Early Excellence Express

October 5, 2020

IT'S FALL, YA'LL!

Fall is in the air! The nights are getting longer, the days are getting shorter, and it's FINALLY getting cooler. The warm days of summer are over!


Autumn is the season of harvests, festivals, pumpkins, winter preparations, and of course, FOOTBALL!! Whew! We are looking forward to the many exciting events and fun ahead!


This past week our team collaboratives were in full swing. Although resources and opportunities pertinent to a rich preschool experience are a hallmark of the Early Excellence Academy; many of these things will look different this school year as safety remains our number one priority.


Stay tuned as we continue to safely plan for all of the wonderful things preschool and early education can provide.


Warm Regards,

Megan

DISTRICT HEROES WEEK

District Heroes Week is designated to focus student learning on the members of our district and our community. It is incorporated into the larger pre-kindergarten unit of study regarding community workers and neighborhoods.


Teaching young children about community helpers is a popular unit, and for good reason. Preschoolers love to dress up and do what they see adults do. Collaboration with various TISD departments will provide rich experiences that will allow for making connections between what students are learning and what they are seeing in their environment. All units for learning incorporate cognitive, motor, social, and emotional development.


Throughout the next two weeks we will be introducing our students to personnel who help in the overall well-being of our district. We are finalizing events and will publish dates and times as soon as possible.


All events do require consent in order to participate. Consents will be sent via e-mail by the end of the week.

EXTENDING OUR CURRICULUM

Young children achieve mastery of their bodies through self-initiated movement. Children need to have many different kinds of opportunities to practice skills in coordination, movement and balance, strength, and perceptual–motor integration.


Early Excellence Academy has partnered with My Gym The Woodlands to provide large and fine motor and physical experiences ranging from familiar to new and challenging. My Gym instructors will be present at the center to provide weekly physical education to all classes. Classes will be held on Fridays from 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm, beginning on October 16.


Instructors are considered district employees and have completed criminal background checks as well as fingerprinting with both the Texas Education Agency as well as Health and Human Services. Because they are contract service providers, these instructors are subject to COVID screenings prior to entry into our facility.

COLLABORATION

The Early Excellence Academy will begin its collaboration with Tomball High School's Career and Technology Education Pathway students this month. In an effort to limit the transmission of COVID-19, CTE students will not have direct contact with EEA students. Instead, CTE students will be planning and executing our center's large scale projects. Facilitation of the activities will be conducted by center staff only.


CTE students will also be conducting virtual lessons with our students that align with our center's curriculum and developmental goals. We are excited to welcome our senior level practicum students!

MENU CHANGE

After closely monitoring snacks and lunches over the past month, EEA staff recommended a menu substitution for the beef ravioli lunch as it did not appear to be a "fan favorite." Thanks to our wonderful Child Nutrition Department, we will be substituting fish sticks for the ravioli.


The updated menu has been posted to our website.

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MORNING MEETINGS

Starting October 12, we will begin our "Morning Meetings." As a community of learners, we provide a time of day where students and teachers have the opportunity to be connected and supportive members. This gathering promotes social and emotional skills, celebrates student and class success stories, and allows time to practice our pledges. It is during this time EEA students reaffirm their promise to each and every friend as well as to their school to be "the very best 'ME' that I can be."


In an effort to lessen the transmission of COVID-19, students will remain in their classrooms and will participate virtually in the Morning Meetings.

LANGUAGE LAB LOWDOWN

There are so many benefits associated to dramatic play in the early years besides social and emotional development. EEA was designed to target early literacy, and we know that content and language are primary contributors in making great readers. The Language Learning Lab is EEA's response to increase oral language as well as social and emotional skills to facilitate academic success.


Since September, classes have been drafting and tweaking class agreements and goals. Students have been building a positive climate as they work on skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, creativity, and leadership.


Hear from Ms. Michelle on this week's skill set focus and how you can assist our children in transferring skills from the classroom to home and the community.


Skill Set Focus: Problem-Solving


In Language when a problem presents itself, I tell the kids "Let's Problem Solve". I lead them with questions like, "How can we fix it?" If they are not giving me the answers I want that lead to their independence in solving the problem, I use sentence stems and fill-ins and/or non-verbal cues with verbal praise and nonverbal facial cues as well as thumbs up, claps, etc. that give them feedback for their ideas.


At home, the problems might be similar to school like trouble sharing or very different like a burst of anger because of a denied request or exhaustion.


To begin a Problem Solving Mindset at home, you need to first identify the emotion being felt and validate the emotion. Your child may not have the words. In this case, you will need to provide the emotion and praise your child for expressing their feelings. Second, tell your child, "Let's problem solve". This step may mean working together to solve a problem, calming down, or just finding the right words to use. Lastly, solving the problem may take many forms, so you will need to be flexible.


For example, if the child needs help, verbally prompt him or her to ask for help, then provide the help, and lastly celebrate that you have "Problem Solved".


If the child is angry and acting out, you will first need to teach him or her to calm down (taking deep breaths, sit in a calming corner, (Language Lab has a breathing square), etc. Once they are calm, identify the emotion and begin brainstorming about how to problem solve.


The situation will vary but following the Problem Solving Steps will ensure your child will develop the Problem Solving Skill Set at home.

1. Identify the Emotion- identify and validate the emotions

2.Process the Emotion- finding the right words, calm down

3. Problem Solve- Brain storm solutions and celebrate the process



Have a great week problem solving together!

Ms. Michelle

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UPCOMING EVENTS: YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT

PICTURE DAY, OCTOBER 28

October 5-16

  • Brigance Assessment administered
  • District Heroes Week


October 9

  • FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Support your favorite team by wearing your favorite football shirt!


October 12

  • EEA Morning Meetings begin


October 14: District Heroes Week: Transportation

  • Students will wear yellow and tour a district school bus


October 15: District Heroes Week: Maintenance and Construction

  • Students meet maintenance personnel and learn about the tools used to build and create projects in our district (wear orange today)


October 16

  • National Sport's Day : Support your team or sport by wearing your favorite team or sport shirt! #NationalSportsDay
  • My Gym begins!
  • District Heroes Week: Child Nutrition Department: Students will be provided a virtual tour of Tomball High School’s cafeteria and kitchen. Students will learn how their lunch is made and delivered to EEA daily. (wear red today!)


October 23

  • EEA Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch (wear your best dressed pumpkin patch outfits!)


October 28

  • Picture Day (see photo at the bottom for background)


October 30

  • Halloween scavenger hunt (wear your best dressed Halloween outfit)
  • National Candy Corn Day


November 1

  • Family Literacy Day


November 3

  • Sack Lunch Day
  • Modified Operational Schedule due to Staff Workday


November 13

  • World Kindness Day


November 18

  • Education Support Professionals Day
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STUDENT ILLNESS PARENT HANDBOOK REMINDERS

Education and care of students is essential and must be available so that parents can return to work and our children safely cared for.


Our first priority at the Early Excellence Academy is providing a healthy, safe learning

environment for all children. Each day, upon arrival, your child is given a visual health

check to ensure that he/she is healthy and prepared for fun and learning. If your child gets sick at school, we will notify you as soon as possible. If we are unable to reach you, we will notify the emergency contacts on your list in the order listed.


Children/staff will be sent home as soon as possible if any of the following is experienced:

1. The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities (as determined

by the staff).


2. The illness results in a greater need for care than the staff can reasonably provide

without compromising the health or safety of other children in the classroom


3. A child is experiencing any of the following conditions:


a. A temperature of 100 or greater that is accompanied by behavior changes and

or other symptoms of illness including but not limited too: lethargy, uncontrolled

coughing, inexplicable irritability or persistent crying, difficulty breathing, and/or

wheezing


b. Uncontrollable Diarrhea

i. Actively potty training: Not contained in the pull-up, and/or exceeds two

or more stools above the normal for that child

ii. A toilet-trained child: Has two or more abnormally loose stools and/or

the diarrhea is causing soiled pants and clothing


c. Head lice or eggs


d. Vomiting (2 or more times)


e. Sore throat with swollen tonsils or glands, white spots in throat, or throat that

hurts when swallowing


f. Colored discharge from the nose


g. Constant, deep, or hacking cough


h. Signs of conjunctivitis (pink eye), such as redness or discharge from one or

both eyes


i. Undetermined rash


j. Any reportable condition that the local health department or primary care

physician has determined to be contagious.


Tomball ISD has released the updated Return to Work handbook for employees. This handbook has listed the following conditions associated with COVID:


  • Measured temperature equal or greater than 100.4*
  • Chills
  • Close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Congestion or runny nose*
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Feverish Feeling*
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea or vomitting
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • New uncontrolled cough*
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing*
  • Sore throat*


*Children with new or worsening signs or symptoms will not be allowed entry into EEA until 72 hours (3 days) have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medication.*


Parents should be vigilantly monitoring the health of their child and not send them to the program if they are displaying any symptom of COVID.

NOVEMBER 3

The Early Excellence Academy will be operating on a modified operational schedule for November 3 as it is a District Staff Work Day. A center schedule, including drop off and pick up windows, will be published by October 19.

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

To protect children in day care and the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of state of Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health and Human Services Commission adopted emergency rules that required a pick-up and drop-off plan for children. Primarily, two guidelines were provided:

1. The pick-up and drop-off of children should be completed outside of the operation, and

2. Arrival and drop off times should be staggered


These guidelines help limit direct contact between parents and staff members and adhere to social distancing recommendations.


Please be mindful of your drop off and pick up times. These times were specifically designed to support preventative health measures including social distancing strategies. These "windows" ensure classes include the same group each day, and that the same providers remain with the same group each day. The Early Excellence Academy does realize that there may be occasionally unexpected delays for a variety of reasons, however, these should be exceptions and not the norm.


Again, without healthy students and staff, there is NO SCHOOL.


Staggered Drop off and Pick up times can be found HERE.


Please note that the drop off and pick up windows include 15 minutes from the time published.


Please note that a child can be picked up earlier or dropped off later than the posted times.

SACK LUNCH DAYS

Students will need to pack a sack lunch on the following days:


Fall Semester

  • November 3



Spring Semester

  • January 4
  • January 5
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • May 28


Lunches should be packaged using disposable materials only.


Please note that no food deliveries will be allowed to EEA.

MEET OUR YOUTH SERVICES SPECIALIST

Samantha Promise will be servicing the Early Excellence Academy as our Youth Services Specialist. Samantha's services include the following:


· Provide crisis counseling & consultation

· Serve as a liaison between school and Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services

· Serve as a liaison between school and community resources.

· Provide resources to students, families and school staff.

· Provide supportive counseling to students

· Support for the homeless population

· Education and/or support groups

· Provide basic/seasonal items when available


Referrals can come from any school staff, parents, a friend, other agencies, or the community. If in doubt, feel free to contact Samantha at


SamanthaPromise@tomballisd.net

281-357-3280 (EXT. 3310)

EEA TEACHER WEBSITES

Please visit teacher websites for additional classroom information !

Contact Us

Continue to log into Brightwheel for all daily activities and notes from staff. If you are having concerns with receiving updates, please let any member of EEA know!


When dialing into EEA from an out of district line, please dial the main number to our district, 281-357-3100, then dial our EEA extension, 2620. If you are phoning from an in district line, please dial the extension only, 2620.