SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
December 2021 | Issue 14
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 Message

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes in 2022

In 2021, educators, students, and colleagues once again faced a challenging year fraught with uncertainty, yet guided by a collective optimism and can-do spirit. As this year draws to a close, and as we prepare to celebrate family, commemorate traditions, and enjoy the season of giving, let us endeavor to carry that hopeful attitude forward into the new year. SST3 is forever grateful for the opportunity to serve our region’s districts, schools, educators, and students, and we enthusiastically look forward to a new year filled with incredible positivity, and generous achievement. We wish everyone a safe holiday season and a happy new year. See you all in 2022!

Best Regards,
Michele (Shelly) Gaski
Director for the State Support Team (Region 3 Cuyahoga County)

Inclusive Instructional and Organizational Leadership Program for School District/Central Office Leaders
Meeting the needs of each child in each school district in Ohio is critical to the future of Ohio’s children, youth, families, and communities. But educational leadership has never been more challenging. Practical support to Central Office personnel can expand their capacity to act strategically to meet the needs. This Professional Learning Series helps central office personnel — individuals and district teams —to learn about inclusive instructional and organizational leadership from world-class presenters through an 18-month sequence of targeted, practical experiences. It supports the use
of existing structures (e.g., OIP leadership teams) to examine, refine, extend, and support the achievement of district priorities around teaching and learning.

Click here for registration and session information.
Announcing SST3 Mini-grants

In FY22, SST3 is able to provide limited financial support to LEAs in the form of reimbursement for costs associated with the implementation of specific initiatives and/or strategies identified in improvement plans and supported by SST PD/coaching. This grant is open to all SST3 (Cuyahoga County only) districts and community schools; however, priority will be given to districts and community schools based on support status and special education indicator status. 
For additional information about logistics (timeline, process), see the details below or contact Theresa Richardson, SST Administrative Assistant, by email at or by phone at 216-446-3818.
For additional information about allowable costs aligned to improvement plans, please contact Dr. Lindsay Slater, SST School Improvement Coordinator by email at or by phone at 216-446-3819.
SST3 Mini-grant Details
Up to $5,000 for an initiative aligned to the SST3 Scope of Work as outlined in our Grant Agreement in one of the following areas:
  • Climate
  • CTE
  • Secondary Transition 
  • Early Childhood
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Inclusive Education
  • Literacy
  • School Improvement

  • Applications are released in October 2021. 
  • Applications are due by December 15, 2021.
  • SST3 will review applications in December 2021. This scoring rubric will be used in the evaluation process.
  • Contact person and district treasurer will be notified via email by January 15, 2022, of award status.
  • Funds may be spent between January 15-April 30, 2022.
  • The reimbursement invoice must be submitted by April 30, 2022.

Funds are available on a reimbursement basis only. The district is responsible for initially covering all costs of the mini-grant. Contact your district treasurer to ensure communication regarding your intent to apply this mini-grant and to ensure understanding of reimbursement procedures. The district will need to submit an invoice, including receipts or other proof of purchase, to SST3 for reimbursement of costs associated with this mini-grant. Your treasurer will also need to acknowledge your intent to apply. 

Complete the mini-grant application outlining your scope of work including:

  • Initiative Overview (including the purpose, benefit and evidence base behind the initiative)
  • Statement of Need (as outlined in district/community school’s One Needs Assessment)
  • Statement of alignment to district/community school’s One Plan and other district/school improvement plans (special education indicators, SIDR, ADC, etc.)
  • Intended outcomes (student and adult indicators), goals, and action steps of the initiative
  • Proposed budget and implementation timeline
  • Plan for evaluation of effectiveness
  • Plan to sustain this initiative beyond the grant period
  • Contact for the initiative including the district treasurer
OLAC/PBIS Showcase
Thirty-five school buildings from Cuyahoga County will be honored at the 2021 OLAC/PBIS Showcase on December 9, 2021, for their outstanding implementation of PBIS. These school buildings demonstrated intentional application of PBIS as a framework and a commitment to addressing student behavior by strengthening their systems.

Congratulations to Euclid City Schools and Garfield Heights City Schools for being recognized for their 2021 Award-winning District-Wide Implementation.

Interested in attending this event? The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register. Like past events, attendees can expect high quality content from experts and practitioners from around the state and across the U.S., as well as opportunities to network and collaborate—the only change will be that it will be from the comfort of your own home or office.

For additional information regarding Ohio's PBIS efforts, visit the Ohio Department of Education's PBIS web page.
Culturally Responsive PBIS

PBIS emphasizes early intervention and prevention, continuous progress monitoring, data-based decision-making, evidence-based practices, interventions, and the coordination of school resources and activities. In the past, PBIS has been viewed as "culture-neutral" that would work universally across all contexts and groups if implemented with high fidelity. However, there have been recent efforts to apply a Culturally Responsive PBIS Framework. CRPBIS operates on 4 interacting components. They include the consideration of individual factors, institutional factors, interpersonal factors(how the school culture engages with the community), and infrastructure (the signature factors that make a community stand out from other communities). Click here to view the guidance on implementing CRPBIS.

Oral Language/Phonological Awareness, Reading and Writing in Early Childhood Education is a virtual 3-day series of research-based instructional practices for ‘intentionally’ creating and developing your teaching practices to optimize the learning and development of emergent literacy skills in early childhood. This series incorporates evidence-based strategies to intentionally facilitate literacy practices and interventions for all students.

The application has been uploaded and is now available on the Department’s PSE webpage. The waiver is only available for the following reasons:
A. Co-Taught Class: Exceeding the maximum of eight children with disabilities enrolled in a co-taught class.
B. Public School Preschool General Education Class: Exceeding the maximum of six children with disabilities enrolled in a public school preschool general education class.
C. Itinerant Intervention Specialist
Caseload: Exceeding the maximum of 20 children with disabilities on an itinerant intervention specialist’s caseload.

Four Reading Strategies to Retire This Year (Plus Six to Try Out!)

In this Edutopia article, author Sarah Gonser notes that "It’s not uncommon for classroom literacy practices to stick around in spite of...well-established research and readily available resources offering a variety of research-based alternatives for improving reading fluency and deepening comprehension and engagement." Gonser takes a look at a few popular literacy practices that shouldn’t make the cut—along with fresh strategies that experienced teachers and literacy experts recommend instead.
Disproportionality Leader Network
December 7, 2021

Are you assisting your district with root cause analysis? This regional network is here to support you with this work. This year’s network focus is on Equity in Special Education: Understanding and Addressing Disproportionality. Get the information you need to examine and address disproportionality findings, examine root causes and proactively plan how to avoid future findings. Click here further information. This network is intended only for special education directors, supervisors and their curriculum directors.

OCALI Teaching Diverse Learner Center 
Design Rich Tier I Core Instruction and Assessment

Explore Chapter 2 in this FREE video series for research and resources to support the educators in your district. Planning for instruction is one of the most critical actions educators can take to ensure that ALL learners are provided with meaningful, accessible, and grade-appropriate instruction. Unfortunately, research also shows that many learners with disabilities do not receive full access to the general curriculum. With the right guidance and supports, educators can reshape planning practices. Access to Tier I instruction and assessment, paired with Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) and/or intervention, has the power to fill gaps in knowledge and skills leading to better long-term planning and future outcomes.
One Needs Assessment, One Plan Training Sessions

The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Federal Programs will be hosting One Needs Assessment and New One Plan training sessions starting in January 2022. Districts and community schools will attend the training sessions based on their cohort membership. Cohort assignments can be found when you log in to your CCIP or here. As a reminder, ALL districts and community schools use the EdSteps tools of the One Needs Assessment and New One Plan to determine root causes and develop their continuous improvement plans. Cohort 2 districts and community schools have a deadline of March 31, 2022, for the completion of their One Needs Assessment and One Plan. All other districts and community schools have a deadline of June 30, 2022. 
Information for training dates for all cohorts can be found in CCIP Note #485. Cohort 2 Enhanced One Needs Assessment/New One Plan/CCIP Application is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Thursday, January 20, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Registration is in STARS. 
New OLAC Module

Check out this new OLAC module (released on November 3, 2021) entitled Shared Accountability-The Why, Who, How and What of Teams. Included with this resource is a set of discussion and reflective questions and activities, with separate resources for TBTs, BLTs, and DLTs. 
Transition Enhancement Funds Available

You have seen that the State Support Team Region 3 has mini-grants available to help you take your secondary transition program to the next level? Did you also know that each year, SST 3 receives funds from the Ohio Department of Education called Transition Enhancement Funds (TEF)? TEF funds are available to any SST 3 school/district to assist in enhancing your family engagement efforts, or your self-determination skill-building instruction. Both positive family engagement and student self-determination skills are foundational to college and/or career readiness.

The steps to access funding from the TEF are straightforward. Schools/districts complete a brief self-review tool in the areas of family engagement, or self-determination. Once indicators for improvement are identified, a scope of work form is completed, which outlines how you would use the available funds. This link will take you to the TEF information document. SST 3 support in completing the self-review and the scope of work is part of the process. Contact Bob Ross for assistance and further information
ODE Publication for Families

The Ohio Department of Education has developed a family-friendly guide called "Restraint and Seclusion, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) in Ohio Schools. What Parents Need to Know." You can view and download it from this link

Family Engagement Leadership Summit

Did you miss the September Ohio Family Engagement Leadership Summit? All of the sessions are available to watch on-demand! Check out the session descriptions and links in this month’s Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center November newsletter

InspirED Virtual Learning Session 
Building Strong Family-School Partnerships 
December 16. 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Families are an important asset in the equation of ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to live their best lives. Explore strategies for building partnerships between families and school staff members, including how to nurture these partnerships and navigate the barriers that have been posed by the pandemic.
Gwen Harshaw, Director, Family & Community Outreach Center, OCALI

Dr. Barbara Boone, Principal Investigator and Director, Ohio Statewide Family Engagement

Work-based Learning

Federal law defines work-based learning as “sustained interactions with industry or community professionals in real workplace settings, to the extent practicable, or simulated environments at an educational institution that fosters in-depth, firsthand engagement with the tasks required in a given career field, that are aligned to curriculum and instruction.”

Work-based learning experiences are conducted at a worksite during or after school. They are designed to provide authentic learning experiences to students that link academic, technical, and professional skills. Business and education partners work together to evaluate and supervise the experience, which must be documented with learning agreements.

Overall, work-based learning experiences are guided by the terms on which, the business and the student agree upon. A training or learning plan including assumptions and agreements is essential to the success of a program such as this.

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.
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.