SSD Pattonville Dispatch

October 2021

PEDA workshops for October

WORKSHOP: Planning for the Future - Augmentative Communication Funding

Oct. 14, 2021

Starts at 12:30 PM


Augmentative Communication facilitators from Special School District will discuss ways that families and students can pursue funding for augmentative communication devices. An additional discussion will include what the process is for families to purchase dedicated communication systems for their student when considering transition and post-secondary outcomes.

WORKSHOP: Why is my Child Misbehaving? (This is a workshop for families who have early childhood aged children)

Oct. 20, 2021

Starts at 12:30 PM


This training will focus on early childhood specific positive parenting strategies to manage challenging behavior. Parents will leave with hands-on strategies that can be implemented in the home setting.

Along with workshops, PEDA also has a Family and Community Resource Center at the Hazelwood Learning Center that has books and resources available for check out. Families and community members are welcome to visit the center and/or contact PEDA with inquiries. In the Spring of 2022, PEDA will be hosting another Parent Leadership Institute and will begin taking applications soon. Please contact us at 314.989.8460 or if you have any questions and visit our website at

SSD Parent Leadership Institute - Fall 2021

The Parent Education and Diversity Awareness (PEDA) Program invites families and community members to visit our Family and Community Resource Center at the Learning Center in Hazelwood. The program is excited to offer a diverse collection of materials, including many new books that are ready to be shared.

PEDA will be hosting the Parent Leadership Institute (PLI) this Fall. This program, which is offered at no cost to participants, is designed for parents and family members who are the educational decision makers for a child with a disability. The three sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, Sept. 29, and Oct. 6, 2021, at SSD Central Office, 12110 Clayton Road, 63131. To learn more about this program and/or apply to be part of it, please visit this link: Parent Leadership Institute | Fall 2021.

PEDA is also happy to announce that there will be a second Parent Leadership Institute in the Spring of 2022. We will be announcing dates in the very near future. Please check in with us if you have any questions!

We are in the process of planning our Fall workshops and will be sending out dates and topics very soon. As always, PEDA Is here for you if you need assistance navigating special education, community resources, and so much more – don’t hesitate to reach out!

Big picture

Fall Leisure Times is Here - Register Today!

The long-awaited Fall Leisure Times is now available! View the 2021 Fall Leisure Times or download a PDF version for a complete schedule of activities or visit the online registration page.

Limited spaces are still available in the following programs:

· St. Louis Scene

· Virtual Dance Club

· Yoga & Meditation Virtual

If you have not received the Fall 2021 Leisure brochure, please contact Jeanine Springer at 314-817-2226.

Tuesday, October 5

Q&A with a Family Support Specialist - National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Time: 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Every Tuesday at 3 p.m. in October, Sharon Spurlock will host an afternoon tea. Grab your beverage of choice and bring your questions to a weekly Q & A where you’ll learn from other families and get tips and resources from a St. Louis Arc professional.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NDEAM for short. Join us for the October 5th Q&A as we learn more about employment, benefits, and building job skills with our guest Tom Hutson, Assistant Director of Employment Services.

Click here to register for this webinar.

BOLD - A Group for Guys

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Cost: Free

Age: 18 and older

BOLD stands for live Brave, be Original, Love big, and Dare greatly.

Want to learn new skills? Join us for BOLD - a group for guys to come together, build connections with others, increase their ability to recognize emotions, gain skills in expressing themselves, and learn coping skills to deal with the hard stuff.

For more information and to RSVP: Lee Anna Sanders at or Beth Moeller at

Wednesday, October 6

Virtual Workshop - Social Security: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Social Security is a huge system that is hard to navigate! This session will talk about handling the application process, which will include how to present your information to the eligibility worker. The speakers will explain how certain situations can be handled to assure success when Social Security makes inquiries about the recipient’s assets, work, etc. We will also touch on the difference between a parent applying for their minor child vs. applying for their child over 18, the appeal process, how to handle an overpayment notice, and how a child accrues the necessary work history to get SSDI on their own record between the ages of 21 and 32.

Join us for this in-depth workshop on social security!


Martha Brown, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Mitchell, Brown & Associates, LLC

T. Nikki Mitchell, Attorney, Mitchell, Brown & Associates, LLC

Click here to register for this webinar. We encourage you to still register even if you can't make it to the live event so that you receive the follow-up email.

Launch Program Now Available in St. Charles County and Jefferson County

The St. Louis Arc is excited to announce the expansion of Launch into St. Charles County and Jefferson County. With the support of funding from DDRB and DD Advocates, the expansion offers qualifying residents, ages 16-25, of St. Charles County and Jefferson County free access to the virtual Launch program.

Click here for more information, or you can reach out to

JR Johnson, Coordinator of Transition Services, at 314-817-2295.

Next ED Independent Living Program

Are you interested in a one-of-a-kind program that uses virtual reality? If you are a young adult between the ages of 18 and 25 and live in St. Louis County, then this could be the program for you!

This program begins in October. Click here to learn more or contact

Ryann Cleland for more information.

Big picture

Lunch and Learn Series

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:

Parent Advisory Council

The SSD 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. The PAC consists of five parents or guardians – one member and four alternates – from each of the 22 St. Louis County school districts and from each of the five SSD special education schools. The parents or guardians of students receiving special education services in that district or school elect SSD PAC members.

Get Involved with the SSD PAC:

  • Network and communicate with other parents of children who receive special education services

  • Become as informed as possible about special education services

  • Improve communication between your local school district and SSD

  • Create a positive understanding and awareness of students with disabilities

  • Establish a network of advocacy for local, state and national disability issues

Complete this online form to learn more about getting involved with the SSD Parent Advisory Council.

Big picture

We're Hiring!

Pattonville is in need of special education para-educators throughout the District. If you or someone you know, would be interested in working with the students in your community, please visit our job openings. When applying, be sure to indicate your preference to work in Pattonville. For questions about future employment opportunities in Pattonville, contact Dee Byrnes at 314-989-8585.

Applicants must have:

  • Desire to work with and help children succeed

  • Active online application with

  • Original transcripts with 60 college credit hours

SSD offers:

  • Salary range: $15.35 - $26.41 (based on years of experience)

  • Full time with paid benefits

Upcoming Dates

October 6

Middle school early dismissal at 11:15am Parent-Teacher Conferences

High school Parent-Teacher Conferences

Lunch and Learn Series at 11:30am

October 7

Middle school early dismissal at 11:15am Parent-Teacher Conferences

High school early dismissal at 1:19pm “C” Day Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 8

No School for Middle & High schools

October 13

Parent Advisory Council Meeting at 7:00pm

October 22

Report Day Remington early dismissal at 11:15am; Elementary early dismissal at 12:00pm

October 27

Elementary & Remington Parent-Teacher Conferences at 4:00pm

October 28

Remington early dismissal at 11:15am Parent-Teacher Conferences

Elementary school early dismissal at 12:00pm Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 29

No School for Elementary & Remington

November 3

Lunch and Learn Series at 11:30am

Pattonville District October 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.

Pattonville School District

Dee Byrnes, SSD Director of Special Education

Latoria Cain, Director of Student Services

Deidre Smalls, Special Education Coordinator - Bridgeway, Parkwood, Rose Acres

Carla Addoh, Special Education Coordinator - Remington, Willow Brook, Robert Drummond

Dee Byrnes, Special Education Coordinator - Holman Middle

Leigh Ann Richelman, Special Education Coordinator - Pattonville Heights & Pattonville High