SSD Pattonville Dispatch

December 2021

SSD Student Scholarship Deadline Approaching!

Many opportunities for scholarships and awards are now open for SSD students! SSD scholarship applications for graduating high school seniors are active and due Dec. 17, 2021. Students applying for The James E. Westbury/SSD Board of Education Scholarship, The Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship, or The Bonhomme Lions Club Scholarship must receive at least one service from SSD and plan to go to a college, university, or postsecondary program. All scholarships require a letter of recommendation. 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, 2022.

For more information, please contact Deana Parsons, SSD internal communications coordinator, at or 314.989.8102.

Summer Work Experience Program 2022

Summer Work Experience Program, or SWEP is currently accepting applications until February 7, 2021. Through the program, students hold a summer job in their community and receive job-coaching support. They are paid an hourly wage for their work. SWEP is funded by the Productive Living Board of St. Louis County, and is open to county residents with a qualifying disability. It is conducted through a collaboration of six area agencies - MERS/Goodwill is the Lead Agency.

A few important things to remember about eligibility for the SWEP program:

  • You must be a resident of St. Louis County.

  • You must be between 16 and 20 years of age and planning to return to a school program in the Fall of 2022.

  • You cannot participate in SWEP while participating in the Extended School Year Program.

  • Your teacher needs to submit a Teacher Input form before the program begins. Upon receiving your application, we will contact your teacher about this requirement – you do not need to do anything.

A few important things to remember about the SWEP program:

  • You must be available for the entire 8 weeks of the program. Tentative dates for SWEP 2022 are June 6 to July 29. These dates are subject to change.

  • All SWEP participants will need to present appropriate identification – normally, a social security card and photo ID -- at intake. These documents are used to complete the I-9 form and prove identity and eligibility to work in the US.

  • You must have your own transportation to participate in the program. Transportation options to consider: getting rides from family members and friends, using the METRO bus system, using Call-A-Ride, driving yourself, riding a bike, using a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft.

  • Students who participate in the SWEP program will earn the minimum wage of $11.15 an hour.

  • Not everyone who applies to the SWEP program will be able to participate this summer. Students who are eligible and send in completed applications by the deadline will be selected in age-order, with older students taking priority.

  • Students who are selected to participate will be informed via mail that they have been selected. This letter will arrive by mid-March. Students who are not eligible or who are on the wait list will not be contacted.

A few important things to remember about the SWEP 2022 application:

  • Applications received on or by February 7 will be given first priority. All applications received by February 7 will be treated equally. All candidates turning in applications after this date will be put on a waiting list.

  • Please print neatly so that all of the information on your application is legible.

  • Please fill out the application completely and accurately (including the release forms). Any information that is missing or incorrect, including your Social Security number, could delay or prevent the processing of your application.

  • You must sign and return the Participant Application (page 2) and both Authorizations for the Release of Protected Information (pages 3 & 4). These authorizations give the SWEP Lead Agency, MERS/Goodwill, permission to request documentation of your disability from the St. Louis Regional Office, and the Special School District. This is necessary to prove your eligibility for the program. Parent/guardian must sign application and releases if student has not reached the age of 18.

SSD Board Information: Filing for SSD Board of Education Opens Dec. 7

Candidate filing for two open seats on the Special School District of St. Louis County Board of Education opens at 8 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, and continues until 5 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. The terms of current Board members Ms. Katie Pottroff, Subdistrict 3 and Mr. Scott Moeller, Subdistrict 4 expire in March 2022.

The two open seats are for three-year terms beginning in March 2022 in the following subdistricts:

  • Subdistrict 3 – Parkway School District
  • Subdistrict 4 – Ferguson-Florissant, Pattonville, and Riverview Gardens school districts

Learn more about the filing process and eligibility requirements on the SSD website.

Upcoming PEDA Workshops

All workshops offered by SSD's Parent Education and Diversity Awareness program (PEDA) are provided free of charge and are open to all parents, families, and community members.

All of our currently scheduled workshops will be held virtually. Unable to attend the live workshop? Register for the event to receive a link to the recording a few days after the workshop! Click here to learn more about how to register and access the sessions.

Parent Education has a workshop scheduled for December 9th at 6:30 PM. The workshop, hosted in collaboration with the St. Louis ARC, will be on zoom. Please see the information below.

WORKSHOP: Supported Decision Marking (In Collaboration with St. Louis ARC)

Dec. 9, 2021

Starts at 6:30 PM


When an individual with a disability becomes 18, they are legally an adult. This workshop is designed to help families understand the options they have to help their loved one make good decisions and build a circle of support. Using tools from Missouri Supported Decision Making Consortium and Charting the LifeCourse, Debra and Sharon will coach your family how to access each of the six life domains (health, employment, safety, etc.) and create a plan that uses a variety of resources to build self-determination skills. This workshop is ideal for primary caregivers, their family member with a disability, and siblings or other key people who support planning and problem solving in their lives. Small groups will use Zoom breakout rooms to start creating their own supported decision-making plans with templates from the Missouri Supported Decision Making Consortium.

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

Register for the Event through Zoom

We are also taking applications for the Parent Leadership Institute. PLI will occur over 4 evenings in February and March. You can learn more and download the application here: Parent Leadership Institute

Finally, PEDA would love your feedback! Please complete are PEDA Communications survey here: PEDA Survey

SSD Parent Leadership Institute – Spring 2022

  • SSD’s Parent Education and Diversity Awareness Program is seeking applicants interested in participating in the Spring 2022 SSD Parent Leadership Institute.

    Parent 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 child’s education and improve the educational climate for all children.
    • Learn how to positively interact and collaborate with other parents and school personnel.
    • Discover new resources and network with other parents.

    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 - 8:30 PM on Feb. 16, March 2, March 9, and March 16, 2022, at SSD Central Office, 12110 Clayton Road, Town & Country MO 63131.

    In-person sessions are currently planned, and further information will be provided to participants if there are any changes prior to the first session. If in-person attendance is possible, dinner will be provided with all sessions.

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:

SSD 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.

Meeting Dates

The SSD Parent Advisory Council has scheduled the following meetings for the 2021-2022 school year. All meetings are held virtually via Zoom, from 7-9 PM. Additional information about meetings, including agendas, can be found on the PAC's website.

  • Dec. 8, 2021
  • Jan. 12, 2022
  • Feb. 9, 2022
  • March 9, 2022
  • April 13, 2022
  • May 11, 2022 (this meeting will be held virtually and in-person)

Please contact the Superintendent's Office at 314.989.8419 or 314.989.8281 by noon on the Wednesday before the meeting and an American Sign Language interpreter will be provided.

For more information about the SSD PAC or who represents your district, e-mail

Upcoming Dates

December 20

Final exams

December 21-22

High school final exams; school dismisses at 10:30am

December 23-31

No school for winter break

January 1-2

No school for winter break

January 3

No school for staff collaboration/report day

January 4

School resumes

Pattonville District December 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