SM Early Childhood Education Center

August 16, 2019

Administrative Team

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

Carla Heintz, Coordinator of Early Learning

Shari Hardinger, Associate Coordinator, Special Education

What's Happening


30 - Early Childhood Screening - AM & PM


2 - No School- Labor Day Holiday

20- Early Childhood Screening AM Only

In the News

From the Principal's Desk

Welcome to a new school year! We have had an amazing first week of school meeting new friends and actively engaging in learning! I am thrilled to add the role as principal at the Early Childhood Education Center to my responsibilities this school year. This is my 26th year as an educator in the Shawnee Mission School District. I have had the opportunity to serve as a special educator, classroom teacher, and district administrator. I am passionate about the importance of early childhood education! I have had the opportunity to meet many of you informally this week, and I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children this school year.

Thank you to you all for your patience and support during drop off and pick up. It was great to see families supporting students and walking them to class on the first days of school. Just a reminder that on Monday, August 19, we will begin our routine of having you drop off your child at the west building entrance and allowing them to go down to their classrooms with the support of our wonderful paraeducators. Please continue to use caution when driving past the buses, go slowly, and always exit out of the east exit. Do not exit from the west entryway. By following these steps, we can ensure safe and timely arrival of all of our children both to school and going home. Bus parents, we have also had a great start with our bus transportation. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work with the bus company to ensure timely pick up and drop off of your students. If at anytime, you have a concern, please feel free to contact me.

Just a reminder that this year we are pleased to offer students a hot breakfast or hot lunch option. The menus are online: breakfast lunch. Our food services department webpage has information available for applying for free/reduced lunch support, adding funds to your child's lunch account via eFunds, and accessing your student's meal account information via SchoolCafe.

Parents, you are always welcome in the building to see what is happening, and we want you here. We do ask all parents to sign in the office and get a visitor badge before proceeding to the classroom and checking out through the office before you leave!

Notes from the School Nurse:

My name is Katie Watkins and I am the nurse at the Early Childhood Center. I am thrilled to be here and am looking forward to a healthy year with your little ones. I have been a nurse for over 20 years and have spent the last 15 in the schools. I am married and have three children of my own so I know how hard it can be to send them off to school. Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the year.

Seeking Volunteers to Join our School Site Council

As we begin a new school year, we are looking for volunteers for our SM Early Childhood Education Center School Site Council. The purpose of the school Site Council is to advise the school on such matters as student learning, education programs, school improvement planning, and accreditation issues. The site council also plays an advocacy role for the school regarding the same issues.

The School Site Council consists of a variety of members including the principal, teachers, other school personnel, parents of students attending the school, the business community, and other community groups.

If you are interested in serving as a member of our School Site Council, please fill out an application and return to the school office. You can also complete an online application, if you prefer.

Conscious Discipline Class Offered in Partnership with The Family Conservancy

We are pleased to share that through a partnership with The Family Conservancy, we will be hosting a five-week Conscious Discipline class at no cost for families. The classes will be held on Thursdays beginning September 19 through October 17. Dinner will be provided from 6-6:30 p.m. and the class will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided. The class will be held at the Early Childhood Center. Enrollment is limited to 45 participants, so if you would like to participate, please RSVP to Chris Judd at 913-993-2610 or

I will provide additional information in upcoming newsletters.

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




Pinterest: SMECEC SMSD

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