Ohio SSoS Non-negotiables

A strong SSoS – one that is both statewide in scale and systemic in nature – provides the backbone for educational improvement. This system relies on the intentional use of a consistent process and a connected set of aligned tools; goes beyond integration to unification of the component parts of a broad-based improvement strategy; redesigns the work at all levels to be about improving capacity at other levels (coherence); redefines scale by designing state-developed products and tools for universal access and applicability; and allows the ODE to ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality, relevant, and useful support to any district, regardless of where that district is located in the state.

For more information about systems thinking and how it can be used by state education agencies (SEAs) to support district-wide improvement, see the Moving Your Numbers publication, The Critical Role of SEAs in Facilitating School District Capacity to Improve Learning and Achievement for Students with Disabilities (NCEO, 2012). For more information about improvement models, such as Improvement Science and the Collective Impact Framework, go to the Improvement Frameworks section of the Tools & Resources tab.


The delivery of services by SSTs is guided by the following non-negotiables undergirding Ohio’s statewide system of support:

  • Improvement is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Improvement requires all components of the system (state, regional, district, school, classroom, community) to work together.
  • Districts play a key role in improving outcomes for all students across the system.
  • Fidelity of implementation of the right strategies to meet district needs is necessary and sufficient to achieve sustainable improvement on behalf of all students.
  • All SST functions (e.g., services related to special education, early learning, literacy, etc.) should be delivered in a coherent fashion using the OIP improvement framework.
  • A unified statewide system of support requires the intentional use of a consistent set of tools and protocols (e.g., support documents) by all state-supported regional providers (rather than allowing for multiple approaches across the state, based on preference).