Special Education Parent Newsletter

January 2016

Parent Attorney Kerry Agins to Present

The next Parent Support Meeting is Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Strongsville Public LIbrary. Presenting at this session is Kerry Agins, Esq. As an attorney, Kerry has devoted her career to representing parents of students with disabilities to ensure that needs are met and a free and appropriate public education is obtained. She will present to parents on meaningful participation in the IEP process. She will discuss what it means to have "meaningful participation" in your child's IEP process and how to work with the IEP team to get it. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentation. This is a great opportunity for parents to learn how IEP teams can work collaboratively for student success.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Click here to learn more.


Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Many state education codes, including New Jersey, Ohio and Utah, have adopted this definition.

Ohio’s State Tests Now More Accessible to All Kinds of Learners

Ohio’s State Tests support every child’s education because they help tell a child’s school where he or she stands in the learning process. The tests also help schools know what areas they must focus on to improve their students’ learning experiences over time. This means all children, including students with disabilities and English language learners, must have a chance to take high-quality state tests.


Ohio now has designed state tests that make it easier for students of all abilities to show what they have learned and can do. For example, the computer-based state tests allow all students to use line readers or to cover up parts of the test they are not working on.


These features also will give students with disabilities and English language learners easier access to the tests. But students in these groups will not be limited to these “universal” tools. Students with disabilities and English language learners still may need additional features to take the state tests successfully. Examples are the ability to use noise buffers or having extra time to finish the test. Ohio still offers these many supports. For details, see Ohio’s Accessibility Manual with Appendices. A table showing these “designated supports” begins on page 5.

Special Education Department

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.