SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
May 2023 | Issue 28
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

Greetings Colleagues. This month I want to take the opportunity to bring awareness and recognition to Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year and 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. In addition, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14. These statistics on the incidence of mental illness speak to the importance of mental health. I know how hard districts and schools work to provide mental health support to all students and targeted support to students who need more assistance. 
This year we have had the privilege of adding Rhonda Reid, LISW-S, as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant to our SST team. She joins us from the Achievement Centers. Rhonda recently shared these resources for Mental Health Awareness Month. I am passing them along to you. The theme for 2023 Mental Health Month is “Look Around, Look Within.” The focus is on examining how our environment impacts our mental health. Here are some fact sheets to explore how our homes, neighborhoods, housing, and nature contribute to our mental well-being. In addition, there is a link to the Workplace Mental Health Toolkit which is a wonderful resource. The final resource is the Take a Mental Health Test - MHA Screening ( is an online screening tool to access if you are experiencing mental health symptoms and resources and tools to help improve mental health.
My hope is that even in the midst of the business of the final weeks of school this month or next, you find some time to focus on your own mental health and support your colleagues and/or students to do the same

Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski
State Support Team Region 3
ED STEPS - Cohort 3:
  • Cohort 3 will be completing the One Needs Assessment and One Plan with ODE feedback this school year.  
  • Be sure to review the checklists of the departments that will be reviewing your One Plan. The reviewing departments are identified underneath the “Create/View Plan” in the One Plan. The checklists can be found on Pages 52-68 in the ED STEPS Comprehensive User Manual.

Due Dates:  
  • Cohort 1 and 2’s due date is June 30, 2023, with funding application submission.
Cohort 3 Fiscal Year 2024 Planning: If you are in cohort 3, you should be planning for FY24. Please note that for this fiscal year, you will be completing a 3-year plan that starts with completing the One Needs Assessment in FY24. For those that were previously pilot districts, you are now part of Cohort 3. For help see the One Needs Assessment questions and triggers below and the One Plan Cohort video series
 ED STEPS – ODE open office hours (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)
  • Open office hours will be every Thursday until May 30, 2023. 
Please click this link to join: Open Office Hours
You're invited to join YWCA Greater Cleveland's Racial Justice Challenge!
The challenge will run from April 17th – May 15th, 2023. The Challenge is a virtual learning tool designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. All new content is released on weekdays and participants log on to the challenge app on their phone or visit the website and are presented with 21 days of activities such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, or reflecting on personal experience. Click here to join the challenge.
Literacy Academy - June 8, 2023
The Ohio Department of Education’s Literacy Academy is returning in person on June 8, 2023, in Columbus! The sixth annual Literacy Academy will provide professional learning to support the use of evidence-based language and literacy practices. This event is intended for Ohio districts, schools, and early childhood education programs working toward raising literacy achievement. There are no registration fees to attend this event. Registration is now open! Please check our website for registration information. 
Questions may be sent to
10th Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit
The Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Developmental Disabilities, and Education announce the 10th Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit: Pathways to Resilience, Healing, and Recovery May 16-17 in Columbus.
The goal of the summit is to move systems beyond being trauma-informed to providing trauma-responsive competent care, services, and support. When care and support are trauma-responsive, students and staff build their resiliency and thrive in academics and wellness. The summit will hold sessions for teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals on classroom-based interventions, staff wellness, strategies to develop resilience, and building a trauma-informed organization.
Register now. School staff may use the code ODE2023 when registering for a discounted rate. Discounted rates are limited, so register early.

The Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program released an updated 100% Tobacco-Free School District Toolkit. School districts can use the toolkit for guidance on adopting, communicating and enforcing a tobacco-free policy. School districts may contact the Ohio Department of Health at to receive their districts’ policy scores, discuss district policies or receive assistance in improving their tobacco policies.
More information on tobacco prevention and cessation is available on the Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention Webpage.
Five Insights for Leading and Managing Change in Your School 

As school leaders begin to close out the current school year and look towards the year ahead one of the biggest challenges faced is how to effectively manage change. Beginning with the stages of change management and through the steps of an effective launch of a new or updated vision, this article will support the reflection and vision setting that is so critical to this time of year. 
Advancing Racial Equity in Early Intervention

According to the Advancing Racial Equity in Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education fact sheet "The science is clear that the first years of children's lives set the foundation for their healthy development. A young child's race, gender, location, language, and ability should not determine their access to needed services, experiences, and outcomes."

This fact sheet provides key information and supporting evidence about racial disparities and inequities for young children with a disability, and questions for state and local leaders seeking to advance equity for all children with disabilities and their families
In Support of Students: A Leader’s Guide to Equitable MTSS

In In Support of Students: A Leader’s Guide to Equitable MTSS, authors Katie Novak and, Kristan Rodriguez along with a team of distinguished educators deliver a comprehensive and insightful discussion of how to create evidence-based and equitable multi-tiered systems (MTSS). In the book, you’ll find the practical tips and tools you need to support the implementation and redesign of systems that meet the needs of all learners. The book also provides: 
Real-life examples and planning procedures to implement MTSS in a variety of school environments
• Strategies for building MTSS in ways that combat educator burn-out, overwork, and overwhelm
• An actionable toolkit to put MTSS into practice and improve student outcomes.

This book is available for preorder.
The Governor's Literacy Challenge

On March 23, 2023, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2023-07D, a measure to create the Governor's Literacy Challenge to improve reading proficiency for all Ohio children. DeWine's proposed budget includes a $162 million science of reading proposal that includes $64 million for the science of reading curricula, $43 Million each year for the next two years to offer the science of reading instruction for educators, and $12 million to support 100 literacy coaches in schools and districts. Click here to read the complete Executive Order.
OCALI’s Family and Community Outreach Center

The Family and Community Outreach Center at OCALI ( is designed to empower families of people with disabilities with knowledge, information, and resources. The Center offers online tools, videos, podcasts, resources, and links to other sites.
Think College

Did you know that thanks to an organization called Think College, more and more students with Intellectual Disabilities are attending and finding success in post-secondary education programs at colleges and universities?

Think College provides resources, technical assistance, and training related to college options for students with intellectual disabilities, and manages the only national listing of college programs for students with intellectual disabilities in the United States.

In Ohio, there are currently nine Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTP) with Cleveland State University planning on joining the CTP list of schools this Fall.

Find out more about the Cleveland State University RISE program and other Ohio Think College schools here.
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
proactive, integrated, and rigorous learning environments.