SM Early Childhood Education Center

November 2022

Administrative Team

Carla Heintz, Principal, Early Childhood Education Center

Tracy Smarr-Dolezal, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator

In the News

From the Principal's Desk

It's been a wonderful first quarter here at SMECEC. It was so nice to see you all in the building coming for parent/teacher conferences. I have also enjoyed having you be able to celebrate in person with your child for their birthday if you choose and the increased parent involvement over all. We are so lucky to have such active and involved families supporting their children and their child's school! We have a few more opportunities to get involved, the fall parties on Oct 31st and our family literacy night on Nov. 17th. I look forward to seeing as many of you that can make it to both of those events!!

Please remember school start time is 8:10 and 12:25. Doors open to welcome students at 8:05 and 12:20. As the weather gets colder many car riders have been showing up a little later, if your child arrives after 8:15 or 12:30 they are considered tardy and will need to signed in at the office.

Important Calendar Reminders

October 20- Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:30-7:30

October 21- Parent/Teacher Conferences 8-3:30

October 31- Fall Celebrations- 10:25-10:55; 2:40-3:10

November 17- Parent/Child Literacy Night 6-7 pm

Our building follows the district calendar and PreK schedule, with the exception of no school on Fridays. You can access the district calendar here. District Calendar 22-23

Fall Parties

October 31st is the day set aside for our fall parties. Parties will begin at 10:25 for the am session, and 2:40 for the pm session. Parents are invited to attend and may sign up to bring treats or party favors to help us celebrate. We highly encourage healthy treats and snacks for the party as opposed to cookies and candy. Teachers will be sending a sign up soon for those interested in helping. Children may feel free to dress up in costumes on that day or wear pajamas, whichever they choose. Please leave masks and other costume accessories at home.

Parent/Child Activity Night

Please reserve November 17th from 6-7, on your calendar for our parent/child activity night. Our theme will be "Cozy Up with a Good Book" and we will have lots of literacy games and activities for you to do with your child. We are so very excited to be able to have our parent/child activity nights in person once again!!! More information will be coming as the night approached!

I Can, We Care

This November, the Shawnee Mission School District will once again participate in the annual “We Care, I Can” food drive to benefit Johnson County. We will be collecting non-perishable food items between October 31- Nov 11. With continued economic challenges and the growing number of Johnson County families in need, the efforts of the Shawnee Mission School District are even more deeply appreciated. If you would like more information regarding where our donations are going, you can find it here

The items most needed are:

Canned Tomatoes, fruit, corn, peas, and meat


Macaroni and Cheese


Peanut Butter,

Dry Baby Food

Canned dinners and soups

Thanksgiving Meals

Vineyard Vineyard Community Church is providing Thanksgiving meals for those in the community! If you are in need please sign up or pass along to a family you might know is in need. Meals will need to be picked up on Saturday, November 19th from 9am-11am at 8301 Lamar Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207. Sign up links are below.

English Form:

Spanish Form:

Door 2 Drop off and Pick Up

If you are dropping off or picking up at door 2, please park in the Northwest lot and use the sidewalk and crosswalk to get to door 2. For your safety, please do not use visitor spaces or the spaces in the entrance, it is too dangerous with the buses and traffic moving through those areas. Finally, please only utilize the drop-off lane only if you have another small child with you. This is a courtesy lane for those with other small children, so they don't need to unload and load carseats. Feel free to stay with your car and we will bring them to you. Pull up as others leave.

Bus Riders

I have had several concerns from parents about the times students are on the buses. I have been working with DS to tighten up times as much as we can to alleviate long rides, and still get our students to school on time. Unfortunately, there are some routes that are longer than others given the number of students in that area. We will continue to work toward a solution and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we do. One thing you as parents can do is to make sure you call DS if your child will not be riding so they don't make an unnecessary stop. Their number is 913-384-1190. If you have specific concerns with a particular route, please feel free to call them and discuss it with them as well. If you continue to have concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Donations Wanted

SMECEC is seeking organizations that will partner with us to support the students and staff at our school. We are a building without a PTA due to the limited time the students attend our center and the quick turn over of families make it difficult to support a PTA. Because of that, we often find ourselves in need of some additional resources typically provided by a PTA. Our district budget allows us to provide and care for our students well. However, what we need is support, motivation, and appreciation items for our staff. The staff at SMECEC pours out daily as they support their students, I am seeking a business or businesses who will pour into our staff, long term or with a one time donation. Things such as gift cards or swag for drawings as we celebrate the success at our building, meals for teachers during conferences, a celebratory staff meal a couple times of the year, or any other creative things anyone would like to do. In addition, donations for "special" items and activities for the students in individual classrooms, or for give aways at family events would also be appreciated. Please ask those businesses you work in, or those you frequent if they would consider being a community partner with us. Either with a one time donation for long term. Any amount is appreciated. Dollars aren't the only way to speak appreciation for staff, notes of thanks and encouragement are always appreciated. If you would like more information, or need a contact for the business, please have them reach out to me. Carla Heintz, principal, 913-993-2601. Thank you in advance.

2022-23 School Meals

Food service will continue to offer breakfast and lunch next year. Unfortunately the USDA nationwide waivers allowing for free school meals for all students will conclude at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Prices will be as follows:

Elementary Breakfast: $1.55

Reduced $0.30

Elementary Lunch: $2.85

Reduced: $0.40

Families can complete a child nutrition meal benefit application to see if they qualify for free for reduced meal prices after July 1, 2022. The information and link will be on the Food Service web page after July 1 and families are encouraged to apply as soon as it is available so that any benefits the family may receive are processed prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year.


Breakfast is available each school day. The breakfast menu includes an entrée, grain, fruit and milk. Students are served all items to receive a full breakfast; including the required ½ cup of fruit.


Lunch includes an entrée, grain, fruit, vegetable and milk. Students are served all of these five components on their lunch tray, including the required ½ cup fruit and/or vegetable.

Food Services has updated the School Meal Information flyer for parents. It is available on the main page of the Food Service web page and linked here for you convenience.

The “pig” symbol on the menu means that the item contains pork.

Menus, nutritional and allergy information are available online at

Special Diet

If you have an allergy or specific dietary concerns, contact your school nurse for a medical form to be filled out by your doctor.

Food service information is available on the district’s web site at or you can call the Food Service office at 913-993-9710.

Early Childhood Screening

SMSD offers an early childhood developmental screening which includes the areas of vision, hearing, problem-solving, personal-social development, gross/fine motor skills, and speech/language skills. The purpose of the screening is to identify children who may have substantial developmental delays and who may be eligible for special education services. SMSD’s Early Childhood Screening (ECS) is appropriate for children ages 2 years 9 months to 5 years old who reside within the Shawnee Mission School District boundaries.

How often are screenings offered?

Screenings for 2020-2021 occur monthly on a Friday morning and are by appointment only. Parent or other legal guardian must complete a request for screening and submit the required documents before an appointment is offered.

How do I request a screening for my child?

More information about the ECS program can be found on the district’s Early Childhood Special Education home page under Early Childhood Screening.

Connect with us via Social Media

We have new social media sites this year! Please feel free to follow us and like us!!

Twitter: @theSMECEC


Or search for #EarlyEDSMSD to see what's happening district wide in PreK!