SSD/Parkway Newsletter

October 2021

Dear Parkway Families,


Each year I marvel at how quickly the time seems to fly by. I feel like I was just reaching out to welcome everyone back to the 2021/2022 school year, and as I assemble this newsletter, it strikes me that we’re already racing towards Fall weather and the holiday season. With that comes additional changes in routines and schedules, which can be challenging for some of our students. Please know that as we approach this time of the year where we start to experience some fun opportunities to celebrate with families and friends, staff are also taking into account the need for structure, routine, and the comfort of predictable patterns that many of our students require.


I was fortunate enough to be able to join the first PACCD meeting of the year where Ms. Elizabeth Fox shared an IEP 101 presentation with participants. It was wonderful to be able to see the many faces that joined that night and were able to learn from each other, ask questions, and benefit from the community of families that has formed within the PACCD. Within each newsletter, we will share a PACCD corner with information about upcoming meeting opportunities and ways to get involved. I encourage you to check out the group when you have the chance to do so.


Finally, saving a bit of exciting news for the end! In the past couple of newsletters, I’ve asked you to be our partners in recruiting caring, compassionate, and committed individuals that might be a great fit for a special education position. With the help of families, Special Education Coordinators, building principals, current staff members, the Special School District communications and HR departments, and anyone that is assisting us in getting the word out, we’ve recently been able to make a recommendation for new team members to join us in our Parkway schools. We are thrilled to welcome these new staff members in the coming weeks and motivated by this great progress in recruitment. We are still looking to grow our team and fill the current vacancies that still exist, so we ask for you to keep partnering with us in recruiting. It’s working! Please encourage them to apply for the Paraprofessional opening listed on the SSD Website. Please share the name of the potential employee you are recommending with the Special Education Coordinator assigned to your student’s school.



In collaboration,

Dr. Amy Blumenfeld

Director of Special Education

314-989-8435 / ablumenfeld@ssdmo.org

314-415-5297 / ablumenfeld2@parkwayschools.net

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

PEDA has several workshops scheduled for October. These include:


WORKSHOP: Planning for the Future - Augmentative Communication Funding

Oct. 14, 2021

Starts at 12:30 PM

Description

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

Description

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 ssdpeda@ssdmo.org if you have any questions and visit our website at www.ssdmo.org/PEDA

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

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PACCD CORNER

Happy Fall! A big thank you to all who attended PACCD’s September meeting! Our next virtual meeting is October 21st at 6:30 pm. This meeting will be an opportunity for parents to ask questions regarding their student’s IEP, address any building or district policy issues, and get to know other PACCD parents.

Networking is an essential component of parent advocacy. PACCD meetings provide parents the chance to ask questions and share information that benefits both students and families. We look forward to seeing you at our October meeting! Please email contactpaccd@gmail.com or click on the link below to register:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Htceqzi21M0aW699ceb67beIhHCXoTD-hMlRTKuqEVU/edit?usp=drive_web


Best,

Laura Hoff

PACCD President

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.

UPCOMING DATES

October 12: SSD Board of Education Work Study Session 5:45 pm

October 13: Parkway Board of Education Meeting 7 pm

October 14: Early Release K-12

October 15 & 18: No Students

October 26: SSD Board of Education Business Meeting 5:45 pm

November 9: SSD Board of Education Business Meeting 5:45 pm

November 17: Parkway Board of Education Meeting 7 pm

Special School District of St. Louis County

Amy Blumenfeld, Director of Special Education