We had a busy October! We appreciated hearing from parents, former students, and staff at the board meeting on October 11 of what their Clayton experience has been with special education services. We had athletes attend Special Olympics Bowling this past month. Captain sent the athletes off in style by cheering for them and making posters! The teachers loved being able to connect with families during parent teacher conferences. We also held a data team meeting this past month where the teams looked at reading and math data and identified interventions.
The next Special Education Community Forum will be Thursday, November 16 at 6 pm with our facilitator Dr. Thurma DeLoach at Clayton High School in the library or join via zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 7906 1944
Director of Special Education; Clayton
Sensory bags are now available at all SLCL branches. Each bag contains items to help lessen sensory overload for kids and adults during visits to the library. Ask for one at the service desk.
Easter Seals Autism Conference
Easter Seals Midwest Online Autism Conference (Virtual), November 2 & 3. Join us for two mornings of learning, sharing, and building our understanding of autism. We’re excited to be joined by this year’s keynote speakers, Richard Guerry and Mickey Rowe! This conference is sponsored by the Productive Living Board. The conference is FREE for ESMW families/individuals who receive services, community members with a family member impacted by autism, and ESMW staff. Professionals and all others, can attend for $55-$250. Register Here
MO Department of Conservation
Fall Colors are everywhere! But do you know why leaves change color in the fall? And where is the best places to see the fall colors? The MO Department of Conservation has answers for you in their “Natures’Calling” video series. Plus you can learn about SPIDERS and all the wonderful things spiders do for farmers as they grow the food that arrives in our grocery store. To see fall colors, visit MDC Conservation Areas or Missouri State Parks. The Missouri Division of Tourism’s online calendar is packed with events happening all across Missouri. You’re sure to find fun things to do along your scenic fall color trips.
Each year, the Special School District posts annual public notices as required by Board of Education policy and state law. These notices primarily serve to inform parents and students of their rights. Full SSD Board of Education policies and regulations can be found on the District website. All of SSD's public notices can be found on the District website at www.ssdmo.org/publicnotices.
Procedural Safeguards Notice
Did you know that the SSD has copies of the Procedural Safeguards and Parent Bill of Rights available in multiple languages on our website? The Procedural Safeguards help keep families informed about their rights and protections under IDEA. Visit the Procedural Safeguards section of the District website to review.
Family and Community Engagement
CAASTLC (Community Action Agency of St. Louis County) will be at the Family Resource Hub, located inside North Tech High School, on November 3rd, from 10am-2pm. CAASTLC can provide many programs and services to families including:
Are you new to SSD or just wanting to learn more about the district? Join FACE for a Virtual Open House on Tuesday, November 21st at 9:30am. Families can receive an introduction to the services and resources available through SSD. These virtual meetings invite all families into our learning community as equal partners throughout the learning process, symbolizing that FACE's door is always open! Click here to join the virtual meeting.
November is Family Engagement month! FACE is hosting Family Academy, this highly anticipated event on Saturday, November 4th at Northview High School from 9am to noon. There will be interactive activities, community vendors, networking opportunities, music, light refreshments and fun learning! We will also have a timely presentation from our community partners at Crisis Aid International. They will share information that will help our students and loved ones stay safe from sexual exploitation and trafficking. Families and staff are welcome to join at any point during the day and stay as long as they wish. All are welcome, but we ask you to RSVP is you plan to attend.
Lunch & Learn
Join FACE as they welcome Starkloff Disability Institute for a Lunch and Learn on November 15th at 11:30am live on YouTube. This Lunch and Learn will highlight Starkloff’s Dream Big and Access U programs. Each of these programs help student’s focus on the future by offering career and post-secondary education guidance. You can find this live event as well as previously recorded Lunch and Learns on the SSD YouTube page.
Are you interested in making connections with other families and community members in our district? Join Face on November 16th, for the final Family Cafe of the semester. Family Cafes are hosted by families, for families. They provide parents and caregivers a safe and welcoming space to connect and learn from each other. They are centered on the Strengthening Families Five Protective Factors: Resilience, Relationships, Knowledge, Support and Communication. Three cafes will be hosted each semester. This semester they will be held at North Technical High School 1700 Derhake Rd., Florissant, MO 63033 from 6-8pm. Register today!
FACE will host Vocational Rehabilitation for a HUB Huddle on Friday, November 17th. SSD's The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide our community with additional support and access to resources that support employment after transition. A representative from VR will be available at the SSD Family Resource Hub (located inside North Tech High School) to provide information on many of their programs, including VR Youth Services, Pre-Employment Transition Services (pre-ETS), and share support for families.
Kid to Camp
Camp programs help to maintain educational momentum for students during extended academic breaks throughout the year. The Special Education Foundation's (SEF) Kid-to-Camp program can help bridge the learning gap for students served by SSD during the upcoming winter break. Camperships are awarded based on financial need and student benefits. For a list of camp resources and to apply to SEF's Kid-to-Camp program, visit https://sef-stl.org/programs/kid-to-camp/
The Office of Inclusive Postsecondary Education offers three programs for students with intellectual and developmental disability: Succeed, Succeed+, and Link (degree or certificate). Students have the option to either commute* to and from the university or reside on campus. Use the link below to apply.
UMSL Succeed: https://buff.ly/3S9XIjy
Summer Camp Scholarships
UMSL has a great program for high school-aged students coming up! Use the link below to apply.
Summer Camp Scholarships: https://buff.ly/497lQt3
Nominate a Staff Member for a Salutes Award!
Applications for several awards which honor the contributions of SSD staff and community members are awaiting nominations, which are due Jan. 5, 2024. These awards are collectively known as Salutes awards because they are given at the District’s annual Salutes event in the spring. They include the following:
Please refer to the Salutes webpage for details about each award. Some awards permit nomination by SSD staff only, while others accept nominations from people who are not employed by SSD. Please nominate someone you know who works for SSD and help us provide the recognition they deserve for their meaningful work in SSD!
Scholarship Opportunities for SSD Seniors
Sensory-friendly Halloween Tips & Tricks
Practice, practice practice. Practice wearing a costume. Practice holding hands and being safe. Practice communicating and hidden social rules.
Attend sensory-friendly, all inclusive events. Trunk and treat events can be great for families that need a place to retreat, especially if occurring in a familiar place.
Ready your student’s augmentative communication device or scripts with multiple trick-or-treat jokes, puzzles, and riddles. Remember to insert pauses while asking riddles!
Create a visual schedule for the evening, including a map of where and in what order your student will go trick-or-treating and with whom.
If your student has allergies, create a script that helps them politely ask if certain treats might contain allergens. It can be used to help express whether they can or cannot accept using their mode of communication.
Pajamas make great costumes and can help limit sensory overload.
Stay at home and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. This can provide the experience of Halloween from the comfort of a familiar environment and people. Don’t go to the door for a round or two if it gets too overwhelming.
Create a personalized narrative with a calendar to countdown when Halloween is coming.
PAC.ED: Parent Advisory Council of Children with Educational Diversity
Check out the new PAC.ED logo! The updated logo will be launched as of October 1st on all webpages and materials. The updated logo removes the Ableist language “Children with Educational Diversity”. To learn more about Ableism, click HERE for videos and articles.
October is Missouri Disability History & Awareness Month! Click HERE to check out our 2023 Video Showcase!! You might see some people you recognize! We still have other exciting things to share, so watch Clayton School District and PAC.ED communications!
Please join us on Monday, November 6th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm via Zoom Link
Presentations from SWEP (Summer Work Experience Program), Neighborhood Experiences, and the Youth Summer Program, along with a Q&A Session.
It is never too early to start thinking about summer options! Whether you are thinking about this summer or subsequent summers!
Knowledge is power when planning for your students. Programs such as SWEP (Summer Work Experience Program) have early deadlines in February.
PAC.ED advocates for awareness, understanding, equity and inclusion of and for all students with disabilities in the School District of Clayton. PAC.ED is a volunteer organization made up of families, Clayton, and Special School District (SSD) staff and administrators, as well as community members. Check our webpages to keep up to date on current PAC.ED events, as well as family resources.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help with Clayton PAC.ED please contact Christina Blankenship, President, Clayton PAC.ED at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.402.4920.
SSD Parent Advisory Council (SSD PAC)
The SSD PAC is open to every family with a child receiving SSD services. We have monthly zoom meetings. We are parents like you. We get it. You can just log on and watch. SSD and FACE share updates, great information, and presentations based on your needs. We advocate to inform policy with our parent voice. We share parent perspective to help our schools know how to best help our kids.
The SSD Parent Advisory Council has scheduled the following meetings for the 2023-24 school year. All meetings are held virtually via Zoom, from 7-9 PM. Additional information about meetings, including agendas, can be found on the PAC's website.
- Nov. 8, 2023
- Dec. 13, 2023
- Jan. 10, 2024
- Feb. 14, 2024
- April 10, 2024
- May 8, 2024