SSD in Affton Monthly Dispatch

June 2022

SSD Staff Appreciation Form

Do you have a teacher or staff member who has gone above & beyond for you or your child - supporting them, encouraging them to do their best or being a listening ear when they need someone? Take a minute to write a note of thanks by sharing your appreciation with them. You may fill out this form as many times as you would like for different school personnel.


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9Rj7SG7zJxh4Jxl1mhmY6M2HRJKRNxAX5vkYaO0pamObAoA/viewform?usp=sf_link

We Want Your Feedback!

Please go to the following link to let us know how we have supported you well this year, and how we can do better next year! The honest results of your feedback as well as our action plan will be in the August newsletter! Thank you for your time, and for trusting us with your kids!


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScK8P280UyoFqGjwCYS-uk_PjQG2atdtzKdgQD4baGkpRZa9A/viewform?usp=sf_link

Parent Education Diversity Awareness

The highly successful SSD Parent Leadership Institute that has had more than 280 participants since 2007 is once again being offered under a new name of Family Leadership Institute (FLI).

The Institute will be Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:30pm at SSD Central Office: October 12, 19, 26 and November 2.

If you are a parent or family member who makes the educational decisions for a child with a disability, investing the time to attend these four Wednesday evening sessions will provide:

VISION: for the future of your child.

KNOWLEDGE: to help effectively participate in your child's education.

LEADERSHIP SKILLS: to improve the educational climate for all children.

ACCESS: to new resources, friends, and experts to help you on your journey.


Apply today https://SSDPEDA.as.me/FALL2022FLI

Helpful Hints While at an IEP.

  1. Remember, diagnostic tests do not present the total picture. Your most important job is to make sure that the others at the IEP conference never forget that you are talking about a real child. Make sure the focus of the discussion is on your child’s strengths as well as needs.

  2. Usually your child’s special education teacher or administrator will act as chairperson or group leader for the IEP meeting.

  3. Ask for introductions if the person chairing the meeting does not have everyone introduce himself or herself. If you are not sure what each person’s role is at the meeting, ask him or her to explain. Use the Special Education Meeting Planner to assist you in remembering names and roles.

  4. Each person has something to share and should have a chance to say what he or she thinks. Stick with the issue at hand; i.e., your child’s education. Do not be sidetracked by irrelevant issues such as your past experiences or the district’s lack of funds.

  5. If you do not understand something that is said, ask to have it explained. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification of any detail.

  6. You are free to disagree with any part of the IEP. If you disagree, try to do so in a helpful way. Make suggestions instead of getting angry or upset.

  7. Be flexible enough to accept minor revisions, but be firm about the major issues.

  8. The program for your child should be built on services that relate to strengths and abilities, special problems and learning needs, not to his or her category of disability. If you do not agree that this is what the program does, speak up. Changes can be made if you state your views and ideas.

  9. Share relevant information about your child using the IEP Preparation and Participation Form, which has questions relating specifically to the various components of the IEP. Inform the committee of any activities or significant events that may influence your child’s performance in school.

  10. Make sure your child’s medical history is up-to-date and that the committee knows if there are any special needs or services provided by other sources.

  11. Participate in developing your child’s goals and objectives.

  12. Take note of what nonacademic school activities are included in your child’s program. Do not forget areas such as lunch, recess, art, music and physical education.

  13. Be sure all services that are necessary to implement your child’s educational program are written into the IEP.

  14. Ask yourself if what is planned corresponds to your knowledge of your child’s ability and needs.

  15. Make sure team members talk with, rather than about, your child if he or she is in the meeting. Maybe your child can suggest a goal and/or objective or benchmark and take responsibility for it.

  16. When you feel teachers and school personnel are doing a good job, compliment them.

  17. You can expect the teachers to carry out informal assessment on a continuing basis. They should be willing to keep trying new methods if your child is not making progress.

  18. If you are not sure you are in agreement with the IEP, you may ask for the IEP to be reconvened by following due process procedures.

  19. If the group needs more time to complete the IEP, there can be more than one meeting.

  20. Your child’s progress must be reported to you as frequently as that of a child without disabilities. The IEP, as a whole, must be reviewed once a year. You also may request a review at any time.

  21. You have the right to ask questions and request changes either during the conference or later.

Summer Work Experience Program

Through the program, students hold a summer job in their community and receive job-coaching support. They are paid an hourly wage for their work. SWEP is funded by the Productive Living Board of St. Louis County and is open to county residents with a qualifying disability. It is conducted through a collaboration of six area agencies - MERS/Goodwill is the Lead Agency.


A few important things to remember about eligibility for the SWEP program:


  • You must be a resident of St. Louis County.
  • You must be between 16 and 20 years of age and planning to return to a school program in the Fall of 2022.
  • You cannot participate in SWEP while participating in the Extended School Year Program.
  • Your teacher needs to submit a Teacher Input form before the program begins.
  • You must be available for the entire 8 weeks of the program.
  • You must have your own transportation to participate in the program.
  • Not everyone who applies to the SWEP program will be able to participate this summer.


If your student is interested, please reach out to their case manager for the application OR download the application that is attached below ~

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Application SWEP 2022.pdf

Download

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Family and Community Engagement

I hope that you are well. I recognize that this year has been like no other and that you are all short on time. So, I am writing a brief message to share a few supports/opportunities from our department. Please feel free to share these documents and links with those that may benefit from these services. As always, let us know if there are any additional supports needed.

  1. The Family Resource Hub –

    1. Family Resource Hub Virtual Grand Opening Video

    2. Family Resource Hub Flyer

    3. Satellite Food Pantry Flyer

  2. Variety Club – Free Camp Opportunities – Enrollment ends on 2.7.2022

  3. Recreation Council Flyer – Summer Program Guides available on 1.21.22

  4. Youth Mental Health Training for Staff –Kickup registration link: https://pulse.kickup.co/events/browse/SKSWHzR83mUrJ7gpEPUpeh

  5. Youth Mental Health Training for Families – Google link: https://forms.gle/28CzBcceYgadDhJk6

  6. Assistance for families who may have challenges accessing the FREE Covid Tests


Thanks for sharing! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. - Adrienne Eaglin


The Family Resource Hub located at North Tech High School is a space dedicated to families and our community stakeholders. The resource hub offers families computer and internet access, a satellite food pantry, and support navigating community resources. The space is also dedicated to supporting families by hosting learning labs, community events, and a safe and supportive environment to learn with and from one another.

Set an appointment to meet us there.

Please call 314-989-8311 or email FamilyEngagement@ssdmo.org

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Health and Wellness

Dear Affton Community,

We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are with all those impacted by this tragic school shooting, and our sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims. The safety of our students and staff is always the top priority in Affton School District. We take our responsibility seriously to ensure your child's safety every day.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our families that we have a plan in place at each of our schools to handle emergency situations. We work with the St. Louis County Police Department and Affton Fire Protection District to prepare for these types of emergencies and regularly practice our safety procedures with students and staff through discussions and emergency exercises. While no amount of planning can guarantee that a tragedy such as this will not occur, we are doing everything we know to keep students and staff safe while at school.

As our country mourns this nightmare and tries to find healing, we each need to be prepared to support, listen, care for, and comfort those around us – especially our students. Parents play a critical role in helping children and teenagers to process traumatic events such as this in a way that is healthy and productive. Here are some valuable resources to help your child deal with trauma, including tragedies that are being reported in the news.

As parents and educators, we are troubled, shocked, and saddened by events like what occurred in Uvalde. However, days like today also allow us to be leaders as we help our children understand and talk with them about the importance of sharing information that could be considered threatening to our community with a responsible adult. Most importantly, it’s a chance to reassure them that, as the adults in their lives, we do everything we can to keep them safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Travis Bracht
Superintendent

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Affton PAC Meetings

We hope you consider attending our monthly PAC meetings! There will not be one in the summer months, but we have them most months on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 via Google Meet to make them more accessible to all. These meetings are run by Stephanie Hand and Angie Hanks. Stephanie and Angie are amazing volunteers that care deeply about creating a community for everyone in Affton. We hope that you find an active role in this committee next year! More information will follow after the beginning of the school year!

Your Feedback is Important to Us!

In February we reported on the results that you provided us regarding things that are going well and things that we can work on. I am happy to communicate with you all some changes that we have made and some communication regarding how related service providers in Affton are communicating with you below.


1. Monthly Newsletter of what we are working on

2. Canvas- monthly reminders about canvas activities, new activities posted

3. Positive Communicate- phone calls with student, emails, hand-written notes

4. Progress Notes Quarterly

5. Positive note every time a student fills their "star" behavior chart

6. Emails as needed- we always reach out to parents if there is something to be communicated (if a student is falling behind, when things are coming up, or when they do something amazing). Often it is through email, but we do call parents as well.

7. Parent Teacher conferences

8. IEP conferences

9. Letter at the beginning of the year providing contact information.

10. Holiday help communication

11. We complete behavior sheets as appropriate when students have them for our session as appropriate dependent on team decisions.

12. Communication with outside agencies.

13. Re-evaluation meetings


Not all related service providers are doing all of these things, but these are some examples of how our Affton related service providers are trying to communicate with you. If this is not meeting your current needs, please reach out to them directly so that we can do better to support your family.

Discounted Home Internet Access

Home internet access is important for student success, whether learning in-person or at home. To provide all families with the opportunity to access the internet, the FCC has launched a temporary program, Emergency Broadband Benefit, to help families struggling to afford internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible families and households who are struggling to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For more info, please visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

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Who Should I contact?

Katy Meers - Affton Special Education Director K-12 and Special Education Coordinator for Mesnier and Gotsch - kmeers@afftonschools.net or call at 314-633-5912


Ky Schlundt - Special Education Coordinator for Gotsch and Rogers - kschlundt@afftonschools.net


Tim Orr - School Psychologist for Mesnier and AHS - torr@afftonschools.net


Marie-France Castor - School Psychologist for Gotsch and Rogers and assists with EC -mcastor@afftonschools.net


Beckie Rainbolt - SSD Social Worker for Mesnier and AHS - brainbolt@afftonschools.net


Deanna Wright-Coffman - SSD Social Worker for Gotsch and Rogers - dwright@afftonschools.net


Pam Miller - SSD Social Worker for Rogers and AHS - pmiller@afftonschools.net


What if I would like to get more frequent or less frequent data on goals? Please contact your child's case manager or service providers.


What if I would like information regarding a class assignment? Please contact the teacher for that assignment.


What if I have a concern? Please contact the students case manager. If you have already contacted the case manager and you have not received results, please contact Ky or Katy.