently splits the duties of speech therapy up between two therapists who have a full load and need more time with their students.

Saylor said despite the services being online, the goals do not change.

“We want to see them grow and express their feelings and thoughts more clearly,” Saylor said.

Saylor said they need to wait to analyze how the services go before deciding if they will continue with online speech therapy or if they will revert to doing more in-person instruction.