SSD/Parkway Newsletter

December 2021

Dear Parkway Families,


I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a bit of time over the Thanksgiving holiday with cherished friends and family, whether it was in person or virtual. This time of the year between breaks is always one that seems to fly by so quickly. The energy in the air during this time period always makes me smile. However, that energy can impact our students in a variety of ways. During this time, our educators do their best to provide and reinforce stability, structure, and academic routines to the students in their care, while supporting their learning and emotional well-being.


We once again have had an exciting month of adding to our great team within the district. Six new individuals were welcomed into our paraprofessional team, and we have more recommendations heading to the upcoming Board of Education docket on December 14th. With each new member that we add to the team, we are energized by the possibilities. Thank you for continuing to partner with us in recruiting Paraprofessional staff members by directing them to this post on the SSD Website. Please share the name of the potential employee you are recommending with the Special Education Coordinator assigned to your student’s school so that we can continue have the opportunity to fill Parkway with outstanding staff that care for and challenge all of our students to reach their greatest potential.


Thank you for partnering with us. On behalf of the entire Special Education team within Parkway, we are grateful for each of you and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! Together, we will make 2022 a wonderful year for our community.


In collaboration,

Dr. Amy Blumenfeld

Director of Special Education

314-989-8435 / ablumenfeld@ssdmo.org

314-415-5297 / ablumenfeld2@parkwayschools.net

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SSD Board of Education Information - Filing for SSD Board of Education Opens Dec. 7

Candidate filing for two open seats on the Special School District of St. Louis County Board of Education opens at 8 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, and continues until 5 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. The terms of current Board members Ms. Katie Pottroff, Subdistrict 3 and Mr. Scott Moeller, Subdistrict 4 expire in March 2022.

The two open seats are for three-year terms beginning in March 2022 in the following subdistricts:

  • Subdistrict 3 – Parkway School District
  • Subdistrict 4 – Ferguson-Florissant, Pattonville, and Riverview Gardens school districts

Learn more about the filing process and eligibility requirements on the SSD website.

SSD Student Scholarship Deadline Approaching!

Many opportunities for scholarships and awards are now open for SSD students! SSD scholarship applications for graduating high school seniors are active and due Dec. 17, 2021. Students applying for The James E. Westbury/SSD Board of Education Scholarship, The Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship, or The Bonhomme Lions Club Scholarship must receive at least one service from SSD and plan to go to a college, university, or postsecondary program. All scholarships require a letter of recommendation. Visit ssdmo.org/scholarships for more information.

The Special Education Foundation (SEF) sponsors the John Cary Scholarships for high school seniors, as well. Applications are due Jan. 24, 2022.

For more information, please contact Deana Parsons, SSD internal communications coordinator, at dmparsons@ssdmo.org or 314.989.8102.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

Parent Education has a workshop scheduled for December 9th at 6:30 PM. The workshop, hosted in collaboration with the St. Louis ARC, will be on zoom. Please see the information below.

WORKSHOP: Supported Decision Making (In Collaboration with St. Louis ARC)

Dec. 9, 2021

Starts at 6:30 PM

Description

When an individual with a disability becomes 18, they are legally an adult. This workshop is designed to help families understand the options they have to help their loved one make good decisions and build a circle of support. Using tools from Missouri Supported Decision Making Consortium and Charting the LifeCourse, Debra and Sharon will coach your family on how to access each of the six life domains (health, employment, safety, etc.) and create a plan that uses a variety of resources to build self-determination skills. This workshop is ideal for primary caregivers, their family member(s) with a disability, and siblings or other key people who support planning and problem solving in their lives. Small groups will use Zoom breakout rooms to start creating their own supported decision-making plans with templates from the Missouri Supported Decision Making Consortium.

Presenters: Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Support, St. Louis Arc and Debra Fiasco, Administrator, Parent Education and Diversity Awareness, Special School District

Register for the Event through Zoom


PEDA is happy to announce that we are taking applications for our Spring Parent Leadership Institute (PLI). PLI will occur over 4 evenings in February and March. You can learn more and download the application here: Parent Leadership Institute

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

For families of students aged 16-20, with students that plan to return to a school setting in the Fall, the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) is back and running this summer! Applications have just been released. Please work with your student’s case manager to gain access to the application if you have not already received it.

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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PACCD CORNER

Networking is an essential component of parent advocacy. PACCD meetings provide parents the chance to ask questions and share information that benefits both students and families. If you have not had a chance to join a PACCD meeting yet this year, it’s not to late to join! Topics vary by month and all parents and guardians are welcome and encouraged to join. We look forward to seeing you at our December 21st meeting! Please email contactpaccd@gmail.com to register for the upcoming meeting.


Best,

Laura Hoff

PACCD President

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.

UPCOMING DATES

December 6: SSD Governing Council Meeting 7 pm

December 8: SSD Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Meeting 7-9 pm

December 9: SSD Workshop: Supported Decision Making (In Collaboration with St. Louis ARC) 6:30 pm

December 14: SSD Board of Education Business Meeting 5:45 pm

December 15: Parkway Early Release PK - 12

December 15: Parkway Board of Education Meeting 7 pm


December 22: Parkway Half-Day PK-12

December 23-Jan 4: Winter Break


January 5: School Resumes

January 11: SSD Board of Education Work Study Session 5:45 pm

January 19: Parkway Board of Education Meeting

Special School District of St. Louis County

Amy Blumenfeld, Director of Special Education