In order for a state education agency to provide a statewide system of support for school improvement, its organizational structure, resource streams, communication channels and ways of interfacing with districts and schools require more than a compliance mindset. It demands agility, responsiveness, keen judgment and differentiation. Those are exactly the challenges that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) overcame when they implemented Ohio's regional system of support in an effort to provide systemic professional
development and technical assistance to all districts across the state.
Locally, our regional support team - one of sixteen in Ohio - is State Support Team Region 9 (SST9). In concert with education service centers, "our team of experienced local and regional educators provides a unified system of supports - including professional development opportunities, consultation, coaching and provision of resources - designed to meet the needs of our children, families, school districts and partners in education," explained Laurie Langenfeld, SST9 Associate Director. They are responsible for the delivery of services in the areas of early learning and school readiness, early literacy, improving results for all students, parent engagement, school improvement, and special education services, to name a few.
On April 14th, SST9 held their 10th annual Conference for Families and Educators of Children with Diverse Learning Needs. Over 250 parents, educators, students and other community members attended the conference. A wide variety of sessions were presented to attendees along with an informative "Avenue of Answers" with numerous providers on hand to support families and students. Keynote speaker, Mike Gallina, Vice President of Aultcare Communications and Community Outreach, inspired all with his message of "Hope: a Dream of a Soul Awake." SST9 honored outstanding students and educators with awards including William "Bill" Green, Superintendent of Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, who was the recipient of the Karen M. Williams Leadership Award.