SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports

December 2023 | Issue 33

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

As this year draws to a close, and as we prepare to celebrate family, commemorate traditions, and enjoy the season of giving, let us endeavor to carry a hopeful attitude forward into the new year. SST3 is forever grateful for the opportunity to serve our region’s districts, schools, educators, and students, and we enthusiastically look forward to a new year filled with incredible positivity, and generous achievement. We wish everyone a safe holiday season and a happy new year. See you all in 2024!

Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski, Director

State Support Team Region 3

NEW Sessions Added: 2023-24 OLAC Professional Learning Series

Join the Ohio Leadership Advisory (OLAC) team for a NEW line-up of free professional learning sessions designed to provide educators with the structures and resources necessary to develop and support effective leadership at every level. Explore sessions on literacy, assessment resources, early childhood, using OTES to influence change, and more! Take a look and register yourself and your teams! The sessions are free, but you must register at this link.

2023-24 Professional Learning Series:

  • January 18: Reimaging Education, Eugene Blalock
  • February 16: New Assessment Tools, OLAC Team
  • February 21: Using OTES to Coach Teachers, Carrie Sanchez
  • March 8: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Family Engagement, Ohio’s Statewide Family Engagement Center
  • March 22: Principals 2.0, Michael Fullan
  • March 26: Evidence-based Interventions in Literacy, Team of Literacy Specialists
  • April 12: Leading the Littles, Wendy Grove
  • May 17: Facilitators Training, OLAC Team
  • TBT - April or May: 2023 Outstanding District recipient to present

Text Link

PBIS Recognition

Each year, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio PBIS Network recognize schools and districts for their quality of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) implementation. PBIS involves teaching students expected behaviors in a consistent and positive way, modeling and acknowledging those behaviors, and helping all students meet expectations and be successful. PBIS has been shown to improve student achievement, student behavior and school climate. State Support Team Region 3 and the ESC of Northeast Ohio are excited to congratulate the 40 schools in Cuyahoga County that received recognition at these levels: Gold (4), Silver (8), or Bronze (28). For more information, please visit our website

District Participation for Free Access to Zearn Math

Schools and districts serving students in grades 6-8 can receive free access to Zearn Math as early as January 2024. Opt-in now to get started with free training for teachers and leaders, as well as rostering and deployment support to get set up quickly. Although the statewide initiative is focused on middle school students, free licenses for K-5 schools also may be made available to districts that opt-in now. Complete this short form to opt in.

Send questions about Zearn Math to  


Choose Kindness

The Choose Kindness Foundation supports the development of a culture of caring and kindness through grants to PBIS schools. These grants support systematic instruction & recognition of kind behaviors in all areas of the school community.

Apply for your school to receive $2000 to support the teaching of kindness. For more information on applying for a grant, click here. To apply for a grant, visit

"Why Schools Should Stop Adding and Adopting a 'Subtraction Mindset'"

November is often the month that leaders begin to see the teachers burn out. This has increased significantly since the pandemic and teachers are often pulled in several directions making it seem as if progress is being made. It is encouraged that leaders look and reflect on all the initiatives occurring and consider subtractive changes. For further information on this topic click here.

ED STEPS - Cohort 1

Cohort 1 will be completing the One Needs Assessment and One Plan with ODE feedback. To find out what cohort your organization is in, please click on this link

To prepare for the One Needs Assessment, visit the ODE resources regarding Root Cause Analysis. 

Asynchronus Courses Available

SST 3 Early Childhood has two asynchronous courses available for 2 hours of OA credit. You will have from the first day of the each month until the last day of the month to complete this course.

Supporting Trauma-Informed Play

(beginning January 1, 2024)

In this course, participants will be able to:

· Identify the key components of a safe and effective learning/caring environment: predictable, home-like, safe communication, and attention to the child’s internal state.

· Understand the importance of routine and how to effectively establish classroom procedures that support children’s autonomy.

· Understand the neurobiological power of play.

· Identify essential types of play for trauma-responsive environments and how to introduce play to children.

Routine-Based Support for Challenging Behavior

In this course, participants will be able to:

· Identify behavior expectations, strategies, and developmental levels of children aged 4-8. 

· Describe challenging behavior in young children and define what it looks like. 

· Review current classroom routines and strategies and complete a plan to support children with challenging behavior in the classroom.  

For more information please contact Theresa Richardson at

Autism Scholarship Program

Earlier this fall DEW released information about The Autism Scholarship Education Plan as part of the Autism Scholarship Program (ASP) which gives the parents of children with autism who qualify for a scholarship the choice to send the child to a special education program other than the one operated by the school district of residence to receive their education and the services outlined in the child's individualized education program (IEP).  

Any student may qualify for the Autism Scholarship Program if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

1) A student who has been identified by their district as a child with autism and for whom the district has created an individualized education plan (IEP). The student must have a current IEP from the district of residence that is finalized and all parties, including the parent, must be in agreement with the IEP.


2) A student who receives a private diagnosis of autism and reflects this in their individualized education plan (IEP) or in an autism education plan (AEP) developed by the district of residence. 

A child is eligible to apply to participate in the program when the child turns three.

HB554 made changes related to the category of Developmental Delay under the Autism Scholarship. A child may now be eligible for the Autism Scholarship under the disability category of Developmental Delay until the day before they turn 10 years old.

Districts may want to refer to the the documents released from DEW regarding options for the Autism Scholarship Education Plan:

Autism Scholarship Private Diagnosis Pathways

Autism Scholarship Education Plan Checklist

HB554 made changes related to the category of Developmental Delay under the Autism Scholarship. A child may now be eligible for the Autism Scholarship under the disability category of Developmental Delay until the day before they turn 10 years old. If you have questions about the implementation of this change, please contact your Regional Consultant if you are an approved provider or email the Autism Scholarship Program at

Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant

Save the Date: 7th Annual Literacy Academy

The Literacy Academy, brought to you by the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, is returning in-person on June 10-11, 2024, in Columbus! The seventh 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 care and education programs working toward raising literacy achievement. There are no registration fees to attend this event. 

Registration will open in spring 2024. Please continue to check our website for additional information. Questions may be emailed to  

Attention Literacy Leadership Teams! Join the Literacy Improvement Pathway Series

Improving literacy across a school or district requires clear and unified efforts aligned to the science of reading. The Literacy Improvement Pathway consists of ten purposely ordered areas of focus for leveraging literacy and equity for improved student outcomes. It was developed by the ODE Literacy Team based on the research of Dr. Timothy Shanahan.

Participants will gain an understanding of the critical importance of each stop on the pathway through a review of evidence-based practices and related resources to assist with leading literacy in a school or district. 

 Join this important series as a literacy team, committee, curriculum team, or even as an individual who influences the path of literacy improvement at your site. We will explore, discuss, collaborate, and examine shifts in practices that will impact student success. 

Registration Link

Level Up for Success!

Attention family engagement leaders! The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has announced the dates for the 2024 National Community Schools And Family Engagement Conference. It will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 29-31, 2024. They are expecting over 5000 attendees at the event that is inspired by the theme: Level Up for Success! The conference is designed to catalyze collaboration, action, and a renewed commitment to transforming our practices, partnerships, and systems. Learn more at their website - 

Read Together, Grow Together

Read Ohio and the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at The Ohio State University have created an excellent website with 8 tips for Families to help them get the most out of the time they spend reading with their child. There is also a link for families to sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Check it out and share! 

Expansion of Career-Technical Education in Ohio's schools

In the most recent Ohio Biennial Budget, there is a very large increase in funding to support the expansion of Career-Technical Education in Ohio's schools. At present, Career Technical Planning Districts are applying for funds to expand facilities and program offerings leading to filling the employment needs of Ohio's in-demand occupations. 

In addition to the expansion of career-technical education, the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation has expanded opportunities for all Ohioans, including high school students in their junior-senior years, to attain free industry-recognized credentials that will upscale the workforce in filling the employment needs of these in-demand occupations. This program is called the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP). Most credentials offered through IMAP can be earned virtually.

To learn more about the IMAP, as well as other initiatives being offered through the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation, visit the website found 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.
Visit our website