One Needs Assessment and One Plan are due on April 30, 2021. This is an extension of the original deadline of March 31, 2021.

The ED STEPS Project

Based on four years of feedback from schools and districts, the Ohio Department of Education is designing a process of increased support and collaboration to connect districts with federal funding suited to their students’ unique academic needs. The Education Department System of Tiered E-Plans and Supports (ED STEPS) will increase coordination and streamline the timelines and processes for assessing needs, planning and applying for funds. 

ED STEPS Pilot Program

The Department partnered with organizations to pilot the ED STEPS three-year planning process. Members of the three-year pilot cohort partnered with the Department to develop and implement the three-year plan review and approval process and provide feedback to the ED STEPS Team and outside contractors on the various system components, functionality and design.

ED STEPS will enable districts to develop one comprehensive plan for student growth and leverage all its federal and other resources to fund that plan rather than creating programs based on available funding. This “funding the plan” rather than “planning to fund” approach is expected to better serve students and communities. This will make it easier for districts and schools to coordinate administrative planning with program planning and implementation.

ED STEPS will help the Department provide the more consistent communication and greater support districts are asking for. Department offices will rely on it to help coordinate and streamline the Department’s process for approving districts’ and schools’ academic program plans and timelines for submitting program information.​

To learn more about the ED STEPS project, see:

Cohort 1 Open Office Hours

The Office of Federal Programs is offering open office times for questions regarding ED STEPS, including the One Plan, One Needs Assessment and timelines/due dates. Please remember these sessions are open to the public and space is limited.

These sessions will take place on a bi-weekly basis beginning January 19, 2021 from 3:00-3:30pm.  To attend these sessions, please use the corresponding link at the following times:

January 19, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm
February 2, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm
February 16, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm
March 2, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm
March 16, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm
March 30, 2021 - 3:00-3:30pm

Prototype One Needs Assessment

In January 2020, the Ohio Department of Education unveiled a prototype comprehensive needs assessment tool that will replace the Decision Framework and other needs assessment tools used across the Department. This new “One Needs Assessment” component is designed to get all users accustomed to identifying all their needs in a single location within a standardized timeline. The beta testing version of the One Needs Assessment component is intended to assist in the design and development of a final One Needs Assessment component to be part of the Education Department’s System of Tiered E-Plans and Supports (ED STEPS) system.

To learn more about the One Needs Assessment and access resources, see:

To learn more about the One Needs Assessment Prototype, see:

ED STEPS One Plan Cohorts

As part of the Ohio Department of Education’s ED STEPS process, organizations within Ohio have been assigned to one of three One Plan cohorts. These cohorts are the vehicle for transitioning organizations from one- to three-year planning.
To learn more including the purpose and expectations for the cohorts and the cohort assignments, please see: Ultimately, ED STEPS will replace district program and administrative planning functions now found in Ohio’s Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP). Districts will continue to use the CCIP for district financial reporting and certain other functions.  

Watch for updates on ED STEPS development in the months to come. Send your questions, comments and ideas to EDSTEPS@education.ohio.gov

ED STEPS Timeline

Timeline document can be found here.


A: November – December

The One Needs Assessment is released. Begin forming educational organization and school personnel groups to work collaboratively on this process and begin identifying needs and root causes. All districts must use the One Needs Assessment tool.

B. January – February

All districts are placed into one of three Cohorts to transition to their three- year planning. Cohort 1 begins three-year planning starting January 2021.Cohorts 2 and 3 still submits one-year plans.
The CCIP Planning tool will open in January or February. Utilize the information from the One Needs Assessment to work with all stakeholders to develop SMART goals and strategies for the next three-year period.
Attend trainings, review planning webinars, work with SSTs and support from the Office of Federal Programs and other offices to develop the plan.
Support Schools Tool: This tool is through the Office for Improvement and Innovation (OII) and is not required for all schools. For those who have to complete it there are two deadlines: OII cohort 1 districts, schools and community schools are to complete and submit tools by February 28, 2021. All other cohorts are to submit tools by March 31, 2021 (OII, Support Schools).

C. March

For Cohort 1, educational organization and building plans are due by the end of March. Use the information from the One Needs Assessment and One Plan to begin thinking of linkage to funding sources, including state, federal and potentially competitive funds. Work with the Department’s cross-office plan review teams over the next few months.

D. April – June

Department review and support of Cohort 1 plans. Make sure to address Department’s cross-office feedback on the submitted plan. Prepare for estimated funding levels to be released in May and June.

E. June

For Cohorts 2 and 3, the deadline for the One Needs Assessment and One Plan is by the end of June.
Submit a high-quality funding application aligned to the One Plan with necessary funding details. Ensure the funding aligns to allowable uses and it reasonable and necessary. Funding applications are due June 30th for all cohorts and are to be completed annually. This is for a substantially approved date of July 1.

F. July – June

Throughout the year, revise One Needs Assessment and One Plan if necessary.

Last Modified: 1/22/2021 3:00:03 PM