SSD/Maplewood Richmond Heights

May 2022

Dear MRH Families,

As we enter the final weeks of the 2021-2022 school year, I want to thank you for your partnership. Sending your child to school is an act of trust. Trust that we will ensure their safety. Trust that we will care for and nurture them. Trust that we will educate them. Trust that we will push them to do hard things. Trust that each day we will work to help all children become better and better versions of themselves. With your support, all this is possible.


Ben Gleason

Lead Special Education Coordinator


May 3- Early Release day

May 30- No School- Memorial Day

June 3- Last day of school and High School graduation

Parent Education and Diversity Awareness

Are you still thinking about what to do this summer?

The PEDA Summer Resource Packet can help!

PEDA 2022 Summer Resource Packet

Other helpful resources:

St. Louis Recreation Council

Blueprint for Summer

St. Louis County Parks Activity Guide

Early Childhood Summer Resource Guide

Coming Soon!

Applications will be available soon for the Fall 2022 semester SSD Family Leadership Institute FLI (Formerly Parent Leadership Institute PLI).

The Institute which has over 275 graduates to date, was created for families in 2007 to offer information, training, and resources. Participants gain the knowledge and skills to effectively collaborate with other families, school personnel and develop leadership for SSD and their home districts.

Participants will:

  • Build understanding of future planning and problem-solving, utilizing Charting the LifeCourse tools;
  • Learn to effectively participate in their child’s education and improve the educational climate for all children;
  • Learn how to positively interact and collaborate with other families and school personnel; and
  • Discover new resources and network with other families.

FLI Graduates have:

  • Served on School boards
  • Been elected as Parent Advisory Council (PAC) President(s)
  • Actively participated in SSD and/or local school district PACs
  • And further increased their leadership training in policy development and mentorship.

Contact us at or call 314.989.8460 if you have any questions or concerns.

Some Quotes from graduates.

  • Thank you so much for everything! I feel very lucky to have found this opportunity.
  • It was helpful to learn how Charting LifeCourse Tools could play a part in every step of the way.
  • The topics and presenters made the program engaging and informative.
  • Learned a lot about planning for my child’s future and the IEP process.
  • I'm really glad I signed up for this program. I had no idea what to expect and learned so, so much about the available tools and all the SSD processes we will be experiencing during his life.
  • The deep dive on the IEP history/process was incredibly helpful to give a framework on my ability to participate since my family is very new to the IEP process.
  • The IEP information was incredibly helpful. It was a bit like pulling back the curtain on something that was previously a complete mystery.
  • I am so thankful for this workshop and for the information, and materials you’ve shared w/ me. Thanks for facilitating the training so well. It’s great to have a safe space to talk openly with experts and other parents about education, IEPs, 504, Inclusion, challenges, etc. The choice of speaker, topics, resources and lending library was all great.
  • Amazing group of people. Chance for honest conversations. Helps me be a better advocate & team member.
  • Amazing experience – tons of knowledge shared. Lots of great connections with families. Better understanding of IEP process. I feel empowered to do more – create positive change. Opened my eyes to some realities approaching with transition to adulthood.

  • We received a lot of great information in this class! I has made me change the way I look at the whole process, and how I approach things with my daughter. I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity!

  • I am no longer feeling so alone & confused. Feel I can be a better advocate.

  • Attending this institute was an awesome opportunity I turned out to be much more than I expected. It gave me a better understanding about the transition process & how I can best support my child through transition. It generated a lot of ideas for my child’s last IEP. I feel so much more equipped to navigate SSD=land, as well as help others navigate it too.

  • Amazing. Blessing. You’ve enabled me to think more positively and concretely about my son’s future. I have always said “there’s no outline for me to follow” – but you’ve given me the framework I desired, support & connections!

Virtual Lunch and Learn

Special School District’s Family and Community Outreach, Social Work, Parent Education and Diversity Awareness (PEDA), and Communications Department 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 community organizations will participate 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:

· St. Louis County Library – May 4

Each event is held virtually through YouTube Live and will remain on our channel for future viewing.

Health and Wellness

With warmer weather on the way, you can boost your mood by being outside and connecting with nature. According to the American Psychological Association’s article Nurtured by Nature, research shows that spending time in nature (as little as two hours a week) can have cognitive benefits, increase happiness, and improve social interactions. During your daily time outside, try using a mindfulness strategy to help you to slow down and be present in a month that seems to fly by. Take a walk and practice this grounding technique to engage your five senses.

  • 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique

    • Acknowledge FIVE things you can SEE. This can be a flower, the roots of a tree, or anything around you.

    • Acknowledge FOUR things you can HEAR. This may be a car driving by, birds chirping, or your own deep breaths.

    • Acknowledge THREE things you can TOUCH. Perhaps you can feel the wind, the sun on your face, or dew on the grass.

    • Acknowledge TWO things you can SMELL. Stop to smell a flower on your walk or notice the smell of fresh-cut grass.

    • Acknowledge ONE thing you can TASTE. Maybe you can still taste your morning coffee or think of one of your favorite things to eat.

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MRH Parent Advisory Council

The MRH Parent Advisory Council offers an opportunity to connect with other parents of students with disabilities and to learn about topics of interest. Please contact MRH parent Mrs. Kim Gifford if you are interested in participating.

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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.