SSD Ritenour Dispatch


Ritenour Extended School Year (ESY)

ESY will be held Monday through Thursday from 8:15am to 11:45am, starting on June 5th and ending on July 6th at Buder Elementary.

All district buildings will be closed on June 19th and July 4th.

Buder Elementary address:

10350 Baltimore Avenue

St. Ann, MO 63074

Phone: 314-493-6300

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Special Education Foundation

Special Education Foundation Kid-to-Camp: Camp experience brings life-changing benefits to a student with a disability. Outcomes from attending camp include easier adjustment to new environments, a greater sense of personal satisfaction, and personal habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle.

The Special Education Foundation’s (SEF) Kid-to-Camp program helps provide funding for students served by the Special School District (SSD), those who may be impacted financially, preventing them from being able to attend camp. Camperships are awarded based on financial needs and child benefits. Applications are accepted year-round including summer, winter, and spring breaks. SEF is here to help eliminate that financial burden where possible.

Learn more about SEF’s Kid-to-Camp program and camp options for students with disabilities.

Adaptive & Assistive Equipment

The Special Education Foundation (SEF) is able to provide specialized equipment to students with disabilities up to age 21. The aim of the SEF is to enhance the education or the independence of students or to improve their quality of life. Through grants, the Foundation is able to help provide requests for specialized equipment, based on financial need, which includes:

● augmentative communication devices

● adaptive equipment

● hearing aids

● eyeglasses

Applications are accepted year-round and are initiated by the student’s teacher. Learn more about SEF’s Adaptive and Assistive Equipment program and how to apply.

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Still on the hunt for good summer camps or activities?

There are search engines that can help with that. Blueprint 4 Summer and Kids out and About are great resources to help fill those hot summer days.


Check out these exciting St. Louis summer activities, and download the Community Passport to Summer Fun to document your summer!

Saint Louis County Library Check out events and classes at your local St. Louis County Library branch. Individuals who do not have a library card can sign up for one by presenting a photo ID and proof of current address. To learn more, please call 314-994-3300.

Marcus Theaters Marcus Theaters offer the Kids Dream Summer Film Series where they offer $3 family films every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Write about the movie you saw OR read the book the movie was based on.

Michael's Arts & Crafts Kids' program classes at Michael's are available in person and online for no cost.

St. Louis Gateway Arch The nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet, the Gateway Arch has beckoned visitors for more than 40 years with its iconic, awe-inspiring shape. The vision of renowned architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. A visit to St. Louis isn’t complete without standing at its base and playing professional photographer, and the view from the outside is only half of the experience.

Saint Louis Science Center Visit the Saint Louis Science Center. Explore 700+ exhibits, the OMNIMAX® Theater, planetarium, special traveling exhibitions and more. Group rates available. Open daily. No general admission charge. OMINIMAX, planetarium, special traveling exhibitions and classes have a cost associated with them.

St. Louis Cardinals Check the date you are interested in and look for the deals for that day. You can get tickets for as little as $5 each. You can take in coolers as long as they will fit under your seat and don’t contain glass. You can get a FREE picture taken in the family area as a memento.

Magic House General Admission is $12 per person. Check for possible free event dates.

St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Lots of area parks offer special events and programs. The website will list parks that have picnic areas, playgrounds, and water play features.
Make it a learning experience:

Plan and pack a picnic.

Write a grocery list, add prices at the grocery store, and follow a recipe.

Go on a nature scavenger hunt!

Home Depot Workshops Keep kids engaged with projects and activities. Pick up your free Kids Workshop Kit on the first Saturday of each month between 9am - 12pm from your local store or order online – while supplies last.

St. Louis Art Museum The St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park is always free to attend. They also offer Family Sundays from 1-4 p.m., where they offer 30 min. family tours through a gallery and a related art project.

Missouri Botanical Garden The Garden offers free admission on Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m for St. Louis City/County residents. Proof of residency is required. The Children’s Garden offers free admission on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. for St. Louis City/County residents. If you take advantage of the free admission to the Children’s Garden on Tuesday, you will have to pay admission to the Botanical Garden.

Laumeir Sculpture Park Laumeier Sculpture Park is a 105 acre open-air museum that integrates art, nature and human experience in a unique setting where you can hike, learn and experience a stunning collection of outdoor sculpture. FREE Open 8 a.m. till sunset. There is an indoor gallery and shop where you may purchase items.

St. Louis Museum of Transportation Museum of Transportation is one of the largest and best collections of transportation vehicles in the World. It has the most complete collection of American rail power anywhere, with automobiles, busses, streetcars, horse-drawn carriages, aircraft, and riverboats. Open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $15 for adults (13-64), $5 for children (3-12), $12 for seniors and active duty military (65+) and free for children under 2. The Creation Station is available for an additional $2 per person.

Forest Park Boathouse Rent a paddleboat for $22. The paddleboats hold 560 pounds (approximately 2 adults and 2-3 children).
Rental Pricing Details:

  • Paddle Boats $25 for one hour, $35 for two hours

  • Canoe: $20 for one hour, $35 for two hours

  • Single Kayak: $15 for one hour, $30 for two hours

  • Double Kayak: $20 for one hour, $35 for two hours

  • Paddle Board: $15 for one hour, $30 for two hours

Lone Elk State Park Drive through Lone Elk Park and see lots of animals in the wild. FREE!

The Muny Go to the Muny for FREE SEATS for each show. Get there early, gates open at 7 p.m. You can sit in the last 9 rows. Visit the website for the show listings. There are wonderful spots to have a picnic before the show. Take a blanket and stretch out and enjoy the beautiful Forest Park.

Grant's Farm There are many exciting animal encounters possible at Grant's Farm, the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, located just south of the city of St. Louis. The Farm is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 100 different species. Grant's Farm, operated by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., has been a St. Louis tradition for over five decades. More than 24 million guests have visited this popular family attraction during its history. Parking is $15 per vehicle.

St. Louis Zoo St. Louis Zoo is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. M – Th. and 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. F – S.
FREE admission to the Zoo.
FREE admission to the Children’s Zoo, Stingrays at Caribbean Cove and Conservation Carousel during the first hour the park is open. Look at the website for special offers, discounts, and things available to do in the Zoo.

St. Louis Citygarden Water is one of the most expressive elements at Citygarden. Three fountains are interspersed throughout the park, combining with sculpture and lush plant life to create a unique visitor experience. The first fountain is 34 feet in diameter. The second fountain is the split basin, which is 190 feet long, 20 feet wide and 16 inches deep. A waterfall, approximately 40 feet wide, "breaks" the basin where the arc wall crosses the pool and the upper basin seeps and cascades from the upland café terrace down to the floodplain six feet below. The last fountain is the playful spray plaza, which punctuates Citygarden's middle tier. The spray plaza includes a paved field of 102 vertical jets that project water up to eight feet in height. The plaza invites children and adults alike to meander through its programmed patterns, and delight in the evening shows of light and water. FREE

Purina Farms The farm is open 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. daily every Wednesday - Sunday. Admission and parking are FREE. Text PFARMA to 313131 to sign up for text alerts about special events and offers.

St. Louis History Museum Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue. until 8 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day, daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Tue., 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Phone: (314) 746-4599. FREE (Any special exhibits do have a fee involved, but the museum itself is free.)

City of Maryland Heights Aquaport Grab the family and make your way to Aquaport this summer! Enjoy the numerous pools and slides, snacks and cool treats at the concession stand, and plenty of parking and deck room to make your visit comfortable. With its convenient location and affordable pass prices, Aquaport is a great place for the entire family to cool off and enjoy the summer!
Maryland Heights Privilege Card Holder Daily Rate:

  • Adult (ages 16-61): $5

  • Youth (ages 4-15) or Senior (ages 62+): $4

  • Ages 3 and under: FREE

  • Add FlowRider Pass: Free

  • Guest Pass: Patrons with a current Maryland Heights Privilege Card may bring two guests per day, per card holder at the resident daily rate.

Faust Park Home of Frederick Bates, Missouri’s second governor and Faust Historic Village, The St. Louis Carousel (314-615-8383) and the Butterfly House (636 -530-0076). The Butterfly House is free the first Tuesday of every month from 9-11a.m. for St. Louis City/County residents. Proof of residency is required. The Carousel is $2 per ride (free on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day). There is also a huge playground and picnic area that is always free.

Forest Park and Creve Coeur Park have paved walking and biking trails. Don’t forget your helmet if you are riding your bike. Creve Coeur also has FREE water play areas.

Forest Park Nature Playscape An exciting new Forest Park destination is now open to the public. Funded by donors to Forest Park Forever and completed in partnership with the City of St. Louis, the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape is a 17-acre experiential play space with natural landscapes that include native and diverse species. Featuring nine distinct activity areas, the free destination includes sand play areas, willow tunnels, stump steppers, boulders and rocks, hand water pumps and much more.

Community Partner Highlight

PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is a 12-16 week social skills program for children, teens or young adults with autism. In this program, individuals are engaged in learning real-life skills for connecting with others, as well as building and maintaining friendships. Parents/Caregivers will also participate in the program and will be taught how to support and assist their child/young adult in making and keeping friends by coaching and providing feedback during weekly homework assignments.

This program is offered to three age groups:

  • Children’s Friendship Training: 3rd-5th graders

  • PEERS: Middle and high school aged students

  • PEERS for Young Adults: Individuals ages 18+ who are no longer in high school

New sessions will begin in August 2023.

A pre-program assessment to determine eligibility is required. Funding options include DDRB, DMH and Private Pay.

For more information and to see if you qualify, please contact our Admissions

Department at 314-394-7100 or via email

SSD Parent Advisory Council Meeting

Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is comprised of families advising and collaborating to improve the education, confidence, and social outcomes of each student served by SSD. SSD's PAC works closely with the SSD Board of Education, Governing Council, and District administration to provide valuable input and feedback from the parent perspective.

Meetings will resume next school year. Please enjoy your summer!

Ritenour School District PAC

The goal of the RSD-SSD PAC is to collaborate with parents/guardians, Ritenour School District Administration, and SSD Administration to improve the overall results of our kids. We seek parent input on matters concerning special education services.

We meet monthly to develop our abilities to:

  • Share information and support with other parents navigating the special education process

  • Learn about advocating effectively for our children

  • Improve communication and promote collaboration between Ritenour Schools and Special School District

  • Promote a positive, inclusive understanding of students with disabilities

Meetings will resume next school year. Please enjoy your summer!

SSD Family Leadership Institute

Registration for SSD's Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program's fall Family Leadership Institute (FLI) will open in early August 2023.

Family Leadership Institute participants have the opportunity to:

  • Build an understanding of future planning and problem-solving using Charting the LifeCourse tools.

  • Learn to effectively participate in their student's education and improve the educational climate for all children.

  • Learn how to positively interact and collaborate with other families and school personnel.

  • Discover new resources and network with other families.

This program, which is offered at no cost to participants, is designed for family members who are the educational decision-makers for a student with a disability.
FLI is typically held during three, in-person sessions on Wednesday evenings, from 5:30-8 PM, on Sept. 20, 27, and Oct. 4. Dinner will be provided for attendees.

The Family Resource Hub

The Family Resource Hub is where families and educators develop effective partnerships to improve student outcomes.

For more information visit the The Family Resource Hub.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry is located at North Tech High School which supports families with access to non-perishable food items and household supplies.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry

SUMMER HOURS FOR THE HUB: Access to the HUB, located in North Technical High School, will only be available over the summer by appointment. Email to make an appointment.

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Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. This new benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting, or by calling 877-384-2575.

Free At-Home COVID-19 Test

Residential Households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 FREE at-home tests from To order the free tests visit

Special School District is providing assistance to those who need help accessing or completing the online form. For assistance, visit FREE At-Home COVID Test.
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Upcoming Dates

June 5

First day of ESY

June 19


All District Offices/Schools CLOSED

July 4

Independence Day

All District Offices/Schools CLOSED

July 6

Last day of ESY

Ritenour District Event Calendar

Let's Talk!

Let’s Talk is an open invitation from Special School District (SSD) to tell us what’s on your mind.​Let’s Talk is an easy way to submit feedback at your convenience directly to the SSD staff member who can help.

Ritenour School District

Kyle Johnson, Special Education Coordinator - Kratz, Marvin & Wyland

Emya Williams, Special Education Coordinator - Iveland, Marion & Buder

Stephanie Genenbacher, Special Education Coordinator - Hoech & Ritenour Middle

Nathan Dwyer, Special Education Coordinator - Ritenour High

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Still on the hunt for good summer camps or activities?

There are search engines that can help with that. Blueprint 4 Summer and Kids out and About are great resources to help fill those hot summer days.