SST3 Updates, Resources, & Supports

January 2024 | Issue 34

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

Happy New Year! At State Support Team 3, we strive to meet the ongoing needs of the LEAs in Cuyahoga County. We are in the process of gathering stakeholder input regarding your satisfaction with SST3 services and support. The purpose of this survey is to:


  • Ensure we are meeting LEA expectations and needs
  • Maintain a trusting professional relationship with stakeholders
  • Identify strengths and areas of growth regarding our support
  • Anticipate future types of support


Please consider participating in our State Support Region 3-Stakeholder Survey This survey is completely anonymous and should only take about 3 minutes to complete. We value your input and feedback. As always, if you have individual questions, feedback, or suggestions for improvement, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 216-446-3812 or


Be well,

Michele (Shelly) Gaski, Director

State Support Team Region 3 

Happy New Year From

State Support Team 3!

"...In this year to come, ... make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly; you are doing something."

--Neil Gaiman

Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant

Save the Date: 7th Annual Literacy Academy

June 10-11, 2024

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 

ED STEPS - Cohort 1

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

As you begin to prepare for the One Needs Assessment (ONA), be sure to utilize the “One Needs Assessment and Root Cause Fidelity Tool”. The purpose of this tool is to help guide administrators as they conduct root cause analysis processes. The tool assesses the pre-, during, and post-processes of the root cause analysis, performed most commonly in the One Needs Assessment (ONA) by educational entities. 

Autism Scholarship Program

Last 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 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


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 & and 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

How Principals Affect

Students and Schools 

As you read the article, “How Principals Affect Students and Schools” you will see the monthly focus is on the importance of principals. Throughout this article, there is an emphasis on student achievement and principal training programs. The four behaviors of effective principals are: focusing work with teachers on instruction, building a positive climate, increasing collaboration and professional learning, and managing personnel and resources. Additionally, ensuring that staff behaviors are viewed through an equity lens is critical to the increased development of the school staff and leadership. Throughout these levers, the effectiveness of principals significantly increases.

The Connectability.CA Website

The Connectability. CA website contains tools, videos and articles to assist early childhood educators and parents in teaching and intervening with young children to promote social, play, communication and self help skills proactively. It provides many tools and resources to help get started, to gather information, develop a plan for change, and to try new teaching methods. 

Ohio's Alternate Assessment

There is an important update regarding the Alternate Assessment District Justification and Assurances process. In our continuous efforts to improve efficiency and streamline procedures, the Department is transitioning the entire district justification and assurance process to the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP). Starting January 2024, justification links will no longer be emailed to Superintendents. Instead, the entire process will be conducted through the CCIP Consolidated Application offering a more-centralized experience. The form will be available in the CCIP Consolidated Application beginning calendar year, January 2024. The due date for the form is April 26, 2024. No special link will be sent to superintendents. See this booklet for more details

Additionally, on the AASCD Testing Portal, under the Teachers and Test Administrators tab, you can find the Assessment Authoring tile which allows you to create practice tests using released test items. This year’s AASCD Testing Window is Feb 26-April 19.

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

Dyslexia Communication Tools for Schools

Looking for resources to communicate with families around Ohio’s Dyslexia law? The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center partnered with the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, Ohio families, and educators to develop sample communication tools and guidance for schools. These resources are aligned with Ohio’s Dyslexia Guidebook for schools and can be copied/adapted for local use. Explore the resources here.

NNPS Promising Partnership Practices ebook

The National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) publishes an ebook each year of promising practices related to family and community engagement. These practices are submitted by NNPS schools and districts from across the country. Several sites in Cuyahoga County are featured in this year’s collection. Check it out here.

Increasing the Percentage of Students with Disabilities Who Graduate via the Typical Pathway

With Ohio finding itself performing towards the bottom nationally in graduating students with disabilities by the standard, or typical pathway, the Ohio Department of Education & Workforce's five-year State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) is focused on increasing the percentage of Ohio's students with disabilities who graduate by the typical pathway. 

Throughout the state and our region, school districts are conducting root-cause analysis activities to address the reasons why their students with disabilities are not graduating by the typical pathway.

One important tool that has been recently released is the Graduation Decision-Making Tool, which will assist Individual Education Plan Teams in answering two key questions:

1. Has the student with an IEP followed a typical pathway to meet graduation requirements?

2. When must the student with an IEP exit secondary school?

More information, including a video explaining the Graduation Decision-Making Tool can be found on this website.

Additionally, SST 3 Secondary Transition Consultants are ready to assist in districts and schools in our region in using this very important resource. 

Robert Ross

Angie Chapple

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