SSD Ritenour Dispatch

February 2023

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Celebrate Black History Month with the St. Louis County Library

Events include a Keynote address from Carlotta Walls LaNier, a member of the Little Rock Nine on Friday, February 17th at 7PM at the Ethical Society of St. Louis (9001 Clayton Rd. St. Louis, MO 63117).

The Black Rep Presents “Turn Up” - Lewis and Clark Branch on Saturday, February 4th at 2 PM.

Visit the website to learn additional ways to celebrate; opportunities are available throughout St. Louis County and include the Black History Magic Show, Africa Alive drumming circles, Story Quilts, and African dance.

Events will be held virtually and in-person. Registration information and more details are available at

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The Ritenour School District is excited to welcome the class of 2036 with Kindergarten Kickoff.

Families with children entering kindergarten this upcoming fall in the Ritenour School District will not want to miss Ritenour’s important Kindergarten Kickoff on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. The event will be held 5 - 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium lobby at Ritenour High School, 9100 St. Charles Rock Road.

Kindergarten teachers and school administrators will be on hand from each of Ritenour’s six elementary schools to answer questions and discuss expectations. In addition, information will be available about registering for school, transportation, special education, kindergarten readiness activities, and before- and after-school care, food service, immunizations and much more.

Incoming kindergarten students are encouraged to attend with their families. Families who attend will have the opportunity to win attendance prizes and receive free kindergarten readiness materials for their child. Students must be 5 years old on or before July 31, 2023 to enter kindergarten in the fall.

For more information about the Kindergarten Kickoff event, please call (314) 493-6006.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 parents can register their kindergarten students for the 2023-2024 school year from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday - Friday at the Ritenour Administrative Center, 2420 Woodson Road. For more information about general registration, call (314) 493-6048 or visit the registration page on the district website.

You’re Invited to Complete the SSD Family-School Relationships Survey

Special School District is committed to creating safe and welcoming learning environments so that our students can shape successful futures. To assist us in these efforts, each year we ask parents to share their thoughts and feedback about the safety, communication, and learning supports that exist in our schools.

Please take a few moments to complete the anonymous SSD Family-School Relationship Survey.

The survey is open from Jan. 16 – Feb. 10. Your valuable feedback is greatly appreciated!

SSD Family Leadership Institute – Spring 2023

SSD’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program is seeking applicants interested in participating in the Spring 2023 SSD Family Leadership Institute.

Family 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 student's education and improve the educational climate for all children.
  • Learn how to positively interact and collaborate with other families and school personnel.
  • Discover new resources and network with other families.

This program, which is offered at no cost to participants, is designed for family members who are the educational decision-makers for a student with a disability.

Spring application is now open. Apply here.

Special Education Foundation

SEF Accepting Applications for Kid to Camp Program: The Special Education Foundation is now accepting applications to assist children with disabilities served by SSD to attend one or more camps this summer. Each year, the SEF provides tuition assistance to enable students served by SSD to attend summer camps. Sometimes children with disabilities cannot join their peers in a summer camp experience due to financial constraints or other hardships. SEF steps in to help young people and their families take advantage of these experiences that can sometimes be life-changing. Parents and caregivers can have peace of mind knowing that their child is in a safe and healthy place. Apply here.

Student Leadership Opportunities

Please check out these unique and FREE leadership opportunities for high school students with disabilities, ages 16 - 21.

Summer Work Experience Program 2023

Summer Work Experience Program, or SWEP is currently accepting applications until February 6, 2023. 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 2023.

  • 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 2023 are June 5 to July 28. 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 $12.00 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 2023 application:

  • Applications received on or by February 6 will be given first priority. All applications received by February 6 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 Parent Advisory Council Meeting

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. SSD's PAC works closely with the SSD Board of Education, Governing Council, and District administration to provide valuable input and feedback from the parent perspective.

February's Meeting - Feb. 8, 2022 7:00pm - 9:00pm

SSD PAC Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 955 4237 2430

Passcode: 795650

All meetings are held virtually via Zoom.

For more information or to join the meeting virtually, please visit the PAC website.

PAC general council meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.

Ritenour School District PAC

The goal of the RSD-SSD PAC is to collaborate with parents/guardians, Ritenour School District Administration, and SSD Administration to improve the overall results of our kids. We seek parent input on matters concerning special education services.

We meet monthly to develop our abilities to:

  • Share information and support with other parents navigating the special education process

  • Learn about advocating effectively for our children

  • Improve communication and promote collaboration between Ritenour Schools and Special School District

  • Promote a positive, inclusive understanding of students with disabilities

The RSD PAC meeting will be on Monday, February 27th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Ritenour Administrative Center. Future meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month.

Family & Community Engagement (FACE) Workshops

Parent/Family Workshops

All of the workshops offered by FACE are provided free of charge and are open to all parents, families and community members.

After registering, participants will be provided with information about the platform that will be used for the workshop.

If you are unable to attend the live workshop, please still register so that we can send you the link to the recording a day or two after the workshop.

The workshops will be set up as webinars, so you will be able to see the panelists but not other attendees. Your confirmation and reminder email will contain information about how to submit questions to the panelists in advance, or you can use the chat and Q&A features during the workshop. If you have any questions, please let us know.

If you need more information, or if you require an alternative format as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact, 314.989.8460 or 711 (Deaf/HOH).

Registration Options

To register for a workshop, please email or call 314.989.8460.

Upcoming Workshops

FACE has two Hub Huddles this month at North Tech High School. A representative from CAASTLC (County Action Agency St. Louis County) will be there on February 10th from 9am to 4pm. CAASTLC can provide support for utilities and weatherization along with food resource support. The HEC (Higher Education Consortium) provides support to individuals 16 and up in the area of higher education or career support. A representative from HEC will be at the Hub in North Tech on February 21st from 11-12pm.

There will be a Lunch and Learn webinar on February 22nd from 11:30-12. This Lunch and Learn will feature SSD’s ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Join this virtual opportunity to learn about Applied Behavior Analysis and the services provided to special education students of St. Louis County. Join us live on our SSD YouTube Channel.

Join FACE for a Family Cafe! Cafes are hosted by families for families. They provide parents and caregivers with a safe and welcoming space to connect and learn from each other. They are centered on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors: Resilience, Relationships, Knowledge, Support, and Communication. Our next cafe will be held on February 23rd at North Tech High School from 6-8pm. Register here.

FACE is hosting SSD’s Early Childhood Special Education department to bring to you a workshop titled “Why is my Child Misbehaving” on February 28th from 11am to Noon. This workshop is geared toward children 3 to 6 years old but may be helpful for children up to 8 years old. Register here.

Lunch and Learn Series

Special School District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department is excited 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 continue during the 2022-23 school year and take place from 11:30 AM - Noon.

Representatives from three community organizations and three SSD departments will participate in order to increase awareness about their agencies or programs and make connections with those in our SSD community who may benefit from their programs and services.

Features in the 2022-23 Lunch & Learn Series are:

SSD Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) department - Feb. 22, 2023

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - April 26, 2023

SSD Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Summer Engagement Activities - May 24, 2023

Each event is held virtually through YouTube Live. To access the video, please click on the organization's name in the list above. The videos will not be available to view until their scheduled date and time.

The Family Resource Hub

The Family Resource Hub is where families and educators develop effective partnerships to improve student outcomes.

For more information visit the The Family Resource Hub.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry is located at North Tech High School which supports families with access to non-perishable food items and household supplies.

The Family Resource Hub Satellite Food Pantry

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Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. This new benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting, or by calling 877-384-2575.

Free At-Home COVID-19 Test

Residential Households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 FREE at-home tests from To order the free tests visit

Special School District is providing assistance to those who need help accessing or completing the online form. For assistance, visit FREE At-Home COVID Test.
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Upcoming Dates

February 9

Early Release Day (K-12)

February 17

Professional Development


February 20

Presidents' Day (NO SCHOOL PreK-12)

All District Offices and Schools Closed

Ritenour District Event 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.

Ritenour School District

Kyle Johnson, Special Education Coordinator - Kratz, Marvin & Wyland

Emya Williams, Special Education Coordinator - Iveland, Marion & Buder

Stephanie Genenbacher, Special Education Coordinator - Hoech & Ritenour Middle

Nathan Dwyer, Special Education Coordinator - Ritenour High