SSD Ritenour Dispatch
RITENOUR REDISTRICTING PROJECT
On April 13, 2023, the Ritenour School District Board of Education approved new boundaries for all elementary and middle schools to help create a balance in enrollment based on the capacity of each school. It’s the first time that Ritenour has made significant changes to its elementary school boundaries in more than three decades. Learn more and view the new boundary map here.
Students from Buder, Iveland and Kratz elementary schools will now attend Hoech Middle School.
Students from Marion, Marvin and Wyland elementary schools will attend Ritenour Middle School.
The Paraprofessional of the Month for March 2023 is Sean O'Brien from Ritenour High School
Congratulations to Sean!
This is Sean's second year with SSD. He spends much of his day floating between rooms to help with students in crisis or who need additional support. Sean describes his role at Ritenour High as the "utility man," someone who can move throughout the school and help where needed. Sean's unique role allows him to build close connections with the students. In fact, for Sean, the relationships with the students is what it's all about. "It's the best thing about this position," Sean said. "You have to earn the trust of the students to make an effective team."
Sean, a national champion basketball player and experienced coach, sees similarities to the message he delivers to the students at Ritenour and on the basketball court: Hard work and being a good teammate are essential to success. "If you help others," Sean says, "the help will be returned to you." From his time in basketball, Sean understands what it means to be a part of an effective team and brought that attitude and experience to Ritenour. "We respect each others strengths and weaknesses," he reported. "When someone needs help, we help each other out. We do what we need to do to meet our goals." He also emphasized the intentionality of inclusion as a key reason for Ritenour's success. "Ritenour makes it a point to include our students. Our kids are included more and more in general education each day." He credits both the Ritenour principal Dr. Jana Haywood and his SSD Coordinator Nathan Dwyer with setting this important direction for the school.
When asked to provide advise for new paraprofessionals starting their position, Sean emphasized the importance of getting the job done. "Do whatever is best for the kids and the whole team will be successful."
When not helping students at Ritenour, Sean coaches basketball at Vianney High. He is a big sports fan and is always willing to participate in friendly (or serious) competition. He also respects and learns from the leadership styles of sports legends John Wooden, Buzz Williams, and Tony LaRussa.
Thank you to Sean for his impressive and meaningful work with our students!
Special Education Foundation
SSD Family Leadership Institute – Spring 2023
Last call for applicants to the Family Leadership Institute (FLI)! FLI is a great opportunity for educational decision makers to:
Build an understanding of future planning and problem-solving using 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 education decision-makers for a student with a disability.
The three sessions will be held in-person on Wednesdays, from 5:30-8 PM on April 19, 26, and May 3, 2023. Dinner will be provided for attendees.
Click here to apply today!
Community Partner Highlight
PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is a 12-16 week social skills program for children, teens or young adults with autism. In this program, individuals are engaged in learning real-life skills for connecting with others, as well as building and maintaining friendships. Parents/Caregivers will also participate in the program and will be taught how to support and assist their child/young adult in making and keeping friends by coaching and providing feedback during weekly homework assignments.
This program is offered to three age groups:
Children’s Friendship Training: 3rd-5th graders
PEERS: Middle and high school aged students
PEERS for Young Adults: Individuals ages 18+ who are no longer in high school
New sessions will begin in May and August 2023.
A pre-program assessment to determine eligibility is required. Funding options include DDRB, DMH and Private Pay.
For more information and to see if you qualify, please contact our Admissions
Department at 314-394-7100 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DESE Special Education Survey
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has contracted with the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy to conduct the 2022-23 Parent Special Education Survey required for federal reporting. To complete this survey, visit http://spec.education/ and enter the following Access Code: NQAJPB. DESE thanks you for providing your input by April 30.
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.
May's Meeting - May. 10, 2023 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Meeting ID: 955 4237 2430
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.
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 meeting will be on Monday, May 22nd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Ritenour Administrative Center. Future meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month.
Family & Community Engagement (FACE) 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 email@example.com, 314.989.8460 or 711 (Deaf/HOH).
To register for a workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314.989.8460.
Join the FACE team on May 24th for a Lunch and Learn to discover new and exciting ways to engage your students this summer. Face will highlight various local opportunities as well as ways to keep your students’ skills sharp over the summer break.
The Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTL) will be at the HUB, located in North County Technical School, on May 12, 2023 from 9-4pm. CAASTL can help families in need of rental assistance, utility assistance, and weatherization needs.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training is available for families in SSD. The course is located at Maryland Heights Community Center on July 22, 2023 from 9 - 3:30 PM. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. To join us please register at https://forms.gle/CRFvDJH76XbSyFQg7. Seats are limited. Register to become a mental health first aider today.
The National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers meaningful resources to support youth, educators, families, and caregivers have productive discussions about mental health with youth and young adults. Please visit the website to review the resources. https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults/Youth-and-Young-Adult-Resources
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:
● 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.
May 12 9:00am - 4:00pm
Event held at The Family Resource Hub at North Tech High School
1700 Derhake Road
Florissant, MO 63003
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.
SUMMER HOURS FOR THE HUB: Access to the HUB, located in North Technical High School, will only be available over the summer by appointment. Email email@example.com to make an appointment.
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.
You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575.
Free At-Home COVID-19 Test
Residential Households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 FREE at-home tests from usps.com. To order the free tests visit covidtests.gov.
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.
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