SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
April 2021 | Issue 7
Hello and Welcome!
Welcome to the SST3 newsletter! Each month SST3 will share updates, educational topics that might be of interest to you, and upcoming professional development. We encourage you to review this information, share it with others and visit our website for additional information. We also would appreciate learning of topics that would support your work.
Director's Update

Recently, I learned about a book of poems called History Will Remember When the World Stopped: poems from a pandemic by Donna Ashworth from my friend, Jane, who lives in Massachusetts. Knowing that I am in the field of education, she shared this poem with me. I found it to be so moving and wanted to share with others:

In twenty years’ time...
People will not ask the children of 2020 if they caught up with their studies.
They will not ask them what grades they made, despite the year off school.
They will ask them with wonder ‘what was it like?’
They will ask them ‘how did you cope?’
‘How did you feel?’
‘What do you remember of those days?”
They will listen in awe to the tales of clapping on doorsteps for the medical workers.
They will sit open-mouthed to hear of daily walks being the only life we saw and how much we missed human contact and gatherings.
They will be amazed to know about empty supermarkets, online concerts, birthdays spent on a screen and a life lived inside.
They will listen, then sit back with amazement and say, ‘Wow. You went through so much.’
So, think about what you would like your children to take away from this whole year.
Tell them they are not behind.
Tell them they are not missing out.
Tell them they are extremely special indeed and they will be forever made stronger by this unique time.
Tell them catching up is not even a thing because they have grown so much in so many other ways.
Remind them too of the fun stuff, the family jigsaws, the window rainbows, the zoom bingo.
The feeling of safety and togetherness amidst the chaos.
Let them take that thought with them through life.
Change the narrative now and it will travel far.
Tell the children they are not behind.
They are special.
They are special.
Happy Spring! Hopefully, you all are either amid a spring break or planning for one. Stay safe!

Michele (Shelly) Gaski
Director, State Support Team Region 3 (Serving Cuyahoga County)

SST Monthly Highlight
Trauma-informed Care Virtual Summit
May 18-19, 2021
The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Mental Health and Addiction Services will present a virtual Trauma-Informed Care Summit on May 18-19, 2021. The purpose of the 8th annual Summit is to move our systems beyond trauma-informed to trauma-competent with a specific focus on trauma-informed care in a pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, we are amid a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Where the focus may often be on recognizing COVID-19 symptoms, it is also important to recognize that this time of crisis and trauma may lead to physical, emotional, and social challenges for many. Click here for further information and to register for this event.
SST 3 Book Studies
In the coming months, SST3 will conduct a series of book studies that will explore such topics as literacy, behavior management in early childhood, academic growth, phonemic awareness, and other areas of interest. Each book study is designed to engage participants to think deeper on a specific topic. The first 30 people to register from Region 3 (Cuyahoga County) will receive a free book for each book study! (If you are from outside of Region 3, you will be placed on a waitlist and you will need to provide your own book.) The maximum number of participants is 30. A minimum of 10 participants must be registered to hold each book study.

The book studies consist of synchronous and asynchronous learning models. Participants are expected to read the text, respond to questions, interact with other participants for the duration of the book study, and fully engage in all activities to receive contact hours. No partial credit will be given. Please refer to the table below for the list of upcoming book studies and click on the links provided to register for the book study of your choice. Information regarding additional studies will be available soon.
Explicit Instruction 
By Anita Archer
Anita Archer maintains that in the quest to maximize student’s academic growth, one of the best tools available to educators is explicit instruction, a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills.

Dates: April 1-June 24, 2021
Zoom Meetings: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., April 29, May 27, and June 24.

Beyond Behavior Management: The Six Life Skills Children Need
By Jenna Bilmes
This resource provides everything you need to help children build and use six essential life skills: attachment, belonging, self-regulation, collaboration, contribution, and adaptability. Developed and tested in the classroom, this strength-based approach includes strategies, examples of supportive interactions, and special activities to help you manage challenging behaviors and strengthen social and emotional development in all children. Reflecting significant changes in early childhood education, this second edition of Beyond Behavior Management aligns each life skill with early learning standards and addresses cultural awareness and its impact on child development.

Dates: April 9- May 14, 2021
Zoom Meetings: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., April 9, April 30, and May 14.

Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy
By Ghouldy Muhammand
Muhammand “presents a teaching and learning model that brings the history of illustrious African American literary societies to bear on the way we teach today. The four-layered framework - identity, skills development, intellect, and criticality - is essential for all young students, especially students of color, who traditionally have been marginalized by learning standards, government policies, and school practices”.

Dates: April 29 - May 27, 2021
Zoom Meetings: 3:00 -4:00 p.m. April 29, May 13, and May 27.

Normal Sucks
By Jonathan Mooney
According to Jonathan Mooney, normal masquerades as a universal human truth. But the reality is, it has a history of invention, not discovery. The word normal didn't enter the English language until the 1860s. Normal arose in a cultural context of industrialization and standardization when there was a social imperative to make everything — and everyone — the same. It’s got to go. Difference is essential. Difference is the universal human truth. We are all permutations of the species. Every human being has value. And every human being has the right to be different. Stop faking normal. Resist normal. Celebrate the power of different.

Dates: April 22 - May 20, 2021
Zoom Meetings: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., April 22, May 6, and May 20.

Parent Video Series to Support the Learning of Children with Significant Cognitive Disabilities at Home
NCEO and the TIES Center, both funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, have jointly published the first four videos in a series for parents of K-12 students with significant cognitive disabilities. The videos, available on NCEO’s YouTube Channel address various aspects of supporting the learning of children with significant cognitive disabilities at home.
News You Can Use
Literacy Academy 2021 Content Now Available

The Ohio Department of Education is offering all content from the Literacy Academy 2021 on demand. Viewing guides for each learning strand are available here. The viewing guides include three recorded presentations and pre- and post- activities. Districts and schools are encouraged to utilize these resources as a part of a comprehensive professional learning plan that is data-driven, sustained, intensive, collaborative, job-embedded and instructionally focused. Questions should be sent to ComprehensiveLiteracy@education. Please note that closed captioning will be added soon to all Literacy Academy On Demand video presentations.

Virtual Learning Assistance for Children on IEPs

Ohio' preschool children on with disabilities receiving services through their IEP can get assistance with virtual learning through
Families can apply for assistance for free and get matched with a learning provider by browsing the list of providers to find the assistance they need for their family. Learning providers have completed background checks, and are willing and able to offer supplemental support during this unprecedented time.
You must fill out an application and be approved by the Down Syndrome Association of Ohio (DSACO) to begin services.

Ohio’s BOLD Beginning! website

This website is now the premier way for Ohio’s parents, grandparents, caretakers, teachers, and childcare programs to access all things related to early childhood in Ohio’s state agencies. This website now houses information that was formerly found on the Early Childhood Ohio (ECO) webpage along with many new resources.

Early Childhood PBIS Network Meetings

SST3 is hosting four virtual Early Childhood PBIS Network Meetings. 12:00-12:30 on the dates that follow. Topics are suggested/discussion-driven by attendees. Register using the links below:

Year End Assessments

PBIS Teams: This is a great time of the year to complete your Tiered Fidelity Inventory, Tiers I, II and III, as well as the Self-Assessment. Spring completion allows you to effectively action plan for next school year. Please click on the links below for the TFI, SAS and Action Plan documents:

Aligning Expectations

How do we align our expectations with our students? Ever wonder if students understand what is meant by the school’s behavior expectations?

Teach by Design as put forth the article, "Respect: Find Out What It Means to Me...Actually Ask Your Students" in PBISApps, and it provides tools and strategies to help educators navigate the common yet complex problem of aligning expectations. It offers insight on how to make your classrooms more effective and equitable places where you spend more time teaching and less time negotiating student behavior. Click here to access the Teach by Design guidelines.
Each Child Means Each Child:
Ohio’s Plan to Improve Learning Experiences and Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

Building on Each Child, Our Future, and modeling its partnership-based approach, the Ohio Department of Education convened stakeholders to craft a plan aimed at improving learning experiences and outcomes for students with disabilities. Beginning in January 2019 and wrapping up in December 2019, stakeholders and staff from the Department worked together to identify a set of recommendations for increasing literacy skills, improving disproportionality, promoting postsecondary success, fostering inclusive leadership, and advancing high-quality instructional practices among educators who serve students with disabilities.

These recommendations ultimately resulted in Each Child Means Each Child: Ohio’s Plan to Improve Learning Experiences and Outcomes for Students with Disabilities.
Each Child Means Each Child offers recommendations, tactics, and action steps to ensure Ohio’s 270,000 students currently enrolled in public schools who have been identified with disabilities benefit from the vision and core principles heralded in Ohio's strategic plan for education. Click here to view ODE's full report.
Implementation Stages Planning Tool
As your district or school completes your One Needs Assessment to determine your priority needs and begins to develop your One Plan, the Implementation Stages Planning Tool from the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN, 2020), is an excellent tool to use whether you are considering a new implementing a new evidence-based practice or scaling up a current improvement initiative that involves multiple practices and programs. Successful implementation of an initiative takes intentional planning and time for it to be successful since it involves many decisions and action steps across departments and/or implementation teams. While implementation is not a linear process, the trajectory of implementation can be predicted using specific stages: 
NIRN (2020) identifies the following four implementation stages: 
  • EXPLORATION: Exploration involves an assessment of assets and needs of the focus population, fit of the program or practice with those needs and assets, and feasibility of implementation.
  • INSTALLATION: Installation involves building the infrastructure necessary to implement the program or practice, which includes building practitioner and organizational capacity.
  • INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION: Initial implementation includes the initial efforts of staff to use the program or practice, with attention to using data for continuous improvement.
  • FULL IMPLEMENTATION: Full implementation occurs as staff uses the program or practice successfully, and population-level outcomes are achieved.

Consider using this tool to determine your district's or school's current stage of implementation which can guide you to determine specific action steps to focus your implementation and improvement efforts. NIRN has many excellent resources ( to assist with implementation improvement. NIRN's work is grounded around the implementation drivers of competency, organization, and leadership. Watch this short video to learn more about NIRN's work and resources to improve the implementation of evidence-based practices in your district or school: Active Implementation Formula. Should have you any questions, please contact your SST consultant or Lindsay Slater at
Industry Recognized Credentials

During the recent Region 3 Transition Network Meeting, the topic of Industry Recognized Credentials for students who may not be enrolled in career-technical education was discussed. Finding creative and "out of the box" ideas to help Ohio's students earn these credentials has increased interest, since it may be used as one of the pathways to an Ohio high school diploma, effective Class of 2023. Additionally, an increase in the number of students earning these credentials can also increase schools' post-school readiness measure.

A link to ODE's website for Industry Recognized Credentials can be found below. State Support Team 3 is here to assist Region 3 districts in exploring the various partnerships with the business community to provide resources in providing support to students seeking these valuable credentials.

Trauma Informed Care Toolkit

The Department of Developmental Disabilities created a toolkit   
for learning more about caring for people with developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma. By using a TIC approach in receiving supports and services, people experience an improved quality of care, improved safety for patients and staff, decreased use of seclusion and restraint, and improved engagement and satisfaction. Overall, there are better outcomes when TIC is used.

Parent Training and Information Center

There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US and Territories. These Centers perform a variety of direct services for children and youth with disabilities, families, professionals, and other organizations that support them.

Some of the activities include:
  • Working with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26.
  • Helping parents participate effectively in their children’s education and development.
  • Partnering with professionals and policy makers to improve outcomes for all children with disabilities.

The Ohio Coalition for the Education for Children is the Parent Training and Information Center for Ohio. The regional Informational Specialist/Trainer is Lisa Lutz, M.A.  
Career Tech Resources

Happy Spring CTE supporters! This month, we highlight some resources that enhance and reinforce the equitable access to the outstanding career-technical education programs offered in our region! 

We are happy to share resources that are valuable in promoting equal access to CTE for all students, engaging families and parents as partners, and removing barriers to positive postsecondary readiness. Links to these resources can be found below.

We invite you to join our next CTE/SPED Leadership Network meeting scheduled for April 22nd. Our topics will include Middle School CTE and Equality in the CTE Application Process. Click here to register for this meeting.

CTE Resources:
Professional Development
State Support Team 3 is offering several opportunities for professional development. Click here to view our calendar of events. Please visit this site often as ever-changing circumstances may warrant cancellation or postponement of scheduled events.
Reset and Restart Planning Guide
Essential Information for

Information regarding Ohio's Reset and Restart plan is available to assist parents, families, caregivers and educators as they navigate the world of remote learning during this unprecedented time. Review for timely updates.
Our Moral Imperative:
To ensure equitable access and achievement for all students, State Support Team 3 partners with districts and community schools to support inclusive leadership and collaborative teams in the implementation of an effective Multi-Tiered System of Support.

Belief Statement: 
We believe that ALL children/students have the right to belong, learn, and thrive in a
proactive, integrated, and rigorous learning environments.