SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
March 2023 | Issue 26
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, Region 3 Colleagues,
We are finally emerging from the short days of winter. Just this week, I noticed morning light as early as 6:30 AM and daylight savings time starts later this month. You might recall that a few months ago, I shared a video from the Leadership in Practice series developed by the folks at Next Jump, which is a developmentally deliberate organization based in New York City. Well, I am sharing another quick episode of their leadership series. This lesson is on Talking about your Failures and offers a perspective about continuous improvement that is worthy of consideration. I hope this short segment helps you reflect on the work of your teams. What lessons are you and your teams learning as you work to improve educational outcomes for your students? 

Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski
State Support Team Region 3
2023 Summer and Beyond Directory
Available Online
State Support Team Region 3 (SST3) offers the online version of the 2023 Summer and Beyond Directory as a resource to parents, family members, and school district/community school personnel about extended opportunities around the Cuyahoga county area, regionally and statewide. SST3 collaborates with agencies, camps, and community partners around summer activities for students with disabilities. Many of those agencies and organizations offer continued academic skill-building, and therapeutic and social-emotional support throughout the year to assist students with disabilities to become independent and self-sufficient.
SST3 is collaborating with Connecting for Kids for its two resource fairs this year. A limited number of hard copies of the 2023 Summer and Beyond directory will be available at the in-person events on March 1, 2023, 6 pm – 8 pm at the Cuyahoga County Community College – Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, and March 25, 2023, 11 am – 1 pm at Don Umerley Civic Center in Rocky River. Stop by the SST3 table and say hello! 

ED STEPS - Cohort 3:
Cohort 3 will be completing the One Needs Assessment and One Plan with ODE feedback.  
Cohort 3 Fiscal Year 2024 Planning: If you are in cohort 3, you should start to think about 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 FY23 Cohort Trainings 
The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Federal Programs is pleased to host ED STEPS training sessions. These trainings will cover different topics related to ED STEPS and updates to the One Needs Assessment and One Plan.
Sessions Format
The sessions listed will include a presentation or demonstration related to the session topic followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.
These sessions will be held remotely as Microsoft Teams meetings. Attendees will be able to join using the Teams meeting link shared in the STARS event and confirmation email. At the time of your selected session, please use the Teams meeting link to join. Please note: Sessions will be recorded and shared out to attendees following the session.
Please register in STARS V2.0, which can be accessed through your OH|ID Portal under “Training and Registration”. To find the session information, we recommend searching any of the following fields:
1. Event Name: Federal Programs – ED STEPS - Trainings  
2. Keywords for FY23 Cohort Trainings: ED STEPS, One Plan, One Needs Assessment 
3. Information provided: The registration information provides a link to join the meeting as well as a link to a survey for submitting questions prior to the session. It is optional for attendees to submit questions prior to the training.  
The following is a list of the topics currently planned:
1. Open office hours will start on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and be every Thursday until May 30, 2023. 
2. Please click this link to join: Cohort 2 Open Office Hours
1. Revisions and updates to the One Needs Assessment / New One Plan
2. Thursday, April 13, 2023, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Integrated MTSS Podcast from
The Association for Positive Behavior Support
Episode 11: Integrated Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) with Drs. Goodman & McIntosh. In this episode co-hosts of the APBS Podcast, Muna Khalif and Tanya Misgen, conduct an interview with our guest speakers, Drs. Goodman and McIntosh.

Together in 2016, Drs. Goodman and McIntosh co-authored the book Integrated Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Blending RTI and PBIS. The book’s purpose is to combine the response to intervention (RTI) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) models into a single multi-tiered system of support (MTSS).

Excellence in Education Awards
It is that time of year when we ask you to acknowledge the outstanding students with disabilities and the peers and educators who support them by submitting nominations for the Annual Excellence in Education Awards Recognition taking place during the month of May. State Support Team Region 3 (SST3), in partnership with the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio (ESC-NEO), is seeking to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of students with disabilities, peers who have built meaningful relationships with them, and outstanding educators who instruct and/or support their learning. This is open to all districts and community schools in Cuyahoga County so please share this information with your staff! Click on the category title below to complete a nomination form. Nominations are currently being accepted for the following categories:
Recognizes, celebrates, and honors students with disabilities and acknowledges their outstanding achievements, both academic and non-academic. (Nominees must be students – ages 3-21 and enrolled in a school program).
Recognizes, celebrates, and honors student peers who have established meaningful relationships and are exemplary role models for others.
Recognizes, celebrates, and honors educators (including administrators, general education teachers, intervention specialists, and related service staff) who have provided exemplary instruction and creative programming that promotes educational results for students with disabilities.
Please refer to the rubrics for the nominee as the forms are being completed. The rubrics contain selection criteria for how the Franklin B Walter (educator) and RA Horn (students and peers) regional nominations are selected. 

The deadline for submission of nominations is March 17, 2023. Each district/community school may submit one nomination per category. All submissions should have the approval of your district’s Pupil Services/Special Education Director.
Alternate Assessment District Justification Portal Now Open Through March 31, 2023
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each district or community school to complete and submit a justification when it anticipates testing more than 1.0 percent of students with the Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. 
• If your district or community school anticipates testing more than 1.0 percent of students with the alternate assessment in 2022-2023, you must complete the justification and confirm assurances via the link emailed to the district’s superintendent. 
• If your district or community school does not anticipate testing more than 1.0 percent of students with the alternate assessment, you must select “No” and confirm assurances via the link emailed to the district’s superintendent. 
To assist in the process, a template of the justification form is available hereNote that the PDF template is only a tool to help prepare the justification. All justifications must be submitted via the link sent to the superintendent. 
The deadline for submitting this justification is March 31, 2023. The Ohio Department of Education will review justifications submitted by each district or community school. The Department is required to make publicly available all justifications upon request. If you have any questions, please contact
Stronger Connections Grant (SCG)

The purpose of the SCG is to provide students with safer and healthier learning environments. The SCG must be awarded competitively to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that the State Education Agency (SEA), the Ohio Department of Education, defines as “High Need” for school health and safety. Additional details on the Stronger Connections Grant can be found in the United States Department of Education letter, and earlier communications from the Department can be found in CCIP Notes 506, 514, and 515
The Department will make a competitive grant application available to eligible Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the Department’s Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) e-grants system from March 1 to April 1, 2023.
For more information, check out these Frequently Asked Questions.

Eight Things Teams Do to Sabotage Their Work

“Educator teams embody an amazing potential to shape school culture, increase student and staff engagement, and accelerate achievement, yet many stymie that power by merely operating the way they always have. In our work as professional learning facilitators and leadership coaches, we have seen leaders and team members alike fail to harness the potential of their teams and instead inadvertently sabotage their work. As educators focused on school improvement, we need to facilitate, model, and promote effective team dynamics to capitalize on student and teacher growth.”
Be sure to read the article to find out how teams sabotage the effectiveness of their own work and remedies to fix the issues identified.

Transforming School Plans

School and District plans should be purposeful living documents that ground stakeholders in the work and are the focus of school improvement. As the time of the year comes to make mid-course corrections or even create new plans, be sure to read five ways to transform school and district plans from compliance into effective tools for collaborative leadership.

Developmental Delay Eligiblity

On April 6 the ability to use Developmental Delay eligiblity category until a child is 10 legislation goes into effect. There are new and revised resources on the early learning school readiness (ELSR) web page including the Developmental Delay category definition and age expansion questions and answers.
SRSR and IP for SPP are Due by March 31

Self Review Summary Reports (SRSR) and Improvement Plans (IP) for all Special Education Profile (SPP) areas with required actions are due to the Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) by March 31. Any actions that require SST involvement need to be reviewed and signed by the assigned SST consultant. The SST is asking that all SRSR and IP that require SST involvement be submitted to the SST by March 17 for review and feedback. If you have questions about this process please contact Shelly Gaski at or Lindsay Slater at at the SST 

Riverside Elementary Case Study

Riverside Elementary, like many schools throughout Ohio, has taken steps to improve its literacy instruction over the past several years. After instituting a series of strategic and programmatic changes based on research, Riverside saw substantial increases in student reading achievement. The Riverside Elementary Case Study tells the story of Riverside's path to successful reading instruction for all students.
ESC-NEO FACE Collaborative Network

Did you know that the ESC of Northeast Ohio now sponsors the regional Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Collaborative Network? This is a network of school personnel who support family and community engagement. The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 8, 2023, from 8:30-10:30. For more information or to register, contact Carrie Sullivan at

Western Cuyahoga County Resource Fair

Connecting for Kids is sponsoring a free, in-person, indoor event with drive-up grab & go options on Saturday, March 25 from 11-1. This event offers resources for families with concerns about their children (ages birth-12) in Western Cuyahoga County and surrounding communities. Families who attend the in-person fair will receive their grab & go bag at check-in. A limited number of hard copies of SST3’s Summer and Beyond Directories will be available at the SST3 table. The resource fair will be held at Don Umerley Civic Center, 21016 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. For more information go to
Unlock Your Future

Previous newsletters have focused on Ohio's new graduation requirements that go into effect with the graduating class of 2023. One of the most significant and exciting changes is the opportunity for students to demonstrate competency through various pathways, such as College Credit Plus, Career-Technical Education, Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seal, Industry Recognized Credentials, and other "customizable" options.

To date, most of the resources available to help schools, students, families, the business community, and other stakeholders have been technical in nature. Welcome to the newly released Unlock Your Future resource, which was developed with the input of the most important stakeholder, the student. Enjoy your graduation requirement learning!
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.