SM Early Childhood Education Center

December 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 was so wonderful to see so many of you show up for our Fall parties and our Family Literacy Night!! It is such a wonderful change of pace, from the last few years! I appreciate you all taking the time out of your busy schedules to be involved with us, it has such a positive impact for both students and staff to see you and interact with you in a different way than quickly at drop off and pick up, or via email or phone!! We are so appreciative of our parents!! If you weren't able to make to either of those events, don't worry, there will be more opportunities coming up and we hope to see you there!

I know many of you have been asking about school pictures. They will be happening in January. We chose a later date this year to provide the opportunity to more of our students, since our classrooms grow throughout the year. Be watching for more info. to come later!

Finally, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, however you choose to celebrate. May you enjoy the time with your loved ones and find many fun things to do together as a family while school is out.

Important Calendar Reminders

December 12-16- Spirit Week- see information beow

December 19th- Polar Expres Day- Wear Pajamas

December 20- January 4th No School, Winter Break

January 16- No School Martin Luther King Day

January 24 and 25 - School Picture Day

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

Outdoor Recess

Please make sure you send your child to school with the appropriate outerwear for outdoor recess. We follow the district guidelines for outdoor recess which states that is the temperature is above 15 degrees, wind chill is above 0 and there is no moisture falling we will be outside. Winter coats, hats and mittens may be required.

Spirit Week Dec. 12-15

December 12-15th will be Spirit Week here at SMECEC for the Holidays. You can choose to participate or not. It's just a little something to spread some cheer as we head into Winter Break.

Monday Dec. 12- Merry Monday- Holiday/Winter Hat, scarf or hair accessory

Tuesday Dec 13- Tradition. Tuesday- Clothing that celebrates holidays from around the World

Wednesday Dec 14-Merry and Bright- Favorite Winter/Holiday Bling, Sparkles or Socks

Thursday Dec 15- Wear your Holiday Colors- Red, Blue, White, Green, Silver, Gold or your favorite!

Monday, Dec. 19th- Polar Express Day, wear your PJs.

Keeping Our Students Healthy

You may have recently heard news reports about increases of illness this fall, as is typical with this time of year. In SMSD, we have begun to see increases in absence due to illness with a few physician-diagnosed illnesses and many generalized symptoms.

One of the most important things to help decrease the spread of illness is for those who are not feeling well to stay home. If your child has a temperature of over 100.0 or has vomited or has had diarrhea, they must stay home. Students may return to school when they have been free from fever (without medication), vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours.

Your child may also be ill but without these symptoms. They may have a sore throat, headache, cough, or generally not feel well. If you suspect illness, please keep your child home. If in doubt about sending your child to school, contact the school nurse or your child’s doctor

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!