SSD Ladue Schools October 2021

Community Engagement Newsletter

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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:

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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


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

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There has been much guidance and resources around supporting students through COVID-19. We have noticed students have shown a tremendous amount of resilience in their ability to adapt to changes in the school setting and daily practices to ensure safety. Routines have supported our students in their transitions into the school year. Below are examples of some of the strategies that students benefit from in order to cope in times of adversity. Challenge yourself to explore these strategies and try them out. Remember, progress is slow, and even if you practice 1 minute a day, this is still progress! According to Medium small increments get BIG results.

1. Evaluate and identify your core values:
Core values are the personal standards that guide our choices. Ask yourself what is most important? Then start making choices that align with these core values to live a life full of meaning and purpose. Indeed will walk you through the “6 Steps to Discover Your Core Values.”

2. Set daily Intentions:
Intentions, a commitment to yourself, can help increase productivity and maintain a positive outlook despite daily adversities. We cannot stop the waves but we can learn to surf! So set an intention to be more aware, listen more, or be open to changes that occur in your day. This helps set you up to be more resilient throughout your day. You can learn more about how to set daily intentions at

3. Mindfulness:

Wherever you are in your life, mindfulness can meet you there. Mindfulness, according to is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Do you ever feel like you are on auto-pilot? Do you arrive at your destination only to realize that you can’t recall your drive, only your arrival? Mindfulness is evidenced-based and can decrease stress/ anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, symptoms of ADHD, and emotional regulation. Begin using mindfulness during daily routines to practice. Check out the mindful website for ways you can practice daily mindfulness.

Give one of these a try.

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Staff Spotlight: Dr. Sarah Davidovits, Ladue Middle School

Dr. Davidovits has been accepted to the Special School District’s Teacher Leadership Academy! Teacher Leadership Academy will allow Dr. Davidovits to participate in learning that will grow her leadership knowledge and skills. Additionally, she will design and implement a year-long project using Plan, Do, Study, Act as a format to increase student learning. Dr. Sarah Davidovits has worked in education for 14 years in Missouri, New York, and California. She holds a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy and Educational Administration, as well as a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. She has worked in numerous capacities with students ages 5-21 with varying abilities. She currently serves as a chairperson for the Diversity Committee at Ladue Middle School and now she is a selected member of the Teacher Leadership Academy at Special School District.

Meet Lindsay Parker-Klimpel...

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Hello! I’m Lindsay Parker-Klimpel, aka Mrs. PK. This school year marks my 4th year in Ladue, and 8th year as a speech-language pathologist for SSD. I attended Washington University for my undergraduate coursework and Fontbonne University for my Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. As you can see, I love living in St. Louis! I come from a whole family of speech-language pathologists: my mom, sister, and sister-in-law are all SLPs too! When not working with my students, I am busy chasing around my toddler Milo, reading, cooking, and taking walks with my dog, Abby.

Meet Kelley Weusthoff...

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Meet Heidi Bersett...

Hello! My name is Heidi Bersett and I am one of the Special Education Teachers at Old Bonhomme! I love to use Brain Breaks during my groups each day. The kids love them and they help with regaining focus and attention. The article, 6 Ways to wake up your class with Brain Breaks, gives great ideas to use within your classroom. Did you know a Brain Break is more than getting up and dancing around?? Plus, there is a link within the article that explains the scientific research behind Brain Breaks. Enjoy!

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Sparkle Effect: Sponsored by Kelly Gonzales at Ladue Horton Watkins High School

  • Sparkle Effect, often referred to as Sparkle, is an all inclusive dance team for students with and without disabilities. Staff sponsorship includes different roles from general education, special education staff. At weekly practices, student captains lead a variety of team building activities, and teach new dance moves.

  • You can check out the Sparkle Effect during home football games on October 8 & October 15th at 7:00pm. Ladue Horton Watkins High School is located at 1201 S Warson Rd, Saint Louis MO 63124.

Special Olympics Bowling Tournament October 19, 2021

Students from Ladue Middle School and Ladue Horton Watkins High School will participate in the St. Louis Metro Area Bowling tournament as part of the Special Olympics. The tournament will be held at Bowlero Lakeside Lanes 1254 Dougherty Ferry Rd. Valley Park, MO 63088 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Wish our athletes luck! Click here for more information on SSD Special Olympics.

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Lunch & Learn

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:


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Special School District recognizes the value and increasing role of online social media in an education realm. To increase our communication efforts, we have accounts on four social media sites: