Cub Connection September 2020

Gerner Family Early Education Center News

Welcome to all our Gerner Cubs!

What a joy it is to have your children attending Gerner Family Early Education Center with us this year! This is THE right place for your child/children to grow academically and socially. I am pleased to be a part of a wonderful team of educators that are well prepared to foster the development of each child that enters our doors, no matter what circumstances we are dealing with in society.

You will quickly learn that Gerner is a fabulous community. Our teachers and staff are fully focused on developing successful skills for all learners as we prepare them for Kindergarten. We strive to make a positive influence on the success of each of our early learners participating in our unique programs.

Each month you will receive at least a monthly newsletter from the Gerner office summarizing upcoming building events and items that are essential for the month, but also anticipate updates during the month as necessary. Teachers will communicate more regularly regarding specific events for their particular learning opportunities, which you will learn about as the year progresses.

I am glad that you have chosen to be a part of the Gerner community and am looking forward to a fantastic school year together!


Rachel Ward
Coordinator of Early Education Programs

Important School Information

Back to School Events

With new health and safety measures in place, our back to school events will look very different this year. It is VERY important that we are able to connect to our Super Cub students and families, but this will take place in a different format.

Back to School Welcome Videos

Our staff are creating welcome videos that will be shared with families on September 3rd to "meet" the teaching staff for each classroom, showcase the classrooms, and provide a visual of the learning setting before students arrive September 8th.

Family Drop Off Events

Our staff will want to physically meet our students (from a distance) and will coordinating with families regarding some family drop off events. We want to distribute essential information to families to start the year strong and receive materials that normally would be brought to the school by the parents. Look for information coming from your child's teacher soon.

Five Pillars of Prevention

Throughout the summer, staff have been working hard to modify our building processes and practices to make learning at Gerner as safe as possible. This work has been focused on the 5 Pillars of Prevention, which include: Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing, Masks, Cleaning and Disinfecting, and Stable Cohort Groups.

Please see the detailed information shared in the Health and Safety Plan newsletter shared with families last week.

Health Guidelines for Students and Staff

Students and staff who are feeling sick must stay home. Parents will self-assess students for Covid-19 symptoms. Staff will self-assess for Covid-19 symptoms daily. Staff and students will stay home if they have a fever of 100.4 F or greater. All members of our Park Hill family will follow these guidelines to screen for symptoms of COVID-19, and must stay home if ill.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of taste or smell

The following is a list of phone numbers that are important to keep handy:

Front Office: 816-359-4601
Lacy Northweather (Parents as Teachers): 816-359-6566

April Setser (Tuition Preschool): 816-359-6376

Kourtney Vaughan (Buses and ECSE/Horizons): 816-359-5717

Andrea Richardson (ECSE Programming): 816-359-6111

Kellie Galley (School Social Worker):816-359-6929

Melissa Dixon (Health room): 816-359-5505

The Health Room and Medications

We are thankful to have an amazing RN to support our Cubs throughout the year. Mrs. Melissa Dixon serves in the health room if your child becomes ill or injured while at school.

All non-prescription, over-the-counter medication must be sent in the original container with written instructions by the parent or physician. Before any prescription medication can be administered, it must be in a prescription labeled bottle accompanied by a doctor's note, and the Medication Authorization Form must be completed and signed by the parent or guardian. Parents must bring all medication to the health room; please do not send it in a backpack. All necessary forms can be obtained from the office.

If you have questions about immunizations, medications or other health concerns, please contact Mrs. Dixon by email at or by phone at 816-359-5505.

Safety Drills

Student safety is a top priority at Gerner and safety drills are practiced every month. There are specific procedures followed to ensure the safety of students and staff in the event of an emergency. All schools in the Park Hill School District have emergency plans in place.

Each school year we will conduct the following safety drills with our students:

  • Fire Drills - one each month
  • Earthquake Drill - one in the fall
  • Tornado Drills - one each semester
  • Intruder Drills - one each semester

Our staff have been trained on these drills, and will delicately discuss the emergency procedures for all drills in the classroom. Please know that each teacher will approach their class discussions with care and consideration of all students.

Meet the Social Worker

We have an amazing Social Worker that serves the Gerner community in a number of ways. She coordinates all developmental screenings, works with families interested in our Bright Futures, Horizons, and Parents as Teachers programs, organizes Back Snacks and other community resources for families, supports social-emotional learning, collaborates with families regarding behavioral or emotional needs of children, and supports the whole learning community with social-emotional lessons in the classrooms.

Please use the following link to get a better understanding of how Mrs. Kellie Galley supports our Super Cub families.

Meet the Social Worker

If you are in need of resources for your family, please fill out a Confidential Resource Request.

You will be contacted by Mrs. Galley when this is submitted.

Community Partner Needed

Community Partner needed to assist social worker with picking up Harvester’s Back Snack boxes from the Support Services Building and delivering them to Gerner twice a month during the school year. Deliveries need to occur before 3pm and preferably on a Wednesday. Your vehicle needs to be able to accommodate about 12 boxes at a time which requires an SUV type vehicle. Volunteers do not need to do any lifting of the boxes, simply transport the product from one building to another twice a month usually. Reliable transportation and schedule required. Please contact Kellie Galley at 816-359-6929 or if you are interested in this role at Gerner for the 20-21 school year. Thank you in advance for considering this request.

Important Family Information

Join the PTA!

The Gerner PTA is a vital part of the school community, providing support to the classrooms with fundraisers taking place during the year. Our first fundraiser for the year will kick off September 29th. This fundraiser is through Believe Kids and provides a lot of options for families for the holidays. More information will come to families as we get closer to the kick-off date.

Here are ways that PTA has helped our Super Cub community over the past few years:

  • Tablets purchased to support staff with gathering evidence for learning progress
  • Awning on the playground to provide a shaded area on the blacktop
  • Budget for classrooms to purchase learning materials
  • Recess supplies and materials to enhance
  • Playground equipment in conjunction with a Platte County Parks Grant

How can you help and be a part of the PTA work? Be a member and participate in meetings!

  • Membership forms will be shared with families by teachers or families can sign up using the following link.
  • PTA meetings will be virtual for this school year. A Zoom meeting link will be publicized to families closer to the meetings which are on the following dates:
    September 21, November 16, and March 1
    Meetings will be from 6-7 PM

If you have questions about PTA activities this year, please contact the Gerner PTA at or April Setser at

Park Hill PTA Clothing Center

In order for social distancing to be enforced, please use this link to sign up for an appointment for the PTA clothing closet. Please use the link below to sign up.

Park Hill PTA Clothing Center Sign-Up

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Parents as Teachers

Let's be honest, parenting is hard work! There are days we feel like rock starts and other days where we don't know what to do. Our Parents as Teachers program is available to all Park Hill School District families with children ages 0-5 to support families. Our Parent Educators work with families to support growth and development of children during this critical stage in life.

Parent Educators support families in four critical areas:

  • Home Visits (virtual as we start the year)
  • Developmental Screening
  • Connection Events (virtual as we start the year)
  • Community Resource Connections

This is a wonderful program available to support the whole family. If you are interested in learning more about the Parents as Teachers program and how to enroll, please visit our school website and/or contact the school today!

Parent Corner

Our school website has a great section titled "Parent Corner". Over the course of the year, articles and resources will be posted to support the parenting process.

Getting into a good routine for the school year can be a challenge for some children. An article in KC Parent Magazine caught my eye as a great reminder of the power of sleep and how to help our children build healthy sleep routines at a young age. Check out the article "Seeking Sleep: A Parent's Guide to the Importance of a Child's Consistent Slumber" for some ideas and reminders of sleep as you are building your school year routines.

Kids get anxious about leaving their parents, whether we are in a pandemic or just a regular time of the year. Please take time to read an interesting article from Massachusetts General Hospital regarding Preparing Children for Separation from Parents. There is great information about natural developmental stages and children's behavioral responses.

September Menu

Each month's menu for our Tuition Program will be uploaded to the Park Hill School District's Food Service website. A copy of the September menu will be provided at Back to School Night, with future month's menus provided electronically. Please see September's menu below:
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Gerner Family Early Education Center

Caring Staff ~ Quality Instruction ~ Purposeful Learning