Horace Mann - In Case You Missed It

June 2, 2021

Hello Families,

May was a busy month. Here are some items you may have missed.

Summer school starts on June 7th. The children should plan to bring a water bottle and a snack each day. No school supplies are needed. Drop off and pick up will be held at the Horace Mann Outdoor Classroom.

  • Dates: June 7-July 1
  • Days: Monday - Thursday
  • Hours: 7:50 AM -11:30 AM
  • Bring: Water Bottle & Snack

2021 Horace Mann Spring Concert

Kindergarten Virtual Art Show

1st & 2nd Grade Virtual Art Show

3rd & 4th Grade Virtual Art Show

5th & 6th Grade Virtual Art Show

Good News!

Horace Mann Laboratory School has earned national recognition as a Certified Nature Explore Classroom from the Nature Explore program, which is a division of nonprofit Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

“Horace Mann Laboratory School’s commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to programs and educators throughout the country.” said Heather Fox, director of communications and outreach for the Nature Explore program. “These spaces inspire hands-on activity, creativity, play and plenty of time exploring the natural world for children of all ages.”

Certified Nature Explore Classrooms foster highly effective, nature-based outdoor learning. Nature Explore Classrooms have been developed by a team of master educators, landscape architects, and researchers in response to the documented growing disconnect between children and nature. The classrooms help fill this void by integrating research-based outdoor learning opportunities into children’s daily lives.

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Summer Learning and Fun Opportunities

Horace Mann Summer School - Building & Learning with STEM


June 7 - July 1 / Monday - Thursday / 7:50AM-11:30AM

No charge for families enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year.

Welcome New Horace Mann Staff Members for 2021-2022 School year!

Welcome Heather Montenguise

Horace Mann is pleased to announce Heather Montenguise as the newest addition to our Horace Mann Team.

Mrs. Montenguise will join us as one of our 1st/2nd Grade Multiage Instructors. Mrs. Montenguise will be moving into the classroom across the hall from Mrs. Haughey to allow them to continue the tradition of collaboration between our 1st/2nd Grade Instructors.

Mrs. Montenguise has 6 years of teaching experience in the Independence School District and is eager to return to Maryville with her husband, Ryan.

Mrs. Montenguise earned her Bachelor's degree from Northwest and is very familiar with Horace Mann from her practicum experiences and her position as a student worker with the Leet Center. We are excited to have Mrs. Montenguise join us with her passion for working with children and preservice teachers at Horace Mann.

A Message from Heather Montenguise

Hi! My name is Heather Montenguise, I have been an educator for 6 years in the Independence School District in Independence, Missouri. I went to Northwest from 2010 to 2015 and participated in a lot of activities through Horace Mann during my time. I also have my Master's degree in Special Education through the University of Missouri. I married my husband, Ryan, in July 2019. We have 4 dogs and a cat! I am very excited to be able to return to Northwest and Horace Mann! Maryville has always had a special place in my heart!

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Welcome Becky Ferris

Horace Mann is pleased to announce Becky Ferris as the newest addition to our Horace Mann team. Mrs. Ferris will join us as our 3rd/4th Grade Multiage Instructor while Mrs. Mason shifts her position at Horace Mann to focus on K-6 Reading Intervention and Curriculum Design.

Mrs. Ferris has 18 years of experience teaching 4th Grade at North Nodaway and is a long-time member of the Maryville community. She has an abundance of positivity and eagerness to work with our children and preservice teachers. Mrs. Ferris will join us in June for summer school to teach our upcoming 3rd and 4th graders.

A Message from Becky Ferris

Hello. I am Becky Ferris. I am so excited to join the Horace Mann team. I have been teaching fourth grade for eighteen years. I received my undergraduate and master's degrees from Northwest. Go Bearcats! My husband is a Maryville Public Safety Sergeant. Our son Andrew is in 7th grade, and our oldest, Jacob, is a junior. I am a lover of reading, cooking, history, and teaching! I look forward to meeting everyone soon.
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Just In Case You Missed It!

Faculty Changes for 2021-2022


The new Leet Center construction is creating excitement with the prospects of bringing baby bearcats to our campus and expanding our support to the community. We posted three new faculty positions to help us find new team members to help us in our work: a full-time teacher, a part-time associate teacher, and an instructional aide. We are excited to announce that Mrs. Michelle Vaught was selected to fill the role of our full-time Infant-Toddler Teacher. We know her passion for early childhood and nurturing spirit makes her the right person to care for our youngest bearcats and to guide our Early Childhood practicum students. Please help us congratulate Mrs. Vaught on her new adventure in the Leet Center.

Mrs. Vaught's new role leaves a vacancy at Horace Mann and opens up an opportunity we have been dreaming of for quite some time. Mrs. Vaught helped us this year by piloting additional reading support and new curriculum designs. We value the work she has done for us and we want to expand on the richness of student support we were able to offer our children this year especially in light of the disruptions to learning caused by COVID. Next year, we are pleased to announce Mrs. Andrea Mason will receive a change in title and become our K-6 Curriculum Design and Reading Intervention Instructor. Those of you who know Mrs. Mason know the passion she has for reading and we are thrilled to utilize her reading expertise to help us grow the pilot program we began with Mrs. Vaught. Mrs. Mason will be dreaming with us in the next few months to launch our new programming in the Fall. We know this will be an amazing opportunity for our children to work with Mrs. Mason and opens new field experience opportunities for our practicum students. Please help us congratulate Mrs. Mason on her new adventure at Horace Mann.

Wishing Well!

As many of you already know, Mrs. Nancy Farlow is taking the opportunity to retire after 32 years of service to Horace Mann. We appreciate what she has taught us all about building relationships and creating experiences children will remember forever. Mrs. Farlow considered retirement last year and after how hard our teachers had to work last year due to COVID no one would have blamed her. Thankfully, she decided to stay with us and help our children through a year full of obstacles from COVID mitigation. We appreciate her commitment to the children of Horace Mann and all the extra work she did this year to create positive memories and learning despite the obstacles. Mitigation did not stop this amazing lady from keeping music and movement alive in her classroom along with powerful opportunities for learning. We wish Mrs. Farlow well and knowing how she loves to take trips, we hope to see lots of pictures from her new adventures.

Among many of the disruptions caused by COVID was the postponing and rescheduling of weddings. Fortunately, after some adjustments, Mr. Bryan O'Neal and his beautiful bride were able to tie the knot in August and created a new family. Mr. O'Neal has even more to celebrate this year. Mr. O'Neal was recently accepted by the University of Arkansas to pursue his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. We know he will be amazing in this program and will do great things in education. In addition, Mr. O'Neal's wife has an opportunity for a new position in education in Excelsior Springs. We are so happy for her but this will require Mr. O'Neal and his wife to relocate to Kearney, MO, and Mr. O'Neal will pursue a career closer to his wife. While we will miss him, we are so happy for Mr. O'Neal and his wife for their new adventure together in their careers and house hunting. Mr. O'Neal was such a support to us during COVID with his knowledge of technology and had an amazing passion for designing new spaces in our school. He leaves a lasting impact and we are so grateful for his work.

Our Instructional Aides are a huge help in our Horace Mann and Leet Center classrooms! Thank you to Mrs. Christy Pearce for joining our team and helping our Kindergarten class a successful year. Mrs. Pearce jumped in with both feet during a year of many challenges. She was invaluable in supporting Mrs. Farlow in creating memorable moments and in providing academic support for our young Kindergarten friends. Mrs. Pearce will be leaving us to be of more support to her husband in his business. We appreciate Mrs. Pearce and her support this year and wish her well.

Another superstar of our team, Meghan Sheil will be headed off for new adventures as well. Mrs. Sheil has been strong steady support for the Leet Center for the last 9 years. She also made a dream come true with the Career Closet on campus as well. From its humble beginnings out of her office sharing professional clothes with students for interviews and student teaching, she now operates a fully functional "store" on campus for all employees and students to shop for free when they are in need of the just-right outfit to interview or dress up in. Mrs. Sheil has loved on many years of our children and has touched so many family's lives in her time here. She will be greatly missed.

Thank you families for your continued support. We will continue to keep you updated as we grow our programming and welcome new faculty members to our team. Together, we can...Horace Mann!!

Mitigation Updates

Mitigation Updates - The Horace Mann/Leet Center Covid Team has reviewed protocols and has a few items approved for revision. These items are listed below.

  • Horace Mann practicum students and Leet Center observation students are returning to our classrooms on a limited basis with mitigation and safety measures discussed with HM/Leet Center Faculty and Parent Advisory Council. Access to the Covid vaccine has been approved for these college students and information has been shared to make them aware of how to sign-up.
  • We will discontinue temperature checks unless children show signs of illness.
  • The Horace Mann snow fence is coming down and K-6 cohorts may integrate at recess. Teachers will continue to remind children requiring a mask break MUST move to a safe 6-foot social distance to do so, just as they have all year. At this time, mingling cohorts will only occur on the playground and teachers may adjust recess schedules as they feel are appropriate to meet the movement needs of their children.
  • The chains are coming off the gates of the Horace Mann playground and will be open to the community. The reason for keeping the chains was to protect our snow fencing in the evening.
  • We are reviewing the Leet Center playground protocols but at this time snow fencing and cohort provisions will remain in place. Please be patient as we are taking baby steps and we know it is still hard for our smallest smalls to comply with the masking protocols.
  • Stay tuned...Our next area of review is figuring out a safe measure for setting up parent visits to the building. Thank you for your patience and grace to allow us to do so in a safe manner for all. We miss you too!!

New Arrival & Dismissal Plan

Hello Families,

We have received word that it is time to begin transitioning to alternative plans to accommodate the closing of the circle drive. Once the circle drive closure is complete, all drop-off and pick-up for Horace Mann and Leet Center will take place at Lot 57 at the Horace Mann drop-off/pick-up location.

The new plans outlined below will go into effect March 15th for all AM & PM HM/LEET Bearcat Club, Leet Center Preschool, Kindergarten, and America Reads Tutoring program.

We appreciate your patience with the transition and any inconvenience you may feel in the process. Please reach out to Mrs. King lmking@nwmissouir.edu or Mrs. Rouner cindysc@nwmissouri.edu if you have any questions or are unclear on how you need to drop off or pick up your child.

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Arrivals & Dismissals

Arrival Procedure Changes

School officially begins at 7:50 AM. Staff members for Horace Mann and the Leet Center will be posted outside at the Horace Mann drop-off in lot 57 to receive children from 7:30 AM-8:00 AM. Families are welcome to drop off or park and walk their children to the center set of school doors located on the east side of the building. Leet Center children will be escorted to their classroom by a staff member.

Early Arrivals: All families arriving prior to 7:30 AM should follow the Bearcat Club procedures outlined below.

Late Arrivals: All families arriving after 8:00 AM should park and walk their child to the center set of school doors located on the east side of the building. A staff member will escort children to their classroom.

Dismissal Procedures

Families – Please communicate clearly with your classroom teacher on how your child plans to go home. Consistency would be very appreciated as we work to be efficient and have your child ready to go when you arrive to pick them up.

All dismissals will be from Lot 57 at the Horace Mann drop-off/pick-up location. Families may line up in their cars and a staff member will deliver children to your vehicle. Please do not leave your car unattended in the pick-up line. Please do not pass other vehicles in line to prevent injury to children or staff.

Your patience is appreciated and we will work to be as efficient as possible.

  • Part-Time Leet Center: These children will dismiss at 11:00 AM.
  • Full-Time Leet Center: These children will begin dismissing at 2:50 PM.
  • Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grade & Older Siblings: These children will dismiss at 3:15 PM.
  • 3rd-6th Grade: These children will dismiss at 3:30 PM. Please do not enter the dismissal line until 1st & 2nd Grade has cleared.
  • Walkers: Families who walk to pick up their children may wait for them at the paved area outside the Student Union. The children will be released to you as the classes move toward Lot 57.
  • America Reads Dismissals: America Reads tutors will walk children out to the Horace Mann drop-off/pick-up location.

Early Pick-Up: All early pick-ups should occur before 2:00 pm to avoid disrupting the dismissal procedures. Advance notice is appreciated. Families needing to pick up their child early should call 660-562-1267 or 660-562-1233 to let us know of your arrival and to ensure your child is ready to go. Families may park and walk to the center doors on the east side of the building facing the student union. If parking is not available in Lot 57, please communicate this when you call and we will arrange to have a staff member walk your child out to Lot 57 at the Horace Mann pick-up/drop-off spot. Please be patient as it may take additional time to free up a staff member to walk your child out.

Re-Entry Policy: Families choosing to pick up their child for anything other than a prescheduled medical appointment should plan to keep their child for the remainder of the day. Children needing to leave for a medical appointment, such as a well-child check-up, immunizations, orthodontist, dentist, chiropractor, etc. may return with a note from the medical professional. Children will not be readmitted without a note from the medical professional.

All Horace Mann & Leet Center Bearcat Club - Before and After School Care

  • Please Note: Horace Mann and Leet Center WILL NOT be able to maintain classroom cohorts during Bearcat Club. Parents are encouraged to find alternate care if this is a concern for their family.

The designated Bearcat Club phone number is (660-562-1267).

  • Morning Care: 6:15-7:30 AM
  • Afternoon Care: 3:15-5:30PM

Morning Bearcat Club Drop off: Parents/Caregivers should park and walk their child to the center doors on the east side of the school facing the student union. A staff member will be at the front desk to receive your child and escort them to the gym. Calling the Bearcat Club phone number 660-562-1267 prior to leaving your vehicle will ensure families do not have to wait for someone to receive your child if the staff member is in the process of escorting another child to the gym.

Afternoon Bearcat Club Pick up: Parents/Caregivers should call the Bearcat Club phone number 660-562-1267. A staff member will escort your child to the Northeast door facing the student union and walk them to Lot 57 at the Horace Mann drop-off/pick-up location. Families may wait in their cars or park and meet their child at the door.

No Change in Face Mask Protocols

On November 12, 2020, the Nodaway County Health Department updated us on information regarding how contact tracing will be conducted in schools based on guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Under the updated guidance, proper mask-wearing may now prevent individuals from being identified as close contacts in K-12 schools. This means that if both individuals at school – the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person in close proximity to the positive case – have masks on and are wearing them correctly, the individual in close proximity does not need to quarantine.


Since Horace Mann mitigation measures are already in compliance with the recommended guidelines, there will be no need to change our protocols. We will, however, continue to encourage our students to wear their face masks and to wear them correctly. We appreciate our families continued support to help our children in wearing masks covering the mouth and nose. Please ensure that your child's mask fits well and send extra masks in case the one they come to school in becomes soiled.

Currently, Horace Mann and Leet Center have had a total of seven positive cases since the beginning of the school year resulting in the need to assist Nodaway County Health Department with contact tracing. We will continue to keep families updated and to follow the guidance of the Nodaway County Health Department.

Mitigation Measures

We are continuing to implement a multilayer approach to mitigation.

  • Masks are our first line of defense with all ages wearing their masks. Children are reminded respectfully to keep their masks on whenever they are within 6 feet of others. Children are encouraged to distance themselves on the playground if they need to take a moment away to take their mask off. We are very pleased with how well the children are doing with this and the need for reminders has decreased. This is a good thing with flu season coming up.
  • Distancing is used as much as possible through the placement of furniture and designated spots marked on the floor.
  • Vinyl barriers are used at the children's tables as another layer of protection. However, these barriers are not intended to replace the use of wearing a mask.
  • Frequent hand washing is used in all classrooms with soap and water. We wash our hands A LOT!! Hand sanitizer is also readily available.
  • Faculty and staff are taking extra measures to sanitize materials and surfaces. Children in grades K-6 have individual learning kits to decrease the number of shared materials. Toys are sanitized after each use in both the Leet Center and Horace Mann. NW provides additional cleaning in the evening and the Maryville City Council has provided cleaning supplies through Cares Act funds.
  • Hallway traffic is limited by having the Art and Music teacher go to each classroom for instruction. In addition, lunch is provided in the classroom.
  • The library cart travels to classrooms to allow children to check out books. Returned books are kept in isolation for 72 hours before returning them back to the library checkout rotation.
  • Nurse Cara actively walks the building to keep an eye on children watching for signs of illness. We have also increased Nurse Cara's hours to have her at school when children arrive and to conduct temperature checks. An isolation room has been set up with provisions to care for sick children.
  • Families are complying with all protocols and following our wellness policies. We appreciate how well everyone is cooperating and for the advice our Parent Advisory Council provides.
  • Even with all these measures, nothing is 100% effective in preventing illness but it can significantly reduce the chances of spreading illness.

Horace Mann Laboratory School * Phyllis & Richard Leet Center

Horace Mann Laboratory School is located on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. Horace Mann is one of only a small number of laboratory schools in the United States. Horace Mann provides a hands-on, project-based learning, individualized approach that is only possible with small class sizes and multiple teachers. Students of all ages make Horace Mann home, from our youngest kindergarten students to University practicum students. Master teachers provide a unique learning environment for all students that include technology, innovative best practices, and exemplary educational experiences. From measuring temperatures and creating data tables at our University Pond, learning about recycling at the on-campus recycling center, roller skating and swimming lessons in Physical Education class, and multicultural education from student organizations on campus, Horace Mann provides the best educational experience for your child.

At the Leet Center, family relationships and children are our passion! At the heart of our learning together, you will find educators who see children as capable learners. Children learn through investigation, exploration, and communication. Our pre-school environment is a natural home-like atmosphere that is filled with inquiry and joy each day.

The Leet Center is also home to our developing outdoor classroom and we believe that all the learning that happens indoors can also be present in the outdoor spaces. Open-ended materials and carefully cultivated spaces provide a place for collaboration, thinking, and representation of ideas. Our learning community includes educators and university students who are working together to listen and learn with children. Children, educators, and families each play an important role in honoring the intellectual and emotional integrity of children.

If you have any questions related to preschool, please contact Cindy Rouner.


If you have any questions related to grades K-6, please contact Laura King