State Support Team Supplement

State Support Team Supplement


Recently, the Ohio Department of Education released the Reset and Restart Education: Planning Guide for Ohio's Schools and Districts as a tool to inform and assess a school's readiness to open. This supplement to the planning guide will assist administrators in developing a better understanding of the supports available through state support team partnerships and creating and sustaining an educational environment where all students can learn and succeed.
Utilizing coaching strategies and leadership resources, state support team consultants work collaboratively with district and school leaders to enhance systems structures focused on:
  • Students with disabilities;
  • Early learning and literacy;
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS); and
  • Family engagement.
Through partnering with state support teams, districts and schools collaboratively address the challenges the reset and restart phase of the school year will bring, as well as the challenges that will be encountered throughout the year. State support teams are uniquely situated to support schools and districts as they provide a link in the educational networked community between the state level and school level.

How can State Support Teams Help with Reset and Restart Efforts in Districts and Schools?

State support teams provide universal supports to any interested district or school in a particular region. Additionally, state support teams provide targeted and intensive supports to districts and schools identified in Ohio's differentiated accountability system and identified by the Office for Exceptional Children as Needs Assistance, Needs Intervention or Needs Substantial Intervention.
As schools and districts continue planning to reset and restart, state support teams are ready to engage in the following areas:
  • Developing and utilizing collaborative teams;
  • Identifying and analyzing data;
  • Implementing a Multi-Tiered System of Support;
  • Focusing on professional learning; and
  • Engaging with partners in the region.

Collaborative Teams

State support teams can help districts and schools develop and utilize collaborative teams to address many considerations in the Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide. They also can connect educators with resources that create or improve conditions necessary for teachers to excel and students to succeed, whether meeting in person or remotely.
Many schools and districts have data-informed, continuous improvement processes in place, either through deep engagement in the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) or  similar improvement frameworks. The collaborative team structures at the core of the OIP serve as peer-to-peer networks, giving educators a voice that allows for the inclusion of multiple perspectives in guiding continuous improvement. State support team consultants facilitate collaborative teams with district leadership, building leadership and, in some cases, teacher-based teams to effectively implement the OIP. State support teams can assist with the creation and utilization of district leadership teams (DLT), building leadership teams (BLT) and teacher-based teams (TBT) to build and refine a foundation for systemwide inquiry; data-informed decision-making; selection of approaches and strategies; effective implementation; quality monitoring processes; and ensuring equitable opportunities for all students to learn and succeed.
As the new academic year begins, school and district collaborative teams may find their work will have an even greater emphasis and focus on what students know coming into the school year and understanding how to respond and provide instruction or assistance to students so they demonstrate growth by the end of the year. Knowing where students start and where they need to be helps educators set a specific set of learning goals for each child. These goals serve as a guide for team discussion and maintaining a constant focus on practices that support academic and nonacademic needs of students.
Additional Considerations:
If teams already have been created for the upcoming year, consider the following questions:
  • What will the improvement team focus on as it relates to resetting and restarting the school year?
  • What is the composition of the collaborative team? Is there equitable representation of staff from all levels, content or specialty areas, and diverse backgrounds or experiences?
  • How will the collaborative team identify and address student equity disparities or issues that may have been amplified during the school-building closure period through the time schools reopen?
  • How will the collaborative team monitor and adjust continuous improvement implementation efforts throughout the school year?
Additionally, state support teams can assist school and district collaborative teams with implementation plan creation and evidence-based strategy selection for reopening schools and providing professional supports and resources to educators. These strategies and resources are critical components within the progress monitoring process for adult implementation indicators and student performance indicators.
State support team consultants can work in partnership to monitor plan and strategy implementation, including providing feedback, being a thought partner, connecting with resources to address identified needs and helping to adjust plans in order to be flexible and nimble in the new educational environment.
When creating a plan, consider the following essential questions:
  • Have short- and long-term goals aligned to needs been established within the plan?
  • Have action steps needed to meet the goals been included in the plan?
  • Have the resources needed for effective plan implementation been identified? 
(Resources may include and are not limited to additional staffing, changes in current staffing roles, curriculum and resource materials, hardware, software, bandwidth, training and a means for communication with parents, students and staff.)
Additional considerations:
  • Before implementation, consider how to monitor progress of selected strategies and how to make adaptations. Plan monitoring and adjustments based upon ongoing formative data can be examined by teams.
  • Essential questions might include:
    • Do new or additional instructional resources need to be considered?
    • What additional professional learning is needed to accomplish plan goals and the educational needs of students?

Data Identification and Analysis

Collaborative teams should first identify and analyze any available data about students, adults and families to pinpoint areas of greatest need or support. The 2020-2021 school year will begin with an absence of previously available data sources from various levels (end-of-year teacher observations, end-of-course or unit assessments, grade-level common assessments, district assessments, state assessments or family engagement surveys).
Without state standardized tests, educators will need to utilize assessments at the local level that allow students to demonstrate academic competency and mastery. The Ohio Department of Education has created Restart and Readiness Assessments and Student Readiness Toolkits to support educators in gathering data for students at the beginning year. State support teams can assist with data analysis, including identifying additional data sources, determining root causes and supporting the appropriate use of data. Data identification and analysis is utilized by collaborative teams not only during the reset and restart phase, but also throughout the year to support rapid analysis of adult implementation of a practice to assess expected impact on student learning.
The ongoing identification and analysis of data allows educators to continuously reflect on what students know and are able to do, how educators know when students are meeting the intended learning expectations, ways in which educators respond when students need support or extension and how educators are implementing teaching strategies and learning practices that meet student needs.
During the process of data identification and analysis, consider these essential questions:
  • In the absence of typically available data, how will educators know where students are in their learning?
  • What data is available to use and how can educators use it to help students move forward?
  • How can educators be supported to gather the data they need to determine where students are?
  • How are educators analyzing and utilizing data to select instructional resources and strategies for students?
Regional Data Leads are available to assist with data-informed continuous improvement. Regional Data Leads are education professionals who promote the use of student performance data among educators regionally, both to strengthen professional practice and improve learning for all students. Regional Data Leads are located at educational service centers and within state support teams throughout the state. They are valuable resources to educators as they work together to support data-informed decisions focused on improving student learning. Regional Data Leads can support schools and districts with connecting achievement to progress data or using data to create sustainable change.

Implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support

Students may return to school after an extended time away with more academic and behavioral gaps than previously experienced during a “normal” summer break. A Multi-Tiered System of Support is a comprehensive framework designed to provide targeted supports that meet the needs of each child.
When considering how to support students’ academic needs through a Multi-Tiered System of Support  framework, districts may consider the following:
  • Tier 1: What instruction will be provided to all students during reset and restart, regardless of the mode of delivery (remote, hybrid or in person)?
  • Tier 2: How will teachers intervene with small groups of students who need more than what is provided in Tier 1 instruction? How will teachers work with small groups of students who need additional support?
  • Tier 3: For those individual students who need more focused attention and instruction than provided in Tier 1 and who still are not making progress through Tier 2 interventions, what supports are in place to meet their individual needs?
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support align with Ohio’s strategic plan, Each Child, Our Future, in that such systems can be applied to supporting the needs of each child and the needs of the “whole child,” including behavioral and social-emotional needs. State support teams provide technical assistance and coaching to assist districts and schools ensuring the implementation of robust Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. 
State support team consultants partner with schools and districts by providing educators with professional learning opportunities and coaching focused on areas of greatest need, with emphasis on student achievement.
Essential questions for implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support:
  • How are leaders supporting teachers to understand, design and implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support framework?
  • What does student engagement look like for core and supplemental instruction and support?
  • What supports are needed at each tier for students across buildings and grades?
  • Have current Multi-Tiered Systems of Support been examined to ensure the systems include and utilize screening, diagnostics, progress monitoring and outcome data relative to the academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs of students?
  • Have current supports and practices for students not making progress been examined?
  • Are special education and general education teachers intentionally collaborating for reading instruction and supports?
  • Have educators considered what’s working and how to leverage effective practices?


Professional Learning

As Ohio’s schools reopen, educators are focused on providing instruction in new ways that ensure learning opportunities for all students. Through a collaborative team framework, educators can share best practices, improve targeted supports and work together to deliver excellent instruction in person with students or through remote learning and engagement.
Schools and districts can access online support for educators as state support teams are developing new virtual professional learning sessions, adapting professional learning previously offered in person to occur in an online space and enhancing their skills to facilitate professional learning within an online environment.
State support team consultants’ focused areas of expertise include:
  • Ohio’s continuous improvement process;
  • Special education co-plan to co-serve models;
  • Approaches to support diverse learners;
  • Universal Design for Learning;
  • Early literacy;
  • Early learning and school readiness; and
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
State support teams provide professional learning, leadership support and coaching to build capacity of school and district personnel in their efforts to support educators and positively impact the educational learning experience of all students.


Regional Partner Engagement

Ohio’s Statewide System of Support includes the Department, state support teams, educational service centers, information technology centers and professional associations and organizations. As a part of the Statewide System of Support, the state support team collaborates with schools, families, regional partners and the Department through a continuous improvement process to ensure each child in Ohio has access to a high-quality education. 
Educational service centers and state support teams partner to provide resources and supports to Ohio’s schools and districts. The Department coordinates 16 regional teams that cover Ohio and can respond to inquiries and requests by schools and districts. As schools and districts look for ways to partner across the region and share best practices for reopening school buildings and rethinking education, it’s important to remember there is no cost to schools or districts to utilize state support team services.
State support teams gather ideas and solutions that some districts already have implemented (or are planning) and make them available through networking meetings, helping districts to connect with and inspire each other.
Consider the following essential questions:
  • How can the school or district create strong partnerships with each type of support organization to support in-person or remote learning?
  • How can the various strengths and expertise of regional partners assist the school or district with professional learning opportunities for educators? This may include meeting locations, professional development or student-focused resources.
For example: Educational service centers have been hosting and facilitating leadership networking meetings, as well as planning sessions to discuss and develop implementation plans for Ohio’s schools. This collaborative planning supports consistency across the region and educational service centers can continue to assist districts as they think through barriers and possible solutions.

Summary and Resources

Ohio’s state support teams offer a wide variety of services and supports to districts of particular value during this time of planning and preparation for the reopening of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. District and school leaders are encouraged to reach out to local state support teams and engage in conversations to collaboratively prepare to serve students and families.
Schools and districts can learn more about state support teams, supports offered and COVID-19-specific resources available through state support teams on the Department’s State Support Team webpage.
Additional Reset and Restart supplements, Student Readiness Toolkits and the Remote Learning Guide are available on the Department’s website.

Last Modified: 4/14/2021 10:14:02 AM