SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports
June 2023 | Issue 29
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

On May 12, over 130 students, family members and educators from Cuyahoga County gathered for the Excellence in Education Awards recognizing students with special needs, peers and educators. State Support Team 3 in partnership with the ESC of Northeast Ohio organizes this annual event which was held at Corporate College East in Warrensville Heights.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Bob Mengerink noted that “It has been a few years since we have been able to celebrate this wonderful occasion together in person. I have missed this event, which is by far my favorite event each year. While we’ve been apart, I have reflected a lot about perseverance throughout all the challenges we have faced over these last few years. Those of you that we are honoring this year truly embody the meaning of perseverance. This perseverance seen in those we honor today comes from their deeply held belief that they can do and be anything they can dream. I want to encourage all of you to keep on dreaming, keep on believing and keep on going. Do not stop. Use your gifts to make the world a better place. And most importantly, don’t forget that we believe in you, too.”

This year’s keynote speakers were Grace Blatt and Breanna Sprenger who are Good Life Ambassadors (GLA). The GLA program was established through the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2016 to educate community organizations on increasing their capacity to be inclusive and inviting to people with disabilities. 

Awards were presented to 11 students, 7 peers and 12 educators. The full list of recipients can be found in the article below along with the two winners of the regional awards and the outstanding parent award.

Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients!

Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski
State Support Team Region 3
Excellence in Education Awards
Presented on
May 12, 2023
Three types of awards were presented during this event:
  • Outstanding Student Achievement Award acknowledging achievements of school-age students with special needs. 
  • Outstanding Peer Achievement Award recognizing students who have established positive relationships and who have assisted students with special needs, serving as exemplary role models. 
  • Outstanding Educator Achievement Award honoring educators who are the exemplars in designing instructional strategies and programs.

In addition, two regional awards were presented: The R.A. Horn Outstanding Achievement Award and The Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award along with The Margaret M. Burley Award for Outstanding Parent.
Outstanding Student Achievement Award

David Antoshchuk
Parma City Schools

Dalya Berezovsky
Beachwood City Schools

Beckham Bergen
Olmsted Falls City Schools

Taviah Carter
Euclid City Schools

Kaidyn Jackson
Maple Heights City Schools

Jennifer Kasunick
Bay Village City Schools

Olivia Kezdi
North Olmsted City Schools

Lawrence Maxwell
East Cleveland City Schools

Makaya Palumbo
Albert Einstein Academy

Hunter Tate
Lakewood City Schools

William Watts
Cuyahoga Heights Local Schools
Outstading Peer
Achievement Award

David Antoshchuk
Parma City Schools

Reese Fishbaugh
Lakewood City Schools

Chloe Hamad
Strongsville City Schools

Amare Meier
Euclid City Schools

Addie Odon
Olmsted Falls City Schools

Madeline Petras
Strongsville City Schools

Vaya Pumphrey
Cuyahoga Heights Local Schools
Outstanding Educator Achievement Award

Nina Carvelli
Maple Heights City Schools

Kelly Cummins
Cuyahoga Heights Local Schools

Jennifer Dillon
Albert Einstein Academy

Sarah Keso
Mayfield Heights City Schools

Meg Miller
Beachwood City Schools

Emma Northeim
Strongsville City Schools

Christine Perog
North Olmsted City Schools

Jeffrey Porter
Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools

Tina Schneider
Euclid City Schools

Melissa Simonetta
Lakewood City Schools

Katherine Spies
Northwest School of the Arts

Angie Stokes 
Olmsted Falls City Schools
Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award

Jeffrey Porter
Cleveland Heights-University Heights 
City School District
R.A. Horn Outstanding Student Award

Hunter Tate
Lakewood City School District
Margaret M. Burley Outstanding Parent Award

Mia Buchwald Gelles
Milestones Autism Resources
ED STEPS – Due Dates
  • For those in Cohort 1 and 2’s you have the option to revise the One Needs Assessment (ONA) and One Plan. The only deadline would be June 30, 2023, for the funding application submission.
  • As a reminder: Cohort 3’s District Plans and Building Plans were due April 30, 2023.  
Resources when completing the One Needs Assessment (ONA) and One Plan: 
My STEM Adventure
The ED-funded STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center in partnership with Bridge Multimedia and FableVision, have developed a free and born-accessible mobile app, My STEM Adventure. My STEM Adventure provides the opportunity for young children and their families or other caregivers to explore the world of STEM both indoors and outdoors and create a storybook that details their investigation. Adults can learn about STEM concepts, what children are learning, and receive tips on how to guide children as they embark on the adventure together. Find My STEM Adventure on the App Store or Google Play.
Restraint and seclusion data collection 

Restraint and seclusion data collection for the 2022-2023 school year will begin June 5 and close Aug. 4. Instructions for completing the data collection, frequently asked questions and additional guidance and forms are available on the Department’s restraint and seclusion webpage. Direct questions to Additional information can be found here.

Promoting Black Joy Framework

The goal of this companion resource is to support the development of equitable learning environments for Black children. This includes information about Black culture, history, cultural strengths, values, and ways of knowing and being; promising practices and concrete strategies to increase consultants’ and supervisors’ capacity to handle personal and institutional bias; and case studies with questions for individual and group reflection. The resource is intended to fill the need for targeted support that is anti-bias, culturally rich, and promotes joy for Black children and families.
How to Wrap up a Year of Coaching: Reports, Reflections, and Appreciation
As you begin or maybe have already closed out the 2022-2023 school year, summer is often the busiest month for school leaders. The way in which a leader closes out the year is just as important as the way in which a leader starts the year. Ensuring that as a leader, data is reviewed and reflected upon is critical. What is often missed but equally critical is the appreciation to the hard work that was done. The article below reviews the important of reports, reflections, and appreciation from the leader to those who they directly coach and lead.
Transition to Kindergarten Resources

The transition to kindergarten is a criticial window of change for young children and can often be challenging as they adjust to a new setting, with new people, new expectations, and often new academic demands. It represents one of the earliest transitions U.S. children experience and for many children, this marks the beginning of formal schooling. Success in kindergarten sets children up for long-term academic achievement and development of social skills. A recent study from Crane scientists at The Ohio State University found that at least 70% of children experienced at least one challenge during the transition to school; meeting academic demands and being organized were the most common challenges. 

To review additional data that the Crane Center of OSU has compiled on this topic, click here.
Coordinating Support Systems: Change the Culture, Change the World!

On June 9, 2023 SST3 will wlecome author Jonathan Martinis to the ESC to discuss is book Supported Decision Making. Jonathan is the Senior Director for Law and Policy for the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, leading it's efforts to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to lead independent, inclusive lives.

The session (which is intended for members of the Cuyahoga County Transition Collaborative) will demonstrate ways to create and implement effective and efficient support plans and services.
Click here to register for this event.
Jonathan's book is available at no charge to all participants.

For the first time in history, the IDA home office is hosting DyslexiaCon 2023 in Columbus! Last year the conference included about 150 speakers and 73 breakout sessions. This is a great opportunity to learn from leaders in the field. 

This event is not just about dyslexia. It is about proper literacy instruction for ALL children. Make your plans now so you can be sure to attend this fantastic literacy event. 

Given the timing of the new Ohio Dyslexia Law (Connor's Odyssey: The Right to Read Law) and Governor DeWine's strong support for the Science of Reading, this is a great opportunity for Ohioans!

Click here to register today!
Communication Tips

On March 29 Todd Rogers from the Harvard Kennedy School presented the webinar “Writing for Busy Families and Staff” through the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center. He shared a handout outlining Six Principles to enhance communication
Learn more about his work and research by watching this video

Setting the Table Together: Joy and Power in Partnerships

The FREE Ohio Family Engagement Leadership Summit will be held virtually on Friday, September 22, 2023 from 9-3. Hosted by the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center, this Summit brings research to action by providing schools, families, and community partners with the tools they need to work together to launch all children to success. Registration is now open!

Among all the skills that young people need to live a healthy, happy, and productive life, no skill is arguably more important that self-determination/self-advocacy. With the new graduation requirements and the mandated participation of all students in the development of their graduation plans, these skills are essential for students to not just earn an Ohio diploma, but to be prepared for whatever comes next in their lives.
At the heart of self-determination/self-advocacy are decision making skills. Regardless of each students strengths and weaknesses, all students need support in being successful in the various life domains. This support can be in the form of formal eligibility supports, or in the form of family, friends, and community.  
As educators, we have many tools at our disposal to help promote supported decision making, but the tools are only as good as mindsets and frameworks in which we use them.  
This month, we bring you two resources that not only provide the tools, but the "why" of self-determination/self-advocacy. These resources can be summarized by the statement, nothing about us without us!

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.