• Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program

    Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, families that qualify for free or reduced lunch at school may be eligible for a new benefit of up to $302 per child (PreKindergarten – Grade 12), known as the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program, to help with food costs while students continue to learn at home.

    The benefits include:

    • $57 for March
    • $125 for April
    • $120 for May

    If you are eligible, the benefit months you are eligible for will be loaded onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. If you received Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits in March, DO NOT apply for these new/additional benefits. The full $302 will automatically be loaded to your existing EBT card. If you need more information on SNAP, visit mydss.mo.gov. Read more

    Spanish Documents:

    Summer Choice Boards Available for Students

    Don't let the learning stop over the summer! We have Summer Choice Boards, complete with links to different activities, available for students so they can stay sharp this summer!
    Check it out at here!

    Northwest Well Offers Free Resources for Families

    Northwest R-I School District and the Anthropedia Foundation are offering free support and resources to help with our well-being in the time of COVID-19 with Northwest Well.
    Northwest Well is a collaboration between Anthropedia and Northwest. The goal is to promote resilience, stress-management, and well-being for district staff, parents, and students.
    All services are free due to a generous donation from the Jefferson Foundation.
    Registration Link for Seminars and Workshops: https://bit.ly/3dF20YE
    Schedule Coaching:


    A listing of this month's offerings are available on our website at https://www.northwestschools.net/northwestwell

    Activities for Children


    Resources for Parents

    Mindfulness: Where Can I Find It?

    Angela Cook, MSW, LCSW
    Stop and smell the roses, live in the moment, just chill. All of that is easier said than done, especially during the current national health crisis. If you are considering mindfulness and meditation as a strategy to help you cope and accomplish self-care, here are some additional resources in case you are still struggling with finding your Zen. Along your path, remember that mindfulness is like a muscle that needs to be developed and strengthened, which requires practice. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.
    Calm - Provides brief meditations you can integrate into your day to help with decreasing stress, increasing focus and improving sleep
    Sanvello - Formally known as Pacifica, it has some excellent guided meditations, with a main focus being to help decrease anxiety and manage your mood
    Headspace - Teaches the basics of mindfulness and meditation and offers really brief meditations (under 3 minute
    Mindful Powers - In a playful way, teaches kids about relaxation, stress reduction, & getting along with others (geared toward early to middle childhood)
    Zen Habits - zenhabits.com   Helps integrate ways to be more at peace by decluttering your life through simplification and creating healthy habits
    Tiny Buddha - tinybuddha.com   Offers "tiny bits of wisdom" through stories, quotes and tips on bringing peace and wellness into your life and how to apply them to your life
    Stop. Breathe. Be - Provides a plethora of mindfulness resources for educators
    On Body Scan - Guided meditations that help raise one's physical awareness and get centered
    The Mindful Movement - Various guided meditations that help to reduce stress and improve sleep
    The Wheel of Awareness - Originated by Dan Siegal, this is a guided meditation that that helps one get centered by raising their awareness through getting in touch with various sensations, thoughts, emotions, and memories in a systematic way
    Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic, by Mark Coleman, is an excellent book that teaches easy, practical ways to integrate mindfulness strategies that quiet the 'inner critic' within.
    10 Minute Mindfulness: 71 habits for Living in the Present Moment, by Sj Scott and Barrie Davenport. Teaches practical tools to be more mindful in order to increase sense of well-being, productivity and focus.
    Mindfulness for Beginners: A Simple, Concise and Complete Guide to Mindfulness Meditation, by Jeffrey Holloway. Provides clear directions on how to apply mindfulness in order to quiet the mind, which decreases negative stress.
    Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, by Rick Hanson. A little, easy book that describes approximately 50 daily practices that can change your brain to lift your mood and protect against stress.
    Some people pick up mindfulness rather quickly, but the majority of people do not - especially here in the new millennium when our phones are like a second skin. However, keep in mind that counseling can help, too, by assisting you in developing an individualized plan that keeps you accountable for trying new ways to be more aware and present-oriented. And finally, as you consider the main obstacles that get in the way of being more mindful, less judgmental and more in the present, don't forget the most obvious solution: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE. #bemoremindful

    Imperfect Parenting during COVID-19 (Spoiler: You're Not the Only One)

    Jacqueline Siempelkamp, MS, NCC, LPC
    Now that we are several weeks into the global health pandemic, one might think that parents and children have figured out their new routines and are essentially functioning together well by this point. This may be true for some families, but a tremendous amount of parents are sharing their stories of trying times that involve feeling overwhelmed, angry, anxious, stressed, and guilty. If this is how you're feeling, you are not alone.
    Many parents are trying to manage their "day job" of working remotely from home, while still completing chores and getting food on the table. If this weren't already enough, parents are also taking the role of homeschool teacher and must help their children get on Zoom or Google Classroom to meet with their class and complete assignments throughout each day. Other factors could be present- leaving home for an essential job while the kids are home from school, functioning in a one-parent household, losing a job, or coping with a loved one becoming sick. Emotions are running high for parents and children alike.
    Throughout the now-combined school and work day, there is breaking up arguments between siblings and trying to manage meals and snack time. Children may be showing more intense behavior struggles due to their heightened emotions as well, which results in both dysregulated kids and parents. Parents struggle to help their children with assignments, and even getting kids to focus long enough to complete their tasks can feel difficult enough. When will this end? It can be daunting to think of the weeks ahead.
    For all these reasons and more, we all may need to let go of the shame and guilt for "not parenting well enough" and talk about how to get through this. It may seem that we're the only ones who don't have it together by now-which can feel lonely and shameful. Let's normalize these emotions and know that we are not the only ones going through this.
    Here is a list of (realistic) tips created with the insight of (realistic) parents that can help provide some relief from these overwhelming feelings:
    • Take a pause from social media: It can be easy to compare ourselves to others, especially when we have more time at home to peruse the Internet. On Facebook and Instagram, it can look like other parents have completely managed the chaos in their homes and are spending their time doing engaging and fun activities. It's true, they could be great suggestions-but it's important to keep in mind that these ideas may not be perfectly executed. Social media is often our "highlight reel" rather than a place we share our struggles. We don't know what someone else is going through. If social media is becoming too overwhelming or negative for us, it's important to take a break until we are in a better headspace.
    • Consider a general routine: No need for anything detailed or elaborate. Take a minute to think of the flow of schedule you would like the weekdays to have. Involve your children in creating the plan so they can experience involvement and have buy-in to your plan. Make the routine straightforward and easy to understand. Post your schedule in the home so everyone has access and can see what to expect.
    • Revisit the situation: When you start to feel yourself escalate, break from the situation and cool off for five to ten minutes. The situation could be anything-your child is refusing to focus on schoolwork, the dog won't stop barking during your conference call, or your children won't stop fighting over the last pack of fruit snacks. Give yourself some space and leave the room or step outside (warranting your children are safe and with supervision). Take some slow, deep breaths. You'll have the room to regulate your emotions and de-escalate so you can go back and attend to the situation with a fresh state of mind.
    • Connect with others: Make time throughout the week to check in with friends and family members. Be honest with them and share what you're going through. They will likely be able to empathize with you and assure you that things haven't been the easiest for them either.
    • Release shame and guilt: It can be easy to fall into the belief that you aren't doing well enough right now, or even that you are failing your children. Trust yourself that you are doing your best-because you are. Everyone is. This situation is new and far from ideal for anyone. All you can do is assure yourself that you are giving everything you have, and that is more than enough. Put trust in yourself and give yourself grace. There are no perfect parents in this situation.
    It is always easy to place blame on ourselves and dwell on our shortcomings as parents. It is important to remember that we are trying our best. It's true that the global health pandemic is frightening and worrisome. It would be impossible to function as well as we normally do. Allow the space to experience these real emotions without judgment and remember that everyone is going through this in one way or another. Lean on others-we will get through this together.

    Operation Food Search Food Finder and Family Resources

    Operation Food Search has a handy PDF with information on food services and family resources.

    "How to Support Learning at Home,” and “How to Continue Learning at Home,”

    The Missouri Departmet of Elementary and Secondary Education have provided a document for families about supporting learning opportunities and home at https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/curr-c19-support-for-families.pdf

    School Meal Information

    In an effort to support our Northwest R-1 families who rely on the availability of school meals, Northwest will be providing "To Go" meals for students beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 20 and then again Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3 at the sites below. Per normal operational procedures, meals will not be provided during Spring Break, March 23-27. At the time of pickup, a packaged lunch for the day will be provided as well as a breakfast for the following day. Meals will be provided free of cost. The student(s) must be present and provide their name.

    Pick up Locations:
    Maple Grove Elementary, 7887 Dittmer Ridge Road, Dittmer, MO 63023
    Valley Middle School, 4300 Gravois Road, House Springs, MO 63051
    Brennan Woods Elementary, 4630 Brennan Road, High Ridge, MO 63049

    Meal pickup times:
    Last names A-L; 11 a.m. to Noon
    Last names M-Z; Noon to 1 p.m.



    Helpful Resources from Operation Food Search

    Please see these helpful resources from Operation Food Search.

    In response to increased demand for services, Family Support Division Call Center operating 7 days a week and suspending Food Stamp phone interviews

    Information from the Department of Social Services

    Virtual Programming Information









    Jefferson County Resources


    • Jefferson Franklin Community Action 
      636-789-2686  Intake/assessment, housing/weatherization
    • Ladies of Charity (High Ridge)  636-677-1167
      Free store, food, emergency & misc.
    • Salvation Army Church (Arnold) 636-464-0787
      Food, general referral service,s shelter; thrift store 636-287-1911
    • St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Louis 314-881-6000/314-531-2183
      Administration or contact local Catholilc Church for contact info. Food/shelter/utility assistance
    • United Way 211 Helpline 24/7 Free, confiental, resource for basics like food, clothing and shelter
    • Univ. of MO Extension (Hillsboro) 636-797-5391 Resources, education


    • Jefferson County Health Department, 636-797-3737 
    • Smiles to Go 636-633-6255
      Dental for all children including Medicaid, uninsured & ost provide insurance
    • Children’s Advocacy Center (Festus) 636-586-1806 For child abuse victims
    • Children’s Division, Social Services 855-373-4636 Foster care, adoption, child abuse or neglect services


    • ALIVE (Alternatives to Living in Violent Environment) 314-993-2777 24 hours/all genders
    • Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline 800-392-3738 Conficential
    • COMTREA  (Crisis Hotline) 636-931-2700; after hours 800-811-4760 24 hour counseling
    • Meth Line 866-9331-6011 Confidential, County Municipal Enforcement group
    • KUDOS (Kids Under 21) 314-644-5886; toll free 888-644-5886 24 hours for teens with stress, suicidal thoughts, etc.
    • Poison Control Hotline 800-222-1222 for overdoses, chemicals, etc.
    • Behavioral Health Response 800-111-4760 24-hour
      A Safe Place 636-232-2301 (24/7 Abuse shelter for women and their children


    • Disability Resource Association (DA) 636-931-7696
      Independent living for residents with disabilities; equine therapy info
    • Jefferson County Developmental Disabilities Resource Board 636-282-5500 
      Services to people with developmental disabilities
    • Mercy Hospital - Jefferson Crystal City 636-933-1000 
      Support groups, classes & education
    • Next Step for Life 636-282-4400 
      Supports individual with developmental disabilities; adult day program, leisure & residential services; family support/respite care/equipment; loans; employment services for disability adults
    • Pony Bird 636-931-5818 
      Residential & day program for adults with mental & physical developmental disabilities

    Call for details. Contact churches

    • Arnold Food Pantry & Thrift Store 636-687-3663
    • DeSoto Pantry 636-586-7300
    • Feed My People + thrift store (High Ridge) 636-677-9885 Serves northern Jefferson County
    • Hillsboro Food Pantry 636-789-5920 Serves Grandview Schools
    • Jefferson County Pet Food Pantry 314-723-6127 Pet food assistance for low income, seniors, etc.
    • Jefferson County Rescue Mission (Pevely) 636-475-3030 Pantry, emergency food, homeless soup kitchen
    • Ladies of Charity (High Ridge) 636-677-1167
    • Operation Homefront (High Ridge) 314-799-1475
    • Operation Food Search, Inc. 314-726-5355 24 hour hotline for food pantries referrals; Operation Backpack at participating schools
    • Ozark Food Pantry (Festus) 636-933-9974 Serves Festus, Crystal City,Herculaneum, Horine, Hemative & Pevely
    • Peace Pantry + thrift store (Cedar Hill) 636-285-0934 Serves Cedar Hill, Dittmer, Morse Mill; emergency help
    • Salvation Army Church (Arnold) 636-464-0787
    • Siser Christine’s Helping Hands (Imperial) 636-464-7580 Serves Antonio, Barnhart, Kimmswick & Pevely


    • COMTREA 636-931-2700;
      Medical, dental, substance abuse, counseling, contact about insurance acceptance
    • Jefferson County Health Department 636-797-3737  Hillsboro; 636-282-1010 Arnold; 
      Vaccination, family planning, nutrition, women’s health
    • Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition (formerly P.R.I.D.E.) 636-464-4423 
      Drug education and prevention resources
    • Mercy Hospital - Jefferson-  Crystal City 636-933-1000 
      Support groups, classes & education
    • Missouri Lions Club 34-645-3500 vision
    • NeedyMeds 800-503+6897 Medication assistance programs


    • Jefferson Franklin Community Action (Hillsboro) 636-789-2686
      HUD housing assistance, electric assistance when available
    • Homeownership Preservation Foundation  888-995-HOPE 
      Helps avoid foreclosures


    • Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry 314-977-3993 for impoverished families
    • Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Inc.  800-444-0514  for low income 


    • Crystal City 636-937-7166
    • DeSoto 636-586-3858
    • Festus 636-937-2017
    • Jefferson College  636-942-3000
    • Arnold 636-296-2204
    • High Ridge 636-677-8186
    • Windsor 636-461-1914


    • Court Ordered Parenting Class (High Ridge) 636-285-4116
    • Child Support Enforcement 636-797-9840 Child and medical support from parent
    • Divorce Care (Crystal City) 636-937-3668 Support group for adults
    • MO Social Services Family Support Division 855-373-4636 Medicaid, food stamps, TANF, income programs
    • Parents as Teachers Contact the local school district. Supports first 3 years education; health & developmental screening
    • Child Care Aware of Missouri 800-200-9017  Quality child care locator & education materials
    • MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services List of child/adult day care at http:health.mo.gov/safety/childcare/index/php   Elder abuse 800-392-0210


    • Birthright of Hillsboro 636-789-3518
      Free counseling, pregnancy test, clothes, referrals, assistance in connecting with prenatal care
    • Hand ‘n Hand Pregnancy Help Center (Barnhart) 636-464-8400;
      Pregnancy Services, support, incentives
    • Jefferson County Pregnancy Care Center (High Ridge)  636-495-6566
      Free,confidential, counseling, ultrasound & STD testing
    • Parentlink 800-552-8522
      Parent questions and resources help
    • The Parenting Network 636-465-0983
      Visitation program for families with children 0-8 
      Safe Babies Safe sleep education, pack-n-play
    • WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Hillsboro 636-789-2686
      Health and nutrition program for women and children
    • Nurses for Newborns 314-544-3433 or 800-45-BIRTH


    • A Safe Place (COMTREA) 636-232-2301 24/7 shelter for women and their children
    • Runaway Hotline 800-641-4000 for youth who have run from home
    • St. Patrick’s Center (Festus) 314-320-7989 for veterans & family
    • United Way dial 211 for general shelters near Jefferson County


    • Disability Resource Association (DRA) 636-931-7696 Transportation for medical, work & education
    • OATS 937-6454 transportation for seniors 60+
    • JC Transit 636-797-6454 or 888-793-9333 Transportation for developmentally disabled
    • Jeffco Express 636-937-6454 Public transportation bus service


    • Energy Crisis Intervention Program 636-789-2686 for low-income
    • Herculaneum United Methodist Church 636-479-5802 Serves Herculaneum & Pevely; one time help
    • National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) 866-674-6327 Info on where to apply for LIHEAP utility assistance
    • St. Vincent Depaul  contact local Catholic Church for information
    • Victory Church 636-475-3000 serves Pevely