May 2, 2017

From the Superintendent



Update: May 2, 2017

We had planned to begin the study group in May, but upon reaching out to stakeholders we found that the early start date was not a good fit for most people. We’ve continued to explore ways to engage as many people as possible in conversations about how we support students with developmental disabilities, including those who attend DDS-operated schools, and we want to ensure that all voices are heard and able to participate in a truly collaborative process. We aren’t yet sure what the future of DDS-operated schools looks like, but we know we need thorough conversations with all stakeholders about that future. We still plan to hold two sessions in June with the previously contacted stakeholders in order to provide a starting point in this ongoing discussion.

We will host a conversation for parents of students who attend DDS-operated schools on June 7. Parents should have already received letters inviting them to the conversation. We will also host conversations for parents of children with developmental disabilities who do not attend DDS-operated schools on June 22. See this flyer for more information

We hope to schedule additional sessions with other stakeholder groups in the near future. We will keep you posted about those as the details are finalized. I do want to take this opportunity to reiterate our intention to conduct an open and transparent conversation about the schools.  No decisions have been made.  We are firmly committed to the belief that a group of diverse participants will be able to generate ideas and options that address the needs of all stakeholders.

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April 18, 2017

Ohio’s system of supporting people with developmental disabilities is undergoing a time of significant changes that impact people with disabilities, their families, and the organizations that support them. To proactively position ourselves to continue to provide the highest quality services and supports while responding to these changes, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services has engaged in a range of planning activities.

One of these activities is the formation of a study group on the future of DD Services-operated schools. The study group is tasked with recommending two or three potential future scenarios and will conduct an analysis of the fiscal, legal, and philosophical implications of each scenario. The study group will then provide a report to the agency’s Board of Directors for any final decisions.

Family members and staff from Bobbie B. Fairfax and Margaret B. Rost schools, as well as representatives from other schools and organizations serving youth and young adults with significant disabilities in Hamilton County have been asked to be part of this group. This diverse group will begin meeting next month and will allow for many voices to be heard.

 I, along with key members of the DDS leadership team and the principals and assistant principals of Rost and Fairfax schools, will attend each session.  An independent facilitator will guide the planning process and help assure that all perspectives are considered.

We have a responsibility to students and their families to ensure we’re supporting students with disabilities in Hamilton County in the best way possible. We’re also committed to transparency, and as the study group meets, we will provide updates and meeting summaries online so anyone can follow along with the study group’s progress.

We look forward to this opportunity to thoughtfully consider the future of the HCDDS-operated schools and to listen and learn from those who have a stake in the future of Hamilton County DD Services.
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