SSD in Affton Monthly Dispatch

December 2022

A Note From Your SSD in Affton Administration Team

As we enter into the short educational month of December due to winter break, we just want to remind you of the incredible amount of services that you can receive outside of our school district. Please see the St. Louis County Navigation Services that are offered. If there is anything we can do to support your family, please let us know!

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.

Get to Know Our Amazing Teachers!

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SSD in Affton PAC Meetings

Our next meeting is in January!

Your Child's IEP Goals

  • Annual goals are the targets toward which your child's special education program is directed.

    They describe what he or she can be expected to accomplish within an academic year.

    They are written to increase your child's successful participation in the regular education curriculum, include appropriate activities and to allow for inclusion in the regular education environment to the maximum extent appropriate.

    A well-written goal is meaningful, measurable, able to be monitored, useful in making decisions, and aligned with learning, behavior and industry standards.

    A Note About Goals:

    • Disability does not determine what services, including goals, a student will need.
    • Goals are not written for the disability, but rather to address the academic, functional, and behavioral needs of the student.
    • The IEP Team must determine a logical link between the PLAAFP and the proposed goal.
    • When possible, related service needs of the student are addressed in existing goals.
    • Behavior concerns that interfere with learning can be addressed through IEP goals regardless of diagnosis.

    Goal Example:

    • Not specific enough: John will increase his ability to do math problems.
    • More specific: By the next IEP, utilizing Fourth Grade Curriculum level multiplication problems with (2) multi-digit whole numbers up to (3) digits each (e.g. 468 x 44), John will independently set up and use the standard algorithm to solve the problem in (3) minutes or less, with 80% accuracy across settings. Baseline: John can complete 2 digit by 1 digit math problems independently with 90% accuracy across settings.
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Affton By the Numbers

Family and Community Engagement Program (FACE)

  • Assistive Technology Workshop

    Join FACE for a workshop all about assistive technology. In this virtual session, participants will be introduced to Assistive Technology, by SSD Assistive Technology Specialist Kim White. Learn how to request an AT consultation and participate in demonstrations of universal tools available to all SSD students. Examples will be provided for low- and high-tech AT options that can be implemented in the home and school environments.Click here to register: Assistive Technology Workshop Registration

    Sensory Friendly Options for your Family this Winter

    St. Louis Zoo’s Sensory-Friendly Wild Lights Night

    Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Nothing says St. Louis Christmas quite like Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. Your family can stroll through the grounds surrounded by a million lights, including animated displays, fireside stories, campfire s’mores, photo opportunities, and more. This event is made sensory-friendly with trained staff on-hand and quiet areas to help your child decompress. Get more information and tickets at

    Saint Charles Christmas Traditions on Historic Main Street – Sensory-friendly tours

    The Historic Main Street of Saint Charles is a magical and fun place to visit during the Holiday season. With a new inclusion initiative, Saint Charles is now offering guided sensory-friendly tours. These guided tours are conducted twice daily by sensory specialists. Each 90-minute tour introduces guests to several Christmas Legends and ends with an opportunity to get your picture with Santa and a full deck of 2019 Saint Charles Christmas Traditions trading cards. Tours are Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday festival. For more information, including dates and times, visit

    Sibshops at ARC

    Wednesday, December 14 4:30 – 6:00 pm , Monthly on the second Wednesday


    St. Louis Arc

    1177 N Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63132, US

    Ages: Siblings ages 7 – 15

    Sibshops offer an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities to get peer support and education within a recreational context. This free series includes a fun mix of information, games, activities, and discussion. Children between the ages of 7-15 years old who have a sibling with a disability are encouraged to participate.

    For more information, contact Lee Anna Sanders at 314-817-2269.

    ARCH Respite - ARCH Respite reimburses primary caregivers at a standard rate for short-term relief services they receive either in their own home, with the community, or in the home of a care provider.

    ARCH Respite serves St. Louis County and St. Louis City to register, or learn more, contact or call 314-817-2236.

Additional Learning Opportunities on Tuesday's

You are officially invited to participate in our Transition Tuesdays Webinar Series:

The St. Louis Youth Interagency Team is proud to announce our Second Annual Transition Tuesdays Webinar Series! This series will cover a different topic every week and explore services and resources in these various area. All teachers, staff, agencies and groups working with young adults(14-24) and families in the St. Louis area are welcome to attend this virtual series. CEU/CRC’s are being offered and we will have great guest speakers. Please forward this invite to others in your agency or other agencies who may be interested. It is a fantastic way to learn about resources and services that can help the youth you are working with. The dates and topics are as follows:

When it's time, join your Webex meeting here.

Join meeting

More ways to join:

Join from the meeting link

Join by meeting number

Meeting number (access code): 2466 682 1945

Meeting password: 4aXMcZz5D8p

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only) +1-650-479-3207,,24666821945## Call-in toll number (US/Canada) +1-312-535-8110,,24666821945## United States Toll (Chicago) Join by phone 1-650-479-3207 Call-in toll number (US/Canada) +1-312-535-8110 United States Toll (Chicago) Global call-in numbers Join from a video system or application Dial You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Join using Microsoft Lync or Microsoft Skype for Business


If you are a host, click here to view host information.

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Special School District Board of Education Positions Open

Hazelwood, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Jennings

Candidate filing for three open seats on the Special School District’s Board of Education opens at 8 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 and continues until 5 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. One of the available seats represents Subdistrict 1 - Hazelwood, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, and Jennings school districts. Interested in learning more about the filing process, eligibility, or the responsibilities/time commitments of an SSD Board member? Visit the Board Election section of the District website.

Affton, Bayless, Hancock Place, Mehlville

Candidate filing for three open seats on the Special School District’s Board of Education opens at 8 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 and continues until 5 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. One of the available seats represents Subdistrict 2 - Affton, Bayless, Hancock Place, and Mehlville school districts. Interested in learning more about the filing process, eligibility, or the responsibilities/time commitments of an SSD Board member? Visit the Board Election section of the District website.

Clayton, Rockwood

Candidate filing for three open seats on the Special School District’s Board of Education opens at 8 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 and continues until 5 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. One of the available seats represents Subdistrict 7 - Clayton and Rockwood school districts. Interested in learning more about the filing process, eligibility, or the responsibilities/time commitments of an SSD Board member? Visit the Board Election section of the District website.

Paraprofessional Appreciation Form

Paraprofessional Learning Website and Appreciation Form: Please remember that paraprofessionals can be recognized for their hard work on our Paraprofessional Learning Website. Paraprofessionals do important and impactful work everyday. Too often, we in the education profession are not recognized for our efforts and dedication. If a para you supervise or work with has gone above-and-beyond for the students, please recognize them with this form. They will receive an email from the Paraprofessional Facilitator thanking them for their efforts. They will also be entered into a monthly prize drawing.
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Scholarship Opportunities for SSD High School Seniors

Several scholarships are available for students who receive SSD services! High school seniors who plan to enroll in a college, university or postsecondary program after graduation this spring should review the following opportunities.

Applications for The James E. Westbury/SSD Board of Education Scholarship, The Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship, and The Bonhomme Lions Club Scholarship must receive at least one service from SSD and plan to enroll in a college, university, or postsecondary program. All scholarships require a letter of recommendation. Applications are due Dec. 16, 2022. Visit for more information.

The Special Education Foundation (SEF) sponsors the John Cary Scholarships for high school seniors, as well. Applications are due Jan. 24, 2023.

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.

Health and Wellness

Tips to Connect with Your Kids During the Holidays

Holiday excitement and stress can overwhelm even the best us. The holiday season is supposed to be about family and togetherness, right? Even so, it's often easy to overlook this fundamental fact. Which is why it's so important to take time ​out of the seasonal hustle and bustle to help your family enjoy the real meaning of the holidays.

Here are some tips to help you and your younger children enhance the unique family connection you share this holiday season.

  • Time-In Fun: Tip your child with five- or 10-minute "time-in" activities. You can use a token system to remind you and your child to stop and take a few moments to have fun together during the busy day. Place the token in a jar to see how much time you spend with your child each week.
  • Holiday Goodie Vouchers: Build your child's sense of accomplishment by giving him/her age-appropriate chores, activities and learning tasks. Place one goodie voucher under your child's pillow at night. The reward written on the voucher should cost nothing, such as a promise of time and attention with loved ones.
  • Memory Mosaics: Create a gallery of memories from the past year on your child's bedroom wall or in the family room where everyone can see it. Your child can use photos or drawings to help create positive memories.
  • Love Notes: Throughout the holiday season, hide a few notes (stickers, cards) of praise in places where your child will find them.
  • Family Tree: Help your child learn about your family and who he/she is by making family tree ornaments each month that can be used as decorations during the holidays.

    Remember, no matter what the age of your child, spending extra time and offering extra praise can help you all enjoy a happier, calmer, more familial holiday season.​
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Who Should I contact?

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

Ky Schlundt - Special Education Coordinator for Gotsch and Rogers -

Tim Orr - School Psychologist for Mesnier and AHS -

Marie-France Castor - School Psychologist for Gotsch and Rogers and assists with EC

Beckie Rainbolt - SSD Social Worker for Mesnier and AHS -

Deanna Wright-Coffman - SSD Social Worker for Gotsch and Rogers -

Pam Miller - SSD Social Worker for Rogers and AHS -

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.