SM Early Childhood Education Center

October 1, 2019

Administrative Team

Dr. Leigh Anne Neal, Assistant Superintendent | Principal, Early Childhood Education Center

Carla Heintz, Coordinator of Early Learning

What's Happening


1-2 - Picture Days

10 - No School for Students

11 - End of 1st Quarter (Report Cards/Progress Reports)

18- Early Childhood Screening (AM Only)

24 - District Night Event for Parent Conferences (Pre-K-8)

25 - No School for Students - Parent Conferences (Pre-K-12)

31 - Class Parties (10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.)

In the News

From the Principal's Desk

It is hard to believe October is upon us and we are nearing the end of the first quarter. As the weather gets cooler, please remember to dress your child appropriately for outdoor recess. Unless it is raining, we will be going outside.

October has a busy calendar of events at the Early Childhood Center. Please be sure to note the dates listed at the top of the newsletter and watch for important notes from your child's teacher for more information. Looking ahead, be sure you have marked November 11 on your calendar for our parent-child literacy night from 6-7 p.m.

Safety reminder - thank you for following the rules of the road as you drop off and pick up each day. It is so fun to see the excitement of our students as they arrive at school and again when they greet you at the end of the session. Please be sure to have your child's hand and attention when walking near traffic or crossing the street/parking area.

Thank you for your partnership in your child's education and entrusting your children to our care each day. I am enjoying meeting and visiting with families each day either at drop off/pick up or in meetings to talk about your child's education.

Shawnee Mission School District Community Forums Regarding Facilities

The district has scheduled a series of five community forums focused on facilities to be held during the month of October. Community members are invited to learn about district facilities planning and needs and provide input for the District Facilities Task Force to review. The first meeting is at 5 p.m. on October 1 at Shawnee Mission East. It will be held in an open house style, where attendees are free to come and go at any time between 5 and 6:30 pm. There will be four more meetings open to anyone in the community to attend. Here is a link for meeting dates and times.

The Broadmoor facility, which is home to our SM Early Childhood Center is proposed to receive renovations. Parents and the community are invited to attend any of these forums to learn more information and to share feedback with the District Facilities Task Force. The task force will review the feedback garnered at these forums. Information from this process with be shared with Superintendent Fulton for consideration in recommending a bond issue proposal to the Board of Education.

Coordinator's News

October brings many opportunities to be outside enjoying the fall weather with your children! As you are out and about continue the work we have been doing at school around the 5 senses by talking with your child about the world using their senses. What is happening to the trees? What colors do they see? What sounds do they hear? Are there birds chirping, or do they hear the crunch of the leaves under their feet? Talk about the different things they might find on the ground and how they feel, is the pinecone rough and the bottom of an acorn smooth? How does a pumpkin feel...hard, rough, smooth? As the weather cools what smells tell us fall is here? Is there a fireplace burning, or hot chocolate brewing? Bringing the learning into their daily life and the real world, helps the children solidify the concepts taught at school, builds their vocabulary, and creates a great relationship building time for you and your child. Enjoy the fall!

Notes from the School Nurse:

Meal Time = Family Time

If your family is like mine then you are constantly on the go and “what’s for dinner?” is the last thing on your mind. Sitting down and having a meal together requires preparation, planning, and everyone’s participation. But the rewards for this large undertaking can be the best part of your family’s day. Eating together provides an environment for your children to share the day’s happenings whether good or bad. It’s also a great time to model good table manners, say grace, and get your children to eat their broccoli! The best part is that you are creating an environment where your child feels safe, comfortable and loved. Studies have shown that teens who take part in regular family meals are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use other substances. So even though cooking dinner may be the last thing you want to do after a long day at work; try to think of it as an opportunity to connect with your children. So sit down, relax, and enjoy your time together.

Birthdays are special days in the lives of our children, and we celebrate them at the early childhood center. If you are sending in treats for your child, please remember that due to food sensitivities and allergies, we ask that you send commercially prepared treats, in individual serving sizes, to share with class peers, and please check in with Nurse Katie when you bring treats in for a celebration.

Please contact your child’s teacher for information about food allergies in the class prior to sending treats. Parents are welcome to come and share the snack time with their child. Please check with your child’s teacher to arrange the best time for you to arrive and check in and out of the office.

Special Note from Shari Hardinger

September 30 marked the last day for Shari Hardinger, Associate Coordinator for Early Childhood Special Education. Shari has been an important member of the early childhood team and her dedication and commitment to serving children and families at the early childhood center was evident each day. She asked to share this special note of thanks with you, the families. I know you will join me in wishing Shari all the best as she begins retirement and determines what her next great adventure will be.

Note from Shari Hardinger:

Hello Early Childhood Families,

I want to let you know how honored I feel to have worked with you and your children. I want to thank you for the endless love and support you provide for them to make their lives better. It is in partnership with you that we are able to provide the best educational experience for your children. That partnership, and your children, have truly been blessings in my life. I will hold all the wonderful memories of you and your children in my heart as I start my next chapter. I will begin my first day of retirement on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019. I will miss the opportunities to talk with you about your children. I will miss spending time in the classroom with them. Most of all I will miss seeing them learn and grow. I wish you and your children all the best and I know I will continue to hear great things about them as they progress in their education in the Shawnee Mission School District.


Shari L. Hardinger

Associate Coordinator ECSE

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