Department of Student Services

Exceptional Students...Exceptional Staff 2.16.16


Dog Days for ICAN Students!

The Department of Student Services ICAN transition program has added a new vocational training opportunity! In both the Western Hills and Woodward ICAN classrooms, students have begun producing Brewhaus Dog Bones. These gourmet bones are handcrafted, small batch, oven baked dog treats made from spent whole grains sourced from local Cincinnati microbreweries. ICAN students produce these treats from all natural ingredients; mixing, molding, baking and packaging the finished product; all the while gaining work skills that are transferable to a variety of employment settings. Although the program has just gotten underway, hundreds of dog treats have already been produced and sold by ICAN students. Thus far marketing efforts have focused on specific sales events. However, the ultimate goal is to complete the business model by becoming a supplier to local retail locations.

Many public school transition programs throughout the tri-state are currently producing Brewhaus Dog Bones. Established in 2014 as a not-for-profit organization, Brewhaus Dog Bones was conceived by a local parent seeking to provide a meaningful vocational experience for young adults with disabilities. All proceeds from sales of bones go back into the program for the purchase of supplies and to expand the opportunity to more school transition programs.

Brewhaus Dog Bones are only $5.00 a bag. Please look for ordering information in the next newsletter.

Student Spotlight

Each year, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission holds an annual statewide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest. This contest is intended to encourage students to reflect upon Dr. King’s life, philosophy, and impact on the Civil Rights movement and present day America. It is meant to challenge students to think about how civil rights and diversity affect their lives and how they can continue the work of Dr. King in their own way.

This year, Yordy Cabrera Garcia, was the ninth grade winner in the Art category! Yordy is a ninth grader who epitomizes the values of Gilbert A. Dater High School. Yordy works hard striving for mastery by seeking out creative expressions of his skills and talents, whether it's playing trumpet in the band, crafting writing assignments, or solving geometry equations. Yordy loves to learn and voluntarily entered the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing, and Multimedia Contest even though it was not a class assignment. Yordy cares about his "Beloved Community" by becoming an advocate for himself and spokesperson for his peers. Yordy never quits by being a solution-seeking citizen. Finally, Yordy prepares for the future by targeting each day as the way to be successful in college, career, and beyond.

We are proud of you, Yordy!

Check out his amazing submission here.


If you still need to earn credits to earn your HQT status- good news! There will be opportunities for K-6 Pedagogy courses and 7-12 ELA courses starting February 25th.

Please go to Mayerson's website to sign up immediately!

Class Title: K-6 Pedagogy HQT

Highly qualified teacher training for k-6 intervention specialists and ELL teachers in the area of pedagogy. Some of the topics covered include visible learning, literacy assessment, grouping and co-teaching models. Course completion offers participants 45 clock hours and/or up to three semester credits (fee) which can be used to fulfill 45 of the 90 hours needed for Highly Qualified teacher status as required by the State of Ohio. Course design includes 25 direct clock hours with the expectation that participants complete 20 additional clock hours in outside assignments, directed readings, and implementation activities.

Date(s) of PD: 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/12 and 5/19

Course #: 2057.6754

Location: Jacob's Center

Time: 4:00 - 6:30

Class Title: 7-12 ELA HQT

***Please bring your State teacher number in order to access State sites.

Highly qualified teacher training for 7-12 intervention specialists and ELL teachers in the area of English Language Arts. Some of the topics covered include pre-assessment/pre-reading for content, teaching intentionally, AIR testing/data/assessment, writing/rubrics and career/integrated curriculum. Course completion offers participants 45 clock hours and/or up to three semester credits (fee) which can be used to fulfill 45 of the 90 hours needed for Highly Qualified teacher status as required by the State of Ohio. Course design includes 25 direct clock hours with the expectation that participants complete 20 additional clock hours in outside assignments, directed readings, and implementation activities

Date(s) of PD: 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/12 and 5/19

Course #: To be announced Tuesday, please check the Mayerson website

Location: Jacob's Center

Time: 4:00 - 6:30

Summer HQT Courses

Please be on the lookout in March for HQT course opportunities that will be offered for every subject at all grade levels in June.

ESL Info

The new Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) begins this month. All students currently identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) will take all 4 tests between 2/29 - 4/22. DSS will be sending managers, consultants, and other support staff into the buildings with large ELL populations to assist with administration of the Speaking Assessment.

Key Points:

  • Tests must be given in the following order: listening, reading, writing, speaking. Students must finish one assessment before going to the next.

  • The speaking assessment must be given 1:1.

  • Tests are computer based, but K-1 writing is pencil/paper.

  • BTCs are the primary person responsible for test oversight and administration; ESL Specialists with more than one building on their caseload will support as they are able.

  • This state assessment replaces the OTELA assessment, and is mandatory for all LEP students, regardless of their time in U.S. schools.

IDEAs that Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success

As part of its celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), OSERS launched a new website entitled: IDEAs that Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success. The IDEAs That Work website is designed to connect teachers and families with resources to assist them in supporting the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students as they become college and career ready.

Go, Go, Goalbook!

A Goalbook Webinar is on the Horizon

Goolbook is a curriculum based tool that allows teachers to design lessons starting with an individual student's IEP goal in mind and work towards a grade level standard (or the reverse). Goalbook offers suggestions based on the Universal Design for Learning. Each lesson provides suggestions with how your students learn best, with which tools, and under what circumstances. This is an excellent tool to use when designing lessons in a co-teaching situation to benefit all students. To investigate further visit

The goal is that 100% of our Intervention Specialists who work with students on grade level curriculum have access and be equipped to use this powerful tool on a daily basis.

February 22, 2016 is your opportunity to come learn about all things Goalbook! Student Services Manager, Thea Staley, will be facilitating a webinar with Goalbook experts. This webinar is for all intervention specialists working with students in the resource room and/or in the inclusion setting.

For access email Thea Staley at

What: Goalbook Introduction

Where: Jacob's Center

When: February 22, 2016

Time: 4:30-6:30

Sign up: Mayerson

Class Name: Goalbook Instruction 1997.6733

Contact: Thea Staley

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Need to setup an SDI for your Speech Only student?

Step 1: On Section 7 of the IEP, click the Select a Specially Designed Instruction Service to Add button

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Step 2: From the first dropdown box on the next page, Choose 215013 – Speech and Language Service. You must choose this SDI Service in order to log your services for Speech Only students.

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Step 3: Click Just Save or Save and Continue to go back to Section 7 of your IEP

Step 4: Finish out your Speech Only SDI by choosing Speech Language Pathologist in the Provider Title field and be sure to populate any other required fields where you see a red asterisk *

You will now also be able to log any services that you have provided for your Speech Only student.

Transition Tip

Post-Secondary Transition

A big thank you to all of our intervention specialists working with post-secondary transition. Please continue to document the information you've been gathering from your students through transition assessments and interviews. Remember, getting our students involved in the IEP planning process is an excellent way to help them develop self-advocacy. This is just one of the Evidence-Based Practices that leads to a successful outcome. Others are:

Evidence-Based Practices (EBP)

1. Career Awareness (Student Development and Program Structure

2. Occupational Courses (Student Development and Program Structure)

3. Paid Employment/Work Experience (Student Development and Program Structure)

4. Vocational Education (Student Development and Program Structure

5. Work-Study (Program Structures)

6. Community Experiences (Program Structure)

7. Exit Exam Requirement/ High School Diploma Status (Student Development)

8. Inclusion in General Education (Student Development and Program Structure)

9. Program of Study (Student Development, Program Structure

10. Self-Determination/ Self-Advocacy (Student Development)

11. Self-Care/Independent Living Skills (Student Development)

12. Social Skills (Student Development)

13. Interagency Collaboration (Interagency Collaboration)

14. Parental Involvement (Family Involvement)

15. Student Support (Student Focused Planning, Family Involvement, Interagency Collaboration, Program Structure)

16. Transition Programs (Student Focused Planning, Student Development, Interagency Collaboration, Program Structure)

Thanks again for all of your hard work!

Physical/Occupational Therapy Thoughts

You may have heard the term 'push in' in relation to therapy services. As a support service, working with students in their classrooms or while they are working with intervention specialists is a GREAT way for us as therapists to have a greater impact on the student accessing their curriculum. This can happen in many different ways. In some buildings, therapists are working with entire classrooms. Some therapists work twice a month with students in classrooms and then pull them out to work individually once or twice a month. Some may just come in at the beginning or end of the session. This 'push in' model helps both the student and the teacher to understand how therapeutic strategies carry over into the classroom. It also gives the therapist an opportunity to see how the student performs and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. There is not one method of service delivery; student progress is always the goal. So, thank you to the teachers who are already accepting the OT/PT staff into their classrooms. Don't hesitate to collaborate with your therapists. It's a great way to meet the needs of the whole child!

Assistive and Instructional Technology

Congratulations to the following Intervention Specialists - they have received or will soon be receiving an interactive ebeam for their classroom! It is awesome to see your enthusiasm for incorporating technology into your daily instruction. We know your students will benefit greatly from this instructional technology.

Margaret Hertenstein

Clayton Adams

Jennifer Doyle

Kiyana Gordon

Jamie Linenkugle

Laura Chrystal

Katie Tapke

Linda Biehle

Read&Write for Google

Do your students struggle to read and comprehend grade-level text? Do they struggle with spelling or organizing their writing? Is gathering research for large projects overwhelming for many of your students? The google extension, Read&Write, paired with Google docs and the chrome browser can help! These supports are available to all CPS students as part of a district-wide trial.

Let’s start with the what and the why…

What: A trial opportunity of the extension Read&Write for Google. What is an extension? It adds new features to your browser. This particular extension adds features including text to speech, translator, word prediction, talking dictionary, screenshot reader, study skills highlighters, voice notes, vocabulary builder, and more.

Why: Award-winning Read&Write gives extra confidence to students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It’s also a big confidence booster for English Language Learners and anyone who needs a little extra help with their reading and writing. Read&Write makes the web, documents and files more accessible. It’s a friendly, intuitive toolbar that assists students at all levels with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work.

Who: Every CPS teacher and student with a CPS issued Google account now has access to this extension.

When: Now until the end of the 2015/2016 school year.

Where: You can access this extension wherever you or your students are logged into your google account using the chrome web browser. At home, at school, at the library, wherever! Chrome books, laptops, desktops, Macs, works on all of them!

You may be asking, "How can I get started using the Read&Write extension?"

Look for the purple puzzle piece on your toolbar when using Google docs or browsing the web in using the Chrome browser. Click on it to reveal the drop down menu of features. Hover over any feature to see the name of the function of each feature. The features are very intuitive but several types of training are available.

You can also watch some youtube videos that explain the features in more detail. Here are a few videos- many more are available and can be found by entering “Read&Write for Google” in the youtube search bar.

Overview of features:

Overview of using Read&Write with Google docs:

Overview of word prediction feature:


Prefer face to face training? You can also schedule a time with our AT IS during your team meeting time. Please email Julie Bassett with the subject line: Read&Write to arrange a time.

This google extension is currently available for all students in Cincinnati Public - so please spread the word to your general education team members. It is making a huge difference for many students who are working on Capstone and other research based products.

If you have other questions about the extension and/or have feedback - please feel free to contact Julie Bassett.

Gifted News

The Staffnet Gifted Pages are all new! Check out the great information on the following topics:

In My Classroom - great ideas for differentiating in your classroom

Clubs, Programs and Competitions - different ways to get parents involved! These can also happen without parent involvement, but why not see if parents would like to help with any of these?!

Resources - places online to find out about what is going on in the gifted world in Ohio, the US and the world

You'll also find an abundance of forms and other CPS gifted items that you might find helpful.

Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) Reminder

Mayerson is offering Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) nonviolent crisis intervention training. Full and refresher courses are being offered over the next few months. Locations vary to meet the needs of everyone. Principals, assistant principals, intervention specialists, paraprofessionals, and related service personnel are encouraged to register. Participants will learn to recognize behavior levels that contribute to the development of a crisis and choose appropriate staff intervention for each level. Please click here to find out more information about registering for the full and refresher courses.

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

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, Feb. 16th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

ESP Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Case Coordinator Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 4pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH