SSD Ritenour Dispatch

December 2022

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

December 13th 11:30am - 12:30pm

FACE Workshop: Assistive Technology Workshop

Register for this virtual even

December 15th 11:30am - Noon

Lunch & Learn: Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis

Events are held virtually through YouTube Live. To access the video, please visit the SSD YouTube channel. The video will not be available to view until its scheduled date and time.

Assistive Technology Workshop

Join FACE for a workshop all about assistive technology. In this virtual session, participants will be introduced to Assistive Technology, by SSD Assistive Technology Specialist Kim White. Learn how to request an AT consultation and participate in demonstrations of universal tools available to all SSD students. Examples will be provided for low- and high-tech AT options that can be implemented in the home and school environments. Click here to register: Assistive Technology Workshop Registration

Sensory Friendly Options for your Family this Winter

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St. Louis Zoo’s Sensory-Friendly Wild Lights Night

Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Nothing says St. Louis Christmas quite like Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. Your family can stroll through the grounds surrounded by a million lights, including animated displays, fireside stories, campfire s’mores, photo opportunities, and more. This event is made sensory-friendly with trained staff on-hand and quiet areas to help your child decompress. Get more information and tickets at

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Saint Charles Christmas Traditions on Historic Main Street – Sensory-friendly tours

The Historic Main Street of Saint Charles is a magical and fun place to visit during the Holiday season. With a new inclusion initiative, Saint Charles is now offering guided sensory-friendly tours. These guided tours are conducted twice daily by sensory specialists. Each 90-minute tour introduces guests to several Christmas Legends and ends with an opportunity to get your picture with Santa and a full deck of 2019 Saint Charles Christmas Traditions trading cards. Tours are Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday festival. For more information, including dates and times, visit

Student Scholarships Available

Special School District of St. Louis County is fortunate to partner with regional organizations that provide scholarship opportunities for our students. Over the years, many thousands of dollars have been donated to help SSD students take the next step in their education journey.

Graduating seniors should consider applying for these scholarships that are exclusively available to students who receive SSD services and/or attend one of the District’s technical high schools. Each scholarship has specific requirements and applications must be completed online via the links below.
SSD scholarship winners will be honored by the Board of Education in the spring (date TBA).


James E. Westbury Memorial Board of Education Scholarships
The SSD Board of Education and other donors provide funds for scholarships each year to SSD students who plan to attend a college, university, or post-secondary program. These scholarships are named in memory of James E. Westbury, who served on the SSD Board for many years and dedicated his life to the education of students throughout the St. Louis region.
Scholarships are awarded to the students who best demonstrate the ability to define a goal and are preparing to achieve that goal.
Recipients of this scholarship will be selected by members of the SSD Board. In most years, two students are selected for scholarships in the amount of $2,000. The funds will be paid directly to each student's college, university, or post-secondary program.
Click here to apply for the James E. Westbury Scholarship.

Bonhomme Lions Scholarships
For many years, the Bonhomme Lions have donated funds for scholarships to SSD students. The organization selects students who have demonstrated strong character, high academic achievement, and participation in community service.
Scholarship applications will be reviewed and recipients determined by the Bonhomme Lions Scholarship Committee. The scholarship recipients each typically receive $1,000 to be used toward education expenses at the recipient's chosen college, university, or post-secondary program. The scholarship amounts will depend on funds available.
Click here to apply for a Bonhomme Lions Club Scholarship.

Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship
Established in 2008, the Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a qualifying SSD student each year. The scholarship was established in memory of Allison Marie Haake, a former SSD teacher assistant. Allison was an inspirational young woman who, at an early age, knew she wanted to make a career of working with children.
Scholarship applications will be reviewed and a recipient determined by the Allison Haake family. The scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 to be used toward expenses at the recipient's chosen college, university, or post-secondary program.
Click here to apply for an Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship.

The John Cary Scholarships
NOTE- NOT DUE UNTIL JANUARY 24, 2023: The John Cary Scholarships are given in honor of John Cary, former Superintendent of Schools for the Special School District. As superintendent, John gave tirelessly of his time to students, staff and parents. A hallmark of John’s leadership was the caring and generous hand he extended to the Special Education Foundation. The John Cary Scholarships will be given to graduating students who receive services from the Special School District of St. Louis County – special education and/or technical education. The selected students will reflect the characteristics most admired by John Cary – resiliency, courage, and determination.
The Special Education Foundation’s John Cary Scholarships are for $5,000 and can be used for tuition only. The scholarship must be used during the upcoming school year.
All applications must be complete for consideration and must include a copy of pages 1 and 2 of Form 1040 from the family’s most recent tax return. Selection is determined by a committee comprised of SEF Board, SSD Board, SSD Superintendent, former superintendents, and Carol Cary.
Apply here for the John Cary Scholarship

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Sibshops at ARC

Wednesday, December 14th 4:30 – 6:00 pm , Monthly on the second Wednesday


St. Louis Arc

1177 N Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63132, US

Ages: Siblings ages 7 – 15

Sibshops offer an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities to get peer support and education within a recreational context. This free series includes a fun mix of information, games, activities, and discussion. Children between the ages of 7-15 years old who have a sibling with a disability are encouraged to participate.

For more information, contact Lee Anna Sanders at 314-817-2269.

ARCH Respite - ARCH Respite reimburses primary caregivers at a standard rate for short-term relief services they receive either in their own home, with the community, or in the home of a care provider.

ARCH Respite serves St. Louis County and St. Louis City to register, or learn more, contact or call 314-817-2236.

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, December 26th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Ritenour Administrative Center. Future meetings will be held on the 4th Monday of each month.

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.

December's Meeting - Dec. 14, 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.

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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.

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:

Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis, Summer Resources - Dec. 15, 2022

Productive Living Board (PLB), Resources for Families - Jan. 25, 2023

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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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

December 22 - 30

Winter Break (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