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Special School District of St. Louis County

Superintendent Messages — Coronavirus (COVID-19)

May 21, 2020

COVID 19 information

May 18, 2020

Hello SSD Families,

Today’s Monday Message is brought to you by Victoria Karl, a graduating senior from Parkway West High School who also attended SSD’s South Technical High School where she studied pharmacy sciences.

Victoria, who earned her certification as a licensed pharmacy technician while at South Tech, works in a pharmacy at Schnucks. One of the winners of this year’s James E. Westbury Memorial SSD Board of Education Scholarship, Victoria plans to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to become a pharmacist.

We want to thank Victoria for being an essential worker, and for sharing her thoughts on how COVID-19 affected everyone, but specifically graduating seniors.

As Victoria will tell you in the video below, it’s been an unusual year!

Take care and be safe.

Elizabeth Keenan, Ph.D.
SSD Superintendent

May 11, 2020

May 5, 2020

Hello SSD Families,

I hope you and your loved ones are well and that you had an opportunity to get outside to enjoy some of the beautiful weather over the weekend!

As we enter May and the school year begins to wind down, we all have done a remarkable job of adapting and adjusting in this new climate of educating our students and children through distance learning. Please know I appreciate the collaboration between home and school and I’m very proud of all we’ve been able to accomplish by working together.

Our next phase of learning will be extended school year (ESY), for which we have begun making plans.

Families of students who are eligible for ESY and attend an SSD special education school will be receiving a communication this week to see if they would like for their child to participate. ESY in SSD special education schools will held through distance learning from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday from June 8 through July 2.

Families of students who are eligible for ESY and attend a school in a partner district will also receive a communication by the beginning of next week with the time, days, dates of ESY and the format in which ESY will be provided. SSD’s ESY will mirror the partner district’s plan for offering summer school in schedule and format.

As we begin another week of working, teaching and learning at home, I have a couple of SSD Bright Spots to share.

You may recall that on April 15, SSD launched a Virtual Food Drive for Operation Food Search. The drive isn’t set to conclude until May 13, but I’m proud to announce that staff and families associated with SSD have already donated $4,255 that will benefit St. Louis area families. Thank you for your generosity!

On Friday, we began our Be Inspired series on social media by featuring each of our students who received a Rosemary Zander Award, the highest honor SSD bestows on students. We are recognizing 18 amazing students, each with his or her own story, photo and video. I know you’ll enjoy learning about them and their accomplishments. Be sure to visit SSD’s Facebook page or the SSD website to be inspired!

Thank you, take care and be well.

Elizabeth Keenan, Ph.D.
SSD Superintendent

April 27, 2020

April 21, 2020

April 14, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope you and your loved ones are well and you were able to enjoy a relaxing weekend.

As you know, last week brought a big announcement in that all schools in the state of Missouri will remain closed through the end of this school year. SSD will continue to provide teaching and learning for students. And we can do that more easily because of you.

Why? You have really stepped up to help us in what has been an enormous undertaking to provide instruction and resources remotely. In these unprecedented times, families have many concerns and I realize that a child’s education may not be at the top of the list. We truly appreciate all that you are doing to assist teachers and your children in the learning process.

Please know that you have our support. We already know that we have yours. Thank you.

Operation Food Search
The number of families with adults who are currently out of work due to COVID-19 continues to grow and resources, including food for some families, are in short supply. Operation Food Search is committed to providing immediate food assistance to those in need. If you need help, want to give help or wish to make a monetary donation, visit the Operation Food Search website for more information.

2020 Census – Be Counted!
The U.S. Census counts our population and the results help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. Census data are used to determine how federal funding is allocated for such resources as schools, hospitals, fire departments and roads. It also determines the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as helps draw boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts. In short, completing the Census is important to our community. If you haven’t already done so, visit the 2020 Census site for more information and to complete the Census online. It takes about 5 minutes for you and your family to be counted!

We will keep you updated as we move into the weeks ahead. Information for families and the public will be posted on this page of the SSD website​, as well as on the District’s Facebook page. Check back often for new information.

In the meantime, please take breaks often and find the little joys in life. Look for reasons to smile. Watch over your loved ones – that’s a given – but always remember to take time for yourself.


Elizabeth Keenan, Ph.D.
SSD Superintendent

April 6, 2020

Dear Families,

A lot has happened in only a few weeks with things changing every day, and even every hour at times. Learning and teaching remotely is a new experience for most of us, and we’re all adjusting as we go. I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through issues and for your invaluable assistance in helping us provide instruction. We truly are all in this together.

I also know that everyone is dealing with their own family situations, some of which have changed dramatically over the last several weeks. While we may be facing different challenges, anxiety has increased all around and I know that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Especially during these times and because we care about you and your family, I encourage you to focus on yourself and your loved ones. Spend some time outdoors, if you are able, while practicing social distancing. Check on your loved ones through phone calls or video chats. Sometimes just hearing or seeing a family member – even if it’s on a screen – can provide that needed boost for both of you. Regular exercise can also help.

SSD’s Parent Education and Diversity Awareness staff have compiled SSD Resources for Families During COVID-19 School Closure that contains a variety of information, including educational resources and coping tips. Following are a couple of other good resources:

We will keep you updated as we move into the weeks ahead. Information for families and the public will be posted on the SSD website​, as well as on the District’s Facebook page. Check back often for new information.

In the meantime, please keep in mind – we care about you and we’ll get through this together.


Elizabeth Keenan, Ph.D.
SSD Superintendent


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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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