SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
October 2021 | Issue 12
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

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 in the article 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.

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

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 November 30, 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
November 16-19, 2021

OCALICON is the premier autism and disabilities conference where thousands of people from around the world come together to learn, network, and share research, best practices, and resources to support the life-long needs of individuals with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder and sensory and low-incidence disabilities. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of OCALICON, celebrating over a decade of transforming inspiration into action. Registration includes full access to both live and on-demand content. Click here to learn more about the upcoming conference.

OCALICONLINE 2021 Registration Windows:
June 16 - September 15, $200
September 16 - November 19, $225
Parent/Family/Student, May 3 - November 19, $50
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.

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

Noble Elementary School’s program of school, family, and community partnerships earned a 2021 Partnership School Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools

Noble Elementary, a school within the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, was recognized for making excellent progress in strengthening and sustaining a comprehensive program of school, family, and community partnerships. Noble Elementary, a member of NNPS, described how it is organizing a program to engage more and different families in ways that support school improvement goals for student success. The school's activity, Passport to Partnership, will be included in the new e-book of Promising Partnership Practices 2021 (page 42). NNPS requires evidence of good program development including teamwork, leadership, goal-linked plans for action, implementation with outreach to all families, evaluation, and network connections. “Noble is conducting evidence-based strategies to strengthen its welcoming climate and to engage parents and community partners in ways that improve student attendance, behavior, achievement, health, and other student outcomes,” said Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, Director of NNPS. “Even during the COVID-19 crisis, Noble Elementary continues to partner with all students’ families in productive ways.” Noble Elementary School will continue to strengthen its program of school, family, and community partnerships in the 2021-22 school year to help all students succeed at high levels. Read about NNPS at
The Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation is pleased to offer professional development to assist school districts in more effectively using paraprofessional services to support student learning. Paraprofessionals, teacher-para teams, and other district, school, and agency personnel are invited to participate. All the professional developments offer a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Professional Development focus areas are: Behavior Management, Supporting Paraprofessionals through Mentoring, Helping with Instruction, and Developing Cultural Competency, Contact hours are provided for participants who attend Zoom sessions and complete workshop assignments. Please click here for further information.
From Interaction to Formal Language
Become the excellent observer, thoughtful communicator, and creative designer of learning with children who are deafblind or have a low-incidence disability
Presented by:
Chris Montgomery M.Ed., TVI, Deafblind Education Consultant
Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement presents a state literacy framework to promote proficiency in reading, writing, and communication for all learners. Scientific research drives the plan and encourages a professional movement toward implementing data-driven, differentiated and evidence-based practices in literacy instruction for all learners.
This professional learning series is a collaborative offering from the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Approaches to Teaching and Professional Learning and the Office for Exceptional Children. The series aims to build the knowledge and skills of special educators in reading science. The series will introduce the research and theoretical models supporting reading science, assessment, and instruction within a multi-tiered system of support and developing reading profiles that support the instructional design to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.

Click here for additional information regarding upcoming sessions and registration.
Early Learning Resources

Welcoming students back to school means welcoming families! How do we make an impact in Early Childhood? Here are a few resources to make real connections. The first is an article on using technology with preschoolers to enrich learning and build relationships.
This is a case study (includes a 12 min video) on Alia who is a preschooler with autism, and her families experience with transitioning from virtual pre-k to going back to the classroom. There are reflective questions for you to consider as well as additional resources.

Distribution List Updates

SST3 Early Childhood would like to update its distribution list. Please contact Yvonne Daycak if you have had changes in your early childhood leadership.
Each Child Reads Grant Deadline

The Ohio Department of Education recently was awarded $42 million for a Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build on ongoing work to improve the language and literacy development of our state’s children. Approximately 95 percent of the award will be distributed directly to local districts, community schools and early childhood education programs to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth through grade 12.
This four-year subgrant will focus on developing model comprehensive literacy sites in early childhood education programs and district preschools as well as elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The model sites will concentrate on implementing practices consistent with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement. The grant also will support professional learning and coaching. The partnership between the model sites and the Department will allow early childhood education programs, districts, schools and families to improve student literacy and increase educational options available to students who have been traditionally underserved.

Please note! The Each Child Reads Grant deadline to apply is Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:59 p.m.
Inclusive Education Network

Join SST3 for our Inclusive Education Network on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Creating an equitable system to support all students is complex. This regional network is here to support you with this work. This year’s meeting focus will be 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. Register here.
Resources to promote inclusive mindsets

Explore Chapter 1 in this FREE video series for research and resources to promote inclusive mindsets and the belief that ALL individuals can participate in and learn challenging content to improve knowledge and skills.

The public comment period for Special Education Indicator Target Setting began on September 27th. All stakeholders who serve or have a connection to students with disabilities can provide input on Ohio’s next series of targets for the federal special education indicators. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) established a series of special education “indicators” to measure services and results for students with disabilities. The new IDEA Annual Performance Report package requires states to set targets across indicators through the 2025-2026 school year. Ohio’s performance on each special education indicator is compared to the targets for annual federal reporting. Additionally, states must publicly report the performance of each district in the state in comparison to the targets. Ohio does this through each district’s Special Education Profile. Indicator targets must be rigorous, yet attainable and reflect broad stakeholder input. Targets for the final year (2025- 2026) must reflect improvement over the state’s baseline data. The public comment period will close on Oct. 29. Questions can be sent to:
Engaging with Implementation Teams

How are your teaming structures and practices working so far this school year? Do your teams need some support? Have you considered what they might need? This ASCD article Eight Things Teams Do to Sabotage Their Work is a quick read and will provide you some food for thought as you lead and/or engage with implementation teams (TBT, BLT, DLT, Literacy, PBIS, etc.) this school year. 

Report Card Guide

The 2021 Report Card Guide is now available. Report cards are scheduled to be released on October 14, 2021. In addition to the guide, FAQs are available as well as a quick view document highlighting data availability for this year. 

Cuyahoga County Transition Collaborative (CCTC)

The CCTC is a multi-agency partnership. State support Team Region 3, the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD), Transition Specialists, and Parent Mentors participate in quarterly virtual meetings to discuss topics of interest to all, and strengthen our collaborative partnership.

This year, the CCTC will hold the first 3 scheduled meetings from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on October 20th, January 19th, and April 27th. The fourth meeting date of the 21-22 school year has yet to be determined.

If you are engaged in secondary transition at your school, and you would like to be added to the CCTC email list, please contact Robert Ross at

HB 110 Graduation Updates
With House Bill 110

There have been changes to the graduation requirements and potential pathways for students with disabilities. This link will take you to the entire bill. Pages 169-173 speak directly to these changes. Please contact your SST 3 Transition Consultants with and questions that you may have.

The Journey Continues

Don't miss the upcoming The Journey Continues webinars offered by OCALI
It Starts with Families

OCALI, in partnership with the Ohio Employment First Taskforce and its member agencies, have created, It Starts with Families, a guide that provides research on the contributing factors and impact families with loved ones with disabilities face. The guide also includes important definitions and links to supporting resources.

This guide is part of a larger, cross-agency professional learning experience planned for Spring 2022, designed for local professionals working to prepare, involve and empower families of students with disabilities as they transition from secondary education to adulthood.
Ultimately, the guide and training are designed to support local professionals serving individuals and their families to:

  • become familiar with the research around families,
  • learn how to better design family engagement strategies, and
  • to reach all families, and build trust, rapport and successful partnerships with families through culturally responsive practices.

We hope this guide helps you to commit to Ohio’s mission of developing and implementing universally designed approaches that will ensure all families have the necessary knowledge and skills regarding transition education and services and are involved in all aspects of transition planning. Questions? Contact
Career Tech Resources

As Career-Technical Education rolls into Fall, we bring you some latest resources and training opportunities offered locally, regionally, and statewide. The pace of change is fast, so it is important to make sure that career-tech stays on top of these changes!

If you are a Career-Technical and/or Special Education Leader and have not been invited to our quarterly network meetings, please contact Robert Ross at to be added to our email mailing list. At each meeting, we bring "must know" information and resources to those involved with the equitable access to career-tech programs by students with disabilities and other underrepresented student groups.

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.