Earlier this week, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and US Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) issued new resources for school districts.

Hiring substitute teachers

In recognition of the challenges districts are facing to recruit, support and retain substitute teachers, ODE has prepared new resources on its Human Capital Resource Center. ODE has created the Supporting Substitute Teachers webpage, which includes resources for new and experienced substitute teachers, as well as best practices for schools and districts to support and develop substitute teachers. The recommendations include providing substitute teachers with a handbook and orientation covering topics such as required procedures, district and building logistics, safety protocols, instructional strategies and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS).

The resources also include information about training opportunities to further develop the skills of current substitute teachers including the Ohio Center for Substitute Teacher Training and Learning Management System training modules on PBIS, culturally responsive practices and professional conduct. There is also a link to the December 2021 Dear Colleague letter from the US Department of Education on innovative ways districts can use federal coronavirus relief funds to hire and maintain substitute teachers.

Cybersecurity resources

In recognition of the last day of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, SPPO issued a newsletter on Monday sharing resources for school districts to protect their websites from cyberattacks. The resources have been developed as part of a collaborative effort led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security along with the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

The newsletter announces one new resource: A video on cybersecurity best practices, including steps that districts can take to strengthen systems, people and processes to reduce the risk of cyberattacks to systems and data.

The newsletter also includes a collection of existing resources that align with four key action steps that districts should follow to protect their websites. The resources will assist districts by providing tools to inform and educate their staff to ensure greater security for district websites. The four action steps and corresponding resources are:  

You can subscribe to the SPPO newsletter and receive updates as they are issued at this link.

OSBA’s division of legal services will continue to follow ODE, SPPO and other regulatory agencies to provide new resources as they are released. For questions about these resources, related issues or other legal matters affecting your district, reach out to the division at (855) 672-2529 or (855) OSBA-LAW. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 11/6/2022