SSD Ritenour Dispatch

November 2022

Connect with the SSD Board of Education

The SSD Board of Education strives for transparency, accountability, and accessibility. We welcome family, staff, and community members to share comments, concerns, and ideas with SSD Board of Education members.
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Student Scholarships Available

Special School District of St. Louis County is fortunate to partner with regional organizations that provide scholarship opportunities for our students. Over the years, many thousands of dollars have been donated to help SSD students take the next step in their education journey.

Graduating seniors should consider applying for these scholarships that are exclusively available to students who receive SSD services and/or attend one of the District’s technical high schools. Each scholarship has specific requirements and applications must be completed online via the links below.
SSD scholarship winners will be honored by the Board of Education in the spring (date TBA).


James E. Westbury Memorial Board of Education Scholarships
The SSD Board of Education and other donors provide funds for scholarships each year to SSD students who plan to attend a college, university, or post-secondary program. These scholarships are named in memory of James E. Westbury, who served on the SSD Board for many years and dedicated his life to the education of students throughout the St. Louis region.
Scholarships are awarded to the students who best demonstrate the ability to define a goal and are preparing to achieve that goal.
Recipients of this scholarship will be selected by members of the SSD Board. In most years, two students are selected for scholarships in the amount of $2,000. The funds will be paid directly to each student's college, university, or post-secondary program.
Click here to apply for the James E. Westbury Scholarship.

Bonhomme Lions Scholarships
For many years, the Bonhomme Lions have donated funds for scholarships to SSD students. The organization selects students who have demonstrated strong character, high academic achievement, and participation in community service.
Scholarship applications will be reviewed and recipients determined by the Bonhomme Lions Scholarship Committee. The scholarship recipients each typically receive $1,000 to be used toward education expenses at the recipient's chosen college, university, or post-secondary program. The scholarship amounts will depend on funds available.
Click here to apply for a Bonhomme Lions Club Scholarship.

Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship
Established in 2008, the Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a qualifying SSD student each year. The scholarship was established in memory of Allison Marie Haake, a former SSD teacher assistant. Allison was an inspirational young woman who, at an early age, knew she wanted to make a career of working with children.
Scholarship applications will be reviewed and a recipient determined by the Allison Haake family. The scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 to be used toward expenses at the recipient's chosen college, university, or post-secondary program.
Click here to apply for an Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship.

The John Cary Scholarships
NOTE- NOT DUE UNTIL JANUARY 24, 2023: The John Cary Scholarships are given in honor of John Cary, former Superintendent of Schools for the Special School District. As superintendent, John gave tirelessly of his time to students, staff and parents. A hallmark of John’s leadership was the caring and generous hand he extended to the Special Education Foundation. The John Cary Scholarships will be given to graduating students who receive services from the Special School District of St. Louis County – special education and/or technical education. The selected students will reflect the characteristics most admired by John Cary – resiliency, courage, and determination.
The Special Education Foundation’s John Cary Scholarships are for $5,000 and can be used for tuition only. The scholarship must be used during the upcoming school year.
All applications must be complete for consideration and must include a copy of pages 1 and 2 of Form 1040 from the family’s most recent tax return. Selection is determined by a committee comprised of SEF Board, SSD Board, SSD Superintendent, former superintendents, and Carol Cary.
Apply here for the John Cary Scholarship

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Ritenour SSD Staff attended the Transforming to a Competency Based System conference in Denver, Colorado held by Marzano Academies.

Competency based systems focus on identifying how a student is performing on progressions of specific learning standards and targets instruction and remediation on those specific items. Students are given activities to demonstrate proficiency and participate in tracking their progress which allows for a higher level of understanding and engagement. The Ritenour school district is in the process of implementing this type of system in their schools.

Pictured: Robert Marzano with SSD Staff

Family & Community Engagement (FACE) Workshops

Parent/Family Workshops

All of the workshops offered by FACE are provided free of charge and are open to all parents, families and community members.

After registering, participants will be provided with information about the platform that will be used for the workshop.

If you are unable to attend the live workshop, please still register so that we can send you the link to the recording a day or two after the workshop.

The workshops will be set up as webinars, so you will be able to see the panelists but not other attendees. Your confirmation and reminder email will contain information about how to submit questions to the panelists in advance, or you can use the chat and Q&A features during the workshop. If you have any questions, please let us know.

If you need more information, or if you require an alternative format as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact, 314.989.8460 or 711 (Deaf/HOH).

Registration Options

To register for a workshop, please email or call 314.989.8460.

Upcoming Workshops

November 5th 9:00am - 12:00pm at Northview High School in Florissant

Family Academy - Hosted by FACE

RSVP for Family Academy

November 11th 9:00am - 4:00pm at the Family Resource Hub at North Tech High

Hub Huddle: CAASTLC - Community Action Agency of St. Louis County

To learn more about Hub Huddles please call 314-989-8034.

November 15th 11:00am - 12:00pm at the Family Resource Hub at North Tech High

Hub Huddle: Higher Education Consortium (HEC)

To learn more about Hub Huddles please call 314-989-8034.

November 17th 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Family Resource Hub at North Tech High

Family Cafe

RSVP for Family Cafes

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Family and Community Engagement (FACE) is hosting its first Family Academy on November 5th to celebrate Family Engagement month. We have created an opportunity for families to learn strategies to support their students, navigate community resources, and learn from one another. The course listings and vendors can be viewed by visiting This event is free and open to our stakeholders, but we encourage all to register.

Ritenour School District PAC

The goal of the RSD-SSD PAC is to collaborate with parents/guardians, Ritenour School District Administration, and SSD Administration to improve the overall results of our kids. We seek parent input on matters concerning special education services.

We meet monthly to develop our abilities to:

  • Share information and support with other parents navigating the special education process

  • Learn about advocating effectively for our children

  • Improve communication and promote collaboration between Ritenour Schools and Special School District

  • Promote a positive, inclusive understanding of students with disabilities

The RSD PAC held their first meeting on October 24th. Future meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month.

SSD Parent Advisory Council Meeting

Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is comprised of families advising and collaborating to improve the education, confidence, and social outcomes of each student served by SSD. SSD's PAC works closely with the SSD Board of Education, Governing Council, and District administration to provide valuable input and feedback from the parent perspective.

November's Meeting - Nov. 9, 2022 7:00pm - 9:00pm

SSD PAC Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 955 4237 2430

Passcode: 795650

All meetings are held virtually via Zoom.

For more information or to join the meeting virtually, please visit the PAC website.

PAC general council meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.

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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.

SSD Family Leadership Institute – Fall 2022

SSD’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program is seeking applicants interested in participating in the Fall 2022 SSD Family Leadership Institute.

Family Leadership Institute participants have the opportunity to:

  • Build understanding of future planning and problem-solving utilizing the Charting the LifeCourse tools.

  • Learn to effectively participate in their student's education and improve the educational climate for all children.

  • Learn how to positively interact and collaborate with other families and school personnel.

  • Discover new resources and network with other families.

This program, which is offered at no cost to participants, is designed for family members who are the educational decision-makers for a student with a disability.
The last session will be held in-person on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 5:30-8:30 PM. Dinner will be provided for attendees.

For More Information

Call 314.989.8460 or email

Lunch and Learn Series

Special School District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department is excited 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 continue during the 2022-23 school year and take place from 11:30 AM - Noon.

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

Features in the 2022-23 Lunch & Learn Series are:

Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis, Summer Resources - Dec. 15, 2022

Productive Living Board (PLB), Resources for Families - Jan. 25, 2023

SSD Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) department - Feb. 22, 2023

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - April 26, 2023

SSD Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Summer Engagement Activities - May 24, 2023

Each event is held virtually through YouTube Live. To access the video, please click on the organization's name in the list above. The videos will not be available to view until their scheduled date and time.

The Family Resource Hub

The Family Resource Hub is where families and educators develop effective partnerships to improve student outcomes.

For more information visit the The Family Resource Hub.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry is located at North Tech High School which supports families with access to non-perishable food items and household supplies.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry

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Free At-Home COVID-19 Test

Residential Households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 FREE at-home tests from To order the free tests visit

Special School District is providing assistance to those who need help accessing or completing the online form. For assistance, visit FREE At-Home COVID Test.
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Upcoming Dates

November 8

NO SCHOOL PreK-12 Professional Development/Teacher Workday

November 17

Early Release Day K-12

November 23 - 25

NO SCHOOL PreK-12 Thanksgiving Holiday

All District Offices and Schools Closed

Ritenour District Event Calendar

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.

Ritenour School District

Kyle Johnson, Special Education Coordinator - Kratz, Marvin & Wyland

Emya Williams, Special Education Coordinator - Iveland, Marion & Buder

Stephanie Genenbacher, Special Education Coordinator - Hoech & Ritenour Middle

Nathan Dwyer, Special Education Coordinator - Ritenour High