The Rockwood Reader

April 2021 | Issue 6

Current Events

Universal Summer Supports (USS)

Special School District of St. Louis County will be providing Universal Summer Supports (USS) during the summer of 2021. These enrichment activities are intended to augment the educational experience of children in grades K-12 with disabilities whose typical learning opportunities were impacted by unexpected school closures due to COVID-19.

What are Universal Summer Supports (USS)?

  • USS will provide instructional enrichment activities.

  • Activities will focus on literacy, numeracy, and social/emotional development.

  • Supervision and activities will be supported by activities staff with support from activity directors.

  • Children will participate in a variety of activities throughout the USS schedule. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) may serve as a guide for the activities.

  • There is no cost to the families of students who receive services from SSD.

Who is eligible for the USS?

  • USS is for all students who attend an SSD-operated building and/or receive SSD services in the partner districts where they live.

When is the USS?

  • Rockwood USS will be offered June 7, 2021 through July 2, 2021 as follows:

    • Elementary USS:

      • Buildings: Ellisville, Westridge, Eureka, Bowles

      • Hours: 8:45 am - 3:15 pm

    • Secondary USS: (students in middle and high school will attend this program):

      • Buildings: Lafayette, Rockwood Summit

      • Hours: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

  • This is a one-time offering for the summer of 2021 only.

  • Building nurses will not be available after 12:00 PM for students participating in USS

Where is the USS being provided?

  • Students who attend an SSD building will receive USS supports in their assigned building.

  • For students who attend their partner district schools, locations may vary due to building schedules.

  • These supports will only be provided in person. There will be no virtual option for this program.

Will the USS provide transportation?

  • For those students who qualify for transportation during the typical school year, transportation will be provided.

  • Students who do not qualify for transportation will have to provide their own transportation.

Does USS replace Extended School Year (ESY)?

  • No. ESY services are an IEP team decision and will be provided from June 7, 2021, to July 2, 2021 in Rockwood.

  • The Rockwood ESY schedule will be Monday through Friday:

    • Elementary Programming:

      • Buildings: Ellisville, Westridge, Eureka, Bowles

      • Hours: ESY 8:45 AM-11:45 AM

    • Secondary Programming (students in middle and high school will attend this program):

      • Buildings: Lafayette, Rockwood Summit

      • Hours: ESY 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

How do I register?

Please complete the USS registration form for each of your children that receive services from SSD.

Registration will be available until the end of the day on April 2, 2021.

What's Happening in Rockwood?

Rockwood Health Indicators

As a reminder to families, Rockwood Health Indicators are available for public review by clicking HERE. Indicators are shown by School Levels (elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools), Administrative Offices and Support Services and the Community.

Superintendent Updates

Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, Special School District Superintendent

Dr. Keenan is providing information as part of a series of posts about school, special education and COVID-19 updates. Per Dr. Keenan, “As the superintendent of Special School District, my number one priority during these difficult times is to make sure our students, families and staff have the information they need to better support all of the day-to-day schooling, programming and planning.

Dr. Keenan's updates can be located HERE on SSD's new website.

Dr. Mark Miles, Rockwood Superintendent

Click HERE to see a message from Dr. Miles regarding Rockwood’s potential preventive measures to maintain the health and safety of our students and staff.

Information and Resources

Parent Education and Diversity Awareness Program (PEDA)

Spring Workshops

Sexuality & Media Education

Thursday, April 8, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

  • Talking about sex can be awkward and tricky, and adding media can make things more complicated! Whether we are talking about preschoolers or adults (or anyone in between), there are ways that TV, movies, and internet can create confusion and difficulty for our kids. In this talk. In this workshop, we will explore ways media can be misleading or harmful for youth, and plan ways to use media as a way to talk about sex and healthy relationships.

Autism and Emotional Regulation; Understanding the “Why” and Identifying Strategies and Skills for Regulation - Two Part Series

Mondays, April 19 and 26, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

  • Emotional Regulation issues are common for many students on the Autism Spectrum. We will discuss some of the root causes for dysregulation issues related to Autism and the Escalation Cycle on Night Session two will focus on strategies for teaching skills to help students better regulate their emotions.

Supported Decision Making: Hands on Toolkit to Build Capacity Workshop

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

  • When an individual with a disability becomes 18, they are legally an adult. This workshop is designed to help families understand the options they have to assist their loved one in making good decisions without removing their rights through guardianship. Using tools from Missouri Guardianship and Charting The LifeCourse, the presenters will coach your family to assess decision making in each of the six life domains (health, employment, safety, etc.) and to create a plan to utilize a variety of resources to build self-determination skills. This workshop is ideal for primary caregivers and their family member with a disability to attend together with siblings and other key people who support planning and problem solving in their lives.

Charting the Course to a “Good Life”

Tuesday, April 27, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

  • Life is a journey with many different paths, adventures, and even roadblocks sometimes. It can be overwhelming figuring out steps for the next day and even more overwhelming thinking about the future. This workshop will provide an overview and next steps about utilizing the Charting the LifeCourse framework, which has been adopted by local and state agencies. This framework promotes the core belief that “All people have the right to live, love, work, play and pursue their life aspirations in their community”. Come learn how to create individual plans for your student and family.

Functional Living: Modifications and Tips for Everyday Life Skills

Friday, April 30th, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

  • Life skills can appear challenging and, in some cases, not possible for kids with diverse needs. In this hour Tony Chambers, Behavior Analyst at Neuwoehner High School and certified nutrition coach will explore modifications and strategies to help build basic life skills such as hygiene, cooking, cleaning and laundry.

To Register

  • Call 314.989.7807 or 711 (Deaf/HOH)

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all workshops will be held virtually. 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.

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).

Special School District Parent Advisory Council

The mission of the Special School District (SSD) Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is to effectively collaborate with and advise its stakeholders (including parents/guardians, the SSD Board of Education, Governing Council, SSD administration and staff, and partnering school district administrators and staff) in order to improve the educational, self-efficacy, and social outcomes of each student served by SSD.

Please click HERE to access the PAC website which contains specific information about meetings, agendas & minutes, as well as parent resources.

Important Dates

No School | Spring Holiday

Friday, April 2

No School | Professional Development Day

Monday, April 5

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

Special School District

April 27th @ 7:30 PM

May 25th @ 7:30 PM

More info here

Rockwood School District

April 8th @ 7:00 PM - Reorganization Meeting

April 15th @ 6:00 PM - Back-Up Reorganization Meeting (if needed)

April 22nd @ 7:00 PM

More info here

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.

Special School District of St. Louis County

Dr. Carmen Harris, Director of Special Education


Mandy Lloyd, Administrative Assistant