Department of Student Services

Exceptional Students...Exceptional Staff 1.19.16


When DSS adopted a new software package for ETR/IEPs, most of you probably didn't know the name Tony Simsonson. By the end of August, Tony was known by name, if not by sight, to each and every DSS employee who was learning EdPlan- the answer to every question was "Call Tony Simonson, he can fix that!" And he has more than done so. However, you should know that there are several Simonsons in our district and yes, they are all related. After all, they come from the Westside!

Tony actually started with CPS in the treasurer's office doing budgeting and accounting in 1990. He moved to EMIS in 1999 and we in student services were fortunate to have him join us and move to the DSS area in July 2015. Since joining our staff, Tony has worked diligently to learn not only EdPlan but also ETRs, IEPs, Service Plans, and 504 plans. Add all that work to his consistent willingness to help staff and his responsiveness to the needs of both the department and our field staff and we have one terrific addition to the Department of Student Services in the person of Tony Simonson. He must feel the same about DSS, because he says, "I like the fact that this job keeps me busy and I like everyone I work with!"

Thank you, Tony, for all you do for us!

ESL Info

OTELA Updates

The OTELA assessment has been replaced by the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA), which measures English Language Learners’ progress toward the new state English language proficiency standards. This is a required state test for any student in grades K-12 who is identified as limited English proficient (LEP), even those whose parents have denied services.

This online assessment will be administered to all LEP students during the state testing window of February 29-April 22, 2016. OELPA training will be offered to BTCs and other district staff in early February. Principals can support the first time administration of this new assessment by ensuring there is building representation at the upcoming training. The February date will be shared by the Testing Department ASAP.

Assistive Technology

Boardmaker Online Advanced Webinar

Boardmaker Online users,

Did you miss the Boardmaker Online Advanced webinar or just wish you could re-watch the webinar you attended? You're in luck! The webinar was recorded and is accessible via this link:

Be sure to visit the Boardmaker Online help and training center for additional training support at:

Assistive Technology Professional Development Opportunity

Train and Take @ Mayerson Course # 891.6719

1/26/16 and 4/12/16 4:00 - 6:00

Students who struggle with basic writing need support. This two part class will train teachers to use supports that benefit emergent writers, developing writers, writers with dyslexia, and struggling spellers. Teachers will learn how to use the supports through an interactive, fast paced session. Teachers will then borrow the instructional technology to take back to their classroom so they can implement the supports. After a 9 week trial period, teachers will return for the second session to share successes and demonstrate ways they are using the supports with their students.

Go, Go, Goalbook!

Join one of the upcoming live Goalbook webinars! Goalbook is offering short trainings on four instructional topics in January. You can learn more about the webinars and register using the links below.

Two Ingredients for Cooking up a Great Lesson: Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and Goalbook Pathways

Register for this webinar:
Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 1:00pm Pacific Time (3pm Central, 4pm Eastern)

Designing Instruction with a Focus on Behavior and Social & Emotional Learning

Register for this webinar:
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 12:00pm Pacific Time (2pm Central, 3pm Eastern)

Achieving the Gold Standard for Extended Thinking Projects

Register for this webinar:
Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:00pm Pacific Time (2pm Central, 3pm Eastern)

From Knowing to Doing: 4 Ways to Incorporate the Principles of Universal Design for Learning in Your Classroom

Register for this webinar:
Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 12:00pm Pacific Time (2pm Central, 3pm Eastern)
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Printing or saving off IEPs and ETRs from SEAS in EdPlan

  1. Find the student whose IEP and/or ETR you are looking for in EdPlan.
  2. Click the Forms link in the Blue bar.

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After clicking on Forms, you will see the list of documents that have been created in EdPlan or imported from SEAS. You should see a header on the column called “Batch.”

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Check the boxes next to each of the IEP/ETR documents that you would like to print or save off.

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At the bottom of the page, click the View Document Batch button.
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This will open each of the documents that were checked off in one pdf document. From there you should be able to Print this document or Download it (if you would like to save it), using the icons in the upper right hand corner.

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Transition Tip

As we get into the second semester, it's time to take inventory on the progress for students' post-secondary transition plans. There are transition tracking sheets, which can be accessed through the following link: These will help to guide intervention specialists as you gather data for sections 4 and 5 of the IEP. Choose the tracking sheet that matches the Path/Journey and grade level for your student.

Activities in both Naviance and the Unique curriculum compliment the My Tomorrow plan and provide valuable data. Guest speakers and investigating our CPS vocational programs can give students the chance to connect with opportunities they may not be aware of.

Visit the 2016-2017 High School Guide to learn more about CPS vocational programs.

Bonus: If your team would like to receive a personal training from CPS's resident Naviance expert, Joan Pack-Rowe will gladly give a 30-60 minute group training. Transition coordinators can email her to schedule a visit at


By the end of January, all students in grades seven through nine who are on Journey A must:

  • complete two activities in Naviance
  • visit or investigate one CPS career technical program
  • have a visit from one guest speaker
  • complete two assessments per post-secondary goal

** Refer to checklist for details

By the end of January, all students in grades seven through nine on Journey A, extended, must use the Unique curriculum to:

  • complete two interest surveys or assessments
  • complete one career assessment
  • complete four Unique transition activities

** Refer to checklist for details

ALL students should participate in the IEP process, be invited and attend their meeting, and sign the IEP.

Physical/Occupational Therapy Thoughts

What is the difference between OT and PT?

As therapists we can tell you that we are often referred to by our students, their peers, parents, caregivers, teacher, etc. through various names. We can be called teacher, OT when we are PT, or PT when we are OT, or even asked "are you his mommy? or daddy?"

While both are rooted in foundational values, each one of our professions is distinct and vital.

"Despite distinctions, both fields remain grounded in similar values, ethics, and core beliefs. For example, both seek to do no harm and provide evidence-based interventions. Both are compassionate, knowledgeable professionals who demonstrate an intrinsic drive to improve the health and well-being of others.

Practitioners from both disciplines engage with their patients and clients to achieve optimal wellness and independence. Advanced education, licensure, and continued professional competence are required for each discipline."

By Lt. Matthew L. Baumann, MS, OTR/L, and Lt. Joshua A. Springer, MS, OTR/L)

Historically, physical therapy has viewed movement as the key to optimal living and quality of life. PTs work with clients/students to help define what and how they will use their movement system. The American Physical Therapy Association slogan is "It's all about movement!"

Occupational therapy views are holistic, as past and present slogans show: "Building skills for a better life," and "Occupational therapy: Living life to the fullest." Occupational therapy practitioners evaluate and treat to promote/facilitate functional restoration, maintenance, and promotion of overall independence. This can include but is not limited to self help skills, fine motor skills, cognitive skills, visual perceptual skills, memory skills, and sensory function.

The most important thing to remember is that OTs and PTs are there to help the client/student achieve independence to their fullest potential through the use of a wide variety of therapeutic activities and techniques that are driven by research, theory and practice. OTs and PTs working in the schools define their services by what the student/client needs to access the educational environment and curriculum. The DSS OTs and PTs are a unified group and are always working to learn more to better serve our students and hopefully help them to be more successful in their learning environments.

SLP Spot

What does direct and indirect service mean for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)?

Direct service means the SLP will:

· Work with the child one on one or in a group setting.

· Work with the child in the classroom or in a group.

· Use a combination of these approaches.

Indirect service means the SLP will:

· Watch how a child’s speech and language skills are developing. This is called monitoring.

· Help parents and teachers understand how the child communicates and learns. This is called consultation.

· Give the teacher suggestions on how to include a child’s speech and language goals in the classroom.

(This presentation is based on the ASHA brochure “Speech-Language Pathologists in Your Child’s School”)

MTSS/RtI tip:

Improving Auditory Comprehension –Classroom Strategies

• Encourage student to ask for repetition or clarification.

• Multimodality approach: when presenting directions use verbal and visual demonstration of instructions.

• Graphic Organizers: this will help student understand what to listen for when listening to stories for understanding and recall.

• Allow processing time. The student may require extra time to think about what they hear and develop an answer a question.

• Check for understanding. Did they hear? Do they understand what is expected of them?

• Use shorter, less complex language when presenting directions.

• Break up sequences. Try presenting each step one at a time.

ASD Strategies in Action: Real-Life, Practical, Evidence-Based Online Video Training Program

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Strategies in Action gives families and service providers tools to ensure they are equipped to effectively care for, support, educate, employ or work with individuals on the autism spectrum. It is organized by age – from early childhood through young adulthood – and by strategy to allow easy access to the information that is most relevant to the user.

While practitioners will earn professional development hours and a certificate upon completion, the program is designed so that every user can gain knowledge and implement the skills learned immediately. Start Learning Today!

This mobile-friendly program is available anywhere and can be accessed at

Gifted News

Differentiation Central

Are you looking for one more differentiation technique to use in your classroom? Check out Differentiation Central's pages on Resources and Video Clips!

PD for AA High School Teachers
AA teachers need an initial short PD with ongoing support from Betsy Singh to be Highly Qualified to serve our gifted students. Principals, please contact Ms. Singh via email or use this link to set up a session so the information can be shared.

Gifted Testing

Test coordinators should have received information on gifted referral testing. Gifted referral testing will occur from January 19-February 11. If you have students who need to be retested because they fell into the screening range on a prior test (90th-94th percentile on an achievement test like the Terra Nova or a 118-127 score on a cognitive ability test like the InView) or you have students who need to be tested for possible gifted identification for the first time, please make sure to order tests from Theresa Thienin the testing department.

If you have any questions regarding gifted services or testing please contact Betsy Singh at 207.0934.

Social Studies Information

Links to all pacing guides, etc. including resources, online texts, etc are available on this site. It is ever-populating with new and exciting SS info!

Co-teaching Roundtables Are Here

CPS intervention specialists are increasingly being asked to co-teach and collaborate with their fellow teachers in order to better meet the needs of diverse groups of students. These sessions will provide general education teachers, intervention specialists, and building administrators a forum for delving deeply into what co-teaching means. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded peers in other buildings to exchange ideas and grow professionally.

WHO: All intervention specialists, general education teachers, (it would be great to attend as a co-teaching pair if possible), building administrators

WHEN/WHERE: Mayerson, course number- 1991.6452

2/10/16: Instruction and Strategies

3/9/16: Instruction and Strategies

4/13/16: Data Collection

5/11/16: Becoming a Co-Teaching Model in Your Building

You may attend all offerings or select dates that are most interesting to the co-teaching team. We look forward to seeing you!

IS Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

ESP Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH