SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
November 2021 | Issue 13
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

This message is a request for your assistance in engaging students, in grades 6-12, with the implementation of Ohio's Whole Child Framework. The Ohio Association of Student Leaders and the Ohio Department of Education are collaborating to empower students to lead whole child efforts in their schools. The Ohio Association of Student Leaders and the Ohio Department of Education will host student-led roundtable discussions focused on Ohio's Whole Child framework. Student voice is critical to implement effective whole child supports. Roundtable discussions offer a way to engage students in a two-way communication opportunity. During these roundtables, students will have the opportunity to exercise their leadership skills while also co-designing whole child supports with their school administrators and educators. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join the round table discussions to share how schools are supporting them to be safe, healthy, engaged, supported, and challenged. Interested students are welcome to participate in one or multiple virtual discussions. Roundtable sessions will be held from 6-7 p.m. on the following Tuesdays:
  • Oct. 26
  • Nov. 16
  • Feb. 22
  • March 22 and;
  • April 19
Each discussion will focus on one of the five tenets, safe, healthy, engaged, supported and challenged. The first discussion will be on the topic of supporting healthy students. Please encourage your students to learn more and register at the Ohio Association of Student Leaders site. Details and link to join will be sent with their registration confirmation.

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

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 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
The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center
is accepting applications for family representatives on the
State Advisory Council for 2022
(The deadline to apply is November 19, 2021)

At the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center, work is guided by their State Advisory Council, a group of parents, caregivers, educators, and Ohio organization representatives. This dynamic and diverse group of leaders provides the center with valuable insights and connections. The members also connect with each other and form stronger networks of support for the families in their communities. Each year, additional family members are recruited to continue the commitment to have parents and caregivers representing over 50% of the 60+ members.

Family representatives on the council may serve from one to three years. A typical Advisory Council meeting provides members with information about family engagement, helps members connect with each other and resources in Ohio, asks members to provide guidance for the development of a tool, policy, or other resource, and requests assistance from members in building awareness of the importance of family engagement in their community. The Advisory Council meets four times a year, virtually, for about three hours.

The Advisory Council is seeking many different perspectives that represent the families of Ohio. Applications are limited to parents and caregivers who are not professional educators or administrators. In addition, children of parents and caregivers should be enrolled in the public school system. The deadline for applications is November 19, 2021. The application link to share with families is: 
Literacy PD Opportunities for Special Education
Next session is November 22, 2021
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.
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? Click here to register.
For additional information regarding Ohio's PBIS efforts, visit the Ohio Department of Education's PBIS web page.
Supporting Child and Student
Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs

Like physical health, positive mental health promotes success in life. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[m]ental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” In schools, we prioritize three critical and inter-related components of mental health: social (how we relate to others), emotional (how we feel), and behavioral (how we act) supports to promote overall well-being (Chafouleas, 2020).
The US Department of Education provides a comprehensive resource that is intended to supplement the information in the ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volumes 1 through 3, by providing focused information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and social and emotional well-being among students. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations.
EC PD Reminders

Infographics from NCPMI

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations has compiled infographics to help children and families cope with the challenges that might occur during stressful emergencies or national disasters. The COVID 19/emergency-related Pyramid Model provides timely information and useful tips.

Additionally, the Zero to Three organization provides information programs to share with parents to promote mask-wearing with young children.
Each Child Reads Grant Deadline
November 3, 2021

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.
2021-22 Educational Identification of Students with ASD Virtual Training Series

The process to identify and serve students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) requires a well-trained and experienced evaluation team. From creating your team to administering quality assessments to accurately interpreting findings and communicating with parents and families, it is critical to have the knowledge and skills to best support students with ASD. Join the Autism Center at OCALI for the Educational Identification of Students with ASD Training Series for the 2021-2022 school year. This introductory training series, with 10 two-hour sessions, is designed for school-based evaluation teams that want to learn about the process for educational identification of students with ASD.
Sign up your school-based evaluation team for the virtual training series Educational Identification of Students with ASD from @OCALIAutismCtr. Attend 10 two-hour sessions from Nov. 2021-March 2022. Click here to learn more and to register


Continuous Improvement Toolkit

As many of you are of our Statewide System of Support, Ohio has a Continuous Improvement Toolkit website. This website has a wealth of resources to support districts and schools with their continuous improvement efforts. A new resource that has been revised is the Ohio OIP Orientation PowerPoint. This revised tool provides both an orientation to Ohio Improvement Process and the Ohio Improvement Processes’ alignment to EdSteps. 

Report Card Guide

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


In psychology, self-determination is an important concept that refers to each person's ability to make choices and manage their own life...Self-determination allows people to feel that they have control over their choices and lives.

Teaching the skills that lead to a "self-determined life" should be done as a team sport with the student always being at the center of the planning. After all, it is about what the student wants, and that needs to be the primary consideration.

Self-Determination is not about a curriculum, but rather an instructional mindset that allows each student to make choices, take actions, and realize the consequences of those actions. It is also about opportunity, and especially opportunities in the more inclusive home, school, business, and community settings.

This month SST brings some resources to add to your own "self-determination toolbelt."

Self-Determination Resources

InspirED Virtual Learning Series

In September 2020, OCALI, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children, launched the InspirED Virtual Learning Series to support educators, education professionals, families, caregivers, and others during the pandemic and in new, remote learning environments. As part of this series, the InspirED for Families sessions are designed to connect families and caregivers with free information and resources to support accessibility, online learning, and more. From tips and ideas to specific resources and strategies, we encourage you to use and share these InspirED resources with the people in your own communities. Join OCALI for two upcoming InspirED virtual learnings sessions, including October 21: The Power of Family and Community-based Partnerships to Support the Whole Child and November 11: Ensuring Access to the General Curriculum for All Learners

Family-to-Family Video Series

The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center is developing Family-to-Family videos. These are 2-minute windows into the parenting world of other families on topics such as heading back to school, mental health and more. We can learn so much from each other to launch each child’s success in and out of school. There will be new topics added regularly, so be sure to come back again soon!
Each Child Our Future

With Ohio's Strategic Plan (Each Child, Our Future) focus being on the One Goal of annually increasing the percentage of Ohio's graduates' College and Career Readiness, and career education funding (HB 110) soon to be available to schools to enhance their career education programming, the word CAREER has taken center stage!

Since the 2015-2016 school year all school districts and Joint Vocational School Districts (JVSD) have had to adopt a policy on career advising. Included in this is the requirement to have Student Success Plans (grades 6-12) for students identified as being at risk of dropping out of school. This along with the requirement for all students starting in grade 9 to have a Graduation Plan points out the importance of planning early.

The foundation of the Ohio Career Advising Policy is the Career Connections Framework, which provides resources as Ohio's students move through career awareness to career exploration to career preparation.

In anticipation of the availability of funding (Career Awareness and Exploration Funds November 2nd Kick-Off Event) for enhanced career education in grades K-12, here are some outstanding resources to review:

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.