Special Education

Special Education in Region 8

Improving Results for Children with Disabilities

Four children smiling
School and district data show consistent gaps in academic performance and graduation rates of students with disabilities compared to their nondisabled peers:
  • Students with disabilities are almost three times less likely to enter kindergarten demonstrating readiness;
  • Fewer than one-third of Ohio’s students with disabilities are proficient on the third grade English language arts
  • On the state English language arts assessment, 28.9% of students with disabilities scored proficient or better as compared to 64.6% for all students.
  • Like national trends, Ohio’s students with disabilities are more likely to experience exclusionary discipline practices than their peers who do not have disabilities.

Ohio, and all of its 16 State Support Teams, are committed to ensuring positive and meaningful educational experiences for students with disabilities that will lead to academic and postsecondary success. In alignment with Ohio's Plan to Improve Learning Experiences and Outcomes for Students with Disabilities, Each Child Means Each ChildSST8 offers a variety of special education-related professional development and technical assistance services for district personnel, with particular emphasis in the areas of alternate assessment, assistive technology, autism, implementation and internal monitoring IDEA-related policies/procedures, inclusive instructional practices (including co-teaching), and postsecondary transition. Additionally, we welcome questions from parents of students with disabilities on these and related topics. Please contact the SST8 consultant(s) at the bottom right of this page for additional information.

Operating Standards

The revised Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities, which are Ohio Administrative Code Rules 3301-51-01 to 09, 11 and 21, became effective on July 1, 2014. Additional updates will be posted to the ODE and SST-8 websites as they become available.

The Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities identify the state requirements and federal Part B Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requirements that apply to the implementation of special education and related services to students with disabilities by school districts, county boards of developmental disabilities and other educational agencies.

Supports and Resources

Virtual Office Hours

From September through May, SST8 consultants Helen Brophy and Dee Dee Howes will host monthly "Virtual Office Hours" via webinar to answer questions from educators regarding special education policies and practices, including ETR/IEP questions. Sessions are recorded and archived for future listening via our SST8 YouTube Channel.  Please remember that all guidance shared is current only as of the date of the session and could later be revised by U.S. Department of Ed or ODE policy changes.  Interested in joining a session? Visit our Events Calendar to find the next session!

Surrogate Parent list

Need a surrogate parent for an upcoming meeting? Region 8 maintains a list of individuals who have are up-to-date with training requirements and have agreed to serve LEAs in Medina, Summit, and Portage Counties. Access the list here.

Know someone who would be a great surrogate parent? ODE has now made trainings available online. An in-person training will be offered in the 2022-2023 school year. Check our Event Calendar for more details. 

SST8 Special Education Team

Who Can I Talk To About...?
Alternate Assessment: Dee Dee Howes and Helen Brophy
Assistive Technology: Tracy Mail
Co-Teaching: Tracy Mail and Mike Kaschak
Disproportionality in Special Education: Jenine Sansosti and Rachel Undercoffer
Instructional Supports for Diverse Learners: Dee Dee Howes, Tracy Mail
Post-Secondary Transition: Helen Brophy
Preschool Special Education: Stacey Smith

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