Department of Student Services

Exceptional Students...Exceptional Staff 9.15.15


Meet David Fenton, the ICAN program instructor at Woodward Career Technical High School. The Independent Career Advancement Now program focuses on preparing students with disabilities for community-based employment and independent living. Students in the ICAN program spend 12 hours a week at local businesses with the goal of being employed at the end of the program. “I love working with these students and their families at this pivotal time in their education,” says Fenton. “These students are transitioning from years of schooling into the big world and it is a critical moment in their lives.”

Inspired to enter special education by his son who has Down syndrome, Mr. Fenton left the small business he started and returned to U.C. to earn his Master’s degree in special education. “After working in the private sector for decades, owning a business for 16 years, and raising a child with a disability, the ICAN program is a perfect match for my experience,” shared Mr. Fenton. “I am an intense advocate for this population and can’t wait for the world to see the potential of these students rather than their limitations.”

The Woodward ICAN program currently offers restaurant, retail, custodial, warehouse and office work experience. “Woodward is a great location for our program,” says Fenton. “Our students can experience a variety of work experiences in the local neighborhood, most within walking distance.”

So what are the program objectives? According to Mr. Fenton, “It’s all about preparing for the next life step. We take students and strive to turn them into responsible, contributing citizens. It gives my life purpose.”

Kudos to Mr. Fenton for his dedication to our CPS students and the ICAN program at Woodward High School.

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EdPlan News

Two additional help nights for EdPlan will be offered this week. They will be held from 3-5PM at the Ed Center, Room 3d, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, September 15 and 17. Folks will be available to address specific concerns you may have. As always, if you have questions, please contact Tony Simonson at Please do not contact the help desk in Michigan as this support is for system level errors.

Please click on the links below for additional tips.

Thank you for your continued patience. We appreciate all of your hard work.

OCALI's Online Learning Pathway Resource Now Available

To meet regional, district, and building needs in serving students with the most complex challenges across the state of Ohio, OCALI has developed a Learning Pathway. Four areas were identified as a focus for the Learning Pathway. These include assessment, learning standards, behavior and least restrictive environment. Users are guided through a series of questions to help them match OCALI resources to their specific needs creating a customized professional development plan.

To learn more and to get started, please visit You can also access the OCALI Learning Pathway through a direct line on the OCALI homepage

Bookshare - Open up the world of Reading!

Do you work with students who cannot read traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability? If so, Bookshare can help!

Bookshare offers over 361,000 books! Bookshare books are “accessible,” which means students can read books many different ways. Qualifying students can:

  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices

  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen

  • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts

  • Create physical braille or large print

  • Read directly from an Internet browser

  • And more!

Together with bookshare, you can help students develop the simple love of reading in formats that work for them.

Any U.S. student with a qualifying disability may join Bookshare. Information about qualifying disabilities can be found at :

Find out more at and email Julie Bassett at to sign up as a sponsor with the CPS Organizational Account.

Gifted News

Gifted Referral Testing is around the corner. It will take place from September 28-October 19. If there is a student you feel should be assessed for gifted identification, be sure to let the school's test coordinator know. All second and sixth grade students will be assessed using the Terra Nova and InView tests during the week of October 5 (both gifted screening and assessment tools). In addition, all K-3 grade students will be taking the MAP in reading. This is a newly added assessment to the gifted screening and identification list. The MAP math test is highly suggested, but not mandatory. It can also be used as a way to identify gifted students. See attachment for directions for the upcoming gifted testing period.

Transition Tip

Transition Coordinator meetings are kicking off this week! We are so excited to take next steps in helping students prepare for post-secondary transition. Please plan to join us monthly from 4:15 until 6:15 at Mayerson.

Dates are as follows:

Wednesday 9/16/2015

Wednesday 10/14/2015

Wednesday 11/18/2015

Wednesday 1/20/2016

Wednesday 2/10/2016

Wednesday 4/20/2015

Wednesday 5/11/2016

Physical/Occupational Therapy Thoughts

Lift Safety

For some of our students, mobility is a daily challenge. It is imperative for them to experience their academic setting from various positions. This is also important for their medical needs. This means that the adult caregivers are responsible for transitioning/transferring them, which can include moving them from a wheelchair or specialized seating system to the floor/table mat. It may be moving them from the wheelchair to a standard/specialized commode or changing table. Lifts are used to support various sized and ability needs of the students. The district has various types of lifts that are used for these transfers. These lifts are for the benefit of the student and the caregiver(s). The use of the lifts provide safety, security, and health for all involved in the transfer. Our Physical Therapists are trained in the use of these lifts and are willing and ready to provide training to the staff when needed. Safe transfers are vital for the health and success of both students and staff.

Staff Professional Development Day

Wednesday, September 23 is a Staff Professional Development Day. Students do not have to report, but it is a required day for all staff members. Teachers will report to different locations based on grade level and content area. Be on the lookout for specific information.

Math Demonstration Classroom

We are currently scheduling visits to the Demonstration Classroom at Rockdale Academy. In this classroom, teachers will observe best practices and technology integration in a 5th grade math class. Anyone may schedule a visit, but teachers of grades 3-6 math and intervention specialists are the target audience.

To schedule a visit or to find out more, email Jennifer Miller at, or contact the instructional coach in your building.

Economics/American Government Demonstration Classroom

Would you like to learn new ways to engage your students? Ever wonder how a flipped classroom might increase student performance? Students are empowered to take charge of their own learning in a flipped classroom model. Our class at Withrow University High School would love to host you for a visit to our demonstration classroom. Learn ways to use technology to differentiate instruction, infuse collaboration, and encourage critical thinking with real world applications. Join our students as they develop a Business Model for Good. In this project, students are awarded starter money, then work together in groups to develop a business that helps a local non-profit. Each group competes for a $200 award by presenting to business leaders, community organizers, and family members.

If you are interested in visiting, please contact Craig Rush at

Primary ELA Demonstration Classroom

The Third Grade Demonstration ELA Classroom is located at John P. Parker School. This classroom was created to foster a growth mindset by modeling 21st century Best Practices, which integrate technology into daily lessons. It is equipped with various technology devices that enhance students’ learning experiences by preparing them for online testing and develop skills that help them become college and career ready.

All teachers and administrators are encouraged to visit the Demonstration Classroom and receive coaching assistance. For more information please contact your instructional coach, your principal, or Veronica Cotton at I look forward to your visit.

Middle School ELA/Social Studies Demonstration Classroom

The 8th grade ELA/SS demonstration classroom is up and running. Christina Cupp teaches ELA/SS concepts while demonstrating best practices and integrating technology. This quarter, the students are learning about the Revolutionary War through text sets and a variety of focus questions to guide their writing. Set up a class visit by contacting an instructional coach, your principal, or by emailing Christina at

Elementary Technology Roundtables

Are you interested in learning more about how to use technology in your elementary classroom? Would you like to participate in professional discourse with other elementary teachers, while receiving specialized training on how incorporate those 21st Century Skills into your lessons?

Please consider joining our Elementary Technology Roundtables, held monthly at the Mayerson Academy. We will meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month, beginning September 22nd.

Topics covered include The Importance of Using Technology in the Elementary Classroom, Using Technology to Differentiate Instruction, Digital Lesson Planning, Increasing Student Engagement with Technology, Using Technology for Formative Assessments, Managing Technology, Collaboration and Communication.

Course Number will be published soon. Check the Mayerson website.

Co-teaching Roundtable

Thursday, Oct. 15th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

In October, we will focus on communication

Course number: 1991.6452

IS Curriculum Council

Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

High School Technology Roundtable

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Course number: 1993.6456

Learning Teams

Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 2:30pm

Your School Building