Exciting News at PSI

We are delighted to announce that PSI has become a part of Education Solutions Services (ESS), a leading and highly respected firm in the education industry. This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in our company’s journey and opens up new opportunities for improvements to our recruiting process, continued innovation, and enhanced collaboration.

Steve Rosenberg is very pleased to be continuing with the PSI Team, which will be conducting business as usual. All the trusted PSI administrators, supervisors and school staff at PSI will continue to do what they do best: providing service to students, consulting with our school partners and managing and further developing PSI‘s many programs. Meredith Sitko, as President of PSI, will continue leading PSI, as we grow and expand to better serve Ohio’s schools. 

By joining forces with ESS, we will be able to provide an even higher level of support to all the schools. This will help our recruiting initiatives and all our many other programs you have been accustomed to receiving. PSI Espanol is but one example of our expanding programming now available to the schools we serve. 

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to you and all our clients, employees, and partners. We appreciate your trust and confidence and look forward to continuing our relationship as PSI, an ESS Company.

We know this partnership will help us better serve all the schools. Thank you again for the opportunity to support you and your school community.

Scholarship Winner – Rose Rife

We are delighted to announce that Rose Rife has been selected as the winner of the annual 2023 School Psychology $1,000 Scholarship Award by PSI. Rose is completing her internship and is in her 3rd year in the School Psychology program at Cleveland State University.  She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to enhancing the lives of students, particularly those on the Autism spectrum. When asked about why she chose to study School Psychology Rose indicated that she was drawn to supporting students’ mental health and academic success through evidence-based interventions.  Rose is planning on graduating in May of 2024.  Her paper was entitled “The Importance of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Training for Caregivers.”

PSI’s annual Scholarship Award is designed to recognize outstanding contributions from graduate students, interns, and past graduates. This $1,000.00 award serves as both a tribute to their accomplishments and an encouragement for continued excellence. By offering this Ohio-wide PSI Scholarship Request for Proposals (RFP), we aim to reward and reinforce the invaluable contributions made by psychology graduates who have worked tirelessly with children facing behavioral health challenges.

The significance of this scholarship program is underscored by the exceptional contributions of our past graduates who have become integral members of the PSI family. Their dedication to the mental health and well-being of the students we serve has been truly commendable, and we take pride in their continued success.

As for future scholarships, PSI is committed to supporting future generations of students in both school psychology and clinical psychology programs in Ohio and will continue to offer the scholarship each year.  There are also plans to expand the disciplines beyond psychology.  The dates for the 2024 scholarship have not been determined.

Once again, congratulations to Rose Rife on this well-deserved recognition. We are confident that her commitment to the field of school psychology will make a positive impact on the lives of many students.


Rose Rife-Scholarship Winner

PSI Scholarship Winner-Rose Rife with Steve Rosenberg and CSU School Psychology Professor Patrick Frato

PSI is excited to announce that Steve Rosenberg, Ph.D., will be recognized at the 2023 Smart 50 Awards

PSI is excited to announce that Steve Rosenberg, Ph.D., will be recognized at the 2023 Smart 50 Awards, hosted by @Smart Business Network and presented by @Corporate College.  The Smart 50 Awards recognized the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in Northeast Ohio for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations!

PSI would like to thank Corporate College and the Smart 50 Awards bestowing this honorable recognition upon us.  We also extend our warm congratulations to all the other award recipients for everything they’ve done to make this community so great.  We take immense pride in being part of Northeast Ohio business landscape.


Steve Rosenberg, PhD

Ohio ranks near top of states for school voucher spending

Ohio’s increase in school voucher spending this year for the EdChoice Expansion Program sets up the state to rank near the top nationally when it comes to taxpayer use of voucher dollars to attend private schools.

This is not only because of the increase in voucher money for each child but also because of an expansion in eligibility, allowing everyone to receive some form of help to pay for their children’s education outside of their home school district.

“Ohio is one of the states taking the lead in universal school choice,“ says Robert Enlow, president and chief executive of EdChoice, a national pro-school voucher nonprofit. “Other states are seeing a sea change in how we look at education and how we fund it going forward, and Ohio is on the tip of the spear for that.”

It’s that lead, however, that concerns critics of the voucher program, who say vouchers are taking money away from the public school system and only educating a small percentage of the school population.

Ohio is among just 14 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, that use voucher programs to provide parents and children avenues to attend different schools, though more than 30 states use voucher-adjacent tactics that achieve the same goal.
To get an idea of just how much Ohio is investing in vouchers in comparison to other states – large and small – cleveland.com took the total spending for the most recent school years where data was available on voucher programs in each state and divided it by the total number of students statewide, regardless of whether they were receiving vouchers

Before the expansion, Ohio spent an estimated $241 per capita in the 2020-2021 school year, behind only Maine ($318), Wisconsin ($491) and Vermont ($700).

With the budget increase for EdChoice Expansion to nearly $400 million and increases to other programs of smaller amounts, the Ohio state budget has allotted $964.5 million for the current school year, or about $514 per student.
By next school year, as many as 150,000 Ohio students could be attending schools with taxpayer-provided vouchers, based on current applications.

Vermont and Maine vouchers are primarily for students who live in areas where public schooling options are limited or non-existentand have to travel to another area, paid for using town tuition vouchers.

Wisconsin, like Ohio, has a mix of voucher programs, including income-eligible vouchers like Ohio’s EdChoice Expansion Program. But while Wisconsin also increased the value of its vouchers this year, it does not match Ohio’s expansion.

The number of applications approved by the state for students to be enrolled in Ohio’s voucher program nearly doubled this year, with more applications yet to be processed, preliminary data shows. Ohio has committed $240 million to the EdChoice Expansion program and is at risk of needing more.

School Voucher Programs in the US

Some states, like Ohio, have multiple voucher programs. This is because voucher programs cover a variety of needs.

“School choice started in many ways to help populations that were not getting the service they needed in the traditional sector,” Enlow says.
Many voucher programs aim to assist students with special needs, like Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Program. Others are for providing education to areas that do not have the right educational resources, like a local high school.

While vouchers only provide a set amount of money to cover private school tuition, there are other voucher-adjacent programs states use to allow students to go to different schools.

This includes education savings accounts, or ESAs, which let parents use an allocation of public money to cover education expenses, including private school tuition and homeschooling costs. This is what states like Florida rely on for school choice.

Another method is a tax credit scholarship program, which allows individuals to receive tax credits for donations to organizations that provide private school scholarships, used in places such as Arizona and Pennsylvania.

When accounting for all of these types of school-choice programs, 32 states have an option for parents or guardians to receive help sending a student to a private school.

According to Enlow, from the national pro-school voucher nonprofit, nearly 37% of students in the country are eligible for a private choice program, a 46% increase from just two years ago. This includes every child in Ohio, one of the largest states in the country.

The EdChoice Scholarship expansion

Ohio’s new EdChoice Scholarship expansion provides students from public schools outside of Cleveland the opportunity to attend participating schools. All students are eligible for vouchers, though the size of the voucher is dependent on income. Cleveland has a separate voucher program called the Cleveland Scholarship Program.

Before the expansion, themaximum voucher amount was $5,500 for students in K-8 and $7,500 for grades9-12, with an average voucher amount being $5,789. With the expansion, the maximum amount is now $6,165 for students in K-8 and $8,407 in 9-12.

The state also expanded eligibilityfor the full amount to 450% of the federal poverty level, or $135,000 for a family of four, from the previous 250% of the federal poverty level. Those with higher incomes will receive prorated benefits.

For instance, families at 451% to 500% of the poverty level are eligible for $5,200 for K-8 and $7,050 for 9-12. The value ratchets down as incomes get higher.The minimum amountfor families earning above 750%, or $225,000 or more for a family of four,is $650 for grades K-8 and $950 for high school.
As a result, the number of families applying for vouchers has also increased.
State education officials by mid-Octoberapproved 43,880 students for the EdChoice Expansion vouchers, which commits the state to $252 million for the scholarship, said Lacey Snoke, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education and Workforce. At this rate, Ohio may overtake Indiana to have the most children on a singlevoucher program in the country.

Ohio’s rise in voucher use

This continues the exponential growth voucher programs have seen in Ohio, says Tanish Pruitt, a state policy fellow focused on education for the nonprofit advocacy organization Policy Matters Ohio.

In the 2006 fiscal year, the year before EdChoice was established, 6,288 vouchers were being used in the state. By 2014, the number more than quadrupled to 30,062 vouchers. That number is now up to 82,629 for all Ohio school voucher programs in the current school year.
Now for the 2023-24 school year, more than 103,000 vouchers have already been approved, with nearly 50,000 additional applications still being processed, most of which are for the EdChoice Expansion Program. Approval of these applicants would mean 1-in-12 children in Ohio would be going to school on a voucher.
“The cost of Ohio’s voucher programs has increased from $20.5 million in fiscal year 2006 to roughly $600 million in fiscal year 2023, Pruitt says. “The large increase in voucher cost from 2021 ($442 million) to 2022 ($555 million) was the result of both a significant increase in the number of voucher students as well as an increase in the voucher amounts.”

By 2025, Pruitt predicts voucher allocations in the state budget are expected to cross the $1 billion threshold.

Pruitt says that ballooning budgets can become a problem, pointing to Arizona as an example. Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program, an ESA, grew so rapidly that it will cost the state more than it budgeted, requiring reallocating resources.
Ohio’s rapid growth could pose a similar situation, as well as take money away from public schools.
“Vouchers have grown exponentially, while at the same time, we look at funding for our public schools and they grow incrementally,” Pruitt says. “Allocations in state funding could be going to public schools.”


Written by Zachary Smith, data reporter for Cleveland.com.
Click here to view the original article.

The Top 10 Elementary, Middle Schools in Ohio

The U.S. News & World Report released a ranking of Ohio’s top elementary and middle schools Thursday, assessing nearly 80,000 schools across the country.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report has traditionally released a ranking list of high schools and universities in the country, and this year, they are also ranking elementary and middle schools.

In the middle and elementary rankings, schools are assessed on its share of students who were proficient or above proficient in their mathematics and reading/language arts state assessments, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Half of the formula assessed the scores themselves and the other half incorporated the test results in the context of socioeconomic demographics. States are judged individually, and the rankings use the same methodology for all included grade levels. Student-teacher ratios are applied to break ties in the overall score.

Here are the top 10 elementary schools and top 10 middle schools in Ohio, according to U.S. News & World Report:

Top 10 elementary schools

  1. Miller City Elementary School: Miller City-New Cleveland Local Schools (Putnam County), serving kindergarten through grade five.
  2. Wells Academy: Steubenville City Schools, serving pre-kindergarten through grade four.
  3. Parkside Elementary School: Solon City Schools (near Cleveland), serving kindergarten through grade four.
  4. Dorothy E. Lewis Elementary School: Solon City Schools (near Cleveland), serving kindergarten through grade four.
  5. McKinley STEM Academy: Steubenville City Schools, serving pre-kindergarten through grade four.
  6. Montgomery Elementary School: Sycamore Community Schools (near Cincinnati), serving kindergarten through grade four.
  7. Hilltop Elementary School: Wyoming City Schools (near Cincinnati), serving grades kindergarten through grade four.
  8. Russia Elementary School: Russia Local Schools (Shelby County), serving kindergarten through grade six.
  9. Emerson Elementary School: Westerville City Schools (near Columbus), serving kindergarten through grade five.
  10. Grace L. Roxbury Elementary School: Solon City Schools (near Cleveland), serving kindergarten through grade four.

Top 10 middle schools

  1. Chestnut Ridge Elementary School: East Holmes Local Schools (Holmes County), serving kindergarten through grade eight.
  2. Fort Loramie Junior-Senior High School: Fort Loramie Local Schools (Shelby County), serving grades seven through 12.
  3. Mariemont Junior High School: Mariemont City Schools (near Cincinnati), serving grades seven and eight.
  4. Orchard Middle School: Solon City Schools (near Cleveland), serving grades five and six.
  5. School of Innovation: Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools (near Cleveland), serving grades three through eight.
  6. Solon Middle School: Solon City Schools (near Cleveland), serving grades seven and eight.
  7. Oakwood Junior High School: Oakwood City School District (in Dayton), serving grades seven and eight.
  8. New Bremen High School: New Bremen Local Schools (Auglaize County), serving grades seven through 12.
  9. Kalida High School: Kalida Local Schools (Putnam County), serving grades five through 12.
  10. Russia High School: Russia Local Schools (Shelby County), serving grades seven through 12.


Written by Cole Behrens, Columbus Dispatch

Click here to view the original article.

A Heartwarming Tale of Heroism

We wanted to share with you a remarkable incident that unfolded at one of our partner schools recently. One of our dedicated nurses, Rachel Ocampo, played a pivotal role in saving the life of one of the students. Last week, there was a student who visited the clinic, complaining of not feeling well. The student appeared noticeably pale and unwell. The concerned parent promptly picked the student up from school and Rachel advised the parent to schedule a medical appointment due to the severity of the situation.

The next day the student returned to school, exhibiting the same distressing symptoms. Rachel once again urged the parent to seek medical attention, which, fortunately, they did. The medical assessment revealed that the student had a critical medical concern requiring urgent treatment at the hospital. While the exact cause of the illness remains a mystery, the medical professionals involved emphasized that, had it not been for the timely actions of our vigilant nurse, Rachel who recognized the need for further testing and treatment, the student’s life would
have been in grave danger.

The student’s parent reached out to express heartfelt gratitude to Rachel for discerning that something was amiss and, in doing so, played a pivotal role in saving this student’s life.

Let us extend our sincere appreciation and commendation to Rachel for her quick thinking and proactive approach in ensuring the student received the care that was so urgently needed.

See the story here

PSI at 100+ Latinos CLE Must Know Meet and Greet

Milagros Zavalia and Amanda Mooney represented PSI at AmMore Consulting’s 100+ Latinos CLE Must Know Meet and Greet at the Cleveland Zoo on Friday night.

Happy Halloween from the PSI Headquarters

Team PSI getting in the Halloween spirit!

#HappyHalloween #TeamPSI #SpookySeason #halloweenfun #costume #celebrate #halloweenspirit

O-H! 🏈

The PSI recruiting team was on campus in Columbus September 13th attending The Ohio State University Career and Internship Fair. In addition to meeting students and talking about opportunities at PSI, Brutus stopped by to learn more about us and how TeamPSI makes an impact in our school partners.

#theohiostateuniversity #buckeyecareers #TeamPSI

The impact of Ohio’s new education laws

For Ohio parents and students the 2023-2024 school year could look very different. Schools will offer more free lunches, more mental health training for staff and more vouchers to cover the cost of private tuition.

Most of those changes will take effect Oct. 3, but some major shifts in education policy and teaching methods will take months or even years. Many districts are starting to retrain their reading teachers, and grants will be awarded this fall to build new career technical centers.

Here’s what you need to know about the changes:

EdChoice scholarships

Starting in October all school-aged children will be eligible for an EdChoice scholarship to cover at least some of the costs of private education. How much families receive will be based on grade level and income.

The most a student can receive this year is $6,165 for kindergarten through eighth grade and $8,407 for high school. These amounts will be available for students with a household income at or below 450% of the federal poverty level. (That’s $78,880 for a family of two or $120,000 for a four-person family.) Here’s the breakdown for those who earn more:

  • At or below 500% of federal poverty = $5,200 and $7,050
  • At or below 550% of federal poverty = $3,650 and $5,000
  • At or below 600% of federal poverty = $2,600 and $3,550
  • At or below 650% of federal poverty = $1,850 and $2,500
  • At or below 700% of federal poverty = $1,300 and $1,750
  • At or below 750% of federal poverty = $900 and $1,250
  • Above 750% of federal poverty = $650 and $950

More: Every Ohio child will be eligible for a school voucher but many won’t be able to use them.

Students enrolled in private schools can apply for an EdChoice scholarship, even those who have never attended a public school. And though the law doesn’t officially take effect until October, families who apply before Oct. 15 will receive full scholarship amount(s) for the 2023-2024 academic year. Those who apply after that deadline will get prorated amounts.

More free lunches

Lawmakers also expanded Ohio’s free school lunch program in the state budget. All students who qualify for reduced priced meals − including those at chartered private schools will now get them for free. Districts will continue to qualify students as free or reduced, but their schools won’t collect money for the reduced lunches.

This new rule starts on Oct. 3, but the Ohio Department of Education will reimburse schools that cover their students for the first few weeks, according to an email sent to districts.

Dyslexia screening

Ohio children in kindergarten through third grade will be screened for dyslexia during the 2023-2024 school year. And schools must screen students in grades 4-6 if requested by parents or teachers.

The reason for this change is because dyslexia is a spectrum and advocates suspect many children aren’t diagnosed.

“I would say about 85% of the kids that struggle with reading, they have dyslexia, and don’t know it,” said Mike McGovern, president of the Columbus branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

The initial screening will be short, about five minutes, and it won’t confer a diagnosis of dyslexia, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Instead, the preliminary evaluation will flag children who “may be at risk of reading difficulties such as dyslexia.”

These children will be given additional monitoring and interventions. For many students, this will be enough to get them reading, McGovern said. Others will need additional screening that could lead to a diagnosis and special education.

Science of reading

Ohio’s two-year budget also changed how all students will learn to read, requiring public schools to use phonics-based curricula known as the science of reading.

This was a major priority for Gov. Mike DeWine, who repeatedly told reporters, “There is an actual science to reading, and certain things need to be taught.”

About 40% of the state’s third-graders are not proficient in reading, according to the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Education. And while COVID-19 was responsible for nationwide learning losses, 33% of children fell below that bar prior to the pandemic.

More: Gov. DeWine: Science is ‘abundantly clear,’ some Ohio schools teach reading wrong.

Many public school districts, including Columbus, have already moved to phonics-centered instruction. But for those that haven’t, the change won’t be immediate. Schools don’t have to switch until the 2024-25 school year.

Districts can spend this academic year getting ready. Lawmakers allocated $86 million for teacher training, $64million for new curriculum and $18 million for literacy coaches.

Mental health training for coaches

Ohio became the first state in the country to mandate mental health training for high school coaches when it passed the budget in June.

“It’s about the well-being of these kids,” St. Ursula lacrosse coach Todd Graham said at the time. “What can we do for these young people to help them through this difficult thing that everybody’s going through right now?”

More: ‘It’s about the well-being of these kids,’ Law requires mental health training for coaches.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health is writing the curriculum, and coaches must complete this new training when they get recertified. They can also complete the training “at any time within the duration of the individual’s new or renewed permit.”

Autism diagnoses

Parents who want to use a voucher for a child with autism will have an easier time starting this fall.

The state budget expanded the list of approved ways children can qualify for Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program. Children can be identified by their school districts, those with Individual Education Plans that “include services related to autism” and students diagnosed as autistic by a physician or a psychologist.

“In short, any student formally diagnosed as autistic now qualifies for the Autism Scholarship,” according to Disability Rights Ohio. “This is a major change that will make the scholarship accessible to many more families.”

Free menstrual products

Public, nonpublic and charter schools with students in grades 6-12 will soon have to provide free pads and tampons. The state operating budget included a $5 million appropriation to install dispensers and buy the menstrual products needed to stock them.

“We have regulated the provision of toilet paper and paper towels in public restrooms, so too we should do the same for menstrual products,” Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, said. “It’s unhygienic and a danger actually to one’s health not to have access to menstrual products, so just like toilet paper, we need to have free and accessible access.”

Some districts already offer free pads and tampons to their students, but those that don’t will be able to access those state dollars in October.

Catching the school van

Lawmakers expanded the ways public schools can transport students who choose to attend charter or private schools.

Ohio law requires districts to provide transportation for voucher and charter children, but many districts have struggled to fulfill this obligation−especially since the pandemic. The state even found itself in a lawsuit with Columbus City Schools over an $11 million fine for failing to transport their out-of-district students.

More: Judge blocks Ohio from withholding $11 million from Columbus City Schools.

So, state lawmakers added more flexibility in the budget, allowing schools to use vans and creating a pilot program where regional educational service centers can bus out-of-district students.

Career technical education

Another major priority for the DeWine administration was expanding access to career training centers across the state.

And one of the biggest barriers these schools face, according to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, is buying the new equipment needed to expand their capacity.

The budget allocated $100 million in career tech equipment grants over the next two years. Priority will be given to centers that support careers on Ohio’s Top Jobs list like electricians and pipefitters.

More college credit in high school

Ohio hopes to train 1,000 high school teachers to teach college courses, and it allocated $6 million to do so.

The teachers will be certified through the state’s College Credit Plus program, which lets students in grades seven through 12 take free college courses that also count toward their high school graduation.

Written by Anna Staver, Legislative Reporter.

Anna Staver is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.