Cub Connection December News

Gerner Family Early Education Center

Enjoy the Little Moments this Holiday!

As this year comes to a close, it is hard to not reflect on the amazing students we are able to support this school year. It has certainly been different, especially with transitions to different learning modes, but our amazing cubs make every day worthwhile. The genuine excitement and joy seen throughout the building is a daily reminder of the blessings the children bring to the Gerner community each day.

As you think about the upcoming holidays, and perhaps have a lot of plans on your calendar, I hope you are able to spend a little bit of quiet time as a family. The quiet time can sometimes provide the best little moments of enjoyment and memory-making. Maybe you just turn off the electronics, dim the lights, and sing some favorite holiday songs. Maybe you decide to make some hot cocoa and snuggle on the couch to share favorite stories from the year before bed. I hope in the busy-ness, you find a moment that can be cherished with your children.

In this edition of the Cub Connection, you will find details to help you know how to stay connected. Please make note of specific dates on our calendar where some programs are closed, while other programs are still in session.

May the season and the holidays bring you cheer and renewal. Thank you for being a part of our learning community!


Ms. Rachel Ward
Coordinator of Early Education Programs

Important School Information

Mark your calendars for the following important dates!

Please plan to participate in upcoming events at Gerner:

  • November 30th - December 11th: Distance Learning as a district
  • December 14th: First day of in-person instruction again
  • December 18th: Winter parties
  • December 23rd: January 1st: No School for ECSE/BF/Horizons students
  • December 24th - December 25th: No School for Tuition Preschool students
  • December 31st - Jan 1: No School for Tuition Preschool students
  • January 18th: No School for ECSE/BF/Horizons students (Tuition Preschool still in session)
  • January 19th: Semester 2 begins

Winter Parties

Winter Parties will be Friday, December 18th for all our children, but they will look slightly different. Parties will take place within the classrooms, but outside food or visitors will not be allowed. This will be a fun day with friends to celebrate winter festivities. More information will be shared by your child's classroom teacher.

Winter Break Information

The following dates outline which specific days each of our programs will be closed during the winter break.

  • No School for ECSE/BF/Horizons students: December 23rd - January 1st

  • No School for Tuition students: December 24th/25th and December 31st/January 1st
  • The Tuition preschool program will be open:
    Wednesday, December 23rd
    Monday, December 28th
    Tuesday, December 29th
    Wednesday, December 30th

Our building will re-open on Monday, January 4th for all classes.

Staff Spotlight: Mr. Cregg Porter

The one person with the most miles on his shoes is our head custodian, Mr. Cregg. He serves all around the building from disinfecting recess equipment, cleaning cubbies between sessions, supporting lunches, preparing classrooms for learning, and taking kids to their classrooms. Mr. Cregg is a leader for all in our Cub Community!

Mr. Cregg has had had the pleasure of working at Gerner for 10 years. He calls Gerner his “second home”. When asked why he loves Gerner, he quickly replied that there numerous reasons, but "above all it’s the staff and students. There has never been a challenge that we have not been able to overcome by working together as a team. Working together to make our school a safe, clean environment for our students to thrive and enjoy learning is one of my favorite things to be apart of. I also love seeing the students each and every day. The students always make me laugh, and I sincerely enjoy hearing how their day has gone for them."

“"You never work a day in your life if you love what you do.' I would have to say I have not worked a day in the last 10 years. Thank you for letting me be a part of the fantastic Gerner Cub family!"

PTA planning spring fundraiser

The PTA has already begun talking about plans for our spring fundraising event. We have typically hosted a spring carnival-like event with a silent auction. We will be conducting a virtual auction this year and need your help. If you have a local business or home-based business AND would like to donate services or products for our auction, please email April Setser at or call the office at 816-359-4600. We are beginning to collect items to build our auction options for a great event.

Birthday Treats

New in the 2020-2021 school year, the Park Hill Food Service team will offer catering for classroom parties, events, and birthdays!

Below is the order form for Gerner's birthday treat. Here is the link Nutrition Services to learn more information about the many options that are available to you and your child. This form must be completed, and turned in, 2 weeks before the date you would like the treats to be given to the class.

Please note: In order to keep our Cub healthy and safe, birthday/event treats purchased outside of Park Hill School District Food Service will NOT be accepted and served to our children. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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Super Cub Expectations

We are so proud of our Super Cubs at Gerner! Our young students are gaining great school skills through their actions in the hallways, classrooms, playground, and the stairways. The goal through PBS is to support the development of prosocial skills and cooperation by contributing to a larger group. Our students are doing a great job by showing how to Be Ready, Be Safe, and Make Good Choices throughout the day.

When a staff member "catches" a student demonstrating any of the expectations, a Super Cub Paw (paired with verbal praise for specific behavior) is given to the student. The student will place the paw on a class bulletin board to contribute to a class celebration. When paws are earned, classes have been marking a Super Cub cape on a visible bulletin to visually see the success in each class.

Safety Drills - Practice to be Prepared!

It is important that students know how to respond to emergency situations that could occur at Gerner. Students and staff will participate in a variety of safety drills every month throughout the school year. Staff handle the drills delicately in order to help students understand the seriousness of the process, yet not make students feel afraid.

For the month of December we will practice our monthly fire drill:

  • Fire Drill: The goal for this drill is to quickly exit the building and account for all students in case of a fire inside the building. We practice this drill each month we are in school.

If you ever have questions regarding the processes for drills, please contact your classroom teacher.

Park Hill Star Awards

Do you know of a Park Hill Star? Is there someone at your child's school that you would like to nominate for a Park Hill Star award? The Park Hill Star award is presented monthly to a Pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee. Anyone can nominate an employee for this award by using the Park Hill Star nomination form. The form will ask you to share how your nominee demonstrates our district values of continuous improvement, high expectations, integrity, visionary leadership and student focus.

If you would like to nominate an employee from Gerner, please use the link below.

Park Hill Star Award

Important Family Information

Parent Corner

Have you visited our "Parent Corner" yet? Over the course of the year, articles and resources will be posted to support the parenting process.

Sometimes it is hard to think about creative gift ideas to share with children that aren't toys, but experiences. A local publication, Macaroni Kid, has shared "10 Holiday Non-toy Gift Ideas" that might be helpful to you during this holiday season. Have a blessed time thinking creatively!

December Menu

Each month's menu for our Tuition Program will be uploaded to the Park Hill School District's Food Service website. Please see December's menu below:
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Gerner Family Early Education Center

Caring Staff ~ Quality Instruction ~ Purposeful Learning