Teaching & Learning


Steven Ast
Director of Teaching and Learning
216.529.4203 I email

Sharon Kufel
Executive Secretary
(216) 529-4203 I email



Brenda Budzar
Coordinator of Elementary Education
216.227.5723  I email

Materials Matter. The role of the Elementary Coordinator of Teaching and Learning is to facilitate the collaborative update of elementary courses of study, the collaborative selection and procurement of high quality core instruction and assessment materials, support corresponding professional learning opportunities for staff, and support data based decision making at the elementary level to enable the actualization of Lakewood City Schools’ Vision of a Graduate. This work encompasses Lakewood’s elementary Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, the use of High Quality Student Data, collaborations with elementary building principals, collaborations with grade level teacher teams, collaborations with community-based early childhood partners on kindergarten readiness, and elementary summer programming.



Cassandra Squires
Coordinator of Secondary Education
216.529.4087 I email



Carissa Spitzer
Coordinator of Gifted Services and Related Arts
216.227.5115 I email

The Gifted Coordinator is responsible for gifted programming throughout the district including cluster grouping, advanced and honors-level classes, and the Grant Self-Contained Program.  Along with the development and implementation of the Related Arts Curriculum, the roles of the gifted coordinator include Acceleration, Early Entrance to Kindergarten, whole grade level gifted screening, Written Education Plans, Written Acceleration Plans, and supporting general education and gifted certified teachers. 



Merritt F. Waters, Ph. D. 
Coordinator of Student Wellness and Supports for English Learners
216.227.5593 I email

When implemented systematically across a school district, high-quality social emotional learning (SEL) supports academic achievement, graduation, attendance, school climate, educational equity and other important outcomes (CASEL.org).  The five key social-emotional competencies are self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.  We provide SEL instruction and support at three different levels to meet the needs of all students:  Tier I (for all), Tier 2 (for students who need additional instruction in the necessary social emotional skills), and Tier 3 (intensive, ongoing support).

 As a district that prioritizes global awareness, communication and empathy, Lakewood City Schools emphasizes the quality and importance of supporting our English learners and their families.  We provide resources, learning opportunities and guidance to our staff members who teach English to those who speak other languages and the others who connect with our English learners in our schools each day.  Through screening, differentiated/adapted instruction (when needed), and assessment of progress, we encourage the growth of our students toward fluency in English.  For adults interested in learning English, we are pleased to partner with Cuyahoga Community College who offers free classes right here in Lakewood.  Please call 216.529.4240 for more information.

The Department of Teaching and Learning directs the development and implementation of the PreK-12 curriculum and instructional program and provides leadership and support to the Lakewood City Schools.  Our department is responsible for the management and development of curriculum, the selection and purchase of textbooks and educational materials, instructional support, professional development, assessment and accountability, and the coordination of state and federal programs, Limited English Proficiency, and gifted services.

The department consists of four Teaching & Learning Coordinators, five Curriculum and Technology Teachers and one Gifted Program Coordinator. The Department of Teaching and Learning is dedicated to meeting the curricular needs of all regular education, special education, new-to-district, and entry-year teachers in the District.


The department also oversees the District's special programs, such as state and federal grant programs. Click here for more info on our special programs


What is RTII?

RTII Resources


  Language Arts || Mathematics || Science || Social Studies || Music/Arts  || Foreign Language || Career Tech || Health ll Phys Ed


Elementary Curriculum

All Lakewood City Schools courses of study are aligned to Ohio's Learning Standards. Information about these standards can be found by accessing the Ohio Department of Education link below. 


Language Arts 6-12

Mathematics 6-12

 Science 6-12

Social Studies 6-12


 World Languages

 Career Tech

Health Education 6-12

 Physical Education 9-12