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SST3 News

Seeking Excellence in Education Award Nominations

SST3, in partnership with ESC-NEO, is seeking to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of students with disabilities, peers who have built meaningful relationships with them, and outstanding educators who instruct and/or support their learning. The Excellence in Education program is open to all districts and community schools in Cuyahoga County. The Excellence in Education regional event will be held at Corporate College East in Warrensville, Ohio on Friday, May 12, 2023.
Below are links to three different nomination forms. Click on the category title below to complete a nomination form. Nominations are currently being accepted for the following categories:
  • Outstanding Peer Achievement Award
    Recognizes, celebrates, and honors student peers who have established meaningful relationships and are exemplary role models for others.
  • Outstanding Student Achievement Award
    Recognizes, celebrates, and honors students with disabilities and acknowledges their outstanding achievements, both academic and non-academic. (Nominees must be students – ages 3-21 and enrolled in a school program).
  • Outstanding Educator Achievement Award
    Recognizes, celebrates, and honors educators (including administrators, general education teachers, intervention specialists, and related service staff) who have provided exemplary instruction and creative programming that promotes educational results for students with disabilities.
As you complete the application, please refer to the rubrics included in the nomination forms. The rubrics contain selection criteria for the Franklin B Walter (educator) and RA Horn (students and peers) regional nominations. There is no need to complete the rubric. It is merely for guidance. The deadline for submission of nominations is March 17, 2023. Each district/community school can submit one nomination per category. All submissions should have the approval of your district’s Pupil Services/Special Education Director. We hope you will consider nominating outstanding students and educators. If you have questions or need further assistance, contact Shonte Smith - [email protected]  

Early Learning Assessment Updates

ELA Spring Administration  
The ELA Spring 2023 administration window begins Feb.15 and ends May 14.  Data managers will need to use the spring enrollment token to enroll preschool students in the spring assessment window in order for teachers to enter ratings. The data token will be available in the data manager’s KReady account on Feb. 15.

Paraprofessional Training 
An Early Learning Assessment for Support Teachers training is scheduled for Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. – noon. This training is designed specifically for assistant teachers, paraprofessionals, and educational aides and will benefit anyone who will be supporting a fully ELA-trained teacher with using the ELA. This training provides an overview of the Early Learning Assessment and focuses on observational assessment concepts, including how to document observational evidence. To register, log into the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at and use the ST number ST10128432. 

Initial Teacher Training 
The next Early Learning Assessment Initial Teacher Training has been scheduled for March. This training is for new users?of the Early Learning Assessment who have not previously completed an ELA training and is designed for early childhood professionals who will be observing, assessing, and scoring the ELA. The training is one and a half days with a full day online session Mar. 3 and a half day online session Mar. 10. Online modules must be completed prior to the first session and you must complete both days of the training. To register, visit the ELA for Teachers webpage. 

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

Revised Preschool Special Education Rule

The revised Preschool Special Education Rule (3301-51-11) from the Ohio Department of Education went into effect October 28, 2022. The updated rule and supports can be found on the Early Learning and School Readiness Preschool Special Education webpage in the section titled 2022 Preschool Special Education Rule Resources.