Superintendent Updates: Ensuring Student Success
  • This is part of a series of posts about school, special education and COVID-19 updates. 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. Please share your feedback and ideas for upcoming topics that you’d like to know more about by using Let’s Talk.

  • Resources Available on SSD Website

    Posted by Dr. Elizabeth Keenan on 3/3/2021

    SSD’s website offers a wealth of information and resources for families, students, educators, and community members that support student success.

    The main SSD website and the District’s school websites were recently redesigned to better meet the needs of those we serve. We used feedback from website visitors to guide the redesign of the sites, and we heard that they wanted it to be easier to access the information they need most frequently.

    The new site layouts feature links on the homepage to calendars and upcoming events, as well as the latest District and school news. Other key features include searchable online directories and department pages with key contact information. The school websites provide quick access to essential information like breakfast and lunch menus and school forms.

    The navigation bar at the top of each page of the main SSD website provides quick access to the District’s most frequently visited sections.

    • About Us provides an overview of SSD and its mission, history, and leadership structure.
    • Special Education features links to SSD’s special education school websites, information about the special education process, and information for families of students who receive services from SSD in our partner districts.
    • Career & Technical Education shares information about SSD’s technical high schools and adult education programs.
    • Students & Families provides links to resources, tools, and supports including SSD’s Parent Education & Diversity Awareness Program, information about upcoming family workshops, and disability-specific resources.
    • Community features information about the resources SSD provides to the general community and how the District partners with organizations throughout the community to support student success.
    • Working at SSD is the place to find out more about working at SSD and access available job listings. Current SSD employees will also find direct links to SSD Life, the SSD Portal, and their SSD email.
    • Contact Us is the hub for finding contact information for SSD staff, schools, programs, and departments.


    You can use the “Find it Fast” button in the top right corner of every page to quickly search for what you need.

    There is also a set of icons that appear on every page and provide quick links to frequently accessed sections and pages.

    global icons


    Watch this video for a quick tour of the key features of SSD’s websites.

     

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  • Universal Summer Supports

    Posted by Dr. Elizabeth Keenan on 3/1/2021

    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? 

    • For SSD buildings and programs, it is from June 7, 2021, to July 1, 2021. The schedule will be Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or 12:30-3:30 p.m.
    • For students in SSD’s technical education programs, USS will run from June 7, 2021, to July 1, 2021. The schedule will be Monday through Thursday from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
    • Times and locations may vary in the partner districts due to building schedules.
    • This is a one-time offering for the summer of 2021 only.


    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 1, 2021. The ESY schedule will be Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon in our SSD buildings and programs.
    • Students receiving ESY services in their partner district will follow that district’s schedule. Special education directors will continue to work with liaisons to finalize the summer calendar.


    What's next?

    • We will be working with partner district liaisons to collaborate on existing summer programs to see how USS will complement what is already offered in June.
    • Families will receive a survey in January to see if they would be interested in participating in the program.
    • Based on these numbers, SSD will begin hiring staff.
    • SSD will be working with partner districts to discuss locations and times.
    • Families will receive ongoing communication as the program is finalized.

     

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