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be awesome to use the robot in multiple classes.” The advantages to her telepresence is more than just getting a better grasp on the subject matter. “What the other students feel about this is really cool, because they like meeting her,” said Jennifer Robinett, McKenna’s sophomore math teacher. “Now it’s second nature. I log her in about five minutes before class, she moves the robot up, gets in place and all the students come by and say hi to her. It allows her to interact with other students and not just be by herself. She can see the smart board, she can see everything in my lecture and it gives her an opportunity to ask questions and experience school like her classmates. Students think this is fantastic and they just won’t stop talking about it.” The logistics of moving the robot from classroom to classroom has been met with obstacles, but it’s a problem Executive Director of Special Education Karen McKnight is brainstorming. “She is very artistic,” McKnight said of McKenna. “She really wants to take other classes like photography and we have talked about different ways to move her around the building to send her to other classes in the future. We’re going to gradually move toward that direction. What will be difficult is maneuvering if we have to change floors. We can find some other classes on that same level where the other art classes are and she’s very interested in that.” McKnight first learned about the Double robot technology last September at a conference and immediately thought of McKenna. “We have received several thousand dollars in grants through Missouri Assistive Tech, but this is probably the most unique one we have gotten so far,” McKnight said. “Right now, McKenna is just attending the one hour at school through a virtual instructional program. That’s free of cost to the district because she’s medically fragile and she participates in online classes. That was working out better for her rather than sending a homebound teacher.” It is working out better for McKenna, too. Her robot double allows her to make personal connections with others her age in her never-ending search for hope. “From day one, she loved the robot. She gets to interact with her teacher and her classmates. It’s inspired her to learn and to do more,” Justin said. “... We are always pushing for a new cure. We’ve been all around the U.S. We are trying to fight every day for new hope.” 819 North Main, Nixa, MO 417-725-2332 Serving Southwest MO Dr. Ryan Bader, DVM Mixed Animal Practice Farm Calls • Boarding • Emergency 474645s Providing Quality and Compassionate Care for Your Pets and Farm Animals Touchstone Counseling Let us help your family fi nd new ways and answers for your child’s mental and emotional needs. Here at Touchstone our goal is to help your child grow so that he or she may overcome adversity and reach their greatest potential. Individual programs are available to help your child who might be struggling with any of the following: • Behavioral Issues • Grief/Loss • Social Skills • Shyness • Bullying • Time Management • Appropriate Decision Making • Peer Pressure Most insurances accepted along with Missouri Medicaid and sliding fee scale. 5608 N. 13th Ave • Ozark, MO 65721 417-581-6911 • www.touchstonehelping.com 474637s FALL 2016 THE NEST NIXA PUBLIC SCHOOLS MAGAZINE 19


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