Early Childhood Special Education

November 2021

The mission of the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Department is to build independence in all preschool students to enable them to reach their full potential in preparation for kindergarten.

News Bites We Want to Share

  • We are in the third month of the school year. If you haven't yet been informed of Parent-Teacher Conferences in your district, be on the lookout for the information. We want to have time to share the progress that your child has made while we discuss the next aspects of learning that we will be focusing on. We also want to hear about progress and goals that your family has for the home setting as well.
  • Our goal in ECSE is to always look at the progress that a student is making and to determine what the educational Least Restrictive Environment is at that time. This is something that may change and we want to involve you in those discussions. This is why we come together at the IEP meetings. Our goal is always to reduce the level of special education services that we provide as a student's level of independence increases. Please know that this is a data driven decision regarding best educational practices. Seeing the progress that our students make shows that we are helping the students progress. It is with professional thought, data review and belief that it is for the best that we step back to push the children on to the next level/step of learning. Please ask questions, be active in understanding what we are working on at home as we work to ensure that home school connection focusing on developing your child's skills. We want to be united in the support that we provide our students and you are our number one resource and we want to be that for you too.

WORKSHOP: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders Two Part Series (PART ONE)

Monday, Nov. 8th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Identify and understand the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and learn effective and practical strategies that will support your child’s success at home and school. The second session will focus on strategies. Both sessions will have time for discussion and questions.

Presenter: John Bruno, Ph.D., SSD Autism Effective Practice Specialist

November 8th Zoom Meeting Information


Meeting ID: 967 6121 6696
Passcode: 701664

To register for a workshop, please contact PEDA Liaison Elizabeth Fox at ehfox@ssdmo.org or 314.989.8194.

WORKSHOP: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders Two Part Series (PART TWO)

Monday, Nov. 15th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

November 15th Zoom Meeting Information


Meeting ID: 982 8634 6135
Passcode: 103277

Introduction to Charting the LifeCourse (Workshop in Collaboration with St. Louis ARC)

Thursday, Nov. 18th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) is a set of eight principles developed to support people with IDD and their families so they can have their best lives. In this workshop, we will learn about the CtLC principles and work together to create planning and problem-solving tools. Participants will also receive updates about LifeCourse Connect Missouri, which is a new online platform that can be used by individuals and family members to access tools. This workshop is for everyone but especially self-advocates, families, and support staff.

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

Zoom Webinar Registration:


Lunch & Learn Series

Wednesday, Dec. 1st, 11:30am

This is an online event.

Special School District’s Family and Community Outreach, Social Work, Parent Education and Diversity Awareness (PEDA) and Communications departments have teamed up 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 take place on the first Wednesday of each month during the 2021-22 school year, from 11:30 AM - Noon.

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

Organizations represented in the Lunch & Learn series include:


Helpful Links

ECSE Family Channel

Click here to see useful evidence based strategies on a variety of parenting topics for use in your home: Rules * Toilet Training * Schedules * Avoid Power Struggles & MORE. Compiled by the ECSE Student Support Facilitators.

Parent Leadership Institute

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. This is an opportunity to connect with other families and build networks/connections.

The ECSE Administrative Team

Stacy M. Sturdivant

Director of Early Childhood Special Education

Coordinator for Brentwood

(314) 989-8411

Margaret Dyer

Special Education Coordinator

Ladue & Ritenour

(314) 989-8374

Karin Fleming

Special Education Coordinator

Affton, Bayless, Hancock, South County Head Start, &Webster


Geannie Floyd

Special Education Coordinator

Lindbergh & Valley Park


Cheryl Hermann

Special Education Coordinator

ECSE Deaf/Hard of Hearing, & Audiology


Liz Kenner

Special Education Coordinator

Evaluation Teams & Parkway Step Program

(314) 989-7831 or (314) 415-4980

Jen Roper

Special Education Coordinator

Parkway ECC, Parkway North Preschool, & Satellite Sites

(314) 415-4983

Kathleen Vierod

Special Education Coordinator

Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Jennings, Normandy, & Riverview Gardens

(314) 989-8213

Director Q & A Chat

Join Stacy M. Sturdivant, Director of Early Childhood Special Education, for a Q & A session where you have the opportunity for asking questions or general discussion. Use this link to request a 15 minute appointment.

Topic: Director's Q & A Talks


Big picture

November is Family Engagement Month

What does Family Engagement mean? To our Early Childhood Special Education Department this means that we strive to COMMUNICATE on the two way street between home and school. It is our goal to provide SUPPORT as we are all part of the village that wants to see our students, your children, succeed!