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SST3 News

2023 Excellence in Education Awards

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.

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.
Awards were presented to 11 students, 7 peers and 12 educators. The full list of recipients can be found here.

In addition, two regional awards were presented: 
  • The 2023 R.A. Horn Outstanding Achievement Award recipient is Hunter Tate from Lakewood High School in the Lakewood City School District. This award is presented to one exemplary student with a disability from each of Ohio’s 16 State Support Team regions. Established by the Ohio Department of Education in honor of the late Dr. Raymond A. Horn, Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, this award recognizes students’ outstanding achievements. 
  • The 2023 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award recipient is Jeffrey Porter from the Delisle Options Center- Heights Career Consortium in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.  This award is given to an outstanding educator or team from each of the 16 State Support Teams in Ohio. Awarded to recipients who have made extraordinary contributions to the education of students with disabilities. This award is given in honor of the late Franklin B Walter, Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1977 until 1991.

American Rescue Plan (ARP) IDEA Funds

Districts, community schools and county boards of developmental disabilities received supplemental IDEA Part B funds in Fiscal Year 2022 under the American Rescue Plan ?IDEA Application in the Department’s Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP). These ARP IDEA funds must be obligated by September 30, 2023. You can find more information on the Ohio Department of Education's American Rescue Plan IDEA Part B webpage. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]ov or contact the assigned American Rescue Plan IDEA consultant listed in the CCIP Address Book. 

Early Learning and Development Standards Training

The Ohio Department of Education is excited to announce the availability of the first training in a series about the new Early Learning and Development Standards! The Early Learning and Development Standards Overview Training is free and Ohio Approved for two hours. It consists of online on-demand modules. Access the training by logging into the Ohio Professional Registry and searching for Early Learning and Development Standards Overview Training or ST10129633. Follow these Instructions for Accessing the Early Learning and Development Standards found on this page.

Additional trainings about the standards by age group will be available soon for early care and education providers serving preschool age children, infants and toddlers, and mixed age groups. All standards trainings will be listed in the Ohio Professional Registry, Ohio Approved, and free! There will be both in-person and online training options statewide.

If you have any questions about the revised Early Learning and Development Standards, please reach out to [email protected].

Summer and Beyond Directory Available

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, therapeutic and social-emotional supports throughout the year to assist students with disabilities to become independent and self-sufficient.
SST3 is collaborating with Connecting for Kids for their 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!  

Important Update for Children eligible under Developmental Delay in Preschool Special Education

The Ohio General Assembly recently passed HB 554 which resulted in the expanded definition of “child with a disability” as it pertains to the developmental delay disability category found in Ohio Revised Code Section 3323.01 Education of children with disabilities definitions. 

Children in preschool identified as having a developmental delay disability in special education no longer need to be re-evaluated in advance of turning age six or moving to kindergarten. 

Any child with a disability in preschool during this academic year who has or will turn six years old on or before June 30, 2023 is permitted to remain in preschool and shall continue to be identified as having a developmental delay. While a child with a disability can be re-evaluated at any time, a child may now enter kindergarten with the developmental delay disability category without needing to be re-evaluated for continuing special education eligibility, unless the three year timeframe requires it. 

As of the bill’s effective date, April 6, 2023: 

the definition of a “child with a disability” may include a child who is at least three years of age and less than ten years of age, who is experiencing developmental delays, as defined by standards adopted by the state board of education and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.
Both Ohio Revised Code 3323.01 and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51 will be updated to reflect the expanded language by July 1, 2023. 

This means that as of April 6, 2023, any child who is not yet ten years old may be evaluated for eligibility in special education under the Developmental Delay disability category

The Office of Early Learning and School Readiness and the Office for Exceptional Children will soon have guidance materials to support school districts in implementing this change. The resources will be posted on the following department webpage: Preschool Special Education | Ohio Department of Education