SSD Ritenour Dispatch

April 2023

Special Olympians play basketball at Parkway West

Ritenour students attended the Special Olympics basketball event hosted by Parkway West High School on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Due to previous COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first time that the event was held indoors since 2020. Around 200 athletes from Special School District were able to attend. The event was covered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. To see all of the event photos, please visit

Special Education Foundation

SEF Accepting Applications for Kid to Camp Program: The Special Education Foundation is now accepting applications to assist children with disabilities served by SSD to attend one or more camps this summer. Each year, the SEF provides tuition assistance to enable students served by SSD to attend summer camps. Sometimes children with disabilities cannot join their peers in a summer camp experience due to financial constraints or other hardships. SEF steps in to help young people and their families take advantage of these experiences that can sometimes be life-changing. Parents and caregivers can have peace of mind knowing that their child is in a safe and healthy place. Apply here.
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Student Leadership Opportunities

Please check out these unique and FREE leadership opportunities for high school students with disabilities, ages 16 - 21.

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SSD Family Leadership Institute – Spring 2023

Last call for applicants to the Family Leadership Institute (FLI)! FLI is a great opportunity for educational decision makers 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 education decision-makers for a student with a disability.

The three sessions will be held in-person on Wednesdays, from 5:30-8 PM on April 19, 26, and May 3, 2023. Dinner will be provided for attendees.

Click here to apply today!

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Community Autism Expo

Visit with local organizations to learn about services and resources available for individuals with autism and their families. Please click here for more information.

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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 May and 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

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Brain Injury Association of Missouri Educational Scholarships

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) is pleased to offer educational scholarships for survivors of brain injury to pursue post-secondary education. Please click here for more information.


Bullying is an unacceptable part of our children’s lives. Do your children know how to recognize the signs of bullying? Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center offers resources to help. Click here to learn how you can become a partner in your child’s learning.

The Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC), located at the Learning Center in Hazelwood, has several books that help to increase awareness and prevent bullying for students of all different ages and abilities. Here is a list of just a few:

“Betty Stops the Bully: An Emotional Literacy Book” written by Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D “Emily is Being Bullied. What Can She Do?” written by Helen Cowie, Harriet Tenebaum, and Ffion Jones “I Wish I Knew What to Do?!, Teens tell it like it is…on what to say to get BULLIES to leave you alone!” edited by Beth Carls and Amy Looper

Contact FACE today (, 314-989-8460) to have one of these books or many others sent home in your student’s backpack!

DESE Special Education Survey

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has contracted with the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy to conduct the 2022-23 Parent Special Education Survey required for federal reporting. To complete this survey, visit and enter the following Access Code: DJVWMG. DESE thanks you for providing your input by March 31.

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.

April's Meeting - Apr. 12, 2023 7:00pm - 9:00pm

SSD PAC Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 955 4237 2430

Passcode: 795650

All meetings are held virtually via Zoom.

For more information or to join the meeting virtually, please visit the PAC website.

PAC general council meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.

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

The RSD PAC meeting will be on Monday, April 24th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Ritenour Administrative Center. Future meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month.

Family & Community Engagement (FACE) Workshops

Parent/Family Workshops

All of the workshops offered by FACE are provided free of charge and are open to all parents, families and community members.

After registering, participants will be provided with information about the platform that will be used for the workshop.

If you are unable to attend the live workshop, please still register so that we can send you the link to the recording a day or two after the workshop.

The workshops will be set up as webinars, so you will be able to see the panelists but not other attendees. Your confirmation and reminder email will contain information about how to submit questions to the panelists in advance, or you can use the chat and Q&A features during the workshop. If you have any questions, please let us know.

If you need more information, or if you require an alternative format as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact, 314.989.8460 or 711 (Deaf/HOH).

Registration Options

To register for a workshop, please email or call 314.989.8460.

Upcoming Workshops

Does your student have a new Autism diagnosis or are you interested in learning more about Autism and how to best support student learning in the home environment? Join FACE on April 5th at 6pm as one of SSD’s own Autism Effective Practice Specialists gives practical advice and information. To learn more and to register for this event click here.

FACE along with SSD’s Behavior Analysts are hosting a workshop about toilet training on April 10th at 6:30. You can learn strategies to break down toilet training skills and gather resources to help your student’s success. To learn more and to register for this event, click here.

Join FACE and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for a Lunch and Learn on April 26th at 11:30am. This event will be live streamed on the district’s YouTube Channel. Click here to join the event and learn what NAMI has to offer.

FACE is hosting a Family Cafe at North Technical High School on April 27th at 6pm. Cafes are hosted by families for families and provide a welcoming space for families to learn from each other. Click here to register or visit our website for more information.

FACE is hosting two HUB Huddles this month at our HUB located in North Technical High School. On April 14 Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTL) will be available to help families with emergency utility and weatherization assistance from 9am-4pm. On April 18th from 11am-12pm the Higher Education Consortium will be available to provide families with the opportunity to access information and increase their knowledge about education, career, and workforce planning or transitioning. This service is available to all high school students and anyone over the age of 19.

Lunch and Learn Series

Special School District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department is excited to offer a virtual Lunch & Learn series for SSD families and stakeholders. The series, which will involve community organizations sharing information about their work, will continue during the 2022-23 school year and take place from 11:30 AM - Noon.

Representatives from three community organizations and three SSD departments will participate in order to increase awareness about their agencies or programs and make connections with those in our SSD community who may benefit from their programs and services.

Features in the 2022-23 Lunch & Learn Series are:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - April 26, 2023

SSD Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Summer Engagement Activities - May 24, 2023

Each event is held virtually through YouTube Live. To access the video, please click on the organization's name in the list above. The videos will not be available to view until their scheduled date and time.

April 14 9:00am - 4:00pm

Hub Huddle: CAASTLC

April 18 11:00am - Noon

Hub Huddle: Higher Education Consortium (HEC)

Event held at The Family Resource Hub at North Tech High School

1700 Derhake Road

Florissant, MO 63003

April 19 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Family Leadership Institute (Session 1 of 3)

Register for this in-person event

Dinner will be provided for attendees.

April 26 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Family Leadership Institute (Session 2 of 3)

Register for this in-person event

Dinner will be provided for attendees.

May 3 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Family Leadership Institute (Session 3 of 3)

Register for this in-person event

Dinner will be provided for attendees.

April 27 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Family Cafe

Event held at The Family Resource Hub at North Tech High School

1700 Derhake Road

Florissant, MO 63003

Childcare and interpreters can be provided but must be scheduled in advance. Please contact a FACE representative.


Phone: 314.989.7683



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

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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

April 7

Professional Development


April 20

Early Release Day K-12

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