Cub Connection November News

Gerner Family Early Education Center

Having a Thankful Spirit

As we enter into the month of November, it is hard to not jump ahead to the end of the month and gear up for Thanksgiving Day. It is always interesting to me how much more I reflect on all the wonderful gifts present in my life during this month and hope to expand the thankful spirit that comes with the upcoming holiday. I hope you are able to get in the spirit of thanksgiving early in the month and will see both small and large scale gifts in your life.

I am so thankful for our Gerner families as we join together to raise such wonderful children. I cannot thank you enough for choosing Gerner as your child's educational foundation. We are grateful to have each of you as a member of our cub family!


Dr. Rachel Ward

Coordinator of Early Education Programs

Cub Connection - November News

Important School Information

Mark your calendars for the following important dates!

Please plan to participate in upcoming events at Gerner:

  • November 1st - 16th: Park Hill Major Saver
  • November 3rd - 4th: Parent Teacher Conferences
  • November 5th: No School for ECSE, Bright Futures, and Horizon's
  • November 8th - 10th: Lil Angels Photography
  • November 8th: Virtual PTA Meeting 6:00 PM
  • November 24th - 26th: Building Closed for all programs
  • December 23rd - January 3rd: No School for ECSE/BF/Title 1 students
  • December 23rd/24th/31st & January 3rd: No School for Tuition students

Meet our Nurse - Mrs. Dixon

Hi, I'm Mrs. Melissa Dixon, the Gerner school nurse. I have been in school nursing for 14 years, serving the past 9 years in the Park Hill School District. I am one of two nurses in the district with the distinction of NCSN, National Certified School Nurse.

As the school nurse, I play many roles at Gerner to support our students and staff:

  • providing screenings
  • injury care
  • illness care
  • teaching and planning for safety such as plans for students with health conditions or helping with the safety plans to return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic

At the district level, I serve as a resource for the other nurses and help with the on-boarding process of new nurses in the district. Additionally, I track data regarding COVID-19 statistics and other health-related data to quantify health statistics and other job duties of the health rooms for the School Board and the community.

When I'm not at Gerner, I am cheering on my 3 kids with their sports and academic activities. My youngest is 12 years old and I love being at Gerner to remember what my children were like at their age.

If you ever have questions about illness or whether you should keep your student home, please call me at 816-359-4604 or email at I know things are a little confusing this year with COVID-19, so I'm grateful for those of you who have been cautious about sending your student to school when they are not feeling well. It is important to keep communication open to help keep all our Cubs safe!

Lil Angels Photography will be here at Gerner for school pictures, Monday, November, 8th - Wednesday, November 10th.

Each class/cohort classes will have a specific day and time for photos during the week. Families can order pictures from proofs that are sent home about 2 weeks after photos are taken. Please see the schedule below.

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AAC Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, there have been a number of activities in place to promote the use of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices and build knowledge of Core Words in all classrooms at Gerner. To conclude our celebration of AAC Awareness Month, a video was created providing wonderful insight into how one of our Super Cubs communicates besides talking and how his AAC device has had such a positive impact on his life.

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Major Saver

The Park Hill School District Education Foundation is excited to be partnering with Major Saver again this year for off our annual Major Saver campaign which will support the Park Hill School District Education Foundation and our school.

The schools, in conjunction with Major Saver, work with businesses throughout the district to offer a $20 discount card providing the customer with 21 local businesses. In most cases, redeeming only two offers offsets the cost of the card. Proceeds from the card campaign go to the Park Hill School District Education Foundation and participating schools.

The Major Saver cards will go home by November 1st. Please consider purchasing a card to help support the Park Hill School District Education Foundation and the students within our building and district.

The 2021 participating restaurants/establishments include: Sincerely Ellis, Dick's Sporting Goods, Price, Chopper, Red Robin, Smoothie King, Pizza Shoppe, Kate's Kitchen, Texas Roadhouse, Jiffy Lube, and many more!

Major Saver cards can be purchased via cash, check, online at or through the app Major Saver App. The online sale can be credited back to a particular student and school. All cards purchased online will be mailed directly to the customer.

PTA Corner

The Gerner PTA is a vital part of the school community, providing support to the classrooms with fundraisers taking place throughout the year.

Believe Kids fundraiser

Thank you to all of our families that helped to support our Fall Fundraiser. With your support we surpassed our total sales goal of $5000.00, please see actual numbers below. Thanks again for all of your support!

Total Sold: $8,659.00

Gerner Profit: $3891.00

PTA meetings will be virtual for this school year. A Microsoft Teams meeting link will be shared to closer to the meetings dates which are on the following dates:

  • November 8
  • March 7

Meetings will be from 6:00-7:00 PM

PTA Meeting: Monday, November 8th 6:00 - 7:00 PM

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

Membership forms were shared by teachers, online membership forms can be found at:

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

To stay current on the happenings of the Gerner PTA, like our Facebook page.

Scholastic Book Orders

We are excited to offer our families a wonderful way to build your home libraries through our Scholastic Book Program. See the flyer below and what came home in backpacks to order books for your family.

Scholastic Book Orders

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Super Cub Expectations

We are so proud of our Super Cubs at Gerner! Our young students are gaining great school skills through their actions in the hallways, classrooms, playground, and the stairways. The goal through PBS is to support the development of prosocial skills and cooperation by contributing to a larger group. Our students are doing a great job by showing how to Be Ready, Be Safe, and Make Good Choices throughout the day.

When a staff member "catches" a student demonstrating any of the expectations, a Super Cub Paw (paired with verbal praise for specific behavior) is given to the student. The student will place the paw on a class bulletin board to contribute to a class celebration.

Safety Drills - Practice to be Prepared!

It is important that students know how to respond to emergency situations that could occur at Gerner. Students and staff will participate in a variety of safety drills every month throughout the school year. Staff handle the drills delicately in order to help students understand the seriousness of the process, yet not make students feel afraid.

For the month of November we will practice two different drills:

  • Fire Drill: The goal of this drill is to quickly exit the building and account for all students in case of a fire inside the building. We practice this drill each month we are in school.
  • Severe Weather Drill: The goal of this drill is to help the students know where to go in case of severe weather in our area. We conduct this drill twice a year. Rather than actually go to the safe areas, we will talk the children through the process and go over expectations and procedures.

If you ever have questions regarding the processes for drills, please contact your classroom teacher.

Park Hill Star Awards

Do you know of a Park Hill Star? Is there someone at your child's school that you would like to nominate for a Park Hill Star award? The Park Hill Star award is presented monthly to a Pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee. Anyone can nominate an employee for this award by using the Park Hill Star nomination form. The form will ask you to share how your nominee demonstrates our district values of continuous improvement, high expectations, integrity, visionary leadership and student focus.

If you would like to nominate an employee from Gerner please use the link below.

Park Hill Star Award

Important Family Information

Parent Corner - Teaching Kids to Have a Grateful Heart

Have you visited our "Parent Corner" yet? Over the course of the year, articles and resources will be posted to support the parenting process.

I don't know about your kids, but for my daughter when Halloween is here, that means Christmas is right around the corner. In her world this also means extra gifts because her birthday is right before Christmas. She has already started circling items in catalogs to make sure I know what she wants. Oh boy! I feel like I work extra hard to not skip over November and help her appreciate the Thanksgiving season. There is a wonderful article published by KC Parent, titled Teaching Kids to Have a Grateful Heart, which has great reminders of the little things that I can embed in the coming weeks to help actively seek thanksgiving in my home. I hope there are a few nuggets that can be helpful for you family as well. Enjoy!

You may also be interested in a couple of other wonderful articles to help with this time of year:

  • 10 Holiday Non-toy Gift Ideas
  • Creative Ways to Express a Thankful Heart
  • Go to Non-Screen Options for Dark Winter Days
  • Great Benefits from a Family Game Night
  • Raising a Selfless Child in a Selfish World

Repeated Information

Arrival and Dismissal Information

We have a number of programs in our building with different arrival and dismissal times. The following is a reminder of times and processes for families.

ECSE, Bright Futures, and Horizons families:

  • AM Session is from 8:40 - 11:40
  • PM Session is from 12:40 - 3:40

Car riders unload and load under the awning in the back of our building.

Bus route times can change throughout the year as additional children are added to buses upon enrollment. The office will contact families when adjustments are made by the bus company. Please call the office if there are any questions about buses.

Arrival notes:

  • If you arrive after 8:50 or 12:50, staff will not be present to unload your children and you may need to come to the front of the building for arrival.

Dismissal notes:

  • Please have the car placard in the passenger window to allow staff to easily see who is ready for pick-up. If you are in need of a new one, please contact the school office.
  • Our AM session has more car riders and we are continuing to work on the traffic flow to allow buses to move through the traffic at dismissal. We all appreciate your flexibility.

Tuition families:

We will continue to conduct car side pick up and drop off daily for Tuition students as we do not allow families in the building. We need your help with timing during the day so we can support all families and keep an appropriate ratio in all classes during the day.

Arrival notes:

  • Please drop off children between 6:30 - 8:30 AM.
  • Family members will need to unbuckle and help children exit their car with masks on at arrival. Students will then be directed to their classrooms by a staff member.

Dismissal notes:

  • Dismissal begins at 3:30 PM daily. If you arrive before 3:30, please know that you may be asked to wait until dismissal begins.
  • Students will be brought to cars by staff with family members then buckling in the children before leaving.

November Menu

Each month's menu for our Tuition Program will be uploaded to the Park Hill School District's Food Service website. Please see November's menu below:
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Gerner Family Early Education Center

Caring Staff ~ Quality Instruction ~ Purposeful Learning