The Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE’s) statewide system of support is made up of 16 regional State Support Teams (SSTs). These regional SSTs are the means of delivering a unified system of support with a focus on improving instructional practice and student performance on an ongoing basis. Family consultants are members of the SSTs who serve as resources to school districts and families for supporting the engagement of families of children with disabilities.
In collaboration with the ODE’s Office for Exceptional Children (OEC), Barbara Boone, PhD, CETE program director, provides resources, communication, coaching, and coordination for SST family consultants. Boone leads webinars, facilitates centralized meetings for family consultants and an online network, and provides expertise and resources for family engagement. Currently, the coordination and management project provided by Boone is focused on improving the processes and results of the family consultants by assisting in the development of comprehensive regional plans for family/community engagement for families of student with disabilities. Each region took stock of their work of engaging families and communities using rubrics developed by CETE’s Results Management Team in 2014. Using the baseline assessments, each region has clear goals for development and expansion of their efforts. A part of this expansion will be maximizing the consultants’ roles and assisting them in establishing broad networks of support for referring families and educators for information, resources, and services for students with disabilities. In addition, Boone and the Results Management Team will continue to support SSTs by building the knowledge and skills of family consultants through professional development opportunities and creating a cohesive and consistent quality of services of family consultants statewide.
Contributor: Barbara Boone