SSD in Affton Monthly Dispatch

March 2022

SSD Staff Appreciation Form

Do you have a teacher or staff member who has gone above & beyond for you or your child - supporting them, encouraging them to do their best or being a listening ear when they need someone? Take a minute to write a note of thanks by sharing your appreciation with them. You may fill out this form as many times as you would like for different school personnel.


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9Rj7SG7zJxh4Jxl1mhmY6M2HRJKRNxAX5vkYaO0pamObAoA/viewform?usp=sf_link

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SSD Virtual Lunch & 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:

March Parent Advisory Council Meeting for Affton SSD Parents

Our next PAC meeting will be February 17th. Please see the link here! We would love for everyone to participate in this. Please let us know how we can help and if there are any topics you would like to hear more about.



SSD in Affton PAC

Thursday, March 17, 2022 · 6:30 – 7:30pm

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/yvx-zbhx-hss

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 812-625-7358‬ PIN: ‪806 549 348‬#

More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/yvx-zbhx-hss?pin=7000752347950

Health and Wellness

Practicing Screen-time Hygiene


You might have heard the term "sleep hygiene", which means "having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep" according to sleephygiene.org.


The same logic of creating environments, routines, and boundaries to promote health and wellbeing can be applied to those little rectangular devices we are so easily glued to throughout the day: our screens.


Most notably, studies show that excessive screen-time significantly increases the risk for clinical depression in adolescents. Additionally, excessive screen-time increases risks for obesity, insufficient sleep, behavior problems, delays in language and social skills development, violence, and attention problems according to the Mayo Clinic. More recently, experts have found that excessive screen-time also interferes with the development of creativity in young minds.


In light of the harmful risks of too much time on our phones, Ipads, computers, and TV's, it is crucial to practice screen-time hygiene and take back control of our kids' mental and physical health, their brain development, and their overall well-being. But if we want our kids to take this seriously, we adults need to take this seriously as well. These practices don't solely benefit kids!


Here are some tips creating healthy screen environments, routines, and boundaries:

  • Limit screen time on phones using parental controls or a "screentime passcode" (available on Iphones) to limit how long your child (or yourself!) can use specific apps. This feature can also create "downtimes", such as before / during bedtime, where only essential apps can be accessed.
  • Keep screens out of your or your child's bedroom and consider requiring devices be charged in a different room at night.
  • Eliminate background TV
  • Create tech-free zones or times, such as during mealtime or one night a week.
  • Encourage unplugged, unstructured playtime.

In the digitally-crazed world we live in, these types of practices may seem unrealistic. But if we can take one small step in the right direction, we will find that it is not only possible, but liberating.


My hope is that you and your children can join me in a journey towards freedom from the ever-tightening grips of our screens. Your family's health is worth it!


For more information for screen-time hygiene, please visit:

7 Ways Screen Time Affects Adults - And how to Cope

Screen Time and Children: How to Guide your Child

Discounted Home Internet Access

Home internet access is important for student success, whether learning in-person or at home. To provide all families with the opportunity to access the internet, the FCC has launched a temporary program, Emergency Broadband Benefit, to help families struggling to afford internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible families and households who are struggling to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For more info, please visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

Parent Education Diversity Awareness

Parent Leadership Institute will be held via ZOOM


If you have always wanted to participate but life made it too hard to get away from home, NOW IS THE TIME TO ENROLL!!!

If you are a parent or family member who makes the educational decisions for a child with a disability, investing the time to attend these four Wednesday evening sessions will provide:

Vision for the future of your child.

Knowledge to help you to effectively participate in your child’s education.

Leadership skills to improve the educational climate for all children.

Access to new resources, friends and experts to help you on your journey.

The Institute will be held on Wednesdays from 6:00 pm-8:00 p.m. on March 2, 9, and 16, via zoom.

Learn more about this opportunity or download the application at: Parent Leadership Institute


Please note that workshop information is time sensitive

THE SUMMER RESOURCE PACKET IS HERE!

Get tips and tricks to making this your child’s best summer yet.

To access The Summer Resource Packet, click here: PEDA 2022 Summer Resource Packet

To access the YouTube Video of our recent Summer Resource Fair, click here: https://youtu.be/VVeYDiL8ykM

Virtual Workshop: Meeting your child’s needs using Charting the LifeCourse Tools in the IEP process

When: Tue, March 15, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Description: Your child’s school Individual Education Plan (IEP) can be intimidating and overwhelming at times. Find out how to utilize LifeCourse Tools to help prepare and communicate effectively with your child’s IEP team to determine the most successful goals and interventions to help your child reach their potential.

To register for this workshop, click here: https://SSDPEDA.as.me/CTLCwithSTLARC

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

IEP Corner

What are the Special Considerations?



The IEP development process is contains specific considerations that are federal and state requirements, which need to be addressed to produce the written IEP document. All of these items must be considered annually:

  • Needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
  • Needs of students who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • Needs of students who exhibit behaviors that impede learning or the learning of others
  • Needs of students with limited English proficiency
  • Needs of students with communication difficulties
  • Student's need for assistive technology devices and/or services
  • Whether the student is eligible for Extended School Year (ESY)
  • Whether post-secondary transition services for students 16 and older are required
  • Whether notification of the Transfer of Rights must be given (notice must be given one year before the student's 18th birthday informing him or her of the rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that will transfer to the student upon reaching the age of majority)
  • Whether state assessments are administered for the student's age or grade level
  • Whether district-wide assessments are administered for the student's age or grade level

Summer Work Experience Program

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.
  • You must be available for the entire 8 weeks of the program.
  • You must have your own transportation to participate in the program.
  • Not everyone who applies to the SWEP program will be able to participate this summer.





If your student is interested, please reach out to their case manager for the application OR download the application that is attached below ~


pdf

Application SWEP 2022.pdf


Download

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Family and Community Engagement

I hope that you are well. I recognize that this year has been like no other and that you are all short on time. So, I am writing a brief message to share a few supports/opportunities from our department. Please feel free to share these documents and links with those that may benefit from these services. As always, let us know if there are any additional supports needed.

  1. The Family Resource Hub –

    1. Family Resource Hub Virtual Grand Opening Video

    2. Family Resource Hub Flyer

    3. Satellite Food Pantry Flyer

  2. Variety Club – Free Camp Opportunities – Enrollment ends on 2.7.2022

  3. Recreation Council Flyer – Summer Program Guides available on 1.21.22

  4. Youth Mental Health Training for Staff –Kickup registration link: https://pulse.kickup.co/events/browse/SKSWHzR83mUrJ7gpEPUpeh

  5. Youth Mental Health Training for Families – Google link: https://forms.gle/28CzBcceYgadDhJk6

  6. Assistance for families who may have challenges accessing the FREE Covid Tests

Thanks for sharing! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. - Adrienne Eaglin



Mental Health First Aid Training for SSD Families - Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, and others to help adolescents experiencing mental health and/or addictions challenge or crisis. It is designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. 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.

Nationally this course is valued at $170; due to a grant from Missouri's Department of Mental Health and a collaboration with the Ferguson Community Center, you have the opportunity to attend at no cost.

Saturday, March 19th from 9 – 1:30 PM at Ferguson Community Center. 1050 Smith Ave, Ferguson, MO 63135

Space is limited. To register click here. Registration will close on Monday, March 7th or when all seats are filled.



The Family Resource Hub located at North Tech High School is a space dedicated to families and our community stakeholders. The resource hub offers families computer and internet access, a satellite food pantry, and support navigating community resources. The space is also dedicated to supporting families by hosting learning labs, community events, and a safe and supportive environment to learn with and from one another.

Set an appointment to meet us there.

Please call 314-989-8311 or email FamilyEngagement@ssdmo.org

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SSD PAC

SSD PAC New/Renewal of Membership Self-Nomination Forms information: Hello, SSD PAC members and potential members! We are approaching that time of year when we prepare to hold elections and renew membership. Nomination is through self-nomination. The self-nomination form is available to all parents of students receiving services through SSD.

Per the SSD PAC Bylaws, potential members must consent to make their names and contact information

available to the public. Notices requesting self-nomination forms shall be received by parents no later than

January 10th. Completed nomination forms must be returned to the Executive Committee no later than

February 15th. The election of new/renewal of SSD PAC members shall take place no later than May 31st. We

will hold the election at the April 13th General Meeting.

Elections are rotated each year. The following districts will hold elections in even numbered years: Affton, Bayless, Brentwood, Clayton, Ferguson-Florissant, Hancock Place, Ladue, Mehlville, Normandy, Rockwood, University City and Valley Park.

Please complete and submit the self-nomination form linked above ASAP. Please note that even if you recently

submitted a self-nomination form and were elected as a member of the SSD PAC, but are in a district that has an

election in even numbered years, you will need to submit another self-nomination form. Please reach out to us at

pac@ssdmo.org with any questions.

Love and Light,

Dr. Camesha Carter, SSD PAC President

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Who Should I contact?

Katy Meers - Affton Special Education Director K-12 and Special Education Coordinator for Mesnier and Gotsch - kmeers@afftonschools.net or call at 314-633-5912


Ky Schlundt - Special Education Coordinator for Gotsch and Rogers - kschlundt@afftonschools.net


Tim Orr - School Psychologist for Mesnier and AHS - torr@afftonschools.net


Marie-France Castor - School Psychologist for Gotsch and Rogers and assists with EC -mcastor@afftonschools.net


Beckie Rainbolt - SSD Social Worker for Mesnier and AHS - brainbolt@afftonschools.net


Deanna Wright-Coffman - SSD Social Worker for Gotsch and Rogers - dwright@afftonschools.net


Pam Miller - SSD Social Worker for Rogers and AHS - pmiller@afftonschools.net


What if I would like to get more frequent or less frequent data on goals? Please contact your child's case manager or service providers.


What if I would like information regarding a class assignment? Please contact the teacher for that assignment.


What if I have a concern? Please contact the students case manager. If you have already contacted the case manager and you have not received results, please contact Ky or Katy.