Questions and Answers about Ohio Senate Bill 216

Questions and Answers about Ohio Senate Bill 216

Senate Bill 216, which took effect in November 2018, acted on several K-12 educational initiatives that make an impact on Ohio students and teachers. Various provisions of the law affect kindergarten readiness, the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System, educator licensure, achievement testing, community schools, student preparation and school staffing. The 132nd General Assembly passed the law aiming to reduce regulatory burdens on Ohio’s local prekindergarten-12 public education systems.
 

Reading Improvement Plans

Licensure and Grade Band Changes

Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES)

Properly Certified or Licensed Teacher


Reading Improvement Plans

    What is a reading improvement plan?

    Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, when fewer than 80 percent of a school district’s students score proficient or higher on the grade 3 Ohio’s State Test in English Language Arts, the district must establish a reading improvement plan that will engage credentialed reading specialists. The school district’s board of education must approve the plan before the district begins implementing it.|1See Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3301.0715(G).

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    Do districts need Ohio Department of Education approval for their reading improvement plans?
    No. Only the district’s board of education must approve a reading improvement plan before the district begins its implementation. However, this provision does not replace other state requirements or federal grant terms that call for a district to submit a targeted improvement plan to the Department. Such plans may include, but are not limited to, Reading Achievement Plans required under Ohio law and Local Literacy Plans for districts receiving Striving Readers subgrants.

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    When a district is required by a prior law to submit a Reading Achievement Plan and required by SB 216 to submit a reading improvement plan, must these plans be separate?
    The local school board will determine the requirements the district must meet for developing a reading improvement plan and securing the board’s approval. The Department encourages districts to merge these plans under a single, comprehensive literacy improvement plan that meets all applicable state and federal requirements.

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    Will the Department offer guidance and a template for local school districts to use when developing reading improvement plans?
    No. Local school boards are responsible for creating their own requirements for their own reading improvement plans. Districts may find it helpful to look at other types of literacy plans and guidance available at these links:
    1. The Reading Achievement Plan, required under ORC 3302.13;
    2. The Local Literacy Plan, developed for the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant;
    3. The Reading Achievement Plan guidance document and guidance webinar;
    4. The Striving Readers Local Literacy Plan guidance document and guidance video.
    The Department also encourages districts to use the materials it has developed for Ohio’s Literacy Toolkit, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and the annual Literacy Academy.
     

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    Who approves a reading improvement plan that a community school develops?
    The board of directors or governing board is responsible for approving its community school’s reading improvement plan.

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    How is a “reading specialist” defined?
    Districts determine their own qualifications for literacy specialists. The Department encourages districts to consider these criteria when determining qualifications for literacy specialists:
    • A valid teaching license;
    • A K-12 reading endorsement;
    • Prior teaching experience;
    • A master's degree with a concentration in reading and writing education;
    • Program experiences that build knowledge, skills and dispositions related to working with students, supporting or coaching teachers, and leading the school reading program;
    • The typical equivalent of 21-27 graduate semester hours in reading, language arts and related courses. The individual’s graduate program must include a supervised practicum experience, which typically is the equivalent of six semester hours.

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    What is the difference between a Reading Improvement Plan and a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan (RIMP)?

    Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans3 are for individual students in grades K-3 who are struggling to read. A school must create a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan for each student reading below grade level within 60 days of receiving the student’s reading diagnostic results. The district must involve the student’s parent or caregiver and the classroom teacher in developing the plan.

    SB 216 requires Reading Improvement Plans when fewer than 80 percent of a district’s students score proficient or higher on the grade 3 Ohio’s State Test in English Language Arts. Districts must engage reading specialists as part of their plans. The local board of education must approve its district’s Reading Improvement Plan before the district begins implementation. | 3See ORC 3313.608(C).

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    What is the difference between a Reading Achievement Plan and a Reading Improvement Plan?
    Ohio law requires a Reading Achievement Plan for each school district or community school that meets criteria 1 and 2 below, as reported on the district’s or community school’s past two consecutive Ohio School Report Cards. Such a district or community school must submit a Reading Achievement Plan to the Ohio Department of Education by Dec. 31 of the reporting year.
    1. Received a grade of “D” or “F” on the Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers measure on the Ohio School Report Cards; and
    2. Fewer than 60 percent of students scored proficient or higher on the state’s grade 3 Ohio’s State Test in English Language Arts.
    SB 216 requires a Reading Improvement Plan when fewer than 80 percent of a district or community school’s students scored proficient or higher on the grade 3 Ohio’s State Test in English Language Arts.
     

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    Does the requirement for a qualifying district or community school to submit a reading improvement plan begin in the 2019-2020 school year, based on 2018-2019 test results?
    Yes, a qualifying district or community school must submit a Reading Improvement Plan to its district board of education or governing body for the 2019-2020 school year, if it met the requirements based on 2018-2019 results of the grade 3 Ohio’s State Test in English Language Arts.

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Licensure and Grade Band Changes

    Can a career-technical workforce development substitute teacher teach any classes outside of his or her teaching field for an unlimited number of days?
    If the license holder has education and experience in the career-technical workforce development area directly related to the subject of the class the license holder will teach, the individual can teach for an unlimited number of days.

    However, if the license holder does not have education and experience in the career-technical workforce development area the license holder will teach, the individual may teach for one full semester, subject to the approval of the employing school district board of education. A district superintendent can ask the board to approve one or more additional, semester-long periods. State law does not prescribe a date by which a substitute teaching assignment must be approved.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the district to determine when to seek board approval.  It is recommended that districts consider setting a local policy to address the procedure and timelines for presenting substitute teaching assignments for local board approval. 
     

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    When does a school district board of education need to approve a substitute teaching assignment?
    If a substitute teacher has a postsecondary degree in a subject area that is not directly related to the subject of the class the individual is teaching, the individual may teach for one full semester, subject to the approval of the employing school district board of education.  State law does not prescribe a date by which a substitute teaching assignment must be approved.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the district to determine when to seek board approval.  It is recommended that districts consider setting a local policy to address the procedure and timelines for presenting substitute teaching assignments for local board approval. 
     

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    With Ohio’s recent creation of a preschool-grade 5 (P-5) license, can an educator who already has an early childhood (P-3) license with a grade 4-5 endorsement receive a new P-5 license?
    No. Only educators seeking their initial licenses are eligible to apply for a P-5 license. All others will remain the same. Individuals who hold a P-3 license with or without a grade 4-5 endorsement will continue to renew that license.

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    If a teacher who has a P-3 license wants to teach grades 4-5, what are his or her options?
    Option one: An individual who is not teaching in grade 4 or 5 must complete an educator preparation program to have the 4-5 generalist endorsement added. Option two: An individual employed as a grade 4 or 5 teacher can apply for a supplemental grades 4-5 generalist endorsement and complete the supplemental pathway to add the endorsement to the P-3 license.

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    When will the new P-5 license be available?
    The Department will offer the P-5 licensure option to in-state candidates in Spring 2020.

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    Will there still be short- and long-term substitute licenses?
    No. SB 216 eliminated short- and long-term substitute license designations until their expiration. Ohio Administrative Code is being amended to align with the law.5 | 5See ORC 3319.226.

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    Is there a limit to the number of days a substitute can teach?

    If the license holder has a postsecondary degree in education or a subject area directly related to the subject of the class the license holder will teach, the individual can teach for an unlimited number of days. 

    However, if the license holder has a postsecondary degree in a subject area that is not directly related to the subject of the class the license holder will teach, the individual may teach for one full semester, subject to the approval of the employing school district board of education. A district superintendent can ask the board to approve one or more additional, semester-long periods.

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    Can a career-technical workforce development substitute teacher teach any classes outside of his or her teaching field for an unlimited number of days?

    If the license holder has education and experience in the career-technical workforce development area directly related to the subject of the class the license holder will teach, the individual can teach for an unlimited number of days.

    However, if the license holder does not have education and experience in the career-technical workforce development area the license holder will teach, the individual may teach for one full semester, subject to the approval of the employing school district board of education. A district superintendent can ask the board to approve one or more additional, semester-long periods.

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    How can a teacher who holds a standard license teach in a supplemental subject area?

    Ohio has a supplemental teaching license that allows an educator holding a valid, standard Ohio teaching certificate or license to teach in a supplemental area, if his or her employing Ohio school district requests it, while that person is working to obtain standard licensure for that area. To receive an initial supplemental license, an individual must:

    1. Hold a valid, standard Ohio teaching certificate or license;
    2. Successfully complete the content assessment for the licensure area; and
    3. Be employed in a teaching position by an Ohio school that requires the supplemental licensure.

     SB 216 permits an individual to work in a supplemental licensure area for up to 60 school days while completing the requirements for the initial supplemental license. 

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Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES)

    What student assessments qualify as high-quality student data?
    The Department is working with local schools and national experts to define high-quality student data6. More information is forthcoming. | 6See ORC 3319.112.

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    Who determines which measures of high-quality student data a district will use as evidence for teacher evaluation?
    Local districts and schools will select student assessments that meet the Department’s forthcoming definition of high-quality student data. For teacher evaluation7, districts and schools should use this data to determine student learning attributable to a teacher being evaluated. Schools and districts must use value-added data where it applies. | See ORC 3319.111(B).
     

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    Are teachers rated Accomplished eligible for a less frequent evaluation cycle?
    Yes, a district may choose to evaluate Accomplished teachers once every three years. A teacher rated Accomplished at the end of a school year will not be formally evaluated until two more full school years have passed, as long as the educator shows progress on his or her professional growth plan.8 |See ORC 3319.111(C)(2)(a).

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    Are teachers rated Skilled eligible for a less frequent evaluation cycle?
    Yes, a district may choose to evaluate teachers rated Skilled once every two years. A teacher rated Skilled at the end of a school year will not be formally evaluated until another full school year has passed, as long as the educator demonstrates progress on his or her professional growth plan. It is the evaluator’s responsibility to determine this.9 | 9See ORC 3319.111(C)(2)(b).

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    When will the OTES Framework be formally adopted by the State Board of Education?
    The law10 requires the State Board to adopt the new framework no later than May 1, 2020. | 10See ORC 3319.112(A).

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    When must local boards of education adopt the revised OTES Framework?
    The law11 requires local boards of education, consulting with the teachers they employ, to update their standards-based teacher evaluation policies to conform with the State Board of Education’s framework for evaluating teachers. Local boards must do this no later than July 1, 2020. | 11See ORC 3319.111(A).

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    Will teachers who are rated Ineffective for two of the three most recent years need to be retested to determined their expertise in the core subject areas they teach?
    No. Ohio law regarding this matter has been repealed, so retesting of these teachers in low-performing schools is no longer required.

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Properly Certified or Licensed Teacher

    Does the law require districts to report Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status?
    No. Districts are no longer required to complete the the state’s HQT forms. State law does, however, require teachers providing instruction in core subject areas to be properly certified or licensed.12 Districts can use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Licensure Assurance report in EMIS to verify proper certification or licensure requirements and identify conflicts relating to these requirements. | 12See ORC 3319.074(B).

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    What makes a teacher properly certified or licensed?
    A properly certified or licensed13 teacher has completed the requirements for the appropriate license for his or her teaching assignment, based on the following:
    1. Subject area;
    2. Grade level(s) instructed; and
    3. Students provided instruction.
    13See ORC 3319.074(A)(2).

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    What are “core” academic subject areas?
    Core subject areas14 include reading and English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language and fine arts. | 14See ORC 3319.074(A)(1).

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    When must paraprofessionals be properly certified?
    Beginning July 1, 2019, paraprofessionals who provide academic support in a program supported with Title I funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 must meet the properly certified-paraprofessional requirements.15 | 15See ORC 3319.074(B)(2).

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    How do paraprofessionals providing academic support in a core academic subject supported with Title I funds become properly certified?

    First, all educational aides in an aide position must hold an educational aide permit (either 1year or 4 year).

    Second, according to the “Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,” 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq. and Ohio Revised Code 3319.074, at least one of the following criteria must also be satisfied:2

    1. Have a designation of “ESEA qualified” on the educational aide permit; or
    2. Have successfully completed at least two years of coursework at an accredited institution of higher education; or
    3. Hold an associate degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education; or
    4. Meet a rigorous standard of quality as demonstrated by attainment of a qualifying score on an academic assessment specified by the Department of Education.
    NOTE:
    1. For a schoolwide program receiving Title I funds, the requirements apply to all paraprofessionals in that school.
    1. For a program that is not schoolwide (i.e., targeted assistance), the requirements apply to all paraprofessionals being paid with Title I funds.
    2See ORC 3319.074(A)(3) and HB 477.

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    I am a paraprofessional, how do I know if I need to meet the state definition of proper certification and licensure for my position?
    1. For a schoolwide program receiving Title I funds, the requirements apply to all paraprofessionals in that school.
    2. For a program that is not schoolwide (i.e., targeted assistance), the requirements apply to all paraprofessionals being paid with Title I funds.

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    How does an intervention specialist meet proper certification?
    In general, a K-12 Intervention Specialist License (Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Intensive) is considered properly licensed for teaching special education courses to students with disabilities in grades K-12.

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    Are there additional content requirements for an intervention specialist to meet proper certification?
    No.

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    Must substitute academic paraprofessional aides be properly certified?
    Yes, if they are providing academic support in a Title I-funded core subject area. The Department does not issue a substitute aide license; however, Ohio law allows an individual to be a substitute aide for up to 60 days while his or her educational aide permit application is pending (has been submitted through CORE and approved by the employer).

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    What is the definition of “academic support”?
    “Academic” or “instructional” support is defined as providing meaningful assistance or oversight in helping students grapple with, understand or interpret academic content for which they must demonstrate comprehension.

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Last Modified: 9/25/2019 8:26:28 AM