Best Practice: Coronavirus Readiness Guide

Impacts from coronavirus and COVID-19 have sent many districts, educators, and therapists scrambling to figure out how to handle this school year.

SLP Scheduler provides features to assist and equip you to adapt your therapy scheduling to help implement social distancing measures. These features are flexible enough to meet most districts' parameters, while still helping you to meet your IEP goals.

If some of the district parameters change mid-year, just update your SLP Scheduler caseload, and let the scheduling engine do all of the rejiggering for you.

Following showcases several social distancing measures that you may wish to consider for your caseload.

Tip: Conduct therapy virtually

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
When students in your caseload participate in distance learning programs, it may be required to conduct telepractice therapy. In the Caseload Editor, under the "Buildings" tab, add a new building called "Virtual".

Then, for each student utilizing virtual therapy, simply assign him/her to the new "Virtual" building. You'll also want to select the appropriate "Delivery Model" (Group/Individual/Unspecified).

If you have hybrid students (who attend in person some days and virtually other days), simply create a separate student in your caseload named "John Doe Virtual", and assign him/her to the new "Virtual" building.

Tip: Avoid group therapy sessions

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
When your weekly schedule can support it, and where IEP goals can tolerate it, conducting therapy sessions 1-on-1 with individual students limits unnecessary student exposure to other students. In the Caseload Editor, under the "Students" tab, select a Delivery Model of "Individual" for every student session.

Tip: Limit the number of students in group therapy sessions

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some states/districts place strict limits on the maximum number of students who can participate in group therapy sessions.

When your weekly schedule can support it, you may wish to voluntarily implement a *lower* maximum to protect your students even more.
In the Caseload Editor, under the "Therapists" tab, in the "Groups" section, look for the "Maximum Group Size" field. Set this to an appropriately low number.

Tip: Stagger weekly schedules (including alternating school days)

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some districts stagger their weekly schedules, so that only half of the student body is in the school building at any given time. This includes alternating days of the week, splitting the week into two halves, or even splitting mornings/afternoons. SLP Scheduler handles variations in weekly schedules using Student Rotations. Add a Student Rotation in the Caseload Editor for every unique weekly schedule that students follow in your school.

Then, simply assign each student in your caseload to their assigned Student Rotation. The scheduling engine will keep everything straight for you!

Tip: Stagger daily schedules (for lunch, recess, specials, etc.)

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some districts stagger lunchtimes, recess, and specials. Other districts remove recess and specials altogether. In the Caseload Editor, under the "Schedules" tab, you can block out days/times for an entire grade, or an entire classroom. As your district's needs change over time, these are easy to update.

Tip: Distance students by cohorting

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some districts group students into "cohorts", attempting to limit student interaction to those within his/her own cohort. SLP Scheduler uses the concept of Categories to keep certain groups of students apart. Simply create a Category for each cohort, and then assign each student in your caseload to one of the cohort categories. The scheduling engine will keep everything straight for you!

You can also tell the scheduling engine how to select students taking part in group therapy sessions. To minimize the number of classrooms represented by the students in group therapy sessions, set the "Minimize Classroom Count Cost" preference (on the "Therapists" tab) to a high value (like 10).

Tip: Reduce student:therapist ratio (including adding an SLP assistant)

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some districts limit the total number of students that a single therapist may service throughout the course of a normal week. Some districts may choose to implement this by adding an SLP assistant (SLPA) to help you service your caseload students. To add another therapist to help service your caseload, simply click the "+ Therapist" button on the "Therapists" tab in the Caseload Editor.

Tip: Insert time between in-person therapy sessions for routine disinfection

Description How to implement in SLP Scheduler
Some states/districts require sanitization procedures in your therapy room before/after each student session. These cleaning procedures take time away from your available therapy schedule. In the Caseload Editor, under the "Therapists" tab, in the "Buffers" section, look for the "Post-Session Recovery" field. Set this to the number of minutes that you desire between your sessions.

Then, scroll down, looking for the "Preserve Post-Session Recovery" field. Set this to a high value (like 10).

We're all in this together. If you'd like to contribute to the ideas on this page, please email us at help@slpscheduler.com with your suggestions. Thanks!

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