SSD in Affton Monthly Dispatch

October 2021

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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:

They may choose to use this wording or create their own. They may also want to highlight the events monthly after this introduction. I hope they will join us for these opportunities as well!

Please let me know if you’d like more details or information.

October Parent Advisory Council Meeting for Affton SSD Parents

Please come to our first meeting of the year on September 21, 2021 at 6:30 on Google Meet. This is a meeting for all SSD in Affton parents. It is a great time to build our community, have a little bit of learning time and a lot of conversations. We hope you all can join!

Join with Google Meet

Health and Wellness

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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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:

Parent Education Diversity Awareness

Parent Education & Diversity Awareness (PEDA): Workshops have been added to the schedule. The workshops can be found on PEDA's website. The workshops include:

PEDA has several workshops scheduled for October. These include:
  • WORKSHOP: Why is my Child Misbehaving? (This is a workshop for families who have early childhood aged children)

    Oct. 20, 202, 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

IEP Corner

Have you ever wanted to really think about the goals you have for your student and your family? Charting the Lifecourse is a great activity to complete with your family that can also help you communicate with your student's case manager the goals that you have for them in the future. There are many free resources. Please take a look and let us know if we can help!

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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.

Who Should I contact?

Katy Meers - Affton Special Education Director K-12 and Special Education Coordinator for Mesnier and Gotsch - or call at 314-633-5912

Ky Schlundt - Special Education Coordinator for Gotsch and Rogers -

Tim Orr - School Psychologist for Mesnier and AHS -

Marie-France Castor - School Psychologist for Gotsch and Rogers and assists with EC

Beckie Rainbolt - SSD Social Worker for Mesnier and AHS -

Deanna Wright-Coffman - SSD Social Worker for Gotsch and Rogers -

Pam Miller - SSD Social Worker for Rogers and AHS -

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.