Our History

In December 1957, St. Louis County voters passed a referendum establishing a local public school district to support the educational needs of children with disabilities. That vote, effectively establishing the Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD), was the net result of years of hard work and advocacy by parents of children whose educational needs were not being met by the existing public school system. The district began, with four teachers and a social worker serving 166 students in the fall of 1958. 

Following its establishment, SSD moved into the area of technical education in 1966. This mission was separate from the district’s work in the special education field. In 1967, the district opened the doors to South Technical High School. The following year, SSD opened North Technical High School in North St. Louis County. It was in 1968 that adult community education programs were established in both facilities. 

Finally, on October 3, 1991, the Special School District Department of Adult Education received approval to establish a Practical Nursing (PN) program from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). On July 3, 1992, SSD received initial accreditation from the Missouri State Board of Nursing to begin offering Practical Nursing education under the name Applied Technology Services (later renamed Applied Tech).

Consequently, the PN program is open to individuals 18 years of age and over who have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Classes operate year-round and are offered at two sites in the St. Louis area, South Tech High School in Sunset Hills and North Tech High School in Florissant. Instructors are certified by DESE and all hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a current Missouri undisciplined Registered Nurse (RN) license.