Under Ohio’s differentiated accountability system, SSTs have the task of providing the greatest level of support to districts identified as being in the comprehensive tier and providing specialized support to districts in the targeted tier. During the 2018-19 school year, approximately 323 districts comprising about 1,900 schools, fall into these two categories (three districts in academic distress and 42 other districts are identified as intensive; the other 278 districts are in the targeted range). Schools within districts that are categorized as being in priority (lowest achieving 5% of schools in Ohio), focus, warning, or watch status; as well as those identified through analysis related to special education profiles and selected partnerships, are collectively referred to as “support schools.”
The improvement process works only when districts take responsibility for system-wide improvement in all district schools, even when just one or two schools within the district are designated as being in “improvement status” (e.g., priority, focus, watch status).
Regional providers (SSTs, ESCs, other services providers) offer an array of services that support districts and other educational organizations in their work to improve capacity to meet the needs of all children. Because of their unique role within the SSoS, SSTs must adhere to particular requirements set forth in a performance or grant agreement that is developed annually by ODE. However, the delivery of services by SSTs often involves collaboration with ESCs and other regional partners to ensure that district-identified needs are met.
SSTs provide universal support to all districts, and targeted and intensive support to districts identified as being in improvement status. Such services involve supporting districts in meeting state and federal requirements, undertaking a comprehensive needs assessment to determine root causes associated with critical needs, using research- and evidence-based strategies (e.g., such as those included in Ohio’s evidence-based clearinghouse or other clearinghouses) to address critical needs, developing one focused and coherent plan with a limited number of focused goals for addressing critical needs, monitoring the implementation of the strategies and actions outlined in the plan, and determining the effectiveness of such implementation in reaching district-identified goals.
SSTs use the following guidelines for planning and delivery services, and for making decisions about the eventual fading of such services:
- SSTs should allocate at least 90% of their human and fiscal resources to supporting districts identified by the state education agency (SEA) as being in the comprehensive (high support) and targeted (moderate support) tiers per the grant agreement between the SEA and the SST’s ESC fiscal agent.
- SSTs should provide school-level support (e.g., to BLTs, TBTs, individual school personnel) to districts in the comprehensive or targeted tiers only in collaboration with district-designated personnel and only for the purpose of demonstrating (via modeling or coaching) the effective use of identified practices in order to build the capacity of district personnel to implement such practices as part of meeting district-identified goals.
- SSTs should allocate no more than 10% of their human and fiscal resources to providing universal (tier I) support to all districts, partners, and other relevant organizations in the region (see characteristics of support and examples of services above). Such support should be designed to improve equitable access to high-quality instructional practice for all students and student groups.
- SSTs should provide services to all districts, irrespective of status (e.g., universal, targeted, comprehensive/intensive) in response to state-identified needs.
- SSTs should provide services to meet district-identified needs through the lens of the areas of practice. In general:
- Universal support through the lens of inclusive instructional and organizational leadership is provided to all districts, including those with minimal needs.
- Targeted support through the lens of inclusive instructional and organizational leadership and capacity building through professional capital is provided to districts with a focused set of moderate needs.
- Intensive support through the lens of inclusive instructional and organizational leadership, capacity building through human professional capital, and inclusive instructional practices is provided to districts with comprehensive needs (see p. 6 for districts identified as comprehensive).
- Use agreed-on measures, once established, to assess – on at least an annual basis – district progress in designated areas of practice.
For more information on tiers of service and examples of the types of services provided at each tier, go to Tiers of Service tab within the Service Delivery tab.