Department of Student Services

Exceptional Students...Exceptional Staff 12.15.15


It’s time to take a minute to give a shout out to our amazing school psychologists in the district. With an overwhelming influx of newly graduated professionals, CPS has been very lucky to draw such a strong cohort. Aris Quatkemeyer found CPS through her internships with Roberts Academy and Carson, and Oyler was lucky enough to have her land in their building. She is quickly settling in at Oyler and has graciously accepted the position as Case Coordinator in her second year.

It is apparent that Aris’s intention is to bring a positive attitude and enthusiasm to work. “The best part about my job is getting to work with a variety of people on a daily basis. I get to work with the students as well as consult with administrators, parents, teachers and intervention specialists. I truly enjoy the interactions and relationships that have developed as a result of my job.”

Aris is in a unique position to work in a building with several community partners. She really appreciates the eclectic experience that this allows. “One of the best things about working at Oyler is the staff and community that support our school. We have so many amazing resources that people have developed in response to specific student needs at our school. Whether it be tutoring, mentoring, meeting basic clothing, hygiene, and housing needs, or dental, medical and eye care, we have it at Oyler. It seems like each week there are more and more people coming to the school that truly want to help the kids. Seeing these children's needs be met at school is very rewarding.”

Though Aris is still at the beginning of her career, she is quickly learning how to be as successful as possible with the extraordinary amount of demands that are placed on our school psychologists on a daily basis. “I've found that being organized and having time management skills has been the most helpful to me in my role as a school psychologist. Another thing that's been helpful to me in my first two years is to reach out to other psychologists in the district for ideas and strategies that they've found helpful.”

Most importantly, Aris has quickly learned that in order to maintain the joy she has for her work that she must remain flexible. “No day is ever the same and there are always going to be new and exciting challenges headed my way.”

Testing Accommodations Update

In an effort to streamline the inputting of data into Ed Plan, we are going to be making changes to section 12. There are many accommodations (now referred to as accessibilities) that are no longer required to have an IEP to be given to students. We are removing those accessibilities from Ed Plan for the Ohio State Tests (OSTs). Please refer to the attached Excel file for as a quick reference guide. The accessibilities that are marked as “universal” will be taken out of Ed Plan.

The removal of these from Ed Plan does not mean that they should not be considered and delivered to SWD; they just no longer need to be documented in the IEP because all students are eligible to receive them. These accessibilities should be considered and delivered to any student who would benefit from them.

The attached outline is just a quick reference guide, for more detailed information, please refer to the complete Accessibility manual that is also attached, detailed information about the accessibilities are on pages 9-17. You may also want to visit the state’s page for additional information, including the appendices for the manual. You can use the following link to access the page, Accessibility for Ohio’s State Tests.

One last note, these changes are only with regards to the new state tests. Students who are still taking the Ohio Graduation Test, will receive the same accommodations that they have in the past.

Accessibility outline:

Accessibility Manual:

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Alternate Assessment Training 2016

All new test administrators (Intervention Specialists) and second raters are required to attend a full-day training session in advance of the testing window (February 22 - April 15).

Returning test administrators and second raters are not required to attend training for the spring 2016 administration, but a refresher two-hour session will be offered. Refresher sessions will be available for returning test administrators who wish to revisit test administration policies and procedures.

Two refresher sessions will be available at Mayerson Academy in February.

All other training sessions for the alternate assessment will be held in January 2016 through ESCs.

Please click on the link for dates, times, and locations of training sessions:

ESL Info

Winter DIBELS and AIMSweb Benchmarks

It’s that time of year again for us to monitor the progress of our ELL students. Benchmark data will be used to monitor student progress and determine student needs and possible interventions.

The Winter Benchmark window for ELL data collection will be from January 4th-February 5th. This data is important for determining appropriate interventions for ELLs and monitoring their progress.

-Group Measures for Withrow and Dater HS will be handled by the building assessment team.

-Group Measures for the big elementaries (Roberts, Midway, AMIS, AWL, Hartwell) will be handled by the building assessment team.

-Small Schools:

-1-5 Students - ESL Specialist will complete all measures.

- 6-12 Students - Will be completed by benchmark assessment support team with coordination by the ESL Specialists.

- 12+ students- Will be completed by the support team with coordination of ESL Specialists.

The goal is to have all the measures assessed, scored and entered by February 5th.

Go, Go, Goalbook!

Goalbook: Empowering educators to design rigorous instruction so that ALL students succeed.

Goalbook is not only an excellent tool for breaking down the standards, but it also offers a rich data base for UDL strategies under the 3 key areas: Representation, Expression and Engagement. Under each category you can click on links to take you directly to examples of how to implement these strategies in the classroom so our students can access the lesson.

The UDL strategies can be accessed by following these steps: 1) 2) GOALBOOK Pathways, 3) UDL Strategies Index, then search for topics of interest to you.

Here is the wide variety of heading that strategies can be accessed under:

Strategies for Representation:


1.1 Offer ways of customizing the display of information

1.2 Offer alternatives for auditory information

1.3 Offer alternatives for visual information

Language, mathematical expressions, and symbols

2.1 Clarify vocabulary and symbols

2.2 Clarify syntax and structure

2.3 Support decoding text, mathematical notation, and symbols

2.4 Promote understanding across languages

2.5 Illustrate through multiple media


3.1 Activate or supply background knowledge

3.2 Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships

3.3 Guide information processing, visualization, and manipulation

3.4 Maximize transfer and generalization

Strategies for Expression:

Physical action

4.1 Vary the methods for response and navigation

4.2 Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies

Expression and communication

5.1 Use multiple media for communication

5.2 Use multiple tools for construction and composition

5.3 Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance

Executive functions

6.1 Guide appropriate goal-setting

6.2 Support planning and strategy development

6.3 Facilitate managing information and resources

6.4 Enhance capacity for monitoring progress

Strategies for Engagement:

Recruiting interest

7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy

7.2 Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity

7.3 Minimize threats and distractions

Sustaining effort and persistence

8.1 Heighten salience of goals and objectives

8.2 Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge

8.3 Foster collaboration and communication

8.4 Increase mastery-oriented feedback


9.1 Promote expectations and beliefs that optimize motivation

9.2 Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies

9.3 Develop self-assessment and reflection

Transition Tip

Post-secondary Transition

We are hopeful that you have received your Tracking Documents to help simplify the data gathering process, if not please see your Transition Coordinator. This is merely a way to help organize how you are gathering the required data that needs to be entered into sections 4 and 5. Be sure to look at the dates for when tasks should be accomplished as you prepare for your upcoming IEPs.

Anytime a new document is presented there are questions about how it can be completed in the most efficient way possible. We want to offer some helpful hints and clarification. We are going to use Journey A, 7th grade as an example. The data needed for sections 4 and 5 of the IEP are broken down into 6 sections.

Section 1) Structure time for the student to complete 1 Naviance Activity per Quarter.

This can be supported by any adult in the building. The IS just needs to be able to access the results to include in sections 4 and 5. This is also meant to compliment the mytomorrow initiative already implemented.

Section 2) Process with the student after he/she attends a session with a guest speaker and complete to worksheets per year (1 per semester).

If you do not have this in place, no worries, your transition coordinator can consult with Patrick Wong to facilitate the process.

Section 3) Supervise the student's documentation to track exploration of 1 CPS Career-Technical program per Quarter.

This is strictly about exposure so that students are aware of what CPS have to offer throughout the district. Students should know that this is one option they have at their disposal if the

wish to take advantage of it.

Section 4) Invite the student to participate in the IEP process so that the student can give input and participate.

This is just best practice and happening in most schools. This practice just needs to continue and begin to be implemented for those who are not currently implementing this as a routine practice.

Section 5) Compile a student portfolio of transition assessments for each student regarding PINS, 2 assessments for each area: Education and Training, Employment, and Independent Living (If applicable).

HINT: the Naviance assessments can be used in this section if applicable. If they aren't appropriate please go here for a plethora of assessments that you can access quickly.

Section 6) Instruct student on how to develop 21st Century (soft skills) needed for college and career readiness, (1 skill lesson per week).

If you are not already doing this Patrick Wong is currently consulting with the Transition Coordinators to provide SIMPLE tools and ideas to accomplish this step. Please remember many of you are already doing this in an informal way on a daily basis. This will just allow you to gather the needed data to incorporate in sections 4 and 5.

If you have questions about the tracking documents please contact Thea Staley and she can direct you to the person who can best serve your needs.

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EdPlan Lifeboat Sessions

Lifeboat sessions will be held on the following dates. Please note the locations vary between Mayerson and the computer lab on the 3rd floor of the Ed. Center.



Mayerson: Room 201



Ed. Center: 3rd Floor Computer Lab

Gifted News

Gifted Endorsement for Free!

Are you interested in getting your Gifted Endorsement? Are you thinking of earning a Master's Degree? Then you are closer to qualifying. Are you currently teach in a qualifying "low income" school? (All CPS schools except: Clark, Fairview, Hyde Park, Kilgour, SCPA, Sands, and Walnut Hills - but everyone else should qualify.) If so, then you can use the TEACH grant to take the necessary courses!

What is the TEACH grant? The TEACH grant allows teachers to access funds to pay for courses. If the teacher teaches for a "qualifying school" for five years, the money is forgiven. If the teacher does not teach for a qualifying school, the money reverts to a loan and must be repaid. Here is the searchable database of schools which qualify. Please take a moment to double check to insure your school qualifies by clicking here.

Interested teachers should contact Jackie Smith at Xavier University. Her email is This could really help with services at your school now that gifted is on the report card.

Physical/Occupational Therapy Thoughts

Keep it Moving!

Did you know that movement is directly tied to learning? Getting the students up and using both sides of their brains can improve attention/focus and performance in reading. The OTs and PTs have been learning one method to help with this in the classroom this year through S'Cool Moves. You may have seen posters of desk cards that your therapists are using with small groups or in large classrooms. The research is behind it. Visit S' to check it out!

SLP Spot

SLPs Work With Children Who Have A Variety Of Disabilities:

• Language

• Voice

• Fluency or stuttering

• Articulation

Language Disabilities Include:

• Slow development of vocabulary, concepts or grammar

• Inability to use different communication styles for different situations

• Poor building blocks of understanding/expressing ideas, social development, learning, reading, and writing

Voice Disorders:

· Speech that is too high, low, or monotonous in pitch

• Interrupted by breaks

• Too loud or too soft

• Harsh, hoarse, breathy, or nasal

Fluency or Stuttering Problems:

• Interruptions in flow or rhythm

• Can include hesitations, repetitions, or prolongations

• Can affect sounds, syllables, words, or phrases

Articulation Disorders:

• Saying one sound for another (wabbit for rabbit)

• Omitting a sound in a word (i-cream for ice cream)

• Distorting a sound (thee for see)


A tier 1 strategy for articulation: If a student’s response contains a known sound error, it’s important to repeat what the child said with an appropriate model. (e.g., If the child says ‘nak’ for snake, you would say, “Oh, you want the snake”). This way you are not focusing on the error or calling negative attention to the child, but providing an appropriate model.

For other articulation strategies to implement with students in your classroom, contact your building SLP. The SLP has a toolbox of strategies to assist a child in his/her speech and language development.

Assistive Technology

Tools for Struggling Readers and Writers

Do your students struggle to access grade level print based material? There are many web based supports available that can reduce the barrier between our students and grade level content. Our Assistive Technology Intervention Specialist offers training for related service providers at your school, during your regularly scheduled department meeting. This training includes an overview of various tools, demonstrations on how to use the tools, how to get help / find answers, and an opportunity for participants to explore and interact with each tool.

Feedback from trainings this year include:

“We see this as a valuable resource to share with our students struggling with reading- and when our parents contact us with questions we will be better prepared to assist or give them options to find help…”

“The training Julie provided for AT was amazing! It was very insightful for opportunities many of us don't know about concerning assistive technology for our students. I was very thankful for the experience to help our students out as much as possible!”

There are still some training times available for the 2015-2016 school year - please Julie Bassett for availability.

Instructional Technology

Are you ready to engage students with participatory lessons that reinforce skills with multi-sensory and collaborative learning experiences but do not have access to an interactive whiteboard?

We have a limited number of ebeams that are available on a first come, first served basis. This technology works together with your existing classroom projector and dry erase board to provide an interactive surface which allows you to interact with any website, application, or document. If you are interested, *and you currently have a working projector in your classroom*, please contact Julie Bassett with a brief explanation of how you will use this instructional technology.

SPARCC Upcoming Free Webinar: Navigating Google Drive

Google Drive is the cloud based storage that supports all of Google Apps. Google Drive can be like a lot like your attic, basement, garage, “junk” draw or any other place where you store stuff; items are unorganized, stacked in high piles and it is difficult to find what you want when you want it. This webinar will help you organize the contents of your Google Drive. Participants will also learn about many of Drive's useful features (that most users are unaware of) that can make organization easier, keep you up-to-date on changing files, upload and/or downloads files between Google Drive and your other storage places (your computer hard drive, network drive and/or USB storage) and more. Both novice and experienced Google Drive users will benefit from this free professional development. Click here to register.

IS Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 4pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

ESP Curriuclum Council

Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 4pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH