SSD in Affton Monthly Dispatch

February 2021

SSD Staff Awards

SSD Staff Awards are due February 7, 2022.

For more information, please contact Deana Parsons, SSD internal communications coordinator, at dmparsons@ssdmo.org or 314.989.8102.

Big picture

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:

February 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, February 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

Self-awareness and social-awareness are two core competencies that make up social-emotional learning – which goes hand in hand with wellness. When we foster knowledge of ourselves and others, we can acquire skills to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, show empathy, maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Working toward cultural competency is a valuable goal for the well-being of ourselves and our community. This Black History Month, and throughout the year, we invite you to explore resources for teaching your family about the important contributions and experiences of our diverse community.

For tips on how to honor and celebrate, visit Teaching Your Child About Black History |… | PBS KIDS for Parents

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 February 16, March 2, 9, and 16, via zoom.

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

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 is the Present Level?


This section includes the following information:

  • How the child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum; or for preschool children, participation in age-appropriate activities
  • The child’s strengths, as noted by school staff, the parent and the child (if present); for students with transition plans, this information will relate to the child’s post-secondary goals
  • Concerns of the parent or guardian for enhancing the education of the child; for students with transition plans, this area will include parent or guardian expectations for the child after he or she leaves high school
  • Changes in current functioning of the child since the initial or prior IEP; for students with transition plans, consider how changes in the child’s current functioning will impact the child’s ability to reach his or her post-secondary goals
  • A summary of the most recent evaluation or re-evaluation results
  • A summary of the results of the child’s performance on any general state and district-wide assessments

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

635.4 KB


Big picture

Thank you for completing our December SSD in Affton Survey!

In an effort to be transparent, here is our Data from the December Family Survey:


84.4% of families are satisfied or neutral with the current communication they get from special education teachers.


92.2% of families feel that they are valued members of the IEP team.


90.7% of families feel that the Affton special education team is doing all they can for their child.


What is currently going well with your child regarding their special education services?

16 families said that their students are making progress

8 families said students are getting the support they need

4 families said everything is going well

4 families said their child enjoys school and their special education classes.


What opportunities do we have for improvement with your child's special education services?

18 families said to keep up the great work!

1 family asked for more specialized training for teachers specifically in the area of reading

1 family asked for weekly reports on what their student is learning

2 families asked to hear more from therapists

1 family said everything

1 family said follow through with plans

1 family asked for more opportunities to connect with the community

1 family said more positive communication

1 family asked for special education teachers to have more communication with general education teachers on accommodations and modifications

1 family asked to continue to make progress on goals

2 families asked for plans to be put in place as soon as possible when concerns arise

1 family asked for special education teachers to be available during conferences

1 family asked for improved communication


Are there any topics or learning opportunities you would like to learn about as an Affton and SSD team?

13 families said they are not interested in any additional learning at this time

1 family said they would like more learning on student progress

1 family said they would like more learning on IEP building

1 family said they would like more learning on Trauma Informed Practices

2 families said they would like to learn more about transitions to schools and after high school.

1 family said they would like to learn more about sensory processing and safety

1 family asked that we stop sending emails


How could SSD in Affton communicate better with you?

24 families said that communication is currently good and no changes are required

6 families said that they would like more frequent updates from therapists and teachers

2 families asked for more proactive communication

1 family stated that they feel we communicate too much with them


Are you currently satisfied with the communication you receive from special education administration in Affton?

79.7% of families said that they were currently satisfied

15.6% of families said they are satisfied sometimes

4.7% of families said that they are not satisfied


Do you have any additional questions or comments that you would like SSD in Affton to address?

1 family asked "How are teachers trained in Trauma Informed Practices"?

6 families shared their gratitude for special education in Affton

1 family stated that Mesnier SSD is awesome

1 family asked if ADHD qualifies for a diagnosis

1 family asked if we could increase communication between teachers and families in K-12


Thank you so much for this feedback! We will be back in March with action plans to continuously improve for your students and your family! Thank you!

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

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


Big picture

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://forms.gle/vQiht9BE2sP81Heb8

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.