Department of Student Services

Exceptional Students...Exceptional Staff 10.20.15


Kelsey Bartsch is an outstanding intervention specialist at Western Hills University High School. She works with a ninth and tenth grade team of teachers to help provide services to students in an inclusive setting and in a resource room as needed. Ms. B., as her students and co-workers call her, works tirelessly to help her students work in general education classes and achieve their highest potential.

A Clark Montessori graduate, Kelsey knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children. When she was still in high school, she worked as a lifeguard for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and tutored students for community service. Ms. B. says that she “fell in love with every kid” she worked with, both as a lifeguard and as a tutor. Her senior project at Clark Montessori focused on the ways that poverty affects education, and during this year she realized she wanted to be a teacher. She attended Bellarmine University for her undergraduate studies and UC as a graduate student. Cincinnati Public Schools was fortunate to get her back as a new hire at Western Hills.

Ms. B. says that she had amazing teachers throughout her high school years that she still keeps in touch with today. But one teacher, in particular, influenced her greatly as a student teacher. IN her own words, Ms. B. says, “The teacher that impacted me the most in regard to my current practices was my student teaching cooperating teacher. I completed my student teaching on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota (Pine Ridge Reservation), and it was a life-changing experience that has definitely had major impacts on how I teach and understand my kids now. The teacher I worked with there was incredibly resilient and had the most genuine love and compassion for her students. She was able to deal with the most heartbreaking situations and created hope for each of those students, so that they would simply have a chance. I hope my students see that in me!”

We are lucky to have you back with us, Ms. B. Thank you for all you do for Cincinnati Public Schools and your students!

ESL Info

Interpreters Available for Parent Events and Conferences. Our ELL families have the right to participate and understand information provided at school events, such as Open Houses and Parent/Teacher Conferences. Please fill out an Interpreter Request Form found on Staffnet at least 5 business days prior to the event. Contact your assigned ESL Specialist or the ELL Welcome Center ( or if you need documents translated or have any questions.

Culturally Responsive Practices

Culturally Responsive Practices Professional Development Come be a part of the Culturally Responsive Practices Team Professional Development Sessions! The goal of the CRP Team is to examine the needs of various sub groups within the district such as Students with Disabilities, Gifted, ELL population, etc. Each population, indeed, each individual, has unique educational needs. How can we best meet these needs? How can we address conflicts that may arise between diverse students in our school populations? Come share your experiences and brainstorm solutions!

Culturally Responsive Practices Team Professional Development Sessions. The 3rd Wednesday of Every Month from 4:15-5:45 at Mayerson Academy Course #1784.6606

Oct. 21st

Nov. 18th

Dec. 16th

Jan. 20th

Feb. 17th

Mar. 16th

Apr. 20th

May 18th

Family Involvement

Kilgour Hosts an LEP Family Breakfast. Special Thanks to Anita Allen, the ESL Coordinator at Kilgour, for hosting an LEP Family Breakfast for their new families entering U.S. schools for the first time. What a wonderful way to welcome new ELL families and help them understand U.S. school expectation. The parents greatly appreciated it. If you would like to host something like this at your school, please contact your assigned ESL Specialist.

Assistive Technology

Boardmaker Online users

Did you miss the Boardmaker Online webinar or just wish you could re-watch the webinar you attended? You're in luck! Both webinars were recorded and are accessible via these links:

AM Session:

PM Session:

Keep your eye out for upcoming PD at Mayerson - the next one is on October 29- and be sure to visit the Boardmaker Online help and training center at:

Go, Go, Goalbook!

Goalbook should now be up and running in your buildings. Your goal this month is to find at least one lesson a week to differentiate with Goalbook. PLEASE share your stories with us! Email your successes (big or small) to Thea Staley

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EdPlan Helpful Hints

  • When faxing section 14 (the signature page), there is no need to use a cover page. In fact, adding a cover page will cause your signature page to be cancelled out.
  • Once your documents are faxed or uploaded, go to "Special Education," then "Documents" in EdPlan to be sure the process was done correctly.
  • Remember to save before leaving each page, including when you add parents to the team.
  • If you are typing progress monitoring updates you can upload them rather than faxing them into the system.
  • Remember to check each day to see if you IEPs were accepted or rejected. If you have a question please contact you support person immediately so they can help with any issues.

Google Drive - The Wave of the Future

CPS teachers, students, administrators, and staff are all discovering just how many uses there are for Google Drive. Your challenge is to be on the forefront of technology by doing the following:

On a laptop:

  1. Verify that you know your CPS Google email address and password. You must use the long CPS email address, i.e.
  2. Do an internet search - Download Google Drive
  3. Download Google Drive Free Cloud Storage
  4. Use your district account information to log in

On a cell phone:

  1. Go to the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android)
  2. Download Google Drive and sign in with your CPS email address and password.

Just a few of the many benefits of using the Google Drive are:

  • Documents can be uploaded rather than faxed
  • There is no need to carry a flash drive- everything is stored online
  • Your documents are available on any device that has internet access- desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones

Thea Staley is available to provide support and assistance in implementing this amazing technology. Once you have downloaded Google Drive, please If you want to do the above process but run into issues, please contact Thea Staley using the following website: You can ask questions, see what questions others have asked, and learn about next steps to take after downloading Drive.

The few minutes it takes to download Google Drive will pay dividends in the long run!

Transition Tip

Thank you to the following building who were represented at the October Transition Coordinators Meeting! We had 80% of our buildings represented this month up from 67%, nice job!

Taft IT



West High




Sayler Park










Reminder: The Strategic Plan for Transition is well underway. It is closely aligned with the My Tomorrow initative as well as the requirements for students with disabilities ages 14 and up. Therefore, it is expected that every student be served under the plan. The expectation is all IS with students in grades in 7, 8, and 9 will complete the required activities such as Naviance, 21st century skills, Unique curriculum, and IEP participation as outlined in the plan.

Physical/Occupational Therapy Thoughts


National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is hosted by APTA each October to recognize how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants help transform society by restoring and improving motion in people's lives.

This year’s theme is "Move Forward: Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life." The focus is on how PT can help you achieve long term quality of life.

Celebrating our wonderful PTs this month:

Mary Rose Kahmann

Jane Kirsch

Manuela Gianinni

Stacey Unkraut

Diane Baldwin

SLP Spot

What is a speech and/or language impairment?

According to the IDEA, a speech-language impairment is “a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.”

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) defines a communication disorder as an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. A communication impairment can be separated into several categories:

A. A speech disorder is an impairment of the articulation of speech sounds, fluency and/or voice.

1. An articulation disorder is the atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, omissions, additions or distortions that may interfere with intelligibility.

2. A fluency disorder is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases. This may be accompanied by excessive tension, struggle behavior, and secondary mannerisms.

3. A voice disorder is characterized by the abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration, which is inappropriate for an individual's age and/or sex.

B. A language disorder is impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written and/or other symbol systems. The disorder may involve (1) the form of language (phonology, morphology, syntax), (2) the content of language (semantics), and/or (3) the function of language in communication (pragmatics) in any combination.

1. Form of Language

a. Phonology is the sound system of a language and the rules that govern the sound combinations.

b. Morphology is the system that governs the structure of words and the construction of word forms.

c. Syntax is the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the elements within a sentence.

2. Content of Language

a. Semantics is the system that governs the meanings of words and sentences.

3. Function of Language

a. Pragmatics is the system that combines the above language components in functional and socially appropriate communication.

(American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disorders and variations)

A speech-language pathologist can assist school teams with discussing concerns and providing intervention strategies through the multi-tiered support system (MTSS)/ Response to Intervention (RTI), as well as screen students who are suspected to have a speech-language impairment through the IAT process.

If you have questions about a specific student or situation, contact your building SLP, or Davida Swanson at

New Format

We continue to receive positive feedback regarding the new online format of the DSS Newsletter. We hope you are enjoying the variety of information provided in each issue. The newsletter is designed to be viewed online and we recommend using Google Chrome as your for browser optimal for optimal viewing. Should you wish to print, please follow these instructions:

  • In Chrome, click the menu icon in the top right corner. It looks like three horizontal bars stacked on top of each other
  • Scroll down and click 'Print'
  • Be sure the correct printer is selected
  • Click 'Print'

IS Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Case Coordinator Meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 4pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Conducting IEP & ETR Meetings and Avoiding Predetermination: Legal Developments and Practical Tips

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 4pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Course number: 2016.6603

High School Technology Roundtable

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Course number: 1993.6456