SSD Pattonville Dispatch

September 2021

Congratulations Stephanie Fox!

Stephanie Fox was awarded a $500 grant from the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. Ms. Fox will use the funds to create a sensory space for her students.


PHOTO: L-R : Dee Byrnes, SSD Director; Bonnie Kramer, SSD Suburban REA; Stephanie Fox, Grant Recipient; Dr. John Pohl, MRTA Region 8 VP; Leigh Ann Richelman, SSD Supervisor; Sandy Berry, SSD Suburban; Nancy Craig, MRTA President-Elect; Dr. Scot Moser, Principal, Heights Middle School

Congratulations April Rainwater!

April Rainwater was awarded a $500 grant from the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. The grant money will be used to purchase a virtual reality headset and apps to help students with social emotional needs. Some of the apps allow students to feel stress, anxiety, elevated heart rate, etc. in a controlled way and then teach the strategies to help manage those feelings. There are also tons of mindfulness apps that go with it. The virtual headset will also help my students who have social skills needs by providing games and experiences that are more comfortable for them to practice on a game platform.


PHOTO: L-R : Nancy Craig, MRTA President Elect; Dr. John Pohl, MRTA Region 8 VP; April Rainwater, Social/Emotional SSD Class and grant recipient; Sarah Moran, Principal, Holman Middle School

Family Engagement with Student Learning Guide

Special School District welcomes the support of families and encourages involvement in their student’s learning both at school and at home. The Family Engagement Guide is a resource that provides information and strategies to promote our collaboration in supporting the education of your student. We hope you find the information helpful when communicating with your student’s teacher and the school team. The administration, teachers, and staff of SSD are here to help in every transition of your student’s life, from early childhood through post-secondary.


To access the guide online, please visit ssdm.org Family Engagement Guide. If you prefer to receive a hard copy, please contact your students' case manager or Special Education Coordinator.

Lunch and 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:

SSD Parent Leadership Institute - Fall 2021

The Parent Education and Diversity Awareness (PEDA) Program invites families and community members to visit our Family and Community Resource Center at the Learning Center in Hazelwood. The program is excited to offer a diverse collection of materials, including many new books that are ready to be shared.


PEDA will be hosting the Parent Leadership Institute (PLI) this Fall. This program, which is offered at no cost to participants, is designed for parents and family members who are the educational decision makers for a child with a disability. The three sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, Sept. 29, and Oct. 6, 2021, at SSD Central Office, 12110 Clayton Road, 63131. To learn more about this program and/or apply to be part of it, please visit this link: Parent Leadership Institute | Fall 2021.


PEDA is also happy to announce that there will be a second Parent Leadership Institute in the Spring of 2022. We will be announcing dates in the very near future. Please check in with us if you have any questions!


We are in the process of planning our Fall workshops and will be sending out dates and topics very soon. As always, PEDA Is here for you if you need assistance navigating special education, community resources, and so much more – don’t hesitate to reach out!

Parent Advisory Council

The SSD 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. The PAC consists of five parents or guardians – one member and four alternates – from each of the 22 St. Louis County school districts and from each of the five SSD special education schools. The parents or guardians of students receiving special education services in that district or school elect SSD PAC members.


Get Involved with the SSD PAC:

  • Network and communicate with other parents of children who receive special education services

  • Become as informed as possible about special education services

  • Improve communication between your local school district and SSD

  • Create a positive understanding and awareness of students with disabilities

  • Establish a network of advocacy for local, state and national disability issues


Complete this online form to learn more about getting involved with the SSD Parent Advisory Council.

We're Hiring!

Pattonville is in need of special education para-educators throughout the District. If you or someone you know, would be interested in working with the students in your community, please visit our job openings. When applying, be sure to indicate your preference to work in Pattonville. For questions about future employment opportunities in Pattonville, contact Dee Byrnes at 314-989-8585.


Applicants must have:

  • Desire to work with and help children succeed

  • Active online application with ssdmo.org/careers

  • Original transcripts with 60 college credit hours

SSD offers:

  • Salary range: $15.35 - $26.41 (based on years of experience)

  • Full time with paid benefits

Upcoming Dates

September 6

No school for Labor Day holiday


September 8

Parent Advisory Council Meeting at 7pm


October 6

Lunch and Learn from 11:30am - Noon


Pattonville District September 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.

Pattonville School District

Dee Byrnes, SSD Director of Special Education

Tori Cain, Director of Student Services

Deidre Smalls, Special Education Coordinator - Bridgeway, Parkwood, Rose Acres

Carla Addoh, Special Education Coordinator - Remington, Willow Brook, Robert Drummond

Dee Byrnes, Special Education Coordinator - Holman Middle

Leigh Ann Richelman, Special Education Coordinator - Pattonville Heights & Pattonville High