Special Education Weekly Update

December 16, 2015

District Autism Team

Yesterday the team completed a second full day of collaboration and planning at the ESC! We are working closely with a representative from the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI). We will meet again in January and again in March. By January we will have an action plan that can be shared and used for planning as we move forward into the 2016-17 school year and beyond. We are very excited to develop this vision and systematic plan for programming in our district. As many of you already know, autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years and rising at an alarming rate.


If you are interested in learning more, there are great quality resources available and some even offer college credit opportunities! Listed below are a couple:


Autism Internet Modules

Autism Certification Central

State Testing

We would like to offer a couple key highlights from the Ohio Testing Accessibility Manual. The criteria of providing accommodations for students has NOT changed since last year with the administration of the PARCC assessment. The standard is higher than that of the Ohio Achievement Assessments and will remain to be true for some time.


For example, in the document linked above on the bottom of page 23 is the beginning of the listed criteria for a student to receive a read aloud on the ELA test. The number of students that fit this criteria is very low. We urge you to use the Appendix B decision making tool to assist in the determination if a student should need a read aloud accommodation. Furthermore, we would suggest that you use this document to guide your team decision making for the usage of accommodations as your write Section 7 and 12 in IEPs from this point forward.


If you have questions regarding the fidelity of compliance with this criteria it is essential that you contact Drew, Bethany, or Andy to discuss the matter.

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About Us

The Special Education Department in the Strongsville City Schools is a proactive group of highly qualified and driven educators that are dedicated to serve students with disabilities with passion and hard work. We provide professional development and innovative training to all levels of staff to ensure outstanding service to our students. We have high expectations at every level and work continuously to improve our instructional practices, leadership, and collaborative partnerships with parents and families.