SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports

November 2023 | Issue 32

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

It is hard to believe that it is mid-November, and we are close to entering the holiday season. First, I wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate the 40 schools in Region 3 that earned recognition for the implementation of Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS). We are proud of your accomplishments and celebrate your success and the work you are doing on behalf of your students. For more information about the award-winning schools, please see the full details below.


Second, this is the season of gratitude. If like me, you are also thinking about gratitude this month, you may want to read this short article about gratitude in the workplace. How to Express More Gratitude at Work & Why Gratitude in Leadership Is Important. I appreciated the practical information about making expressing gratitude a more regular practice at work. Here at SST3, we are certainly grateful for all of you and the partnerships we have with your schools and districts. Thank you for trusting us to support your continuous improvement efforts through being thought partners and providing professional development and technical assistance. 

Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski, Director

State Support Team Region 3

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


Inclusive Education Leadership Focus Session - Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Please join the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce leaders from the Office for Exceptional Children, Mitch Ulibarri, an individual with autism spectrum disorder, and his parents for a fun interactive session about navigating the special education system. By the end of this session, participants will gain perspective on the value of inclusion; examine attitudes, mindsets, values, and beliefs about individuals with disabilities; and work to develop processes for reexamining least restrictive environment. For more information go to: Register and join us at OCALICONLINE.


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

Distributed Leadership: 

Why the Right Time Is Right Now

Take a few minutes to read what distributive leadership is (it is a concept that has been reviewed frequently, but the timing in the school year is what is most relevant this month). Most schools are ending the first quarter and taking the time to reflect on the work that has been done while making action plans to adjust and continue moving the work forward. Utilizing various school leaders, those with titles and those without support increased student learning through broadening adult influence.

Department of Children and Youth

The new Department of Children and Youth which will house Ohio Early Childhood supports including preschool special education, early childhood education, ODE licensing and SUTQ. Click here to view their website. News regarding the Department development can be found by selecting the For Partner's tab and then the Kid's Corner Newsletter tile or link.

Upcoming Professional Development for Special Education: 

Best Practices for IEP and ETR

SST3 has created a web-based resource to support schools and districts in using best practices for IEPs, ETRs, and systemic improvement related to special education. This website contains five sections that address common special education needs. Each section breaks down those needs into “mini modules” that districts can use with their staff based on their own data. 

SST3 also offers a three-day series, IEP/ETR Best Practices, beginning February 6, 2024 using these resources. See our Professional Development Calendar for more information.

National Family LIteracy Month

November is National Family Literacy Month. Read Ohio and OSU/s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy share a great resource titled: 8 Tips for Family.

Literacy Academy on Demand

Having a strong vocabulary is essential for students of all ages to comprehend what they are reading. Ed Connection released a new on-demand course on elementary vocabulary instruction. The K-5 Vocabulary course, available on Literacy Academy on Demand, provides an overview of the significance of vocabulary for elementary school students, along with useful strategies to enhance vocabulary instruction. The course is led by Nancy Hennessy, a national expert in literacy instruction, and takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. 

Family Engagement in Education: Transform These 4 Assumptions Into Assets

Check out this article from Parent Powered that talks about ways to shift from family “involvement“ to family “engagement.” It will help educators rethink assumptions they have about families and explore ways to develop positive relationships. 

OCECD Parent Resources

The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) provides a wealth of free resources for families of children with special needs. Follow the link to their For Parents page to explore the tip sheets, sample letters and many other resources and tools.

Planning for the Good Life

Recently, the State Support Team Region 3 (SST 3) presented the Planning for the Good Life (Graduation Pathways and Beyond) Conference. This day-long conference was designed to bring together multiple stakeholders and organizations that work towards the shared mission of supporting all students in an equitable way to reach what each student considers to be his or her "good life." This is also reflected in Ohio's Strategic Plan, Each Child Our Future.

Presenters representing best practices in secondary transition, family and parent engagement, success in the post-secondary environment, as well as supporting the unique support needs of students as they transition to adulthood shared information and resources that are essential for the realization of the "good life."

This month, we offer you some of the resources that were shared at the conference, as well as the link to the Charting the LifeCourse site, which is filled with many tools that can be used by ALL at all stages of life and all life domains. Happy planning for the good life!

Good Life Conference 

Charting the LifeCourse

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.
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