Addressing Significant Disproportionality in Special Education Resources

Districts and schools may use these resources to address:


  • Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education: Ohio’s greatest education challenge remains equity in education achievement for each child. The path to equity begins with a deep understanding of the history of discrimination and bias and how it has come to impact current society. This plan renews Ohio’s commitment to creating the learning conditions that ensure each child acquires the knowledge and skills across all four equal learning domains to be successful.
  • Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) Modules: Modules related to equity and diversity for professional learning. Some of the modules available through OLAC include: Diversity: Ensuring Everyone Learns; Trauma-informed Practice; Culturally Responsive Pedagogy; Social and Emotional Needs of Advanced Learners; and Culturally Responsive Practices.
  • Race and Racism: Developing a Personal Understanding of Race and Racism: This session introduces race and racism and is presented to educators interested in learning about and teaching about race and racism in their classrooms. Dr. Tyson from the Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University answers questions for educators about discussing race and racism in the classroom.
  • Implicit Bias Module Series: The Kirwan Institute's Implicit Bias Module Series.
  • Great Lakes Equity Center: The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center provides technical assistance and training, upon request, in the areas of race, sex, national origin and religion to public school districts and other responsible governmental agencies to promote equitable educational opportunities and work in the areas of civil rights, equity and school reform. The center serves 13 state educational agencies, 7,025 public school districts and 11,249,050 public school students.
  • Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education and Anti Bias Education Guide: Available from Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, these free resources for educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—can inform their practice and create civil and inclusive school communities. Among these resources is a free, online professional development seminar consisting of four, one-hour modules designed to help teachers implement culturally responsive practices. The modules focus on instruction, classroom culture, family and community engagement and teacher leadership. Modules include videos and structured activities to help educators apply the concepts in the classroom. The seminar can be completed independently or as a group.
  • Teaching Channel’s Coaching for Equity video: The video gives the perspective of one high school English language arts/math coach on equity and what it means to coach for equity — helping teachers support every student. In addition, the site includes more than 1,250 videos educators can watch and share that highlight diverse techniques to impact student learning and growth. Viewers can search videos based on topics of interest, subject areas and grade levels.
  • Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools Equity Initiatives Unit: Training and tools to help staff develop cultural proficiency. The site provides a series of online modules — Communicating High Expectations to Students — that are designed to assist instructional staff in examining their beliefs, values, attitudes and dispositions that might influence teaching and learning.
  • The National Equity Project: Supports leaders to transform their systems into equitable and resilient environments. They provide consulting and coaching to help leaders and teams make informed decisions and take effective action.
  • Enhancing Equity in Career-Technical Education Programming: To support the educational community in ensuring students have meaningful access and are engaged in high-quality career-technical education programs, the Ohio Department of Education has made ensuring an equitable education for each student a priority. Resources on this webpage include information about equity labs, the equity ambassador program and additional equity resources.  
  • PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales): Free resources to help educators use research-based strategies to equitably support student engagement, agency and learning. This includes professional learning programs and growth mindset modules.
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School Climate and Social-Emotional Supports

  • Whole Child Resources: The Whole Child Framework provides a framework schools can use to meet the mental, behavioral, physical health, wellness, nutrition and safety needs of Ohio students. This webpage provides links to information and resources to support schools in providing whole child supports to students. Also, the Department is developing a Whole Child Toolkit and additional resources to help districts, families and community partners address current needs.
  • Trauma-informed Practices: Information about addressing the social-emotional needs of students. Research shows Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) create trauma that forms a barrier to effective student participation in the learning process in school.
  • Social and Emotional Learning Standards: Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s strategic plan for education, elevates social-emotional learning to a new position of importance. These high-quality Social and Emotional Learning Standards were adopted following the adoption of the strategic plan.
  • Ohio’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Guides school teams in the selection, integration and implementation of evidence-based practices for improving academic, social and behavior outcomes for all students, which can reduce suspensions and expulsions and restraint and seclusion.
  • School-based Health Care Support Toolkit: Toolkit provided by the School-based Health Care Network to support schools as meaningful points of access to health care services.
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Staff Diversity

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Culturally Responsive Practices

  • Culturally Responsive Practices: Culturally responsive practices support equity for all students. The Ohio Department of Education is conducting professional learning on this topic through the Culturally Responsive Practices program that includes four courses. The learning opportunities are available from the Ohio Department of Education’s Learning Management System and the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council’s website. The learning can be facilitated in professional learning communities and is supported with facilitator guides and train-the-trainer opportunities. It also can be completed individually.
  • Cultural Competency Resources: Provides tools and resources for individual teachers and school and district leaders responsible for providing professional development in culturally competent and responsive practices. It also includes examples from other state education agencies and some of the tools and resources they have created to address cultural competency, responsiveness and equity.
  • Culturally Responsive Practice: This module from the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) offers culturally responsive practice courses. Culturally responsive practice is an approach that encompasses and recognizes both students’ and educators’ lived experiences, cultures and linguistic capital. Culturally responsive educators reflect on their students’ as well as their own lived experiences, cultures and linguistic capital to inform, support and ensure high-quality instruction.
  • Cultural Competence Facilitator’s Handbook and Cultural Competence Participant’s Workbook from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. The materials aid facilitators in conducting sessions to help educators interact with diverse students. The district also developed a series of videos to accompany the facilitator’s handbook.
  • Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement: Emphasizes the use of culturally responsive practices. A systematic approach to teaching that recognizes a learner’s unique culture can strengthen that learner’s connectiveness to his or her school and enhance learning (Kalyanpur & Harry, 2012, Tatum, 2009).
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Academic Supports

  • Ohio’s Evidence-Based Clearinghouse: Provides information and resources on how to use data and evidence within the cycle of continuous improvement. Understanding how each step connects to the other steps in the cycle can help educators use evidence-based strategies to effectively support students.
  • Instructional Resources for Teachers: Provides information about Universal Design for Learning, content area-specific resources and a snapshot of accommodations and interventions for general educators.
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Last Modified: 10/14/2022 10:03:46 AM